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Public Security Section 9
- Anti-Hero: Section 9 is very dedicated in their mission to protect the population and fight injustice. However, doing their job according to the law seems to be an even lesser priority to them than for most of their enemies.
- Arrested for Heroism: The first season climaxes with Section 9 trying to avoid this as a leak to the public media of their existence set them up be used as scapegoats for a massive government scandal.
- Badass Crew: A team of Super Cops who work to fight crime and terrorism.
- Black and Gray Morality: Section Nine may be the good guys, but they regularly hack private databases, engage in blackmail, are familiar with torture, kill people, and generally break the laws that would have applied if they weren't above them. It's referenced repeatedly that the only reason they get away with these actions is though Aramaki's brilliant diplomacy.
- Cowboy Cop: All of Section 9 can be considered an example, given the corrupt state of the Japanese government and the fact that Section 9 seems to spend more time fighting against rival national security and military forces loyal to other factions of the government than actually dealing with terrorists.
- Iconic Outfit: The black outfits they wear in the V-Formation Team Shot from the opening to the second season.
- No Such Agency: The section is not supposed to exist beyond the first season.
- Power Walk: Done very well by them in the second season intro.
- Secret Police: A secret organization dedicated to fighting dangerous criminals and terrorists.
- State Sec: A heroic version. Not the nicest folks and they'll happily murder anyone who tries to get in their way but they're genuinely motivated by a sense of justice and trying to do what is right.
- Super Cop: They have cyborg bodies, advanced weapons, super hacking skills, and the Tachikomas. It helps that many of them are former soldiers.
Major Motoko Kusanagi
Voiced by: Atsuko Tanaka (Japanese), Mary Elizabeth McGlynn (English)
Usually called "The Major", she is ostensibly the protagonist, although the series gives much more time to her squadmates than the feature films and manga do. She is a full-conversion cyborg, having been fully inorganic except her brain and part of her spinal column since about age six. Her skills are exceptional, and while her body is a standard cyborg model it's modified extensively with top-of-the-line custom military cybernetics. A brilliant hacker, able to invade even the connected human mind. She has a cold demeanor and a strict devotion to her job, bordering on sociopathy.
- The Ace: Inside Section 9, at least. It is easier to list the domains where she is not the most skilled of the team - that would be sharpshooting (Saito), knowledge of explosives (Borma), detective work (Togusa), and politics (Aramaki). Batou and Ishikawa often challenge her in general mayhem and hacking respectively, but they tend to hit the plank most of the times.
- Ace Custom: The Major's body is an ace custom. The base model is a civilian model that was fashionable a few years prior to the series but with red eyes and purple hair plus a ton of illegal mods.
- Action Girl: The best there is in Section 9 at just about anything related to fighting.
- And I Must Scream: She's Strapped to an Operating Table and finds out too late that the doctor is an assassin, who immobilizes her body, then her voice, then shuts down the vision of her eyes.
- Anti-Hero: Type IV.
- An Arm and a Leg: The Major loses her left arm when fighting Gayle.
- Awesome Mc Cool Name: Her name is pretty cool, but she didn't choose it just to be so. It's because she doesn't know what her real name is anymore.
- Berserk Button: Anyone that harms children. Note that she was cyberized as a child herself.
- She gets pretty pissed when the head of the goon squad trying to retake Imakurusu comes at her and her squad with what is essentially a mech suit. So much so that she repeatedly shoots at him at point blank range with an anti-tank rifle
- Bi the Way: Unclear; she doesn't have a boyfriend in this continuity, but she also doesn't have explicit lesbian VR-sex either (she's just seen talking philosophy with Kurtan in bed while Ran comes out of the shower). Kurutan and Ran are still by far the closest thing the Major has to a long term romantic relationship.
- Kurtan later accompanies her to hospital, checks out her new cyborg body and comments on how excited it makes her to think of what she could do with all the illegal modifications her new body has.
- In 2nd Gig's first episode, she (jokingly) suggests the team goes to a nudie bar if they are told to stand down from their impending mission.
- Also in 2nd Gig, there's one episode where she ends up spending the night with a teenaged Chinese street boy. The kid asks her if she can still have sex in a full-prosthetic body and she practically pulls a Mrs. Robinson on him. He decides he's not interested after all, and she is very amused at that.
- In her childhood, the young Motoko did have a boy she was in love with.
- In the manga, she does seem to have a boyfriend. Sugi makes a brief appearance in FAKE FOOD, even asking if Batou and Togusa knows her. While this is not enough evidence to suggest he is her boyfriend in this continuity, he does use 'Motoko', her actual name, when referring to her and not 'The Major', unlike seemingly everyone else who's worked with her on a professional level. This probably means they know each other outside of work.
- By-the-Book Cop: Invoked in one episode when Togusa refers to her this way, although it's debatable how true this is.
- The Captain: She's Section 9's field leader.
- Combat Stilettos: She wears heels with her military uniform while protecting the Superintendent-General.
- Cyborg: A full-conversion cyborg and entirely inorganic, save her brain and spinal column.
