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Headscratchers: Ghost in the Shell
Back to Ghost in the Shell.

  • I'll start off, I guess: - Who fronted the cash for the Major's prosthetic body? Her parents were dead from the plane crash, and the fact that no one came to see her during her coma appears to indicate she had no extended family. Here in the United States, the insurance company would probably yank the plug on a patient like that, citing cost. Somebody high-up must have wanted her alive, then paid for the operation, the body, and the extensive training/modification.
    • Seems to me that she was a test subject for a full-body prosthesis. So, I'd assume that the manufacturer fronted the cash, seeing how tests are necessary to sell a medical device. She was in ideal test subject for a full-body prosthesis, having been severely injured in the crash.
    • Good point, I hadn't considered that. Still, it would seem odd that a company would just do this without seeking some major (excuse the pun) compensation in return. Given the industry she got into, a military or government sponsor seems more likely.
      • The compensation was most likely the right to study her physical and psychological development throughout her childhood and teenaged years. That research would be worth its weight in gold, since at this time the cyborg technology was entirely new.
      • Any company performing research in a tech with such obvious military applications probably has a government grant that would fund part of the research.
      • And whether it was getting military money or not, test subjects get paid. They're never expected to pay for the privilege of being test subjects, especially when the test already requires giving both arms and legs, and every other working piece of her body. The first few people they asked probably refused.
    • You're forgetting that this is in Japan, not the U.S., they have universal health care.
      • In that case they would have definitely yanked the plug on her.
      • This assumption is a mixed case of sloppy research and pure propaganda to Americans by U.S. Conservatives.
      • Public healthcare is extremely caring, especially to the most serious conditions. It's those whose conditions aren't deemed serious enough for significant treatment who can suffer from public healthcare, not those who would die without treatment. This troper knows examples of small towns nearly going bankrupt and forced to seek extra funding from the government when one of their residents gets a rare, life-threatening condition that is still treatable.
      • While the above is true, the Major received a rather advanced prosthetic body. However, at least in the anime, it seems to be implied that she was one of the first people to become a full body cyborg. Perhaps it was less a matter of someone paying for her body and more the opportunity of a perfect test candidate for the procedure. It's probable working for Public Security is also a way to sort of pay off the debt.
    • This leads into something else that was never explained, to my knowledge - where did the Major learn her kung-fu skills? Did she just download it all using the jack in her neck like Neo? Or did she train for years? If so, where and with whom? What led her to Section 9?
      • Consider that she's a top of the line cyborg, and hence stronger and faster than even other cyborgs. With that in mind her skills are good, but not that impressive. Similarly any semi-pro racer in a fast car could be expected to beat an F1 driver in a go cart.
      • It's often mentioned that the Major's greatest skill is her adaption to her prosthetic body. Apparently it requires great work and training to fully master cybernetic prosthetics, but if you can do that, just about every motoric skill comes just a matter of having the right software.
      • She has worked for many masters before. Her previous occupation was apparently the Department of Defense, but at least in the manga she was originally a freelance operative. Most of her past is deliberately shrouded in mystery, as she's pretty much deleted her original identity, even to the point of actually forgetting her "real" name.
      • 2nd Gig reveals that the Major has had a rather long career in the military (she was already a hardened vet when Batou was just a newbie). It's likely that in return for the prosthetic body, she had to serve in the military.
      • Not quite. It's highly unlikely that a child could sign such a contract, or even have a guardian sign it. Also, it's heavily implied in this episode that the Major is an irregular, who poses as a simple grunt for the sake of an important task of delivering a tactical nuke. No-one knows a single thing about her save for her unusual talent, and she's capable of recruiting an enemy soldier on the spot! At this time she most likely works directly for the Department of Defense under a false name and rank.
      • This assumes that the deal came with a legal contract that had to be signed. The military doesn't necessarily have to bother with such things.
      • Despite of its corruption and failings, Japan in GitS is still a modern justice state. Such scenario is highly unlikely, as it would result in de facto enslavement of an individual who would be put in a perfect position to take revenge for such slight. The most likely scenario still is that the experimental treatment was paid by the cybernetics company that was in need of test subjects, and was in position to make great profit once the prosthetics had proven useful.
    • I'd rather like to know where she gets all of the cash for the cars, penthouse apartments, weapons, and technological stuff - how much can a police officer, even one working for a super-secret branch of the Home Affairs Ministry, possibly make? Certainly not enough for three or four fully furnished safe houses in prime locations, not to mention the spare bodies and the well-stocked garage of the house that got trashed at the end of the first season of SAC. SSS implies that she rebuilt and restored her own fleet of tachikomas, for goodness' sake. Bank heist? Payoff from a huge lawsuit? Or does she just do really, really high-profile consultant work on the side or something?
      • Well, maybe as an expert hacker she takes poor lonely money sleeping in dead accounts and gives it a loving new home. Plus the countless methods of rounding small 0.0's of Yen, Dollars or Pounds in large accounts really adds up...
      • She's arranged safe houses and assets for herself for years before leaving Section 9 - she may not even have legally bought those properties. They might have just dissapeared from all the files, and the original owners "forgot" that they ever owned them in the first place. As for the Tachikomas, this troper is pretty sure that their physical forms were just taken from the Section 9 storage - they weren't destroyed at all in the previous season, after all. She just found and preserved their minds.
      • Secret Police tends to be one of the best paying jobs around. The other theories are certainly possible, but it's also possible that they really just pay her that much.
      • Also, given her shady past, the Major may have accumulated a large cash reserve through freelance or mercenary work.
      • Perhaps her parents were wealthy and she inherited a large sum of money when they died.
      • Which would also cleanly explain why she could afford the top-of-the-line body in the first place. Most likely explanation so far.
      • The simplest answer is that she's a smart investor - this troper knows several millionaires in their early 20s who managed to strike it big by a combination of luck and savvy investing.
    • In some of the manga (e.g., Man-Machine Interface), she's shown as an independent operative who's such a good hacker that she commands top dollar for her skills, contracting out to high-profile clients. It's also explained in the first movie (and at least implied in SAC) that she, Batou, and the others receive their top-quality bodies, parts, and maintenance through their jobs with Section 9, but the existence of several safehouses and various equipment implies that they're either siphoning some funding for personal use or are doing well with previous freelancing or side jobs.

      As to who paid for the major's cyber-bodies while she was a child, the medical-research explanation makes the most sense to me. The company would profit handsomely from future sales (which would require health ministry approval based on demonstration of the technology's safety and efficacy). (A parallel to OCP's motivation in RoboCop comes to mind.) Also, since she had no family, the company probably also had a hand in influencing in her career development, pushing her to see how far her limits would be with this new technology.

