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Public Security Section 9
Major Motoko Kusanagi
- Amazonian Beauty: Played with. She's rather waifish and slender normally, but when she engages in close quarters combat, her cyborg body bursts with muscles, such as her arms in her final fight with Raizo at the end of Ghost Pain.
- Artificial Human: It's somewhat complicated, but this version's Major was cyberized before she was even born. Her mother was in an accident that killed her when she was still in the womb, but the authorities were able to save the fetus' brain and put it in a cyborg body. This means that technically, she's never had a real human body.
- Bare Your Midriff: Kusanagi in the manga.
- Bling of War: Motoko's JGSDF uniform is just a bit too subdued for that.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Turned out she was this in the first OVA.
- Cartwright Curse: She seems to be incapable of holding a steady relationship for one reason or another, despite obviously direly needing one. As of Ghost Tears she went through six boyfriends in just half a year, and broke with the next-to-last one so violently as to send the guy into hospital for months, while the last one turned out to be a perp in her case, and committed suicide to save her in the finale.
- Cool Bike: Motoko drives a Kaneda-style red sports bike with matching helmet to go with her outfit.
- Dating Catwoman: In Ghost Tears the Major's current boyfriend is one of the perps in the case she's on.
- Defeat Means Friendship: The Major's standard recruitment technique, particularly with Batou, given their past rivalry.
- Defector from Decadence: Motoko leaves Unit 501 after they let Mamuro die to protect their existence, which she finds unforgivable.
- Hell-Bent for Leather: Motoko. Red leather jacket, red leather pants, red leather boots. Still a complete badass by virtue of the franchise history.
- Icy Blue Eyes: Motoko's eyes are blue like in the original film version of Ghost in the Shell, though in Arise they are a darker shade of blue.
- Ms. Fanservice: Shower scene? Check. Scenes with her in her underwear? Check. Chasing a spy outside in the middle of the night wearing nothing but her underwear in the first OVA? Triple-Check. She is this in spades.
- Non-Idle Rich: The first episode finale says that Major was left a large enough trust fund that paying out the (pretty damn high) cost of her body is a rather small change compared to the rest of it, which would allow her to comfortably retire for life. She still takes Aramaki's offer of a position in Section 9.
- Not So Stoic: Motoko is noticeably more emotive than her SAC counterpart.
- She Cleans Up Nicely: Motoko wears a revealing red gown when she's invited by her boyfriend for a wedding of his customers.
- She's Got Legs: The third OVA keeps showing off Motoko's legs. Then, it turns into Fan Disservice when her leg muscles kept bulging and are rigged with explosives.
- Sugar and Ice Personality: A spot-on example. On the job, she's brusque, ice-cold, and aloof. On the other hand, she's more relaxed around the Logicoma, and in Ghost Tears, she's incredibly warm and loving with her boyfriend. Well, until he showed his true colors, that is...
- Waif-Fu: This version of Motoko is very short and skinny, so any time she tries to fight someone else, especially another cyborg (typically all very large men) this trope ensues.
- Woman Scorned: Motoko is understandably angry when she learned the truth that her boyfriend is a terrorist who retrofitted her legs with explosives.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: This version of Motoko has blue-ish purple hair.
- Bling of War: Batou in his full Naval finery in the manga.
- Face–Heel Turn: In the second OVA he attacks Mokoto. He later joins Section 9 instead rather than taking his chances with a court-martial.
Voiced by: Tarusuke Shingaki (Japanese), Alex Organ (English)
- Badass Longcoat: Starts sporting a trenchcoat in the TV episode "Pyrophoric Cult, Part 1" as a symbol of him starting work with Section 9.
- No Name Given: Togusa's given name is never mentioned in any installment of the franchise. Arise! is no different here.
- Revolvers Are Just Better: Still uses a Mateba M2008M as his main sidearm.
- Sherlock Scan: In the third OVA, Togusa was able to figure it out that Akira Hose is hiding something and know that Motoko is in love with the latter just based on her non-verbal cues. Motoko disregards this and calls Togusa an amateur. Though, of course, she denies it at first because of her feelings with Hose. And at the end of the episode, Motoko gives Togusa an offer to join Section 9.
Voiced by: Takurou Nakakuni (Japanese), Marcus D. Stimac (English)
- Evil Pays Better: Batou convinces him to take his side in Ghost Whispers by offering him triple the pay that Motoko promised.
