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Parents' Guide to

Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex

By Pam Gelman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Violence + profanity + skin = adult-skewing anime.

Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 4 parent reviews

age 16+

Most Philisophical Robots in TV History

"Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alon Complex", as many have stated, is amazingly thought-provoking, and with the right audience, becomes one of the most interesting Sci-Fi series instantly. It is much like a futuristic version of crime television shows, but also gives the audience an opportunity to think more deeply about the subjects dealt with in the show. Unlike other brain-dulling Sci-Fi shows like Star Wars in which most of the enjoyment is derived from lasers, flying ships, and CGI, "Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex" brings a new light as to how Sci-Fi fans look at Futuristic technology. Each episode is unpredictable, but not to a chaotic extent: one episode could be a huge firefight, and another could consist entirely of users on the internet having an ordinary live chat. Obviously, being a crime-show, "Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex" has its share of violence, but only a select few episodes consist of mostly violence and most episodes do not use violence as the main source of entertainment. If your child is mature enough to handle violence and a few small sexual references and they have the patience for a very complex show, then "Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex" is perfect for any Sci-Fi fan curious about the future.
age 14+

A classic of the genre

The themes of GotS are high science fiction. The story is complex which will quickly bore younger viewers, but sci-fi fans will love it. GotS is a classic of the genre and often held up as one of the best anime series created. If you are developing an anime fan this is definitely one to share. The main character is a strong female character which is unfortunately drawn in a very revealing/sexy style. The writers hedge this by making her a "full cyborg" which is to say her entire body is a machine that looks human. Kusanagi leads a special ops team with authority and wisdom. There are few such female leads in any anime. There is no sex in the series, but there are references to geisha girls and many darker themes are used--slavery, drugs, murder/suicide, and others. Usually these themes resolve in to a moral or a message. One of the early episodes involves a computer programmer who is dying of cancer and transfers his consciousness in to a tank so he can go home and see his parents. The plan goes wrong as no one knows why the tank has gone out of control. The whole of the series asks questions about what it is to be human. It is a great philosophy exploration and provide many talking points.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (4 ):
Kids say (5 ):

The appeal of this dark, intricate anime series is its highly complex use of technology-focused content interwoven with the plot, characters, and visuals. For the novice anime fan, it will likely be hard to follow for the first few episodes. And if you have young anime fans in the house, know that the show is part of the Cartoon Network's Adult Swim line up for good reason -- profanity and violence are both frequent, and the central female character has a propensity for busting out all over (pun intended).

TV Details

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