- Deadpan Snarker: A common expression of hers.
- Does Not Know Her Own Strength: During her early life in a highly enhanced prosthetic body, Motoko had difficulty controlling the prosthetics' strength. She mentions that she once smashed a doll by being unable to control her own limbs (a shot that appears in the opening credits of the first series).
- Dressing as the Enemy: The Major steals a British SWAT trooper's uniform to rescue Aramaki in ANGELS' SHARE using nothing but her sex appeal.
- Drives Like Crazy: Including once while ghost-diving.
- Fair Cop: The Major of Section 9 and very beautiful. However, as a Cyborg her attractiveness is artificial.
- Fearless Fool: While she doesn't do it the same way as a stereotypical Shonen hero, it becomes increasingly obvious as the series goes on that she is overconfident to the point of being suicidally brave and feels no fear in situations where ever her hardened comrades are inclined to back down. To the point it's almost a running joke that Batou tells her not to "do anything stupid" and she proceeds to do it anyway. Part of this is some definitely justified self-confidence, given she can demonstrably outperform almost any member of her highly skilled team in any given area, and is more resourceful than all of them combined, but she is still flesh and blood (albeit artificial) and can be taken by surprise and overwhelmed.
- Fingerless Gloves: Often wears a pair of black ones.
- Firing One-Handed: She fires Saito's anti-tank rifle single handed.
- Genius Bruiser: Every member of Section 9 has a speciality. Motoko specializes in the leadership of her team, hacking and net-diving, stealth and infiltration, and close quarters combat, among many other things. She's not as specialized with explosives as Borma is, or sharpshooting like Saito.
- Guns Akimbo: The Major wields twin pistols when fighting Gayle in ERASER.
- Hell-Bent for Leather: Frequently seen wearing a punkish leather jacket.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: Undergoes ones after diving into Kuze's cyberbrain. She gets better after a short while.
- Heroic R.R.O.D.: Subverted. In the second episode of the series, there's a Shout-Out to the original movie, but she doesn't RROD; she's just not strong enough, and nothing happens.
- Indifferent Beauty: Completely indifferent about her looks. Despite her personal issues about retaining her individuality in society she has no objections about how her body and face itself is a mass-produced model that was rather popular from a few years back. When the subject about her appearance is brought up by coworkers and her roommates, she just tells them that she prefers the model she uses. All in all though, she'll flaunt it if she wants to, but otherwise just doesn't care.
- Kick Chick: Watch her take out Sano with a roundhouse kick to the head.
- The Lad-ette: She likes beer, drives very aggressively, loves to scare people, and is well known to the owners of some less reputable bars.
- Lady of War: She can be quite ladylike when she's conducting undercover investigations. Even when she's fighting she has an air of calm and grace.
- Majorly Awesome: Still a Major Bad-ass too.
- Mrs. Robinson: Invoked. She meets a teenage drug dealer in Taiwan by way of rescuing him from a group of thugs. When she gets a room for both of them in an upscale hotel, the receptionists assumptions are quite clear.
- Ms. Fanservice: Something of an Innocent Fanservice Girl too, such as when she gets thrown in a garbage pile and has to change clothes. It's basically spelled out in the third novel that she has no nudity taboo because she is fully cyberized and there are thousands of others with her exact external body.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: She absolutely flips out on Gayle. Considering that he blew off her arm, tried to crush her head in, and nearly killed Togusa, it's hardly surprising.
- No Name Given: "Motoko Kusanagi" is explicitly a pseudonym, as she admits to Hideo Kuze when they're trapped together in the final episode of 2nd Gig. "Motoko" means "plain woman", while Kusanagi, literally "grass-cutter", is a legendary sword; her name is something akin to "(plain) Jane Excalibur". Her actual birth name is never revealed.
- Not So Stoic: Shown at times, such as when she involuntarily cries at a very sad movie, and she takes it personally with what the med students were doing in MISSING HEARTS.
- Major: HEY SAITO! FORK OVER THAT WEAPON NOW!!
- Officer And A Lady: Motoko can be an Officer or a Lady. She can be very kind and blend in perfectly with high society, but doesn't hold back her badassitude in combat.
- Power Fist: She uses concealed weapon that resembles nothing so much as a taser glove against cyborgs.
- Robot Girl: As a female Cyborg.
- Sci-Fi Bob Haircut: She is the main protagonist of a cyberpunk anime and has this haircut.
- Sexy Backless Outfit: In Cash-Eye, also with borderline Absolute Cleavage.
- She-Fu: Thanks to her cybernetic body, to the point where her first response in a reasonably close-combat situation is usually to roundhouse kick the guy to the face.
- Show Some Leg: Has used this to distract unsuspecting enemies a few times.
- Sinister Surveillance: For her enemies, at least.
- The Smurfette Principle: The only woman in Section 9 and The Leader of seven men, not counting Tachikomas.
- Stocking Filler: Frequently, whether under her coat or just as outerwear (see Stripperiffic).
