In 2024, the terrorist incident known as “The Laughing Man Incident” occurred in which Ernest Serano, president of the groundbreaking micromachine company, Sereno Genomics, was kidnapped and ransomed. One day, the case having remained unsolved for six years, Detective Yamaguchi, who has been investigating “The Laughing Man Incident,” sends word that he wants to meet with Togusa from Public Safety Section 9. However, soon after sending this message, Yamaguchi, crucial to the success of the case, dies in an accident. Many days pass and in the midst of a police interview relay concerning suspicions behind interceptors, a forewarning is received from “The Laughing Man” of his next crime. The incorporeal hacker begins to move once again.



Public Safety Section 9 has run afoul of a new intangible hacker dubbed The Laughing Man. The titular character hacks into the cyberbrains of various operatives and turns them into his willing puppets, forcing them to continue his terrorist agenda. The only clue to his identity is the Laughing Man logo he leaves behind, both on film and in peoples’ memories. But when Yamaguchi, the detective who’s been doggedly working on the case, mysteriously dies in a freak accident, Maj. Kusanagi of Public Safety Section 9 finds herself helming a new investigation.

What’s so screwed up is that this movie is roughly a fan-edit of a twenty-six episodes series. The level of insanity that goes into Anime creative decisions boggles my mind. While the story remains less than clear, I’d recommend it based on the visual oddities that abound. If you’re still holding onto memories of the original anime, that classic has long passed. Just sit back and watch some good police action for the Cyberpunk age. Just don’t expect so much William Gibson and a lot more Ishiro Honda.

The Blu-Ray comes with a few featurettes. The Dolby TrueHD track is the start of the show, as the uncompressed audio makes all of the anime action blow you out the back of your home theater. I’ve never been a big fan of GITS, but this stand-alone special is winning me over. The transfer is pretty strong, but so much anime action created a few blurs at a time. In the end, I’d recommend a rental before a purchase.



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