  • At the end of the first season, the Major gets shot in the head with a sniper rifle but ultimately manages to survive. How? Did she somehow dump her consciousness to the net just before it happened? If she did, and such an escape was possible, then why didn't the attackers either manage to block that escape route or call off the whole exercise as being ultimately futile?
    • Exactly that. Her consciousness fled to the net after her braincase was damaged/perforated, and she spent some time (possibly even a month or so) clinging to life only by dint of iron willpower. The reason her escape wasn't cut off was that at the time, even she didn't think it was a viably sound option and was an absolute plan Z, as it were. It probably didn't occur to the assassins that she would even attempt something so extremely unreliable.
    • She was using her remote-control body (I assume her original body was the one going "into the cooler" before she stepped out into the main room of her apartment), so her actual consciousness was never damaged... But as her remote-control body was originally designed to be her new body, complete with an advanced suite of sensors and nerve endings, I think the incredible shock of having all her senses overload and shut down at once threw her for a terrific loop, and she was stuck in that cooler for quite some time until she came around.
    • Note that she is not shown wearing the watch when boarding the plane, even tho its made a point of earlier as being a kind of reminder of self. That is worn by the shell that houses her cyberbrain, vs a shell she is controlling remotely, like say that girl she uses in some of the episodes.
    • Pretty sure that she never properly finished being transferred to her new body and, after realizing something was up, remained in her broken shell while controlling the genuine one remotely. The reason it had her watch was that she was intending to load herself into it.
      • Except that brain-loading is highly questionable and risky activity in this universe, and has never been done successfully. Ghost-Dubbing is as close as they can get, and that's known to create an inferior copy, and kill the original. The chances are that the Major knew that the decoy would be killed, as the Japanese government at the time couldn't allow the team's leader escape alive.
      • In the English dub at least, it's pretty much explicitly stated that the Major never actually swapped bodies. She was remote controlling the one that was killed, and the seam on her arm she shows in the final episode tells us that she was in her old body the entire time.
      • In the first movie, she merges with the Puppet Master, and in Solid State Society she's shown to be remote-operating at least two shells simultaneously. I don't think it's a question of uploading or downloading brains/ghosts; she's elsewhere. Contrast this with what happens near the end of SAC (season 1), where the "real" her is being tortured by the bad-gal posing as a doctor, and the Major can't escape on her own.
      • The first Ghost in the Shell movie and Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence are in a separate continuity to Stand Alone Complex, Solid State Society *is* in the same continuity though. It's confusing...
    • Why all the spoiler-tags? This is a spoiler-filled page, and everybody enters aware of that.

  • That brings up another Bugs Me - How long was the Major remote-controlling her robotic body? Since the end of "Scandal" when she talks to the Chief? Or did she not use it until that apartment scene in "Barrage" where her entire arm (and a lot else ;)) is exposed and you can see that it isn't severed? If she wears her longsleeve overcoat from the end scene in "Scandal" onward — and it looks like she does — then she was probably covering up the seam and the remote-control swap was probably not made until the apartment scene. Looking back on the ending scene from "Scandal," I noticed she hesitates significantly and smiles a little when Aramaki asks how her new body feels, which leads me to believe she hadn't been swapped into it yet and that she was, in fact, using her original body.
    • I would argue the opposite - the visible lines mean that her new body hasn't yet been fully configurated, or given the final cosmetic makeup. In an earlier episode we see unused prosthetic bodies that have those 'seams' all over the place. Many cheaper model cyborgs, and ones who see no need to hide their artificial composition also have them.
    • I'm pretty sure that she was never in the new body at all. IIRC, the scene in the hospital ends with her in her old body, not her new one.
      • Yes, but there's no reason for her not to change it off-screen afterwards. Why would she back out from the body change just because that one doctor happened to be an enemy mercenary?
      • Except that she'd just discovered that the previously very-well-trusted facility where she was supposed to get the transfer done had been infiltrated by the people who were trying to kill her. That one doctor/technician was probably not the only compromised one, so it would not be a good idea to get the procedure done at that facility.
      • Actually, when she goes to meet with the Laughing Man at the end of the series, he DELIBERATELY MENTIONS that she hadn't swapped bodies yet, at the end of the series, which leads me to believe that she was only using the puppet body from the apartment scene onward.

  • Do you know what the Major is mouthing right before she was shot? It looks a like a slow “Oh… shi-� BLAM!
    • Unless they modified it for a release outside of japan, i would guess she is mouthing something in Japanese...
    • I read somewhere that she was counting down from 3 in Japanese. (San, ni, ichi). Can't remember where I read it though...

  • How deep did that "fake out" go? How much was Aramaki in cahoots with the raid? Did everybody know? Or had the Chief simply given them the order, "Stay alive!" and everybody made stuff up as they went? (And even though their efforts to escape were all "real" and they all got legitimately arrested in the process, Aramaki's influence kept them protected and got them out?) His surprise at the PM's decision to go through with the raid to save face really seemed to surprise Aramaki, but he also discussed it as though it was something he'd carefully planned.
    • Which brings up another question - how much did the Major know? Did she come up with her ploy on her own, or did she have foreknowledge of the fake-out and was working with Aramaki? Her confusion seems to indicate she didn't know much, except that they were in deep s*** . It seemed a little strange that she had such a well-thought-out defense plan for a "military raid against Section 9 HQ" and was able to set it up so quickly, but in her business I suppose it pays to be really, really paranoid. But her use of the body-double seems to indicate she knew what was going on, and purposely sacrificed Batou to the wolves, knowing he was going to be fine.
      • Unless she still believed that the team was being hunted down, and was continuing her effort to break the team into pieces. By sending one copy off with Batou, with the assumption that he'd escape, she would be free to go her own way. Unfortunately, that bullet got in the way.
    • Did Batou already know, and he was faking that agonized yelling? Or did he not learn he was being duped until later? (I want to believe the latter.) There is the theory that Batou was privy to the plan because he was able to see the sniper chopper in front of the sun, yet he didn't call out immediately when he saw the laser dot on the Major. However, attacking out of the sun is a battle-tested tactic for blinding the enemy, and even Batou's cyber-eyes could have been overwhelmed by the bright light. Thermal scanning could've been defeated by the sun's heat, too. He realized… something was not quite right, and he could see something, hence his "Hmmm...", but he didn't quite put two and two together until he saw the sniper dot, at which point it was too late.
      • Batou didn't know anything. Note how he was being teased at the end. The team including the Major didn't know anything, just the order to "stay alive", although she suspected parts of the plan. Watch the last episode carefully. Aramaki and the Major pretty much spell out everyone's total involvement.
