Score 8.07

Koukaku Kidoutai: Stand Alone Complex – The Laughing Man

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Status: Completed Studio: Released: 2005 Duration: 2 hr. 40 min. Type: Episodes: 1 Posted by: AC Released on: Updated on:

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Synopsis Koukaku Kidoutai: Stand Alone Complex - The Laughing Man

In 2024, the terrorist incident known as "The Laughing Man Incident" occurred in which Ernest Serano, president of the groundbreaking micromachine company, Serano Genomics, was kidnapped and ransomed. One day, the case having remained unsolved for six years, Detective Yamaguchi, who has been investigating "The Laughing Man Incident," sends word that he wants to meet with Togusa from Public Safety Section 9. However, soon after sending this message, Yamaguchi, crucial to the success of the case, dies in an accident. Many days pass and in the midst of a police interview relay concerning suspicions behind interceptors, a forewarning is received from "The Laughing Man" of his next crime. The incorporeal hacker begins to move once again.

(Source: ANN)

Koukaku Kidoutai: Stand Alone Complex – The Laughing Man Review

The futuristic universe of “Koukaku Kidoutai: Stand Alone Complex – The Laughing Man” steps into the realm of speculative fiction to present a storyline steeped in suspense, complex themes, and thrilling cybernetic espionage. Developed by the illustrious Production I.G. studio, this classic anime movie is set in the compelling Ghost in the Shell universe.

In a world where the line between humans and cyborgs is blurred, the story unravels around the formidable Public Security Section 9, a covert unit handling cases far too complex for conventional law enforcement. Their latest challenge is the infamous ‘Laughing Man’, a mysterious hacker known for his unique logo, who poses a significant threat to society’s very foundation. Along the way, the narrative beautifully explores themes of identity, the social implications of technology, and the subtler nuances of human cognition.

Indepth Review

Firstly, the animation in “Koukaku Kidoutai: Stand Alone Complex – The Laughing Man” is top-tier, as expected from the Production I.G team. There’s a noticeable attention to intricate details, from the seemingly mundane daily life to the adrenaline-filled action sequences that reflect an impressive blend of traditional animation and cutting-edge CGI. It presents a spectacularly-rendered imitation of the future, capturing the essence of a cybernetic society.

The plot structure is ingenious and brilliantly woven. It grips you from the get-go and rarely lets up. The story smoothly switches from complex philosophical debates to high-octane action scenes, making each episode feel compact and detailed. The Laughing Man’s ominous presence throughout the series adds a layer of continual suspense that keeps the storyline fresh and engaging.

In terms of characters, Major Motoko Kusanagi shines, showcasing an appealing blend of unyielding strength and a profound depth of character. The dynamic interactions within the Section 9 team also provide some memorable sequences that significantly add to the storyline’s depth.

The soundtrack, composed by the astounding Yoko Kanno, further elevates the story. Her versatile tunes complement the anime’s themes perfectly, giving it an audial personality that stands apart. Ranging from intense electronic beats in action sequences to melancholic tracks during emotional moments, the music is as integral to the experience as the stellar animation.

To wrap it up, “Koukaku Kidoutai: Stand Alone Complex – The Laughing Man” is a must-watch for any anime enthusiast. It effortlessly combines a multi-layered plot, a compelling setting, top-notch animation, and a soulful soundtrack to deliver a one of a kind cyberpunk spectacle. Regardless of whether you’re a long-standing Ghost in the Shell fan or new to the franchise, this standalone complex will undoubtedly be an entrancing dive into a world of cybernetic wonder.


Ultimately, whether to rent, buy, or stream this anime depends on your love for dense, atmospheric, and well-thought-out cyberpunk narratives. If you’re a fan of the genre or if you’ve enjoyed the main series, then purchasing might be the right option. However, if you’re new to the universe of Ghost in the Shell, a rental or streaming could be a less committing way to immerse yourself in this exceptional franchise.

Koukaku Kidoutai: Stand Alone Complex - The Laughing Man
8.07 / 10 Reviewer
{{ reviewsOverall }} / 10 Users (0 votes)
The Laughing Man offers a complex, well-developed plot that contributes significantly to the rich Ghost in the Shell universe. It effectively balances action, philosophical themes and high-quality animation, satisfying both seasoned fans and newcomers to the series.
The anime could be confusing for those inexperienced with the cyberpunk genre or unfamiliar with the previous Ghost in the Shell works. Some viewers might find the plot convoluted and the pace slow, making it hard to keep track of the story.
In the review of the anime "Koukaku Kidoutai: Stand Alone Complex - The Laughing Man", we delve into an engaging cyberpunk world packed with thrilling conspiracies and enigmatic characters. The blend of complex scientific concepts, smoothly integrated with well-structured narratives makes the series more mind-boggling without sacrificing entertainment. This review takes an in-depth look at the show's outstanding narrative, visuals and characterization that cements the anime as a cornerstone of the genre.
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Characters & Voice Actors

Kusanagi, Motoko Main
Tanaka, Atsuko Japanese
Batou Main
Ootsuka, Akio Japanese
Togusa Main
Aramaki, Daisuke Main
Tachikoma Supporting
Tamagawa, Sakiko Japanese
The Laughing Man Supporting
Saito Supporting
Ishikawa Supporting
Nakano, Yutaka Japanese
Aoi Supporting
Pazu Supporting
Onozuka, Takashi Japanese

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