- Heel–Face Revolving Door: The dude switches sides several times throughout the course of Ghost Whispers, and it's all related to money.
- Only in It for the Money: He's all about the cash.
- Sleepyhead: Is always sleeping during the team's meetings, in and out of the net.
Voiced by: Shunsuke Sakuya (Japanese), Brandon Potter (English)
- Adaptational Badass: This version of Ishikawa is quite capable of holding his own in a Knife Fight.
- The Smart Guy: As usual, the member of the team who's very well-versed in electronics and hacking.
- Knife Nut: Uses a combat knife when in close quarters, which doubles as a myth gag.
- Spell My Name with an "S": The OVA opening sequence clearly spells his name as "Paz" yet both the Japanese & English voice actors call him "Pazu."
Voiced by: Kazuya Nakai (Japanese), Phil Parsons (English)
Voiced by: Ikkyuu Juku (Japanese), John Swasey (English)
- Badass Bureaucrat: Aramaki, who often scares off even the most seasoned apparatchiks by his reputation alone. And for those resisting he still has the whole arsenal of the hidden dirt and debts and favors owed to him.
- Only Sane Man: Aramaki seems to be the only Japanese politician not hellbent on acquiring as much power and influence as possible, everything else be damned.
- Battle CryLogicoma: (while leaping onto a speeding truck) Death from Above!
- Literal-Minded: The Logicoma following Motoko. When Motoko tells it to disappear for a while, the Logicoma takes the order literally and uses its camouflage. Motoko is rather impressed by that revelation.
- Robot Buddy: Arise introduces the Logicoma to assist Motoko on the job. It looks like a Tachikoma without the pod on it's back, but also has visual features of the Fuchikomas from the original manga. In this case, the name is short for Logistics Conveyor Machine.
Unit 501, Japanese Ground Self-Defense Forces
- Absolute Cleavage: Kurutsu has a great rack. She also doesn't wear a bra and keeps her uniform shirt unbuttoned all the way down. This is all very odd as she's an on duty, on base, military commander.
- Arms Dealer: What she made the unit into before the events of the series.
- Back for the Dead: Gets killed by a bomb in the film's prologue. Or at least, that's what everyone was lead to believe.
- Faking the Dead: Her body was remote-controlled all along, with the real Kurutsu hidden deep within 501's base
- Karma Houdini: Thanks to her actions, she was never arrested by the JGSDF for her actions.
- Ms. Fanservice: She's tall, wears a very revealing uniform, and is voiced by Mary Elizabeth Mc Glynn. Do the math.
- Statuesque Stunner: Towers over Major Kusunagi.
- Walking Spoiler: For her role and impact in The Movie.
Voiced by: Takanori Hoshino (Japanese), David Wald (English)
- Arm Cannon: His left arm can fire bolts of electricity or bursts of compressed air.
- The Brute: The most violent member of Unit 501, he has to be reprimanded by Ibachi to cool down.
- Muscles Are Meaningless: Subverted: he's much bigger and visually more muscular than the Major. Yet when their fists collide together, it's his hand that shatters. However, immediately after that, the Major puts him in a chokehold and her arm muscles are bulging, being bigger than his.
Voiced by: Yasuhiro Mamiya (Japanese), Chris Rager (English)
Colonel Kazuya Soga
Voiced by: Ikuya Sawaki (Japanese), Jeremy Schwartz (English)
- Dark and Troubled Past: He massacred guerrillas masquerading as refugees. When he returned to Japan, he was accused of being a war criminal for killing them.
Voiced by: Takako Fuji (Japanese), Stephanie Young (English)
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: V.V., the Special Forces agent, happens to be a rogue A.I.
- Desperately Seeking A Purpose In Life: After it attained full sentience, it had no idea what to do with itself, so it decided to start hacking into classified government databases all around the world in hopes of finding some kind of information that would give its existence meaning.
- Foreign Fanservice: VV is an American intelligence agent with blond hair and big tits.
- Foreshadowing: VV's digital avatar resembles a mermaid. Like a certain other mermaid she wants to become a "real" human.
- Real After All: Pyrophoric Cult reveals that there actually is a real American woman codenamed VV, and that the AI from Ghost Whispers was simply modeled after her.