Ghost in the Shell
|Ghost in the Shell|
Cover of The Ghost in the Shell, the first volume of the manga
|Written by||Masamune Shirow|
|Original run||May 1989 – August 1997|
|Directed by||Mamoru Oshii|
|Produced by||Yoshimasa Mizuo
|Written by||Kazunori Itō|
|Music by||Kenji Kawai|
|Genre||Action, third-person shooter|
|Anime television series|
|Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex|
|Directed by||Kenji Kamiyama|
|Written by||Kenji Kamiyama|
|Music by||Yoko Kanno|
Ghost in the Shell (攻殻機動隊 Kōkaku Kidōtai?, literally "Mobile Armored Riot Police") is a Japanese media franchise originally published as a seinen manga series of the same name written and illustrated by Masamune Shirow. The manga, first serialized in 1989 under the subtitle of The Ghost in the Shell, and later published as its own tankōbon volumes by Kodansha, told the story of the fictional counter-cyberterrorist organization Public Security Section 9, led by protagonist Major Motoko Kusanagi, in the mid 21st century of Japan.
Animation studio Production I.G has produced several different anime adaptations of Ghost in the Shell, starting with the 1995 film of the same name, telling the story of Section 9's investigation of the Puppet Master. The television series Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex followed in 2002, telling an alternate story from the manga and first film, featuring Section 9's investigations of government corruption in the Laughing Man and Individual Eleven incidents. The year 2013 saw the start of the Ghost in the Shell: Arise film series with the release of the first two episodes. The third and final episode in the series is set to be released on June 28th, 2014.
Shirow has stated that he had always wanted the title of his manga to be "GHOST IN THE SHELL", even in Japan, but his original publishers preferred Kōkaku Kidōtai (攻殻機動隊?). He had chosen "Ghost in the Shell" in homage to Arthur Koestler's The Ghost in the Machine, from which he also drew inspiration.
Primarily set in the mid-twenty-first century in the fictional Japanese city of Niihama, Niihama Prefecture (新浜県新浜市 Niihama-ken Niihama-shi?),[Note 1] otherwise known as New Port City (ニューポートシティ Nyū Pōto Shiti?), the manga and the many anime adaptations follow the members of Public Security Section 9, a special-operations task-force made up of former military officers and police detectives. Political intrigue and counter-terrorism operations are standard fare for Section 9, but the various actions of corrupt officials, companies, and cyber-criminals in each scenario are unique and require the diverse skills of Section 9's staff to prevent a series of incidents from escalating.
In this post-cyberpunk iteration of a possible future, computer technology has advanced to the point that many members of the public possess cyberbrains, technology that allows them to interface their biological brain with various networks. The level of cyberization varies from simple minimal interfaces to almost complete replacement of the brain with cybernetic parts, in cases of severe trauma. This can also be combined with various levels of prostheses, with a fully prosthetic body enabling a person to become a cyborg. The heroine of Ghost in the Shell, Major Motoko Kusanagi, is such a cyborg, having had a terrible accident befall her as a child that ultimately required that she use a full-body prosthesis to house her cyberbrain. This high level of cyberization, however, opens the brain up to attacks from highly skilled hackers, with the most dangerous being those who will hack a person to bend to their whims.
The Ghost in the Shell originally ran from April 1989 to November 1990 in Kodansha's manga anthology Young Magazine, and was released in tankobon format on October 2, 1991. Ghost in the Shell 2: Man-Machine Interface ran in Young Magazine from September 1991 to August 1997. Four chapters that were not released in tankobon format from previous releases were later collected into a single volume titled Ghost in the Shell 1.5: Human-Error Processor serving as an interquel. The manga was published on July 23, 2003 by Kodansha. Several art books have also been published for the manga.
Two animated films based on the original manga have been released, both directed by Mamoru Oshii and animated by Production I.G. Ghost in the Shell was released in 1995 and follows the "Puppet Master" storyline from the manga. It was re-released in 2008 as Ghost in the Shell 2.0 with new audio and updated 3D computer graphics in certain scenes. Innocence, otherwise known as Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, was released in 2004, with its story based on a chapter from Man-Machine Interface.
In 2008, DreamWorks and Steven Spielberg acquired the rights to produce a live-action film adaptation of the original manga. Avi Arad, Ari Arad, and Steven Paul were later confirmed as producers, with Jamie Moss (Street Kings) to write the screenplay. In October, 2009, it was announced that Laeta Kalogridis (Alexander, Shutter Island) had replaced Moss as writer. On January 24, 2014, it was reported that Rupert Sanders (Snow White and the Huntsman) will direct the film, with a screenplay by William Wheeler (The Hoax, The Reluctant Fundamentalist).