    • There's a scene fairly early in the series with Aramaki and the Major commenting about the structure and organization of Section 9. I'm paraphrasing because I can't remember it exactly, but the gist was that Section 9 does not subscribe to rigid teamwork. What organization does arise does so spontaneously, by the interaction between highly skilled operators working towards a common goal. In that context, Aramaki's order to "Stay alive" is in some ways the ultimate test of this philosophy: a completely open-ended goal, methods entirely non-specified. Out of that simple order, they craft a fairly elaborate plan to escape the initial siege, then almost instantly splinter off to do whatever seems appropriate to them, relying on their knowledge of each other and their skills to ensure their goals do not conflict, all with no command structure whatsoever. In a way it's rather impressive really.
    • My theory is that the initial raid was under the control of the Secretary-General or other corrupt officials, while the soldiers that actually captured them were under Aramaki's control. That would explain why the initial raid is using Armored Suits and heavy weapons, which wouldn't make sense if the plan was to capture them alive. Once everyone was in hiding, Aramaki could pick them up discreetly with whatever soldiers he had left.

  • On a completely different topic: there seems to be either no or remarkably little communications/net lag time in the series even when a small amount of such lag would be significant in affecting how things worked and/or when such lag would seem to be indicated by communications being fundamentally limited by the speed of light. The biggest example of this that comes to mind is the satellite containing the Tachikoma AI's and presumably transmitting actions to the Tachikoma units and receiving sensory input from the Tachikoma units. Does this mean that there is an unsung FTL communications technology in Ghost in the Shell or that the writers didn't do their science homework? Or am I off somewhere?
    • The speed of light isn't that slow. Information can circumnavigate the surface of the Earth in roughly .18 seconds. Communcation with a low orbiting satellite only a few hundred kilometers up (the only possible scenario give 2nd Gigs finale) wouldn't even need that long depending on exact position. While not insignificant from an engineering perspective with regards to absolute effieciency Ghost in the Shell as a rule operates at human speeds at which under a second is still rather fast. Even in combat being able to intelligently formulate a response to a stimuli would likely take more time then transmitting the order. Predator UA Vs and the like are already in use in the real world today.
    • Indeed, let's say the satellite is 35 786km up (the approximate height of a geosynchronous satellite, or so says Wikipedia.) The round-trip transmission time would then be 0.23 seconds. Not ideal, indeed, but also unlikely to be fatal. One can also assume that the Tachikomas have a limited on-board AI, rather like how the Mars rovers do.
    • Of course, as is noted, for the finale to make sense their satellite can't be high enough to be geosynchronous either, it's significantly lower, so that transmission time gets cut down to essentially zero. That does raise some other problems, though.
      • Other problems?
      • Indeed. If a satellite is not geosynchronous, it will (relative to the surface of the Earth) rise and set, and that will happen faster the lower the satellite is orbiting. That means that, if there is ONLY one satellite hosting the Tachikoma AI's, it will be moving across the sky, rising and setting, and once the satellite is below the horizon with respect to the place where the Tachikomas are, communication with their satellite-hosted AI's is lost. For the system to work properly there should be a constellation of Tachikoma AI-hosting satellites, so that there will always be at least one above the horizon at any given moment (that is why systems like GPS require "constellations" of 20+ satellites to ensure constant coverage over the whole world, with individual satellites rising and setting over any given area of the planet, but making it so that there will always at least 4 satellites "visible" no matter where you are located).
      • One option is that the sat makes use of the global computer network or other sat as relays.
      • In all likelihood, the Tachikomas have on-board reflexes that'll react faster than their conscious minds from the satellite. They'll have a fraction of a second of lag for conscious action, but reflexive action, like dodging bullets happens on instinctive level. Just like with human beings, actually.
      • It should be noted that a minor lightspeed time delay might explain the slight "disconnected" feeling the Tachokomas started noticing after having their AI's stored in the satellite. Although you'd think being machines they could detect such a delay definitively, their internal timestamps may have been fudged to hide it, or they may just not have access to such low-level information about their own operation (which seems likely given they mostly deal with the physical world, and get regular external diagnostics).
      • The last idea there seems likely. Remember that the Tachikomas are sentient machines and as such are not necessarily omniscient about their own status. Computers need programming to do anything; think of it this way, you hear all the time about how the human brain is akin to a Seriously Advanced Computer, but you can't just do quantum physics without being taught how it works, or mentally monitor your heart-rate just because you want to.
      • Humans also have the illusion of perceiving and processing a much richer data set than we actually do; studies of the unreliability of eyewitness testimony and sensory illusions have demonstrated that. We unconsciously extrapolate and fill in gaps every second. It's akin to data compression: trying to store all the data we take in through our senses would overwhelm our brains' capacity, so we store the important bits (one of the reasons we have mechanisms for focusing on perceiving outlines of shapes, for instance), and we reconstruct memories from those key data points, rather than trying to store the whole thing. Our brains operate more efficiently because of this, but it does mean that we make mistakes. Other sentient systems, such as the Tachikomas, can be expected to have hit upon the same balance between capacity and accuracy in order to operate optimally.
      • A related possibility: Tachikomas do most of their real-time thinking on site and then sync with the satellite every second or so. That solves the lag issue and ensures that they never lose more than a second of experiences.
      • I thought of that, too, but it's pointed out that they commit suicide by sacrificing the satellite, so the physical Tachikomas on the ground must be shells and not independent agents that get synchronized with the satellite as back-up storage.
    • What REALLY bugs me is this: At the end of 2 Gig, the Tachikomas were clearing up space to upload the minds of the people to the net before they decide to use their satellite to destroy the nuke. Couldn't they have uploaded themselves to the net at the last second instead? Granted, the Tachikoma short for that episode seems to hint at one of them possibly surviving, or being reincarnated or something, but still....
      • According to Solid State Society, that's pretty much exactly what they did.
      • In fact, if you watch the scene where they're singing and have rerouted their satellite to intercept the missile, one of the Tachikomas labels a large "file" with "TACHIKOMA'S ALL MEMORY."

  • In Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, exactly how did Batou and Togusa even know to go after Kim? (You know, the creepy, doll-obsessed hacker who'd been hacking Batou throughout the film.) I've watched the movie three times, and as far as I can tell, one minute they're traveling to the region where Locus Solus is headquartered (I was also a bit confused about the "Northern frontier" referred to, but presumably it's in the contested region between Japan and Russia), then there's a parade, and the next thing you know Batou's beating up old contacts to find Kim. Were we just supposed to assume the two were doing legwork during the parade that Oshii didn't care enough about to show us? (Not inconceivable, given Oshii's predilection for philosophical rumination over plot mechanics.) Or was Batou assuming that since Kim was one of the few hackers skilled enough to get past his protections and was in physical proximity to Locus Solus, he must be working with them? Or was there something else I missed?