- The Stoic: The Major rarely laughs, involuntarily cries only once, and it takes a hell of a lot to make her angry. If you do ever manage to piss her off, be very, very afraid. She is not unsympathetic, however, or unwilling to express where her sympathies lie.
- Stripperiffic: The Major's clothes are too hot for espionage, and that's what she wears in civvies. (Some fans call it the Battle Teddy.) She almost always wears it with an open leather jacket that she occasionally pairs with leather pants. However, in more formal public functions, she wears a standard military uniform instead, and when she's actually on a mission she switches to military-style fatigues.
- She gets slightly better civvies during the 2nd Gig - still Stripperific by conventional standards, but at least includes pants. She also gets a fairly modest, and very stylish black business dress for formal occasions where military garb is unsuitable.
- This is played for laughs in one SAC episode, where a raid goes wrong and the Major's normal outfit gets trashed. At the debriefing, she's wearing a much more revealing outfit (basically workout clothes) and is visibly uncomfortable about the humiliation she just went through (thrown to a garbage heap by run-of-the-mill combat android), and Aramaki Lampshades it by asking if she's trying to get his attention.
- Super Toughness: Courtesy of her biotics she's survived explosions and bullets.
- Technicolor Eyes: The Major has red eyes.
- Tranquil Fury: Her anger manifests itself as this.
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: There's hints dropped periodically that her feelings towards Batou and vice versa aren't entirely platonic, but they're never shown to act on it.
- Unstoppable Rage: Episode 21 displays this very well.
- Vapor Wear: She doesn't ever seem to wear a bra. Justified in that her body is a military grade cyborg and would most likely not require one anyway.
- Victoria's Secret Compartment: Averted. In Season 1, she has a gun holster on the back of her waist, hidden behind her jacket (she's shown pulling it out and firing in the opening credits, as well as in some episodes.) In 2nd Gig, she carries it high up between her shoulder blades on the back of her Leotard of Power underneath her jacket, in a position and orientation that only a contortionist (or a full body replacement cyborg) could effectively draw from.
- Warrior Poet
- When She Smiles: She smiles only a few times over the course of the series, but when she hacks Batou and make him punch himself out is the only time she really exagerates it◊.
- You Gotta Have Purple Hair: The Major stands out in a cast of fairly realistic hair colors. (In the movie, she had black hair.) Justified as she is a full cyborg and probably could get any color hair she wants without much trouble.
- Further justified in 2nd Gig when you find out that she chose the option of red eyes with purple hair a long time ago. Why? She was six years old, and like most kids that age, had a fondness for bright colors. It's implied that she could have changed these options a long time ago, but didn't because they had become a part of who she was.
- This is an example of Truth in Television; Stephen Hawking has been offered more realistic sounding voice synthesizers several times now. He's refused them all because they're not "his" voice.
- Given her preference for a (modified) version of cyberbody popular 3 years prior to the events of the series, her hair and eye color may have been one of the few aesthetic options she could keep across bodies.
- The first opening and a comment made in an early episode of the first season suggests that she got the colour scheme from a favourite doll of hers; the one she broke while she was still getting use to her cyberbody.
- Further justified in 2nd Gig when you find out that she chose the option of red eyes with purple hair a long time ago. Why? She was six years old, and like most kids that age, had a fondness for bright colors. It's implied that she could have changed these options a long time ago, but didn't because they had become a part of who she was.
- Zettai Ryouiki: Her boots, which are a Grade A.
Voiced by: Akio Ohtsuka (Japanese), Richard Epcar (English)
Another full cyborg (whose name is more properly spelled in the French style as Bateau). Built as a 6'1" tall muscle-man, with eyes that resemble classy shades, Batou is a retired JGSDF Ranger. He's all about brute force and strength. Likes big guns. Very friendly and jocular, and harbors a deep attraction to the Major, which he hides pretty poorly. She just ignores it, except for a few key points in the series. Regardless of this, the Major considers him her best friend and confidant. Something of a jerkass at times, but still a pretty nice guy who's had his share of Pet the Dog moments.
- All Love Is Unrequited: He has this dynamic with the Major
- Apologetic Attacker: A variation happens when he fights a heavily armed Umbozu member. He apologises for using underhanded tactics, not for killing him.
- The Big Guy: A giant muscled guy whose greatest asset is his sheer strength.
- Boisterous Bruiser
- Deadpan Snarker
- Dogged Nice Guy: To the Major, and of the Longtime Friends variety.
- Drives Like Crazy
- Electronic Eyes: Turns out to be a cyborg component common for many Ranger units.
- Fan of the Past: Discussed when he ribs Togusa for carrying a revolver; in return, he points out that Batou loves old cars instead. He also mentions laughing at Marx brothers movies, and "After the Long Goodbye" reveals he enjoys old jazz music.
- Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: He's frequently seen puffing on a cigarette. As he's a cyborg we can reasonably assume the health problems, well, aren't.
- Hardboiled Detective: Despite Togusa being the former cop, Batou often seems to play the resident version of this for Section 9.
