What is it?
The 2005 Japanese anime (animated) feature-length OVA Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex – The Laughing Man.
What is it about?
This is how Fandom describes this OVA:
“The Laughing Man Incident” started off with a kidnap of Ernest Serano, the CEO of Serano Genomics in 2024, followed by blackmails targeting manufacturers of micromachines and medical equipment.
It was just the first of a series of terrorist incidents aimed at corporations, and it’s been speculated that the number of corporations targeted was the highest in the post-war period.
Several conjectures circulated regarding the final purpose of the criminal: terrorism against cyber and prosthetics technology, a corporate conspiracy, or simply a blackmailing scheme for money.
But the reality was that nothing was identified concerning the incident: nothing about the criminal’s nationality, sex, age, or even whether there was an accomplice or objective.
The only clear fact was that the Laughing Man was a top-notch hacker.
One day, Police Investigator Yamaguchi, who was tracking the Laughing Man Incident, calls Togusa in Section 9.
Yamaguchi dies mysteriously immediately afterwards.
A few days later, the Laughing Man hijacks the broadcast of a police news conference to express regrets about the incident.
Section 9 is dispatched to investigate the intentions of the invisible hacker known as “Laughing Man,” who finally broke his silence.
This OVA was not as good as I had expected, and my brother GC and I were surprised and disappointed that the voices for the characters seemed to be done by different people than the original cast, which hurt this OVA because the original voice actors and voice actresses did a good job in the original.
I am not sure why they changed the voice actors/actresses for this.
This OVA basically used some of the main plot episodes of Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex (Season 1) and condensed them down to give an overview of The Laughing Man plot from beginning to end.
My brother GC and I eventually adjusted to the voices, but it was not the same as we had remembered of the TV show.
I do not like the way that this started, I do not feel that they set things up well enough, and with how this is a condensed version of the main plot it suffers from being a bit boring with more talking than action that makes it even harder to follow.
Season 1 as a whole is better than this, but I am impressed that they managed to condense things done from over 10 hours down to less than 3 hours and still make it watchable; but this is possibly now my least favorite from Ghost In Shell: Stand Alone Complex so far.
- John Jr