    • As far as this troper was able to figure, Batou simply knew that Kim was in town, and wanted to ask his professional opinion about Locus Solus, since he's an expert, and presumably has plenty of contacts in the area. That's essentially what happens when they first meet. It's generally a good tactic to find out as much as possible about the situation when you're in a hostile territory, and any potentially friendly contact who can give you some briefing is a bonus. Kim just happened to be in cahoots with the company, and was trying to take out Batou by the orders of his superiors.
  • Another for Innocence. Why were the 'gynoids' so tricked(pun intended) out? This probably falls under Super-Powered Robot Meter Maids, but its a little jarring how they were giving the Major and Batou trouble.
    • Well, take just about any robot nowadays (Asimo withstanding) and control it to kill someone, and you'll have difficulty taking it out unless you hit the control surfaces, pneumatic/electric lines, or gears/moving parts (and successfully dislodge/jam them). You can't just really fill it with holes and expect it to die. So, take a more sophisticated robot, designed to last many years without extensive overhauling, and tell it to attack, and, well, that's a problem. If all the systems have tertiary backups, you need to do a ton of damage to take it out. If you still think they'd be too namby-pamby, remember that in the mid-90's lots of kids lost hair after their parents had to rip "Baby Eats Your Hair When You Stick Your Hair Into Its Mouth And It Gets Caught In The Gears" off their heads. After bashing them with hammers.
    • Granted, there's that. But the gynoids were supposedly civilian models, as compared to combat cyborgs like the Major and Batou. I would think it would be little bit of overkill to design them so tough. After all, that's what spare parts are for.
      • These were incredibly expensive specialty items sold in secret to an elite clientele. That's probably the only sort of thing in this world, or the future, that will be "built like they used to"; planned obsolescence is actually a bad idea in this situation. And again, they weren't particularly tough — you can put a few rounds through a Tickle Me Elmo and it'll still work fine.
    • Batou was a legally powerful Cyborg on what amounted to a fancy police force. If he had been in a chassis designed for open warfare, he'd have looked more like one of those suits of powered armor. Being in Section 9 probably made getting that gun arm easier, though. Incidentally, didn't the Major show up by taking over a Gynoid?
      • That actually bothers me most — it's believable that a huge number of competently-built gynoids would be a problem for Batou, but why would any of them be built with the upper body strength to handle a big gun, as Kusanagi does? I'm even willing to stretch and accept that the lower body strength (enough to take off a dude's head with one kick!) is a structural necessity for real fancy bipedalism; I don't know what materials are involved, whatever. But if you're designing sex dolls that can fire assault weapons one-handed you pretty much deserve what you get.
      • Gynoids are presumably built to last a fair amount of time, and unlike humans their "organs" don't regenerate, so they'd be built with extra strength and structural integrity, allowing then to degrade for a longer amount of time before rigorous maintenance was needed.
      • There is also the possibility that the parts used for movement etc. were chosen by the principle of "okay, what is the cheapes thing we can put here that fills the specs" and as minaturized parts probably are more expensive/complicated to manufacture you could end up with a part more powerful than strictly needed.
  • Okay, in the Git S setting, people can hack brains. It doesn't happen often, but why the hell does anyone leave wireless, or even wired, ports in their brain? Why can't anyone seem to disable the damn things? Sure, constant internet is cool, but they could still build smartphones with that technology, dumbasses.
    • That's what autistic mode is for.
    • Because it's an incredibly rare occurrence, like bank-account hacking in real life. Billions of people have brain implants, but only some thousands ever get hacked. The stories just happen to concentrate around the people who get hacked, since there wouldn't be excitement otherwise. It's a bit like asking why people drive cars, even though they can die in a traffic accident.
    • You'd think a country that can produce anatomically-correct catgirl sex-dolls would be able to produce a decent firewall program.
      • They can - a firewall that will kill the offender who tries to dive into other people's brains without permission. That's why Ghosthackers are incredibly rare - throughout the series fewer than five individuals are shown capableof of hacking people's Ghosts, the Major included, and only a few more who can just break into the artificial implants. That's not common in the show's world - it's only common for the protagonists, because their unit exists to counter such cyber-terrorism.
      • I'm having a hard time imagining a tech tree where "decent firewall" is a prerequisite for "anatomically-correct catgirl sex-dolls".
      • Indeed. Remember, this is Japan we're talking about. Rule 34 takes precedence over virtually everything.
    • I assumed that the hacking was based on knowing secret backdoor keys into the programs, that only the government and lisenced software producers knew about. If there wasn't a legal requirement people would just switch the ports off when not in use. (Maybe they think they have)
    • I'd like to add a little detail to the brain-hacking topic: in the first episode of SAC 2 (just an example; it happens in more situations), the Major hacks one of the terrorists who was in autistic mode. How? Well, the cyber-brain was closed, true, but he still had ears and eyes. That means the only true "unhackable" would be... someone completely isolated inside his own mind, without any way of receiving data (or pain). For computers, it's quite easy to see: if you close all the ports, you cannot surf the net... but there are still the USB ports, the keyboard, the CD-reader and (for the really old or complete), the floppy disk. There is, after all, a reason because all that important info was stored in paper the first time we see the document with the Muray Vaccine receptors in the fist season.
    • I'm not the original poster, but it bugs me to the great extent. No, really. Every time I watch it, it bugs me. Even if there are only several people in the world who can hack brains, it's still hardly believable and borderline Nightmare Fuel. In this futuristic world there are people who can literally take over all senses of every single person who is nearby. Hello, captain Aizen, long time no see. They can also photoshop themselves on-the-fly out of every camera's video stream. All this regardless of whether the object being hacked is online or not. What the heck is this? Also, how can one possibly explain the fact that the firewall can kill the hacker?
      • In the SAC universe, literally everything is networked together, since society values convenience over security. It's not completely implausible for master hackers like the Major and the Laughing Man to manipulate a person's artificial senses. Also, attack barriers apparently work by sending a signal back that fries whatever is trying to hack it. Since most people use their own cyberbrains for hacking, they die when their cyberbrain gets fried by the barrier. Of course, there are ways to counter it, since the Major seems to have equipment that keeps her brain from getting fried when she hits an attack barrier.