- Hidden Depths: Anyone who's known him for more than five minutes assumes him to be Dumb Muscle based on his huge physique and hot-blooded, reckless personality. And then you find out that he's arguably the best hacker after the Major and Ishikawa, has a base grounding in sociology, religion, politics (even if he doesn't usually care, it's clear that he understands it when he explains things to Togusa), and is more than capable of keeping up with the Major in advanced philosophical debate, even if his stances tend to be more empirical and down-to-earth.
- Honor Before Reason: Why he doesn't shoot Marco Amoretti.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He even has one specific Tachikoma that he calls "his" and tends to spoil it which results in a rather interesting Plot Twist involving the Spider Tanks.
- The Lancer
- Men Are Uncultured: Both subverted and played with, since Batou's interests range from classical philosophy to weight training and old cars.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Subverted - He is normally Red to Togusa's blue as he has a boisterous personality, but on the scene he is actually much more collected and professional than Togusa.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: To some extent. JUNGLE CRUISE shows that Batou still has flashbacks about Project Sunset (an extremely brutal covert operation in Central America that he stumbled across) but the end of the episode shows that he's gotten over his hatred of Marco.
- Shouting Shooter: On occasion.
- Unstoppable Rage: At times.
- Warrior Poet: Not as readily apparent as Motoko's case, but still definitely there.
Voiced by: Koichi Yamadera (Japanese), Crispin Freeman (English)
A regular joe Japanese beat cop with very few cybernetics. Brought into the team to balance out the skill set, basically. He's an old-fashioned guy, with a young wife and two kids (one boy and one girl). Carries an old Mateba semiautomatic revolver — almost as much of an anachronism as his teammates consider him to be, though both seem to get the job done when need be.
- Badass Longcoat: In Solid State Society.
- Badass Normal: Being the only member of Section 9 save for Aramaki without any major cybernetic alterations doesn't stop Togusa from holding his own in battles with other cyborgs, and getting critical data on the Laughing Man case despite getting shot in the process.
- By-the-Book Cop
- Combat Pragmatist: He's much squishier than his cybernetic colleagues so he pretty much has to be pragmatic to survive.
- Averted by his use of a revolver, which other characters frequently point out is inferior to a semi-automatic.
- '80s Hair: The character design is old enough to be the real deal on that action mullet.
- Everyone's Baby Sister: Partly because he's the team's only non-Cyborg and partly because he has a family. This can be seen best when trying to drag Togusa's name through the mud leads a Domestic Abuser and his lawyer to suffer an unfortunate car accident.
- Eureka Moment: Often what cracks cases and gets the team going again. He once has two in five on-screen minutes.
- Forgotten Fallen Friend: Yamaguchi.
- Hand Cannon: His revolver, of course.
- Happily Married: He's the only member of Section Nine shown with a happy family.
- Honor Before Reason: In the episode where he's charged with illegally discharging his gun while off duty, he's given a clear hint by the Major that he can talk with her and Aramaki in the courtroom by using Section 9's communications encryption, but he refuses to do so because it's against the law, even though he was going to be convicted in a Kangaroo Court and sent to prison. The Major finally resorted to hacking his cyberbrain in order to save him.
- Improbable Weapon User: Subverted. When the cyborg enforcer from the social welfare facility he infiltrates in PORTRAITZ has him cornered, he pretends to fight against it with a sculpting tool. It turns out to be a ruse so he can distract it while he pulls out his revolver.
- Morality Pet/Pet the Dog: For everyone, but especially the Major, and Batou to an extent (though half of Batou's Pet the Dog goes to the Tachikoma). Togusa is single-handedly responsible for at least a third of the moments where the audience sees that Section Nine might be a group of ruthless ex-war dogs, but they still take care of their own. And god help you if you do anything to mess with Togusa's happy family life.
- New Meat: Though by Solid State Society he's shaken off the "rookie" label to become Section 9's field commander.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Blue to Batou's red. Subverted, see Batou's entry.
- Revolvers Are Just Better: His Weapon of Choice. The first episode shows that he likes to go to the firing range to unwind.
- The Team Normal: Canonically. The whole reason the Major recruited him in the first place was to keep the team from being overspecialized and cyborg-centric.
- Weak, but Skilled
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: Shame the world he's living in is not exactly a happy place
- What makes all the more heartbreaking to watch is that even though the GITS universe is at the very bottom of the Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism, there is never a moment where it falls into the Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids! aesop. His comrades don't have any problem with his kinder view of the world and even feel it balances out the team. They do, however, get irritated when his naivety almost gets him killed. By Solid State Society, it can be argued that he's gone through something of a Break the Cutie, as he's noticeably more cynical, no longer carries his Mateba, and is considering the full-body prosthetics he rejected before. (Even more so, considering his emotional breakdown at the end of Season 1) And after all of that he still tries to kill himself to save his daughter.
Voiced by: Osamu Saka (Japanese), William Frederick Knight (English)
Da Chief. He's the old man that does all the back door politics that need, um, politicking. Has connections at every level of the government. Trusts his people implicitly.
