Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex - Solid State Society & Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045:
Stand Alone Complex Characters
Ghost in the Shell: Arise:
Ghost in the Shell: First Assault Online:
First Assault Online Characters
Ghost in the Shell:
Live-Action Movie Characters
Public Security Section 9
An anti-cyber-terrorism squad working under Japan's Ministry of Internal Affairs, operating out of Niihama. Officially Section 9 does not exist, which allows them to operate with a greater degree of autonomy. Which, given the number of borderline illegal actions they commit to safeguard Japan, is very helpful to them.
- 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.
- Badges and Dog Tags: Many of Section 9s operatives are former soldiers of the Japanese Self Defense Force.
- 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.
- The entire series has them in their gray ninja sneaking suits.
- No Such Agency: The section is not supposed to exist beyond the first season. They still continue to be so afterwards.
- 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.
- To Be Lawful or Good: They try to work within the law whenever they can, but given the amount of corruption in the Japanese government they will often wind up in situations where breaking the law is the only way to protect the public. They never hesitate.
Major Motoko Kusanagi
Voiced by: Atsuko Tanaka (Japanese), Mary Elizabeth McGlynn (English, TV Series), Alison Matthews (English, OVAs), Andrea Kwan (English, Animax Asia)
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 Heroine: The best there is in Section 9 at just about anything related to fighting.
- Ambiguously Bi: 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.
- Kurutan 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 Taiwanese 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.
- In the first episode of 2045, a trio of prostitutes look at her as a possible client while she's buying an apple from a local vendor. She does notice that they're trying to get her attention.
- 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: The unscrupulous variety
- An Arm and a Leg: The Major loses her left arm when fighting Gayle.
- Awesome McCoolname: 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.
- Badges and Dog Tags: Formerly with the JGSDF prior to joining Section 9, having done tours overseas.
- Badass Longcoat: The Major gets one in the opening credits of 2nd Gig to go along with her more modest dress for the sequel, but oddly, doesn't seem to wear it much in the show itself until the events of Solid State Society. She later ditches it near the end for her gray sneaking suit.
- 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.
- Brain in a Jar: "GRASS LABYRINTH" reveals that Motoko underwent an experimental procedure that allowed cyberization and full prosthetic conversions to become commonplace in society. For most of her life, her brain has been housed in the jar that is an artificial body. Her appearance is that of a popular mass-produced model, but her work in the government allows the body to have illegal modifications.
- 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.
- Cool Car: The Major herself has a green Ferrari F430 Solid State Society that she apparently modified herself. Her security mods are what tip Batou off that the car is hers, right before it gets wrecked during their fight with Ma Shaba's powered armor.
- 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 CO19 operator'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.
- Friends with Benefits: Seems to be the case with her relationship with Kurtan and Ran, although she's usually too busy to spend much time with them - clearly to Kurtan's frustration.
- 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 BSoD: Undergoes ones after diving into Kuze's cyberbrain. She gets better after a short while.
- Heroic RRoD: 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 Distracted by the Sexy: Not even the prospect of a threesome with Kurtan and Ran can keep her from Laughing Man research. She has a wistful expression when she sees they've fallen asleep waiting for her to finish.
- 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.
- 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 bionics, she's survived explosions and bullets.
- Technicolor Eyes: The Major has red eyes.
- Tomboy: Batou teasingly calls her "major macho" for acting ruthless and aggressive on missions, and generally masculine off-duty.
- 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.
- 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.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Batou shouts at her in Solid State Society when she waited until the last few second to let Togusa shoot his revolver after he got hacked by the Pupeteer.Batou: I can't believe that you would use Togusa as bait! Didn't you stop to think that it might put his family in their crosshairs?!
- 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 Blue 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 was offered more realistic sounding voice synthesizers several times in the past. He refused them all because they were 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 create a Grade A.
Voiced by: Akio Ohtsuka (Japanese), Richard Epcar (English, TV Series), David Kaye (English; OVAs), Russell Wait (English, Animax Asia)
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. Going by the Major's talk with Kuze in episode 26 of the 2nd gig, it may very well be mutual. Keeping that scene in mind, it's really more of a Will They or Won't They? that settled on the 'won't' side in a case of No Romantic Resolution.
- Apologetic Attacker: A variation happens when he fights a heavily armed Umbozu member. He apologises for using underhanded tactics, not for killing him.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: He's Kusanagi's lieutenant, and can kick as much ass as she can.