      • It would be impossible to kill a computer with an internet signal that way in real life, but obviously cyberbrains are different. With a real computer you might try to destroy it by sending the hard drive wild and damaging instructions that might cause it wear out a little early, but with a cyberbrain that can control a person's senses, all you have to do is transmit an experience so intense that blood-pressure causes death in moments. Even so, it still bugs me that your cyberbrain can only be fried that way when you are trying to pass a barrier and not any other time.
      • It might be possible to fry a real-life computer. If given enough flaws in the system, one could, for example, force remote machines BIOS to critically overclock the CPU and literally melt it.
      • Some real-life PC viruses can cause hard drives to overwrite their Master Boot Records (MBR), killing the drive by making it inaccessible, and I've read that it's possible to make the drive heads physically damage the drive. Also, remember that the recent STUXNET virus targeting Iran was designed to alter the behavior of programmable logic controllers that run physical processes, leading to real physical damage in those systems. It's completely within the realm of possibility in GITS that a defense barrier could back-hack a cyber-brain involved in a dive (apparently a process that requires opening up a wide data channel between attacker and target) and, through appropriating the attacker's power control systems, fry the attacker.
      • They can be fried at any time, though apparently only through a physical connection, not over wireless feed. However, it's only legal to have such deadly security measures in people's cyberbrains and highly secure government files.
      • Also, note that most people are still ordinary humans with cyberbrains - cyborgs haven't completely taken over the population demographics (yet). Togusa is all human except for his cyberbrain, and the only people who've hacked him over the series (Laughing Man, Major, Puppeteer) were all Wizard-class hackers. This suggests that the average hacker lacks these skills.

  • Returning to SAC 2nd Gig - the "rounding error" explanation for the funding source of the Individual Eleven is a little incongruous in such a heavily cybernetic society. In our current society with current levels of technology, most financial transactions take place to several decimal places beyond the smallest possible unit of physical currency, particularly in foreign exchange markets. If that's the case with current technology, why would this be toned down in GITS' future world? Given the background shown in some other episodes (particularly the first season of SAC), financial markets are if anything more complex than their current incarnations, so there's no real reason to "wind back" the number of decimal places used, either.
    • That's not funding source for the Individual Eleven, but for the Asian refugees, who the Individual Eleven opposed before their mass-suicide. At that point of the series the Individual Eleven has ceased to be. And yes, it's simplistic idea, but it's supposed to be a homage to a few movies which employed the same trick, nothing more - the show contains several such homages which aren't entirely at home in the show's world.
      • The eleven men killed each other, essentially committing suicide, and yes they're dead, but the show identifies the "Individual Eleven" as being a movement rather than a specific group of people: a stand-alone complex where any individual can become a part.
    • It still makes great sense. You naturally just have to assume that they have found away around the computerized protections for the money so the number of decimal places that are recorded isn't relevant. That is surely very difficult, but they had to do it somehow to make that sort of crime possible at all. Once you've gotten past the computers, the only remaining danger is the humans who supposedly own the money. If you want to take a very small amount of money from a very large number of people in the hope of not being noticed, then rounding error money is the perfect amount to take.

  • The way the Major's rank is left hanging in Stand Alone Complex. In Ep. 14 (POKER FACE: Beware the left eye.) she's on a UN peacekeeping expedition in Mexico. The apparent leader of the squad she's with is an AE Sergeant. Batou holds the rank of Sergeant too, and Ishikawa calls him a rookie. He's a typing ranger. He's Special Forces. Question is, what's the Major doing there? If both Ishikawa and Kusanagi outrank Batou, they should logically outrank the AE NCO too. Now, Ishikawa says they just call her "The Major", but it's not made clear if that's because she's not actually a major, just really damn good, or because she is a major and a really damn good one, so they refer to her explicitly by title. (As they do chronologically later in the series, when she does hold the rank of major.) Now, looking at her uniform during that episode, she doesn't have the rank insignia that Batou has, and her collar flaps change pattern during the episode; At one point they look like two chevrons (>>) but at another time they look like a chevron and a star. (> * ) If she's a corporal, like the concept art for the episode says, that's two chevrons. The chevron + star insignia doesn't exist in the JGSDF. If she's a major, it should be line-line-star (||* ) She could also be a Sergeant Major; line-line-triangle-star (|||>* ) which looks a bit like > * but not very much. There's also the issue that if she's a Major at that point, she joined the JGSDF in 2005-ish, but she's supposedly born around 2001. (Kuze was, according to the art book, 31 years old in 2032) I know I'm overthinking this and the writers probably just didn't think to actually make her Mysterious Past consistent, but... IJBM!
    • According to her manga backstory she never was recruited through the official channels, but was taken in by the Department of Defense as an irregular due to her prodigy-level skills. She almost certainly isn't an ordinary soldier in this episode - she's posing as one to secretly oversee an important operation of taking a nuclear device to safety. She quite possibly does really have the rank of major, having gotten promoted past the ranks due to her irregular status (much more mundane military roles do that - an army lawyer tends to be immediately promoted to officerhood, for example), but only mentions it as a nickname to keep her cover - perhaps somebody slipped their tongue, calling her Major, and she explained it away as a nickname that stuck. See how quickly she assumes authority on the mission, and ends it by recruiting an enemy soldier!
    • According to the universe, as well, she's supposedly born in 1986, making her 19 in World War Three (~2005) and 34 during World War Four and the American Empire's invasion of Mexico (2020). Being a full cyborg, of course, she doesn't age at all despite being middle-aged during the "present" events in the TV series.
      • WWIII erupted in 1996 and supposedly ended in 2002. Alien Space Bats!
    • Keep in mind this entire episode, save for the Poker Game that serves as frame, is Saito telling a story that he might have made up. Lack of consistency is just another layer to the ambiguity— is he simply misremembering? Or is he failing to keep his facts straight because he's lying?
      • Successful poker playing also relies on deception, so your point is well taken: Saito not telling the story exactly accurately (or completely fabricating it) would be thematically appropriate for the episode.
    • Also, it isn't unheard of for Special Forces personnel to inflate their ranks when dealing with outside elements, if deemed necessary; in Mark Bowden's book Hunting Pablo, the bulk of the Delta Force team in Columbia were Sergeants of some kind, and were allowed to inflate their ranks to Major and Colonel when dealing with the local cops.
  • There are rooms full of androids typing on keyboards in a world where even humans can communicate with machines without keyboards. You can't even justify it with protection from hacking: sitting the android down at a keyboard and computer monitor is technically the same as wiring it in directly in every way except for the absurdly reduced expense. If there were a signal that you could send to cause the android to malfunction, then you could put it on the screen and send it in through the android's eyes just as well. The real purpose must be to have something to show the audience other than the boring casing of a computer frantically working, but it's taking Rule of Cool to really strange extremes.
