Ghost in the Shell

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Ghost in the Shell (攻殻機動隊 Kōkaku Kidōtai, translated as "Mobile Armored Riot Police") is a Japanese cyberpunk manga created by Masamune Shirow, and first published in 1989 in Young Magazine. 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; and 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.


Cyborg shell

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 bionically 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. 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 different mediums, all of them having a separate and alternate plot. For example, the theatrical movies do not occur on the same timeline as the Stand Alone Complex movie, which is based on the TV series.


A continuation of the first manga can be found in the second manga series entitled Ghost in the Shell 2: Man/Machine Interface. Ghost in the Shell 1.5: Human-Error Processor includes a series of stories originally intended to be serialized in the initial print of Ghost in the Shell 2: Man/Machine Interface.


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