- Badges and Dog Tags: Formerly with the JGSDF prior to joining Section 9, having done tours overseas.
- The Big Guy: A giant muscled guy whose greatest asset is his sheer strength.
- Blood Knight: In the first two episodes if 2045, Batou is decidedly a bit more gung-ho about the Sustainable War. He comments that if people are so eager to die, then he happily volunteers his services to help them with that. He also mentions that he isn't a mercenary for the money, but because he can put his skills to use for what he enjoys.
- Cool Car:
- Dark and Troubled Past: Batou constantly blames himself for not being able to stop Marco's unit from conducting PROJECT SUNSET with his fellow Rangers when deployed in a PKO in South America.
- Dogged Nice Guy: To the Major, and of the Longtime Friends variety.
- 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.
- In a Single Bound: The ultimate example is in Solid State Society when Batou jumps off the top of a skyscraper just because it's the fastest way for him to chase after his target. Even though cyborgs have theoretically limitless strength and durability, Batou should not have been able to survive that.
- 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.
- Men Are Uncultured: Both subverted and played with, since Batou's interests range from classical philosophy to weight training and old cars.
- Number Two: To Kusanagi; he's generally the one that Section 9 defers to in combat when she's unavailable.
- 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.
Voiced by: Kōichi Yamadera (Japanese), Crispin Freeman (English, TV Series), Trevor Devall (English, OVAs), Darren Pleavin (English, Animax Asia)
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, although he discard it after halfway through the OVA.
- 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: The reason he was recruited into Section 9 is because of how incorruptible he is as a police officer.
- 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.
- On the flip-side, his revolver does allow him to reload and fire tracker bullets that semiautomatics cannot, which comes in useful when investigating a organ-selling case.
- 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.
- Eureka Moment: Often what cracks cases and gets the team going again. He once has two in five on-screen minutes.
- 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.
- Forgotten Fallen Friend: Yamaguchi.
- Hand Cannon: His 2008M Mateba Autorevolver.
- Happily Married: He's the only member of Section Nine shown with a happy family. Being a family man actually gives him a uniqueintrospective to working with Section 9. However, she divorces him by the time of 2045 due to him becoming Married to the Job.
- Heroic Suicide: In Solid State Society, his body is hacked (except for his arm) and he is given the choice: Have his daughter brainwashed and kidnapped, or kill himself. He choses the latter, but The Major saved him by grabbing his arm at the last second.
- 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.
- Married to the Job: By 2045, his wife divorced him and took the kids because of his dedication to a dangerous line of work.
- Morality Pet: 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.
- Partially legitimized in an episode where he uses his revolver to fire a tracker bullet at a car; quickly loading a single round would be more difficult with a conventional semiautomatic.
- Averted in Solid State Society. He primarily uses Seburo M5 semiautomatic pistol as his primary weapon. Though he still has his Mateba as a backup.
- 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.
- 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 vs. 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; TV Series), Russell Roberts (English; OVAs), Rick Thomas (English, Animax Asia)
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".
- 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.
- Badges and Dog Tags: Formerly with the JGSDF prior to joining Section 9.
- Big Good: The leader of Public Security Section 9 and also the only Reasonable Authority Figure in the setting. He's the one sending Motoko and the others into the field to protect the populace and uphold justice.
- The Chessmaster: He's typically coming up with the plans used by Section 9, and whatever ways they bend the laws.
- Crazy-Prepared: Towards the end of Second Gig when he's detained along with Togusa and Proto. He anticipated that Gouda would attempt that, and that his men would search down Proto and Togusa for fireams, so he kept a concealed gun himself, knowing they wouldn't suspect a man with a desk job.
- 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.
- Long-Lost Relative: His brother, Yosuke.
- 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.
- Non-Action Guy: He's an old man whose expertise is planning, not combat. Even when he hid a gun under his clothes, he was doing it so Togusa could use it.
- 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. Moreover, while he will bend the law to get what he needs to be done, he still sticks to his morals, and is a generally all around good guy. This is made particularly clear in moments such as in Season 1 of SAC, when he acknowledges the sacrifice of the SIU detective Yamaguchi, who was the first to become suspicious of the Laughing Man Case.
- 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; TV Series), John Payne (English; OVAs)
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: The only person on the team to sport one.
- Badges and Dog Tags: Formerly with the JGSDF prior to joining Section 9, having done tours overseas.
- Hollywood Hacking: Quite possibly the best on the team, at least after the Major.
- Mission Control: Ishikawa does not get directly involved in the fighting, which makes his frequent injuries even stranger.
