REVIEW: ‘Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045,’ Season 2 Is A Solid Step Up From It’s Predecessor

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Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 Season 2

Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 is a Netflix cyberpunk action series produced by Production I.G. and Sola Digital Arts. Picking up two months after Togusa’s disappearance at the end of season one, the situation with the Post-Humans is rapidly escalating. With the American Empire ready to take drastic measures, Section 9 is running out of time to find a solution that won’t lead the world into another global conflict in Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 Season 2.

One of the biggest failings that season one suffered from was how long it took to get into the series’ main storyline. Roughly half of the season was spent setting up the situation with the members of Section 9 and the emerging Post-Human threat. Happily, Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 Season 2 suffers from no such failing. Season two puts its pedal to the metal from the get-go, and with only occasional exceptions, it never eases up.

While the action sequences were far and away from the stars of season one, this season manages to craft a story that is good enough, most of the time, to compete with the fights and explosions for the viewer’s attention. This is especially true where Section 9’s newest member Purin Ezaki is concerned.

Played off mainly as a comedic element with some hacking skills in season one, Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 Season 2 dramatically expands upon the character’s depth of personality and background. Her fixation with Batou is also explained in a sequence that hit me far harder than I expected anything in this season too. If you had asked me at the end of last season if Ezaki had any chance of earning a true place among Section 9’s long-standing roster, I never would’ve said yes. But the amazing work this story does with the character has me sincerely hoping that whatever comes next for the team, Ezaki will be standing shoulder to shoulder with the rest of them.

The only problem I have with the moment-to-moment story of this season is how much it sidelines Major Kusanagi. While the various Ghost in the Shell series has always been team stories that utilize all the members of Section 9, Kusanagi has always been the essential gear that turns the wheel. However, in this series, it feels like she is too frequently in the wrong place and running to catch up with whoever is currently fighting.

While the bulk of Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 Season 2‘s storytelling is a strong mix of emotional character development and tense plots aimed at shattering life as we know it, the story has one serious failing, and that’s the ending.

As the final story beats play out, the grand scheme is fully revealed, and only Major Kusanagi can stop it. What happens however is unclear. While I often enjoy endings that leave the viewer with the final say, this ending feels a bit like a cop-out. It isn’t helped by the fact that, despite one character having to explain what has happened to another three different ways, I’m still not entirely certain I understand the master plan completely.

The visual designs in Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 Season 2 are the same as their previous season. I still don’t love the CGI designs nearly as much as the classic animated versions of these characters, but the action sequences retain the fantastic punch they did last season. Different season, same mixed bag.

So when all is said and done, I think Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 Season 2 is a solid step up from its predecessor. Thanks to not squandering half its season on setup, this time around, the gang get into the action fast, delivers some tense moments, and even crafts an intriguing story. At least until it fumbles at the end.

Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 Season 2 is streaming now on Netflix.


Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 Season 2
  • 8.5/10
    Rating - 8.5/10
8.5/10

TL;DR

So when all is said and done, I think Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 Season 2 is a solid step up from its predecessor. Thanks to not squandering half its season on setup, this time around, the gang get into the action fast, delivers some tense moments, and even crafts an intriguing story. At least until it fumbles at the end.