Masamune Shirow’s Ghost in the Shell is among the largest and most influential anime and manga franchises of the past twenty-five years. Shirow seems to have captured one of the most believable post-singularity futures. A lot of the main focus is the world building and the visuals. Details is all about the how the AI, robotics and cyborgs work.
In 2017 there is a live action hollywood production with Scarlett Johansson in the lead role.
The core plot in prior work
Ghost in the Shell tells the story of Section 9, an anti-terrorist group with a sort of anomalous place in the country’s self-defense forces–technically being similar to the police, but existing outside of their ranks. Lead by the noble chief Aramaki, the group consists of possibly the most powerful cyborg in existence, Major Motoko Kusanagi, the also highly-powerful cyborg Batou, the completely normal but nonetheless cool former cop Togusa, the information and net-surfing guru Ishikawa, the one-eyed badass sniper Saito, and the two guys who almost never get any screentime in any iteration of the franchise, Paz and Borma. There are a few other minor character who show up in later chapters of the manga and TV series, but overall, the main seven members of Section 9 and their capabilities are the one thing that remains totally consistent across all iterations of Ghost in the Shell.
On a surface level, Ghost in the Shell can best be described as a procedural police drama, with episodic plotlines that often involve heavily political investigations of various cyber-crimes and terrorist acts in a fifty-years-from-now Japan. However, I wouldn’t consider the actual episodic plotlines to be the real focus or draw of the series, and I’d go so far as to say that Masamune Shirow really never took these stories very seriously.
Video below is the detailed breakdown of the legendary Ghost in the Shell media franchise. Use the table of contents below to navigate the video if you need to take breaks.
Table of contents:
0:00 – Introduction
1:08 – Ghost in the Shell (Manga)
7:26 – Ghost in the Shell (Movie)
9:53 – Ghost in the Shell (PSX Game)
10:45 – Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (Subfranchise)
23:06 – Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence
24:23 – Ghost in the Shell 2.0
25:24 – Ghost in the Shell: Arise (Subfranchise)