It may be that there are some occasions where knowing what the villain is up to increases the suspense rather than diminishing it. Hitchcock’s The Man Who Knew Too Much comes to mind. But in the second Ghost in the Shell season, it’s not working out that way. As I noted before the villain is right out in plain sight, and on the second DVD we’re treated to views of the villain acting to which the protagonists aren’t privy. In the first season, the Laughing Man’s behaviour is not revealed except when he is in public or present with one of the protagonists and little of his motivations and goals is revealed until near the end of the season. Unless there are some big reveals and major twists coming in this series, most of the background has already been revealed on this villain and all that remains is the how of what is being done, not the why. Frankly, I’m disappointed in the lack of mystery this season as compared to the previous season. The script writing doesn’t seem to be as tight and our heroes don’t seem to be as quick on the uptake as before. If the villain were any more villainous, he’d be twirling his moustache, drawing his black cape up to hide his face, pulling his black hat down over his eyes and laughing like Snidely Whiplash. Yet no one seems to notice.
Still, the serious tone, the quality of the animation and the stories (despite not being as good as before) and the lack of “face-faults” make this series far and away better than almost all others. (Cowboy Bebop despite the occasional face-fault, had stories, characters and especially an ending of such quality that it rose above its faults. No pun intended.) I’ve got DVDs 3 and 4 from the second season now and I’ll watch them and comment on them later in the week. 5 and 6 are on hold at my library, but they don’t even have copies available in the system yet, so I don’t know how much longer it will be before I can watch them.