Thursday, January 25, 2007

Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex: White Maze

Written by Junichi Fujisaku
Published in the U.S. by Dark Horse

Slugline: Guns go boom. It's Ghost in the Shell, what else could happen?

Ghost in the Shell manga (this is a novel) that are released by Dark Horse have an interesting sense of hyper-reality to them as they attempt to illustrate some concepts of science fiction/futurism in a more concrete form, such as the idea of augmented reality. But in this novel only the very basic concepts are used, making it no more than another cyberpunk tale. Not that it is a bad cyberpunk tale, but it is a fairly straightforward and not a very complicated one.

Bad man makes a virus with vampiric overtones that is quickly lost, and
Motoko Kusanagi finds the bad man, who turns out, surprise, surprise, to be not so bad. But some even worse folks want to use him for worse ends. Look, I am not trying to be snarky; it is executed decently and there are some interesting character moments, but if you are looking for some hardcore cyperpunk/action or a big Ghost in the Shell post-modern metaphysics brainstorm, this may be disappointing. I suspect I will forget most of the plot of this book within a week.

Ghost in the Shell: White Maze is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.

- Ferdinand

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