- Adaptational Attractiveness: He's still a balding, elderly man but in this version he's more "distinguished gentleman" and less "Japanese snow monkey in a suit".
- Anime Hair
- Badass Boast: It's not really boasting per se, but he has utmost faith in the abilities of his team; enough to unflinchingly stake his own personal reputation on them on a regular basis. A notable example would be the first episode of 2nd Gig, where he tells the new Prime Minister that he's willing to be the scapegoat/"fall guy" and will take full responsibility if things go south as a result of his team's intervention in the hostage situation.
- Badass Bureaucrat: Tears through all the red tape so Section 9 can do it's job.
- Bald of Awesome/Forehead of Doom
- Benevolent Boss
- Big Good
- The Chessmaster
- Cool Old Guy
- A Father to His Men: This becomes more apparent in the Umibozu arc at the end of the first season, when Section 9 is disbanded by force.
- Guile Hero: His job. Aramaki knows the legal and political systems inside and out; when a delicate situation needs to be resolved, he'll be one of the first people to know how to get it done by bending as many rules as necessary without actually breaking any of them
- Karma Houdini: Pulls this at the end of Season 1 as Section 9 is disbanded by force, and uses his influence to save Togusa from the worst of it too.
- Long-Lost Relative: His brother.
- Married to the Job: Shown in Solid State Society.
- New Old Flame: In episode 16 of Season 1. Although he has to leave her at the end, he still finds a way to tell her But I Would Really Enjoy It.
- Old Master
- Reasonable Authority Figure: He seems to be the ONLY one in the entire GitS universe. Practically every other political, military, or corporate official in the entire series is incompetent or outright corrupt, and the few good ones seem to have their hands tied on a regular basis. Thankfully Aramaki regularly blackmails, threatens, or bends the law so he can see justice done, and is quite willing to use extremely underhanded tactics to cut through red tape.
- Smart People Wear Glasses
- The Strategist: He was actually a very brilliant strategist in the military when he was young. Now he effectively applies those strategies in politics, yet he's still more than capable of turning a situation in his favor, such as using two would-be bank robbers to fool a SWAT team who were under orders to kill everyone inside, himself included.
- Urban Legend Love Life
Voiced by: Yutaka Nakano (Japanese), Michael McCarty (English)
Exceptional info-gatherer. Specializes in traditional hacking, as opposed to cyberbrain invasion. Turns any computer into a Magical Database. In a subversion of the type, he is actually a fairly old guy, being one of the oldest members of Section 9.
- Badass Beard
- Badass Bookworm
- Good Smoking, Evil Smoking
- Hollywood Hacking
- Knowledge Broker
- Mission Control
- Non-Action Guy: While he is capable of going out in the field, he tends to see the least of combat. He's also the only member to be injured in both seasons.
- Unusual User Interface: His computer has both a traditional screen and keyboard and an apparatus that resembles a periscope.
- Voice with an Internet Connection: Sometimes.
Voiced by: Toru Okawa (Japanese), Dave Wittenberg (English)
Team sniper (the name is pronounced in Japanese the same as "Sight"). Has a single cybernetic eye and cybernetic wrist. May or may not have had an... interesting first meeting with the Major.
- BFG: His anti-materiel rifles, one of which is so powerful that it must be bolted into the ground before firing.
- Big Damn Heroes: Shows up to rescue Kusanagi from Gayle in episode 21.
- Cold Sniper
- Defeat Means Friendship: According to him, this is how he started working for the Major. No one else buys it.
- Eyepatch of Power: Has his Hawkeye program hidden behind his eyepatch.
- Eye Scream: He lost his left eye when Motoko sniped over his nose just as he was retreating back behind a wall for cover.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: Helped by his cybernetic eye.
- The Quiet One
- The Southpaw: Until the Major put a knife through it.
- The Stoic
- The Worf Effect: Anyone or anything important to the plot will outsmart Saito and his satellite targeting to show how savvy they are.
Voiced by: Taro Yamaguchi (Japanese), Dean Wein (English)
Sumo-esque backup guy. His specialty is explosives, and he often acts as transportation (pilot, driver) or assisting Ishikawa with anything computer-related, but he is so minor that his talents are mentioned only once in first season, and used once in 2nd Gig.
- Bald of Awesome
- Electronic Eyes: Seems to be a larger red variation of the same type Batou has.
- The Generic Guy: Is easily the least developed character in Section 9, and is arguably the only member of Section 9 devoid of doing anything that's really cool. All we have to go on is that he's the explosives specialist of Section 9.
- He does assassinate the lawyer going after Togusa, so one thing we know he isn't is a goody-two-shoes.
- And his explosives experience becomes relevant in one of the novels.
- Jack-of-All-Trades: Although his specialty is explosives, he is often paired with Saito for sniping duties, Paz for general operations, and Ishikawa concerning cyber and viral matters.
- Spell My Name with an "S": His name is often translated as Boma.