    • Protection from hacking is a viable and good reason for keeping the androids off the network proper. Sending a virus through text on the screen would take much, much longer than sending it directly by wire, making countermeasures much easier to implement.
      • You don't need to give a computer eyes and hands to make it work slowly. Seeing how those androids work with their dozens of fingers and how they seem to get even more active during an attack makes it hard for me to believe that they are valued for their slowness. If being slow were their means of protection, they ought to get even slower during an attack.
      • The main point is that they are isolated from the primary network, using it by proxy. This makes them far more difficult targets to hack than if they were directly connected to the network. Including countermeasures to prevent hacking by proxy suggested above would be extremely simple; just make it impossible for the android to interpret any data on screen as command codes.
      • That isn't the way hacking works. If it were possible to tell a computer to be sure not to interpret something as command codes, then that would be the end of hacking. The problem is that computers can be tricked into doing stuff, and hacking is about exploiting the weaknesses that allow computers to be tricked. Computers use complex algorithms to interpret their inputs, and those algorithms are designed by fallible humans who are expecting a certain type of input. When input of a radically different nature is presented, there will always be a chance that the computer will fail because the humans forgot set up the algorithm properly for every possible input. When that happens, the results are totally unpredictable and can easily include interpreting some input as command codes. The only one who can know what will happen when weird input is given to a computer is the one who designed the input as a way to hack the computer. So the more algorithms that you run your input through, the more analysis you perform, and the more chances you give for a hacker to find a weakness in your system. That means that androids are more vulnerable to hacking than hardwired computers, because androids need algorithms to translate what they get from their eyes into proper input, and that is one more algorithm than hardwired computers need.
    • I assumed it was just one of their functions. The same androids are shown functioning as secretaries, pilots, guards, communications operators, and even once as escorts to a sex party. It seems a way to bolster Section 9's raw manpower without bringing in humans that require things like paychecks and background checks. It's possible they also can perform maintenance on each other (considering they have hands, eyes, and high degrees of technical knowledge) so they don't require much effort on the part of Section 9's relatively small staff to maintain.
    • It could just be that it's a human trait to want human-looking things doing the interacting with the "machines". Plus, that would make swapping human operators in and out easier and cheaper. Think of it this way: sure, you can hack the generic operator-bot-kun, but then when the real human (running in autistic mode because the system is being hacked) kicks them out of the chair and starts typing away, they can pick up. If the virus streams at them, they won't be affected, and might even spot it and be able to disassemble the attack.
      • It actually makes swapping human operators in and out harder and slower. If the androids didn't have a human shape they would just plug into the computer like any other device; they wouldn't need a chair, so they wouldn't have to get out of the chair for the human to take over.
      • What if they actually are connected directly and the whole "room full of androids" is an aesthetic indulgence for older individuals, like Aramaki, used to a human staff; others in the series go far beyond that, like the barely clothed nurse androids seen at various times.
    • There's many possible explanations for it. If the hardware required to support a limited intelligence such as that of the operators is expensive, by yoking them to an android body the computing power can thus be moved around wherever it's needed as easily as walking or running over there, even between systems that are not networked together for security reasons. They could also pull a geth and network together to increase processing power the more there are close by. I don't recall having seen a Snow Crash style meme virus that would be able to infect just by looking at it, and even if one did exist in universe, they may simply not give the data coming from visual sensors the future version of execute access. It's unclear whether androids charge from wall sockets or synthetic food like cyborgs, but if it is the latter, it would be a cheap way of fouling malicious guesses as to the processing power of Section 9. The operators may serve as backup troops in case of invasion, or even as convenient bodies for the Major to drive if a purple haired woman in a leotard, thigh highs, and a bomber jacket might be considered too visually distinctive.
      • They do have a pretty obvious vulnerability though; the tachikomas proved that the androids are vulnerable to all sorts of logic bombs, though you can bet they patched that hole quickly enough. If the androids are interpreting and reacting to visual/audio data, then the most basic form of attack would be transmitting a paradox and forcing the androids to resolve it.
    • Input methods and communication standards hang around for a long time. The QWERTY keyboard layout was originally conceived in the 1870s and the TCP networking protocol in the 1970s. It's not hard to imagine a transition from physical interfaces designed for humans to network interfaces taking a decade or more. In the interim, robots will need to be able to navigate and manipulate environments designed for humans. Notice that both humans and androids in GITS sometimes use only the net and sometimes use keyboards and displays.
      • Input standards don't change because it would mean throwing away all the investment in those standards, but when a new communication format is needed for a new technology, it can appear very fast. Devices talk to computers through wires all the time even today. All you need is a USB port and some software installed on the computer. If all you want to do is simulate having hands on a keyboard and eyes on a screen, then the technology exists even in real life to set that up in mere days.
    • It could be something to do with copyright laws in the future, maybe someone's sitting on the technology that allows androids to directly interface like cyborgs. Ex: force-feedback, loading screen minigames, the RIAA & computers' copy function, etc.
    • Could just be retro-tech Rule of Cool that isn't quite as cool now. The creators probably wouldn't have included it if the show had first been produced today. However, the visual resemblance to current, real-life human computing (i.e., we mostly still type on keyboards) probably does resonate with a wider audience who know little about computers or hacking.
  • Aramaki's plan at the end of Stand Alone Complex is a combination of What the Hell Hero? and plain old What the Hell?? Because of him, at least several cops died, maybe dozens, while trying to apprehend Section 9. Not corrupt cops or anything, as far as we know — just special forces who were told that they were apprehending dangerous criminals. Even if you assume that every one of those cops was a remote body (which wouldn't make any sense — if remote bodies were that easy, Section 9 would do it), then there was still a massive risk of civilian casualties. Ishikawa was blowing up buildings, after all, then laughing about it once they hooked up with Togusa. And for what? At the end of the day, everyone who turned themselves in or got caught was fine. If Aramaki had just negotiated for the team to turn themselves in, dozens of elite mooks would still be alive in 2nd Gig.
    • AFAIK, only one Mook died for sure, the guy whose eyes Batou hacked at the major's house (the raid on section 9 was carried out without fatalities, one of the soldiers says as much). His friend in the mech even remarked on it ("No one had to die") before the tachikomas took him out. Whether he died wasn't stated if I recall correctly, but assuming so, that puts the body count to two. I assume Aramaki didn't make too many concessions because they were already dealing with commandos who had shown themselves to be men of questionable scruples (Sunflower Society), so he couldn't be sure his team would be safe. Plus, he probably didn't figure Batou to stick around like he did, thus leading to the fatal incident with the soldiers. Also, bear in mind, that those snipers killed the Major. They couldn't have known she was in a remote body, from their POV, they were trying to kill her. So, how far could Aramaki trust them, really?
