REVIEW: ‘Ghost in the Shell: SAC 2045 Sustainable War’ Offers a Concise Refresher

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Ghost in the Shell Sustainable War - But Why Tho

Ghost in the Shell: SAC 2045 Sustainable War is a Netflix cyberpunk anime movie produced by Production I.G and Sola Digital Arts. In the year 2045, the earth is suffering a financial crisis and is plagued by the ill-conceived concept of “sustainable war”. But when a new type of human known as Post-Human appears, Major Motoko Kusanagi and the other members of Section 9 are brought back together to search out the members of this new threat and determine what their next move is. All this, while the U.S. government watches their every move.

With the first season of Ghost in the Shell: SAC 2045 now two years old, a refresher just before the second season drops on May 23 isn’t the worst idea. Retellings of anime seasons in a feature-length “supercut” isn’t a new thing. And while I had some real fears about how well a two-hour movie would capsulate an entire season of tv, Ghost in the Shell: SAC 2045 Sustainable War does a surprisingly good job at its difficult mission. At least where the core story is concerned.

All the major story beats that occur in the original season are present in this movie. The only oddity here is in the displacement of some of the story. A couple of events are told outside their original order. This doesn’t have a huge impact on the narrative but struck me as odd when there wasn’t a problem in the first place. That, and it seems like this change in narrative placement could lead to some further misalignment with season two if it starts right where season one left off.

Beyond that, the only things that are left out of Ghost in the Shell: SAC 2045 Sustainable War are some interpersonal moments between characters. While it makes obvious sense why these got snipped, a couple of the character plots that are left out feel like things that are likely to come back around in season two. This is particularly true for some scenes involving Togusa.

There is also a single added scene near the end of the movie. While this brief sequence flows smoothly enough with the rest of the story, it doesn’t really say much. Even if the moment is referenced in season two, I don’t think anyone who opts out of this movie will be left confused.

The final alteration I have to call attention to is the captioning. While I don’t have any personal knowledge of how the captioning was done in this movie, if I didn’t know any better I’d swear someone had used a talk-to-type program of some kind. There are several instances where a non-sensical word is inserted into a sentence that just shouldn’t be there but looks oddly close to what the character said from a phonetics standpoint. So if you depend on subtitles, be ready for a few bumps in the road.

So, if you are looking for a nice flowing two-hour refresher of the key moments in the first season, Ghost in the Shell: SAC 2045 Sustainable War will deliver what you are looking for just in time for the new season to drop. If you are looking for anything more than that, and especially if you missed the first season altogether, I highly recommend you check that out. For my full thoughts on the story, voice acting, and visual design, check out my full review of Ghost in the Shell: SAC 2045 Season 1 here.

Ghost in the Shell: SAC 2045 Sustainable War is streaming now on Netflix.


Ghost in the Shell: SAC 2045 Sustainable War
  • 6.5/10
    Rating - 6.5/10
6.5/10

TL;DR

If you are looking for a nice flowing two-hour refresher of the key moments in the first season, Ghost in the Shell: SAC 2045 Sustainable War will deliver what you are looking for just in time for the new season to drop.