Voiced by: Takashi Onozuka (Japanese), Robert Buchholz (English)
Another backup guy. Boasts that he "never sleeps with the same woman twice".
- Boxed Crook: It's hinted that he's a former yakuza prior to joining Section 9.
- The Casanova: Paz claims that he never sleeps with the same woman twice. This comes back to haunt him in 2nd Gig.
- Knife Nut: Uses a folding knife in combat.
- Spot the Imposter: The only clue detailing that it was the real Paz who defeated his Psycho Ex-Girlfriend, who had decided to duplicate his body and transfer her brain into it, was the lack of blood coming from the stab and slash wounds in the eye and chest. Pazu is still mostly human, while she was fully prosthetic. This is never brought up again.
- The Stoic: The most unemotional member of Section 9.
The Tachikoma are a little unusual in that they all share a single Japanese voice-actor (Sakiko Tamagawa) but each distinct personality has its own voice-actor in the English dub. The notable actresses with their own pages are: Lara Jill Miller, Sandy Fox, Rebecca Forstadt, Sherry Lynn, Melissa Fahn, Julie Maddalena, Mona Marshall, Colleen O'Shaughnessey, Michelle Ruff, and Carrie Savage.
A.I. Think-Tanks (literally) and the Stand Alone Complex incarnation of the manga's "Fuchikoma", that have personalities like children and resemble blue, four-legged mechanical spiders. There are about 12 of them. Subject to regular memory synchronization, they are all supposed to be identical and interchangeable. As the most advanced A.I.s on the planet (probably), they are quite philosophical about their place in the world, to the point of surprising Section 9 at times.Or, more succinctly: If you mushed together a puppy, a philosopher, and a machine gun, you'd get a Tachikoma. Add in the curiosity of a 5 year old child, and the zeal for destruction of a barbarian, and you get closer.
- A Day in the Limelight: Several episodes revolve almost exclusively around them.
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Their increasingly unpredictable behavior leads to substantial concern on Section 9's part, and they end up being pulled from duty in the first season. That said, they ultimately prove to be loyal to Section 9 and friendly in general, and jump into action to help their former comrades at the end of the first season.
- Back from the Dead: Twice.
- Badass Adorable: Imagine a talking puppy packing a machine gun. You are not terribly far off from how the Tachikomas behave.
- Because You Were Nice to Me: The reason behind their Undying Loyalty to Batou-san.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Including the one who escapes and rescues Miki, giving a stern lecture to the police while it's at it.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: After being discharged from service, the Tachikomas who find different jobs are painted various colors including grey and yellow. This is also because they've developed distinct personalities.
- Contemplate Our Navels: When sitting in the garage in between missions, this appears to be their favorite activity. The subject is usually the nature of their existence as reasoning AI's and whether their developing individuality could be evidence that they are developing or already have ghosts (souls).
- Cute Bruiser: While not humanoid, their voices and personalities are adorable enough to make them the cutest characters of the series. However, they are still advanced combat robots, and they will completely mess you up, especially if you hurt Mr. Batou.
- Cute Machines: Bulbous chassis? Light-blue paint job? High-pitched childlike voices? Check, check, and check. Their constant and insatiable curiosity helps as well.
- Do Androids Dream?: The general topic of their philosophical debates. They often compare and contrast their own experiences with those that humans have described.
- Gatling Good: Occasionally have their grenade launchers replaced with one.
- Keet: While ultimately being genderless spider tanks, they are energic, easily excited and use the more masculine "boku" when referring to themselves. They're referred to by male pronouns by other characters as well, and are even given male names in Solid State Society.
- Grappling-Hook Pistol: They have them built in for scaling buildings.
- Heroic Sacrifice: At the end of both seasons no less!
- And minor ones in some episodes, like the fight between the Major's Tachikoma and a crazy helicopter. He got better, and even talks of it with his fellows.
- Hive Mind: The memory banks and CPU for all of them are located in a satelite rather than their individual bodies. They als synchronize experiences. Despite this, they develop distinct personalities and separate awareness. Debating this topic is like one person liteally talking with themselves.
- Instant A.I., Just Add Water: Batou treating one particular machine as his "favorite" and giving it natural oil rather than synthetic serves as the catalyst that sparks their developing individuality.
- Just a Machine: What Section 9 tends to think of them, at least initially, although they insist they are more than that. Batou and the Major notably stop thinking of them like this after their Heroic Sacrifice at the end of the first season.
- Made of Iron: They can take bursts of fully-automatic gunfire and still get up and fight.
- Shoo Out the Clowns: After their AIs began to develop in unexpected ways, they were pulled from duty with Section 9 for the last third of the first season, where the Laughing Man/Government Conspiracy plot began to take center stage. They end up returning of their own volition at the end of the season when they realize Section 9 is in danger.
- Spider Tanks: In fact, they can walk on walls and ceilings and fire a "web-like" substance to use as a grappling hook or to swing after targets.
- Spanner in the Works: Their unpredictability is a huge factor in stopping Gouda's plan.