- 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 yoke.
- Voice with an Internet Connection: Sometimes.
- Wetware CPU: He owns a pachinko parlor on the side. Whenever he needs extra processing power, he links up his computers to the patrons' cyberbrains while switching the pachinko machines to start hitting frequent jackpots as payment for the unwitting assistance.
Voiced by: Toru Okawa (Japanese), Dave Wittenberg (English; TV Series), Brian Drummond (English; OVAs)
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.
- Defeat Means Friendship: According to him, he lost a sniper duel against the Major and she immediately said (in essence) "you work for me now". 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.
- Private Military Contractor: Started his career by joining the Red Bianco in Mexico.
- Rugged Scar: Has a scar and an eyepatch over his cybernetic left eye. We learn in one episode of the second series that he gained both in his first encounter with the Major in Mexico During the War (she shot it out in a Sniper Duel).
- The Southpaw: Until the Major put a knife through it.
- 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; TV Series), Mark Gibbon (English; OVAs)
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.
- Badges and Dog Tags: Formerly with the JGSDF prior to joining Section 9.
- 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; TV Series), John Murphy (English; OVAs)
The backup guy. Whether it's espionage or assassination, he's the guy to send in quietly. Boasts that he "never sleeps with the same woman twice".
- Boxed Crook: It's hinted that he's a former yakuza wakashu 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.
- A Day in the Limelight: Had about as much "development" as Borma in the first season, then is suddenly thrown into the spotlight when he's framed for assassinating Kuze's face-sculptor.
- 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.
Voiced by: Masahiro Ogata (Japanese), Erik Davies (English, TV Series)
One of the two latest S9 recruits during the events of 2nd GIG, he use to work in the JGSDF working in intelligence.
- Badges and Dog Tags: Formerly with the JGSDF prior to joining Section 9.
- Hell-Bent for Leather: Starts to wear a black leather jacket in the SSS movie.
- Put on a Bus: The recruitment program was put on hold by Aramaki after fellow recruit Yano gets killed on his first mission due to the growing Dejima crisis and to ensure his safety in case Ghoda would come gunning for him. He only becomes an official member of Section 9 afterwards.
- Those Two Guys: Solid State Society suggests that he worked with Togusa prior to Batou moving up to assist Togusa in investigating the Puppeteer case.
The second S9 recruit during the events of 2nd GIG.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: After Yano is recruited, he doesn't last long after he got killed during an anti-IE operation.
Voiced by: Ooki Sugiyama (Japanese), Richard Miro (English; TV Series), Andrew Toth (English; OVAs)
Originally one of the Tachikomas maintenance technicians, Proto gets a promotion to generic New Meat position, putting him right below Togusa in authority.
- Bishōnen: His long hair and soft features make Proto look feminine.
- Calling the Old Man Out: Proto calls out on Aramaki for allowing a secret raid on Ka Rum's island estate in Solid State Society.Proto: "Is that wise, sir? I don't believe she gave you authorization for this."Aramaki: "If no one finds out that I'm the person who opened up Pandora's Box, then I didn't break my word to the Prime Minister."
- Curtains Match the Windows: His hair and eyes are the same odd shade of beige.
- First Day from Hell: His first real mission is the climax of the Individual Eleven arc.
- Meaningful Name: He's called Proto because he's a prototype bioroid.
- Ridiculously Human Robot: He's a a "bioroid", a type of android with biological parts, a fact which surprises Togusa.
- The Stoic: Proto never seems to be really bothered by anything, possibly to do his android nature.
Voiced by: Megumi Han (Japanese), Cherami Leigh (English)
A new recruit in charge of keeping an eye on the Tachikomas.
- Cloud Cuckoolanders Minder: Her official job is to supervise the Tachikomas, who, as noted below, tend to act like oddly philosophical, hyperactive, heavily-armed puppies.
- Meganekko: Wears glasses.
- Stalker with a Crush: She has it bad for Batou, having read everything about him before the team was even reformed.
- Teen Genius: Noted to have entered MIT at 15 years old and graduated with a doctorate.
- You Gotta Have Pink Hair: As pink as they come. Purin is the second major character (the other being the Major herself) of the entire franchise to show any significant stylization of artificial hair colors. The Major's purple hair is a stylized choice of her prosthetic bodies.
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. In the OVAs there are Nicole Bouma, Kelly Metzger, Tabitha St. Germain, Cathy Weseluck, and Janyse Jaud. Sarah Hauser voices them in the Animax Asia dub.