Stand Alone Complex
In 2002, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex premiered on Animax, presenting a new telling of Ghost in the Shell independent from the original manga, focusing on Section 9's investigation of the Laughing Man hacker. It was followed in 2004 by a second season titled Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. 2nd GIG, which focused on the Individual Eleven terrorist group. Both seasons' primary storylines were compressed into OVAs broadcast as Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex The Laughing Man in 2005 and Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex Individual Eleven in 2006. Also in 2006, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex - Solid State Society, featuring Section 9's confrontation with a hacker known as the Puppeteer, was broadcast, serving as a finale to the anime series.
A three-volume novel series based on the TV anime series was written by staff writer Junichi Fujisaku. The first is titled Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex - The Lost Memory,[Note 2] was released on January 21, 2004 in Japan and on May 24, 2006 in the US. The second, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex - Revenge of the Cold Machines,[Note 3] was released on July 8, 2004 in Japan and on September 26, 2006 in the US. The third is titled Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex - White Maze,[Note 4] it was released on February 4, 2005 in Japan and on January 2, 2007 in the US.
Two manga series based on Stand Alone Complex have been published by Kodansha. The first series, Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. Tachikoma na hibi (攻殻機動隊S.A.C. タチコマなヒビ?), first released in 2009, is based on the associated shorts Tachikomatic Days. The second manga series, titled Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (攻殻機動隊STAND ALONE COMPLEX?), was drawn by Yu Kinutani and launched on December 14, 2009 in Weekly Young Magazine. The manga is an adaptation of the first season of the anime series. Four tankōbon volumes have been released.
Ghost in the Shell: Arise is another animated iteration that takes place in yet another alternate setting, set before the original manga. It is being released as a series of OVAs (with limited theatrical releases), with Kazuchika Kise as chief director and Tow Ubukata as head writer. Cornelius was brought onto the project to compose the score for the OVAs.
An original manga story titled Ghost in the Shell: Arise ~Sleepless Eye~ (攻殻機動隊ARISE～眠らない眼の男 Sleepless Eye～ Kōkaku Kidōtai Araizu ~Nemuranai Me no Otoko Surīpuresu Ai~?, literally "The Man With Eyes That Do Not Sleep") began serialization in Kodansha's Young Magazine's April 2013 issue, released March 13, 2013.
Ghost in the Shell has seen numerous adaptations and related video game titles. The first video game, titled Ghost in the Shell was developed by Exact and released for the PlayStation on July 17, 1997, in Japan by Sony Computer Entertainment. It is a third-person shooter featuring an original storyline where the character plays a rookie member of Section 9. The video game's soundtrack Megatech Body features various electronica artists.
Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex has received two video game spin offs, both under the same name. The first is Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex for the PlayStation 2 and was developed by Cavia and released in 2004. The second video game is Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex for the PSP, was developed by G-Artist and released in 2005.
Nexon is currently producing a massively multiplayer online game based on the Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex universe. Titled Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex - Online, the game will be a first-person shooter with a heavy basis on hacking and customization of the player's cyberized body.
Several phone games have been released exclusively to Japan. The first is titled Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. Cyber Mission (攻殻機動隊 S.A.C. サイバーミッション Kōkakukidōtai SAC saibā misshon?) and was developed by GREE and released on February 14, 2011. The second, titled Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex was developed by Mobage and released on November 16, 2011. The game focuses on an unnamed new detective who works for Section 9. The third is a social game also developed by Mobage, titled "Ghost in the Shell S.A.C. Tachikoma Wars!" (攻殻機動隊 S.A.C. タチコマウォーズ! Kōkaku kidōtai S. A. C. Tachikoma Wōzu!?), and released on March 29, 2012.
- The real world Niihama is located in Ehime Prefecture
- Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex - The Lost Memory (攻殻機動隊 STAND ALONE COMPLEX 虚夢回路 Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex Imaginary Dream Circuit?)
- Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex - Revenge of the Cold Machines (攻殻機動隊 STAND ALONE COMPLEX 凍える機械 Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex - Frozen Machine?)
- Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex - White Maze (攻殻機動隊 STAND ALONE COMPLEX 眠り男の棺 Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex - Coffin of a Sleeping Man?)
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