- Tears from a Stone: Batou's favorite tachikoma cried natural oil Batou used to give him (they developed a "Ghost" largely because of this simple thing Batou had done for them) then they sacrificed themselves for their friend.
- Took a Level in Badass: In the second season, they become very efficient hackers.
The Laughing Man
The Laughing Man
Voiced by: Koichi Yamadera (Japanese), Steve Blum (English)A super hacker who kidnapped the C.E.O of Serano Genomics 6 years prior to the start of the series. This incident would make him a hero in the eyes of some and the entity "The Laughing Man" become a sort of cultural phenomenon.
- The Adjectival Man
- Big Bad: Of the first season, where many of the terrorist attacks can be linked back to imitators set up by him. Subverted, he never intended to cause imitators and the code he used to carry out his original attack came from an unknown source he just stumbled upon on the internet.
- Bishōnen: According to Togusa's testimony in Portraitz when he was working undercover as a worker for people with Cyberbrain Closed Shell Syndrome. He describes him as "A handsome young lad in a wheelchair with a lefty's catcher's mit.
- Coat, Hat, Mask: His preferred outfit of a parka with the hood pulled over his face.
- The Faceless: For most of the season, he's never seen directly, but either his face is obscured (whether by his disguise or one of his hacks) or he's ghost-hacking someone else's body.
- Friendly Enemy: he and Serano (the guy he kidnaps twice) are on relatively good terms for an abductor and abductee
- I Did What I Had to Do: He invokes this as his explanation to the Major.
- Memetic Mutation: An In-Universe example Aoi, the original Laughing Man, only carried out the kidnapping of Ernest Serano prior to the start of the series. However, this spawned multiple imitators who carried out crimes under the name of "The Laughing Man".
- Even in real life some people, most notably Anonymous, use his logo to make a similar statement
- Man Behind the Man: An accidental example, since he never intended to spawn imitators.
- Another example. Do you know how he originally found the information that lead to the kidnapping of Serano and all the crap that followed? No? Well, neither does he. He just found a file that had the info on Serano one day, and despite years of extensively searching for the originator of that file, he never found it.
- Obfuscating Disability: His quote of choice about pretending to be a deaf-mute is actually more apt than one would think.
- Rage Against the Heavens: During his Motive Rant in episode 23, he expresses his hatred of God.
- Refused The Call: At the end of the series, he turns down an invitation to join Section 9.
- Shout-Out: "I thought what I'd do was, I'd pretend I was one of those deaf-mutes."
- His alias is a reference to another Salinger story, "The Laughing Man"
- Techno Wizard
- The Dog Was the Mastermind: Watch out for that deaf, dumb mute kid in the wheelchair, Togusa.
- Title Drop: The aforementioned copycat behaviour is what forms the titular "Stand Alone Complex".
- Visual Pun: While pretending to be a vegetable, Aoi carries around a left-handed catcher's mitt; slang for something which is thought to exist, but doesn't.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist
Voiced by: Rikiya Koyama (Japanese), Kirk Thornton (English)Member of the Individual Eleven terrorist group, Kuze's first major action upon his introduction into the series is an attempt at the Prime Minster's life. He later becomes the lone survivor of the mass suicide the Individual Eleven partake in, and then goes on to start a revolution among the refugees in an attempt to give them independence. He had previously served in the JGSDF in North Korean peacekeeping operations.
- Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence: Implied to have successfully uploaded his ghost to the internet. In any case, his physical body is empty.
- Badass Longcoat
- The Chessmaster
- Dark Messiah: To the refugees, he's a savior. To Section 9, he's a dangerous terrorist.
- Far-East Asian Terrorists: To the Individual Eleven and later when he joins up with militant refugees in Dejima.
- Forgotten Childhood Friend: It's later revealed that he was the other survivor in the plane crash that caused Motoko to get a prosthetic body.
- Frozen Face: He rarely shows much in the way of expression, and often doesn't even bother to move his mouth when speaking. Justified - his features are a work of art created by a talented face-sculptor, deliberately programmed with limited mobility to prevent wear and tear.
- Implacable Man: Thanks to his high-quality cyborg body designed specifically for endurance in combat.
- Light Is Good: Downplayed. He may be a foe of our heroes and a dangerous terrorist, but his white hair and outfit signify his ability to salvage a conscience and sense of social responsibility from the Individual Eleven virus.
- Man in White: Is first seen wearing a white suit and trenchcoat. This sets him apart from the other "original" Individual Eleven, who wear dark clothing, which thus foreshadows his refusal to follow through with the suicide plan.
- Not So Different: He is very similar to the Major.
- For a short while The Major and Kuze both have their own Aramaki — Kuze meets with Daisuke's disappeared brother, who was resident in Dejima.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist
Voiced by: Ken Nishida (Japanese), John Snyder (English)Head of data manipulation within the Cabinet Intelligence Service. An extremely shady character who quickly draws the suspicion and dislike of Section 9.
