Ghost in the Shell has been around in one form or another since 1989 and known as known in Japan as Mobile Armored Riot Police The most impressive part of which is the first two Stand Alone Complex Series that has tormented our imaginations of a cyber brain future. In this article I’m gonna focus in on these two “GIG’s” and why I cannot take the GITS Universe seriously post the live action movie and atrocious animation produced by Netflix.
Stand Alone Complex, in the series, is a form of copycat behaviour when the originator only exists by rumour or urban legend. That behaviour, such as a particular form of cyberbrain crime, is copied and copied until the first copycat is seen as the originator.
(Note for this article we are just focusing on the GITS SAC series but there is so much more to this world from the Manga, to Arise, the the shorts/ specials/ OVA’s, to the films… and does include spoilers as well as opinions. I’ve never watched the series in English and never intend to. Other GITS SAC purists will hopefully understand).
There is something about this series isn’t there? Whether it be the way the Major sucks you in to her rich e-sexual complex cyberpunk and cybernetic dystopia, or it be the sweet Russian voice of Origa, or the shenanigans of the Tachikoma… one thing people often overlook is the fact that she is a cop (with her tight lip-licking swimsuit and yoga pants), who brings down cyber-criminals or other cyberpunks like you and me, and apart from her outward and often distracting appearance, she is a military woman through and through carrying out missions that would lesser cops lying dead in the back streets of a burnt out Neo Tokyo.
Japan at this point is a superpower, much more so than the former United States, and with that power comes the responsibilities of Section 9, a secret organisation that almost everyone in law enforcement knows about, and the missions that are too difficult for anyone else take on.
Major Motoko Kusanagi herself is highly intelligent, creative, snarky and funny, attributes that seem to have been missed in the live action film. As much as her other skills allow, she uses her sexual prowess to gain favour of men where in the future she still lives in a very misogynistic Japan, although she is superior in almost every way, her ability to fit in to this society is yet another skill, while behind closed doors she prefers the company of her female sexual partners, no doubt a brave yet subtle route to take for a popular Japanese Anime. Most of the men who follow her in Section 9, simply just know not to fuck with her, unfortunately most others just don’t seem to be all that intelligent. Until we come to the Stand Alone Complex actors who still leave a digital footprint for her team to follow.
One of my favourite moments of the series is when Motoko joins in to meet hackers in a virtual environment all trying to solve the case of the Laughing Man, it’s a great indicator of what a group of hackers might look like now in a virtual environment (Though of course at the time of the anime the technology was nowhere near this level).
To be continued in part 2 desu.