Ghost in the Shell

Ghost in the Shell blue Motoko Kusanagi

Ghost in the Shell Motoko Kusanagi

Ghost in the Shell 2

Ghost in the Shell 2 Motoko Kusanagi and Batou Securty Police Section 9

Motoko Kusanagi and gun

Ghost In the Shell 2 - Innocence (Japan Trailer)

Favourite Scene 09 (Ghost in the Shell 2 Innocence)

Ghost in the Shell

Ghost in the Shell (Japanese: 攻殻機動隊, Kōkaku Kidōtai, i.e. Mobile Armored Riot Police), is a Japanese cyberpunk manga created by Masamune Shirow. A sequel, Ghost in the Shell 2: Man/Machine Interface, was released in 2002.

Over the years, the manga series has been adapted into the following: three anime films—Ghost in the Shell, Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, and Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex Solid State Society; two anime television series—Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex and Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex 2nd Gig; all produced by Production I.G., along with one PlayStation game, one PlayStation 2 game and one PlayStation Portable game.


Ghost in the Shell is a futuristic police thriller dealing with the exploits of Motoko Kusanagi, a member of the covert operations section of the Japanese National Public Safety Commission, Section 9, which specializes in fighting technology-related crime. She may be named after one of the three Imperial Regalia of Japan and Shirow makes reference to them at the end of the second manga. Although supposedly equal to all other members, Kusanagi fills the leadership role in the team, and is usually referred to as "the Major" due to her past rank in the armed forces. She is capable of superhuman feats, and cybernetically specialized for her job—her body is almost completely mechanized; only her brain and a segment of her spinal cord are organic.

The setting of Ghost in the Shell is cyberpunk or postcyberpunk, similar to that of William Gibson's Sprawl trilogy. More than other cyberpunk authors, however, Shirow focuses more on the ethical and philosophical ramifications of the widespread merging of humanity and technology. The development of artificial intelligence and an omnipresent computer network set the stage for a reevaluation of human identity and uniqueness. More so than the films, the manga tackles these questions head on: Kusanagi and her colleagues face external threats and also suffer internal conflict over their own natures.

Works in the series


Ghost in the Shell has been adapted into numerous anime adaptations, all of which were produced by Production I.G.

The series was first adapted into a theatrical anime film adaptation in 1995, entitled Ghost in the Shell, directed by Mamoru Oshii. The film was followed by another theatrical movie sequel, Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, produced in 2004, which was also directed by Oshii and places the character of Batou in the lead role. A third film, Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. Solid State Society, was created after the TV series and directed by Kenji Kamiyama.

Live action

Kodansha and Production IG are currently in talks about creating a live action Ghost in the Shell film.

Television series

The series has also been adapted into an anime television series, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, which was carried on into a second season, Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. 2nd GIG, and was followed by a film, Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. Solid State Society, which premiered on the SKY Perfect satellite television network on September 1, 2006. The Stand Alone Complex series is directed by Kenji Kamiyama, and follows an alternate and separate storyline from that of Oshii's theatrical film adaptations. The TV series expounds further on the careers of Motoko Kusanagi and Section 9, and also retains more elements from the Masamune Shirow's original manga than Oshii's feature films.


* After the Long Goodbye: Written by Masaki Yamada is a prequel to Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence.
* The Lost Memory, Revenge of the Cold Machines and White Maze: A trilogy of novels written by Junichi Fujisaku set in the Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex sub-universe.

Video games

Main articles: Ghost in the Shell (video game) and Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (video game)

A self-titled PlayStation game was released in 1997, developed by Exact and published by THQ. A second game bearing the anime TV series title Stand Alone Complex was released in November 2004 on PlayStation 2, developed by SCEJ and Cavia and published by Bandai. A game of the same name Developed by G-Artists and published by Bandai was released in 2005 for PlayStation Portable, but this is a sequel to the PlayStation 2 game, with a completely different storyline, setting and gameplay.

Impact and influence

The Matrix, a very successful 1999 sci-fi action movie, contains imagery strongly influenced by Ghost in the Shell (as well as other anime). For example, the Matrix digital rain (the falling patterns of green text that represent the code of the Matrix) resembles the opening of the first 1995 Ghost in the Shell film. During the opening scene in which Trinity flees the Agents, the shot of the Agent landing on the roof is almost identical to a shot of Kusanagi during the pursuit of the first 'puppet' in the first film. Also, the shot in which the first puppet is fleeing Batou in the market in the first Ghost in the Shell film and a similar scene where Neo is fleeing a trio of the Agents in a real life market are linked by exploding watermelons and terrified civilians amongst crossfire (although Neo is not harmed). The famous lobby shootout features Neo and Trinity taking cover behind stone pillars, just as Kusanagi does during the battle with a tank. There is also a clear relation between the conception of the Matrix and the cybernetically enhanced brains of Ghost in the Shell. There are similarities between the plots of both movies. In the Ghost in the Shell film, Kusanagi is first searching for the Puppet Master to arrest him, while in the end of the movie, it turns out that the Puppet Master was looking for Kusanagi to merge with her. In The Matrix, Neo is first searching for Morpheus. When Neo finally finds Morpheus, Morpheus states that he was searching his entire life for 'The One' (Neo). Both series draw themes and archetypes from William Gibson's book Neuromancer and some of his other short stories.

The Wachowski brothers, makers of the Matrix trilogy, acknowledged the influence of Ghost in the Shell in an interview. Producer Joel Silver also admitted in an interview on the Animatrix DVD that he was shown the Ghost in the Shell movie during a pitch from the Wachowski brothers to indicate the style and look of the film they wanted for The Matrix.

The videogame Oni by Bungie Software was inspired by Ghost in the Shell and shares a number of similarities, especially the main character, Konoko. Deus Ex is not as tightly coupled, but shares the concept of merging human and artificial minds, along with weapons and technologies somewhat similar to those in the Ghost in the Shell universe. Although not part of official Deus Ex canon, a fan-created mod called Deus Ex: Zodiac has a scenario where the player helps a version of Motoko merge with the Puppet Master. It is also notable that the Gunther Hermann character looks very similar to Ghost in the Shell's Batou, likely a reference.

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