    • Also, those people were not cops. They were paramilitary black ops on the payroll of the season's elusive Big Bad.
    • More than two. It is reasonably certain that the two mech-suit guys who went after Batou died, and the Umibozu commander beat up Ishikawa after arresting him because the explosion Ishikawa set off killed some of his men.
      • I don't think that's exactly right. The bad mooks were the narc squad, but in eps 24 and 25, the guys hunting are the Umibozu. Those guys are just military black ops — basically the military equivalent of Section Nine and they are working for the Prime Minister, not the Big Bad, with Aramaki's consent. Worse yet, the Prime Minister sets the whole thing up as a PR stunt to help him in the next elections, and Aramaki goes along with it. It's really not that different from the scam at the heart of season one - at least two Umibozu guys and three Taichkomas die in a battle where both sides are fighting for a lie, and it's frankly just luck that more people didn't die - and all so the PM can try to get a few more votes in the next election.
      • The Umibozu were stated to be Navy special forces. Given that the Big Bad was the former Navy Chief of Staff, their old boss, Aramaki wouldn't want to take any chances.
      • They were mentioned as semi-private contractors doing the government's dirty work. That is, anything they wouldn't want to be associated with officially. They were nasty people to the core. And they weren't sent by the Prime Minister, who just wanted to keep things down until the elections were over, and wasn't concerned for the Section 9 either way. Only the Big Bad (whose name I forget, since it was mentioned only a couple of times, and he was seen only once) had any vested interest in framing Section 9 for attempted coup, and sending people after them.
    • The way I see it, Aramaki didn't really have much of a choice. He argued against throwing his team to the wolves, the PM disagreed, so he gave them the only order he could: Stay Alive. The deaths of the cops is on the PM's hands, not Aramki's. Basically, the PM agreed to do what Aramaki wanted, but not till after the election season, and he had to try and take out Section 9 before the election season, so he was a bit of a dick. Kyabuki in 2nd GIG was a much more moralistic PM.
      • But even after Section 9 shoots up the Umibozu, blows up a civilian building (and after Batou kills two Umibozu agents!), the Umibozu still takes everyone alive. (Except the Major, but I can't really blame them for that. Frankly, I'm astonished they took Batou alive). Given that Aramaki was in on it, "Stay alive" was a pretty lousy instruction. In hindsight, "Put up the best fight you can without losing anyone or killing anyone on the other side, then turn yourselves in" would have saved the lives of three taichkomas and two Umibozu, and would have substantially reduced the chances of losing a non-taichkoma team member. You could say that Aramaki wasn't sure that the Umibozu would take prisoners, but if so (1) it was a bad call by Aramaki in hindsight and (2) since Aramaki was in on it, sort of inexcusable.
      • Hindsight is 20/20.
      • I thought the point of blowing up the building was so that they would not be able to find evidence and prevent the spread of the data seed. The Major ordered them to distribute the packages so the Big Bad could be taken down, and once done Ishkawa had the place go boom to stop anyone following the trail and attacking the receivers of the info. The building was also evacuated at the time and the only deaths caused were of the hunters.
    • To sum up; the Big Bad, who was the former head of the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force, sends the Umibozu in to eliminate Section Nine. Aramaki tries to get the PM to call off the raid, but the PM needs the Big Bad's political support to win the Lower House (House of Commons/Congress equivalent) elections. Things proceed as follows:
      • The PM allows the raid to go ahead because he will then appear to be a strong leader, and can use that as political capital, and after the elections are done, he won't need the Big Bad's political support. Aramaki has no time to transmit all of this to the Major, and needs to maintain plausible deniability by the PM, so he contacts her, disbands Section Nine and tells her to stay alive, trusting in all of their badass to be able to slip away from the Umibozu. Further, as the Umibozu previously reported to the Big Bad, Aramaki cannot take the chance that they've been issued kill orders.
      • The Major then preps the bodies in Section Nine's commo room and rigs the bomb - the idea being that the blast will cause the blank bodies to be unrecognizable (which happened), and hopefully fool the Umibozu into thinking they're dead (unfortunately, the Umibozu CO is Dangerously Genre Savvy and Properly Paranoid, and isn't fooled).
      • In the event that the Umibozu latch on to their plan, she has Pazu and Ishikawa carry data seeds to be spread out over the net, which is sucessful: although captured, Pazu and Ishikawa succeed in leaking the information. The bomb in Ishikawa's pachinko parlour is rigged so that the Umibozu operators cannot find the terminal where he's sending the data from and cut it off: when a bomb goes off, their first priority will be medical attention to their wounded, and Ishikawa plans on fleeing amidst the panicking crowd - and he nearly makes it away, only to be caught by the Umibozu CO.
      • In both cases with the bombs, the purpose of the bombs is to cause misdirection and aid in covering up something (Section Nine's escape, and data seed dispersal respectively). Umibozu operators are not deliberately targeted, but any casualties are a bonus and will draw away some of the opposition's focus.
      • As Togusa has recently been released from the hospital, and is physically the weakest member of the team, he's arrested by the PM's bodyguards and isolated from the goings on for his safety.
      • Also, given how the unresisting Sunflower Soceity members were all killed and framed as terrorists by the Narcotics Supression Squad, working on the Big Bad's orders, any assumptions of shoot to kill orders issued to the Umibozu would not be unreasonable.
  • Just a small one: How in the world does Kuze get his knife out of that sheath?
    • There's a button. A common safety feature in many knife sheats and pistol holsters.
  • What bugs me a bit is if the first and second movie have any real connection to the anime and third movie. According to the other wiki they are all on the same timeline, but some of the parts seem messed up. On the other hand, it could seem like the characters have grown older from the first movie to the anime and the third movie.
    • They aren't - Stand Alone Complex is a completely different story from the first two movies, with some notable changes made to the personalities of a few of the main characters, and Solid State Society isn't a third movie, but a movie continuation of Stand Alone Complex. What they do have in common, however, is the general world timeline of the Shirow-verse (WWIII happened in 1996, WWIV happened in 2020, the same countries are allied/merged together, etc.)
  • Why do the highways alternate between gridlock and absolutely no one?
    • Because animating individual 3d models for cars is expensive and time consuming. Presumably, its simpler to do when you're making a big block of vaguely car-shaped objects that don't move much.
  • Why does the Major not maintain her cloaking when she jumps out the window staring up at the enemies, allowing the enemy to get a good look at her face?
    • The obvious answer here is because she wanted them to see her face. I can't say why without some actual context to the question.
