Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 season 2 review: Decent improvement through a coherent storyline

Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 season 2 follows Public Security Section 9 as they try to avert a global nuclear crisis emerging due to the American attempts to tackle Takashi Shimamura.

Story

Section 9 still has no clue about Togusa’s disappearance as they continue to dig deep into the emergence of the post-humans.

Through a cyber-brain engineer named Philip Kukushin, Section 9 finds out that the Americans created the AI 1A84 to manipulate the economic system, resulting in the Global Simultaneous Default.

John Smith is detained by the Japanese government on charges of espionage. But, on the other hand, Major Kusanagi quarantines Purin Esaki under suspicion of her being a post-human.

She is suspected to attack PM Tate but her innocence is proven later when it’s found out that another assassin was sent by John Smith to assassinate PM Tate. However, Purin dies in the encounter between the PM’s bodyguards.

Meanwhile, Togusa lands up in Tokyo, which is becoming the centre of an independent nation called “N” led by Takashi, where he tries to establish contact with Batou. As Batou finds Togusa, Takashi takes control of an American nuclear submarine and declares his own independent nation.

Section 9 discovers that the Americans have started deploying SEALs in Tokyo while Takashi threatens them with a nuclear crisis if anybody from the “N” is harmed.

Finding no choice, Section 9 decides to take things into their hands before the crisis between the Americans and Takashi results in a global nuclear holocaust.

Positives

The season finds its backbone in the geopolitical tension that arises out of the conflict at hand. The various players with varied stakes in the game provide a fluidity to the storyline where the unexpected can take place at any moment. This aspect keeps the clock ticking and the viewer hooked.

Purin Esaki, one of the more interesting characters from season 1, finds solid ground in this season as her character is explored more deeply and her relationship with one of the series’ mainstays, Batou, is established clearly.

Season 2 ups the ante in terms of plot as things feel more consequential to the existence of humanity rather than just affecting the interests of the few parties involved. Instead of finding answers all the time, this season invests in action directed towards stopping the inevitable.

The shrouded mystery around Takashi’s persona and his plans really pushes the story forward with an added aspect of thrill that emerges from knowing the unknown.

Some of the philosophical tendencies which the season attempts at exploring align well with the overall plot.

Negatives

Instead of establishing the plot neatly, the series messes it up with its constant requirement to explain everything. While the complexity of the story pushes it to a point of necessity, it’s not the smartest tool in story writing where what’s happening needs to be explained through dialogues.

The climax does feel a bit underwhelming where the victor is conveniently decided and most of the events preceding the climax are rendered inconsequential in some sense.

Some of the primary characters from the previous season are pushed to the background significantly in this season to make way for the story to take a new direction, creating some disconnection between the two.

Another miss for the season is its lack of clarity in justifying what it depicts. A lot of the story and character threads are minutely hinted at before being abandoned completely and proving to be irrelevant to what’s happening at large.

Verdict

Season 2 has its fair share of hits and misses. The season attempts to balance too many things at the same time and rarely does it come out with the perfection and clarity that it should have delivered. There are some awe-inspiring moments with a more linear storyline that feels more coherent. Overall, it does feel like an improvement over the first season.

Rating: 3/5


Also Read: Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 season 2 summary and ending explained