This show kicks ass. I love it. I just love it. I don't know what else to say. It's the second season of Ghost in the Shell and it's even better than the first.
First of all, there's the story. It's just as involving and well-though-out as the first season, but there are a few things in 2nd Gig that I think are major improvements. For instance, the storyline -- while still full of twist, turns, and technical intricacies -- is a lot easier to follow. This is partly due to the fact that there's no need to re-introduce all the main characters. Instead, it fleshes out their history which gives their personalites a little more depth. There are also two new characters who really drive the story: Kuze and Gouda. Both of them have strong personalities and each is driven by their convictions (no matter how twisted), making it easy to follow them as they move the story along.
The show also expands on some history that was only touched upon in the first season -- mainly in terms of the world wars and the refugee population. It adds a tremendous amount of depth and believability to the show by putting events on a global scale.
I also liked the format of this season better than the first. It still has the stand alone episodes alongside episodes that follow a conintuing story. But this time the stand alone episodes are shown as part of the main story (as opposed to existing in a sort of self-contained bubble like in season one), so you can see where they fit in the timeline. Plus, it solves the frustration that I had with the first season since even the stand alone episodes add some small nugget of information to the bigger picture.
The ending of this series is a little more climactic than in the first season. It was satisfying and wraps things up nicely. The only thing that maybe I had an issue with was that for some reason the very end seemed kind of rushed. But that's a minor nitpick.
The animation was awesome...again. One thing I expecially loved were the scenes where Section 9 was traveling through cyberspace -- the visual details just blew me away. And I got a kick out of how the Tachikomas act as assistants to the team while in cyberspace (probably because it reminded me of the Decots from the second volume of Shirow's manga).
Then there's Yoko Kanno's music which of course is phenominal... Duh.
Other than that, it's just another typical super-awesome-crazy-cool installment of Ghost in the Shell. What more can I say?