    • It is called Invisibility Flicker. Her invisibility was probably disrupted by the window breaking. Maybe it was the flying glass or a rush of wind, but for whatever reason we know that invisibility fails sometimes because we've seen many examples of it happening.
      • Two explanations. First, physical impacts can disrupt thermo-optical camouflage, as we see in Ep. 24 of SAC, when the Major has Ishikawa activate the sprinklers: the high pressure water streams disrupt the cloaking used by the Umibozu. Secondly, she's wanting to catch the hostage taker off guard; by calling him out and then jumping past him, he's surprised and disoriented, which gives Saito the window he needs to snipe him.
      • Actually, what makes sense is that by firing a gun she breaks the thermotic camouflage and also, she can't use thermotic camouflage on her eyes because she has to see as shown in the first movie when she wore the solid goggles and had the film covering her face to hide her breathing, etc.
  • Live editing of people's vision. It seems feasible given that it's basically super-high-speed photoshop and live video can already be edited in real-time (though with stuff that's been pre-rendered), but how do they manage to recreate the scenery behind that which they wish to edit out? When the Major posing as the Laughing Man was escorting Serano out of his house, his shadow follows his body in real time, right over the spot from the camera's perspective that was being edited over. It bugs me in that they should not be able to re-write video information with information that does not really exist from the viewers' perspective (i.e. the scenery being blocked by that which is edited out)
    • It probably wouldn't be like sending a false image to the viewer, but instead corrupting the viewer so that the viewer itself modifies its own incoming images. Assuming the viewer is complicit, it's not hard to imagine how it could be done. To make someone invisible, you can start by remembering the scenery that was in the background before it was blocked, then using your memory to replace the blocked scenery instead of showing the person. Shadows are harder, but not unrealistic, because they aren't hard at all to guess and fake. The real troublesome situation would be moving scenery, like a crowd of people or even a plant in a breeze, because getting perfect results would require a complete simulation of the background objects. Even so, perfection is hardly required, since it's pointless to be invisible if the person you are hiding from knows where you are, and if he doesn't know where you are then he would have to search the entire image for flaws, so a clever fudge would be enough for most cases where invisibility is needed and I think the characters of Ghost In The Shell include the top end of cleverness.
    • A better analogy than photoshop would be an illusion or magic trick. The viewer is tricked into believing they can't see something even though the physical input is still there. Even if the viewer knows they're being tricked, they still have to know exactly what to look for in order to see through the illusion.
  • I admittedly can't recall any specific situations where this would've been a game-changer for Section 9, but why don't they (or anyone else) have any full-natural personnel, even if only for temporary on-call duty? It would basically grant full No Sell Game Breaker abilities to all of the hacker shenanigans that crop up.
    • Because their agents would rebel. Everyone who can afford to have one has a cyberbrain. Not having one would be like not being able to read, but much worse. In order to get a skilled agent without a cyberbrain, you'd have to pay him so much that he'd be able to set up his own agency, and that agent wouldn't even have any of the abilities that a cyberbrain grants.
    • In the second manga, Man-Machine Interface there are such security personell in Poseidon Industrial, consisting of people who appear to have personal prejudice against cyberbrain augmentation.
    • As noted above, ghost hackers and similar are rare among the population (editing in real time was a sign of the Laughing Man's genius) so it's relatively rare. More importantly there is convenience, all communications (basically telepathy) and mission data require cyber-brains, and it would be expensive and less efficient to have form alternative systems. I agree that doesn't explain the lack of occasional naturals for support when dangerous hackers are involved though.
    • An organization that specializes in opposition of cyberterrorism has no need for an individual who has no access to cybercomm, no hacking abilities and no external memory device. The cons outweight the pros. A member who would be of absolutely no use in their main field of inquiry, and severely impaired combat abilities would be of little use in Section 9. And there is no point in taking a part-time employee for such task, both because their competence would also be impaired, and more importantly, no member of Section 9 has ever been hacked when they have been specifically prepared for such an occurrence.
  • Okay maybe I'm just missing the point here, but what was the connection between the original GITS manga and Man-Machine Interface? I've read both of them and honestly I can hardly see how they're in the same continuity, the same universe even. I'm as confused as I would have been if I had watched End of Evangelion without a plot synopsis... what relates the two? And does anybody have a good plot synopsis for Man-Machine Interface?
    • The main character of Man-Machine Interface, Motoko Aramaki, is the Major's "daughter", an artificially created individual, made from cloned tissue and cybernetics and given memories from her "mother", as well as people who were hijacked by the Puppeteer. She isn't the only one either, as others are also encountered during the story. The Major and Motoko Aramaki meet at a late point of the story, as well. As for the synopsis, making one would be tedious, since like the original manga, Man-Machine Interface contains several smaller stories loosely bound together. The closest thing to a main plotline revolves around the mysterious file left by the late Professor Rahampol, which proves to be blueprints for creating a species of sentient artificial life-forms. In the end both Motokos decide to cooperate in creation of this new life-form, and at least the Major fuses her consciousness with it, resulting in the surreal scenery seen in the epilogue. It's worth noting that the prologue and the epilogue happen back to back, both taking place after all the rest of the events in the book.
  • I'm a little unclear on who is causing what to happen during the climax of Innocence. For starters, who released the gynoids in the Locus Solus ship and caused them to go berserk - Motoko, Locus Solus, or Kim? It seems to be implied that Kim's death triggers a "latent virus" in the security chief's cyberbrain that releases the gynoids and loads their combat software (why do they have this in the first place?) - presumably as a countermeasure in case Locus Solus ever betrayed him? It's kind of unclear. It seems unpikely that LS would have done it themselves, since the LS scientists all seem to be surprised by the gynoids' sudden release and several of tgeir own security personnel end up dead as a result. If Motoko was responsible, that seems like a hell of a lot of overkill just to keep LS distracted. So I'm pretty sure it was Kim, but again, that entire sequence is confusing (awesome, but confusing).
    • Kim's cyberbrain is locked during the final sequence. Togusa uses him as a glorified firewall. It's ambigious, but it seems that Motoko releases the gynoids in order to get access to one of them, but this causes the "virus" that makes them go out of control to activate as well, and they all go in a rampage. It seems that the scenario is the result of several different actions coming together to an unplanned catastrophe. Mr. Folkerson programmed the gynoids to become free of their restraints and go crazy, so that the authorities would be called to investigate, and the children would be rescued, but he didn't account in the possibility that someone would activate them all during the said rescue. Motoko needed one to infiltrate the ship from the inside, but she had to take the risk and activate them all to do it.

Getter RoboHeadscratchers/Anime & MangaGhost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex

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