- Always Someone Better: It's outright stated that most of his actions are the result of an inferiority complex. And Batou (using the Major's external memories) even implies that his entire scheme throughout 2nd Gig was an attempt to one-up the Laughing Man. He also implies that said attempts have failed.
- Alternate Character Reading: The "一人" in Gouda's name is almost always pronounced "Hitori" when used as a given name, and part of Gouda's Establishing Character Moment is correcting Aramaki and saying that people almost always remember it after he corrects them once.
- Bald of Evil: Without question.
- Big Bad: Of the 2nd season, where his inferiority complex leads him to cause chaos in Japan to gain recognition for his talents.
- Boom, Headshot: Motoko unloads a machine gun into his head when he refuses to back down, reducing it to bloody pulp from the jaw up.
- The Chessmaster: He's the one responsible for the emergence of the Individual Eleven in the first place and is the mastermind behind the entire conflict between Japan and the refugees.
- Cutting the Knot: How he's undone at the end of the second season. The Prime Minister simply asserts her authority and gives Section 9 what more or less amounts to permission to kill him unless he surrenders (since he's convinced he's more or less untouchable by the law thanks to his scheming but that particular bit of legislation was the equivalent of the USA Patriot Act). Which they do.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Half the side of his face is horribly scarred. Despite having the technology to repair it, Gouda chose to keep it the way it is because it allows him to give off more of an impression. Also, he seems to believe that the scarring of his face also caused a change to his Ghost, turning him from a boring bureaucrat dreaming of greatness into a bona fide Magnificent Bastard.
- Inferiority Superiority Complex: see Always Someone Better
- Jerkass: He really enjoys winding people up. Implied to be yet another manifestation of his crippling insecurity — if he can't make a good impression, he'll at least make some sort of impression.
- Mad Eye
- A Man Is Not a Virgin: He's a deeply insecure virgin himself, and has a bit of a complex about disproving this trope. One of the requirements for his 'hero'-producing Individual Eleven virus to take full effect is that the target must be a virgin pre-prosthetics.
- Meaningful Name: His given name literally translates to "one person" or "individual", a big hint at his involvement in the plot.
- Non-Action Big Bad: Never even holds a weapon and prefers to use non-violent means to get his way. Gouda's lack of weaponed Mooks leaves him defenceless against an assault rifle clip fired from Motoko.
- Obviously Evil: With the scars, the smugness and the attitude, you could see this from miles away.
- Red Right Hand: Gouda's got a mangled face and a bizarrely egg-shaped head. A man of his position, in this world of powerful surgical and prosthetic technology, could have easily repaired his face to look normal, but he chose not to, just because he liked the unsettling appearance he now had. A rare case where the Red Right Hand is entirely voluntary, which alone speaks volumes about his character.
- Ridiculously Average Guy: Was pretty much this before his disfigurement, looks-wise, to the point of people struggling just to remember him. Lampshaded by Batou when Section 9 find an older profile of him.
- Smug Snake: See Always Someone BetterMakes his death all the more satisfying.
Prime Minister Yoko Kayabuki
Prime Minister Yoko Kayabuki
Voiced by: Yoshiko Sakakibara (Japanese), Barbara Goodson (English)Japan's first female prime minister, responsible for bringing Section 9 back into action (officially, anyway) for the second season. Appears as a Recurring Character. Well-intentioned and has a strong sense of justice, but struggles to earn respect from her cabinet due to a combination of her own naivety and the fact that they intend to use her as a puppet (and later a blame figure).
- Affirmative Action Girl
- All There in the Manual: Her first name is never mentioned once in the series or any of the accompanying reference books; it only appears briefly onscreen during a DVD interview with her voice actress.
- Crowning Momentof Awesome: At the end of 2nd GIG; her Take That speech to Chief Cabinet Secretary Takakura after he accuses her of being a typical Hysterical Woman is nothing short of badass.
- Distressed Damsel: Has to be rescued by Section 9 twice.
- Expy: Bears a lot of similarity to Kim Campbell (Canada's only woman prime minister, from June 1993 to November 1993). Her country's first female Primer Minister put in place by the ruling party's bureacracy in the wake of major scandals force the party's leadership to resign.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: Experiences one of these toward the end of 2nd GIG, when her entire administration turns on her, and an American Empire submarine has just launched a nuclear missile..
- Iron Lady: Subverted, although the end of 2nd GIG sees her well on her way to becoming this.
- Manipulative Bitch: Suggested by Motoko In-Universe. After Aramaki puts his career on the line to solve the hostage crisis at the start of 2nd Gig, the Major suggests the PM did it deliberately so she would be covered if things went wrong. As Aramaki got what he wanted as well (the re-establishment of Section 9), he isn't bothered by this possibility.
- Meaningful Name: "Kayabuki" translates to "reed thatch", though the meaning is probably easier to get if you're British.
- Older Than They Look: The series' character designer has admitted that Kayabuki looks much younger than she would be realistically; this was done deliberately so she'd have a sporting chance at becoming a popular character even with the Major stealing the show most of the time. Her true age, however, like the rest of the cast's, is unknown.
- Power Hair