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: Subverted to Benevolent A.I.. 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. However, 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, forcing Motoko to admit that not trusting them was a mistake: rather than rebelling, they developed the capacity for self-sacrifice. She brings them back for season 2 and even removes a Restraining Bolt on their programming to allow them to individualize further.
- Alien Blood: They have oil coursing through their bodies, it is always presented as the yellow fluid that motor oil looks like before becoming contaminated though usage in combustion engines.
- 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.
- Badass Bookworm: One of the Tachikomas has a habit of reading books and has a more cultured and refined-sounding voice and personality as a result.
- Because You Were Nice to Me: The reason behind their Undying Loyalty to Batou-san.
- Benevolent A.I.: The sweetest little killing machines you will ever meet in your life. They're kind of like the team's equivalent of a police dog: kind and loyally protective towards the team and civilians, but ferocious to anybody shooting at them.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Including the one who escapes and rescues Miki, giving a stern lecture to the police while it's at it.
- Big Damn Heroes: The last three who are still outside the lab arrive to save Batou in the finale of the first season.
- 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.
- Genius Bruiser: Being machines, they are very strong. As the series goes on the demonstrate increasingly intelligence.
- 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.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: For their final Heroic Sacrifice, they direct the satellite that houses their AIs into an ICBM, from orbit. However, they were firing every satellite they could take over. It was pure coincidence that it was that one that hit the missile.
- Informed Flaw: They cannot listen in on the conversations people have through their neural com-links unless given access. This allowed Major Kusanagi to fabricate a double-talk conversation with Batou- a phony spoken one overlaid on top of a digital discussion that the Tachikomas could not possibly be privy to.
- To elaborate further, the things the two said through their lip movements did not match what they were saying on the inside, and the Major took to doing this and asking Batou to do the same because she noticed a camouflaged Tachikoma eavesdropping and trying to read their lips, as the whole lot of them were worried they were being sent back to the lab. The eavesdropper thought Batou was being chewed out for harassing rookies, when in reality, he was participating in a covert discussion of whether or not the Tachikomas needed be pulled from duty for gaining individuality. It appeased the Tachikoma, who told the rest what it understood from the fake conversation, which eased their fears and suspicions, none the wiser to the real one.
- 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.
- 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.
- Made of Iron: They can take bursts of fully-automatic gunfire and still get up and fight.
- Milking the Giant Cow: Since they don't have faces this is the best way they can emote.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: They noticed the Major was cottoning on to their personality development and tried (rather poorly) to pretend they had reverted back to dullard robotic personas. The others of Section 9 just thought this was one of their many antics at work.
- 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.
- Spanner in the Works: Their unpredictability is a huge factor in stopping Gouda's plan.
- 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.
- 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.
- Word Salad: Zigzagged. As machines, they don't really know how to speak in terms that humans would be able to understand (or keep up with), and their conversations fly all over the place. The things they say can range from simple childlike perkiness and silly antics to whole tracts of highly intellectual and thought-provoking commentary.
- Particularly of note is when they start flinging out tons of sophisticated ideological jargon, social commentary, and even philosophy in the episode where they discuss their self-awareness that would make an ordinary human's head spin trying to process it all. However, this points back to the fact their intelligence has skyrocketed and they are becoming less driven by robotic programming that has unchanging parameters and developing their own unique and ever-changing personalities, aka Ghosts. Their unpredictability later raises deep concerns that their obedience may falter as they develop a sense of desire and independence.
- The Worf Effect: They tend to end up this way to demonstrate how dangerous a piece of dedicated military hardware is.
A.I. Think-Tanks that were commissioned by Section 9 to replace the Tachikomas officially in service. They're seen in the end of 2nd GIG and most of Solid State Society.
Public Security Section 6
Voiced by: Tessho Genda (Japanese), Michael Gregory (English)
The head of Section 6, he's known to have links with Munei in the Solid State Society OVA.
- Da Chief: Nakamura's the head of Section 6.
Voiced by: Kenjiro Tsuda (Japanese), Keith Silverstein (English)
A mercenary recruited by Major for her GHOST mercenary team.
- Fake Memories: The Major wipes his memory after Aramaki shows up to recruit them back into Section 9, but leaves behind a coded copy of his real memories in his payment file just in case she has need of his services.
- Named by Democracy: After his introduction, the Major names him "Omoshiro", which roughly translates to "clown", due to his bragging about his name. Ishikawa and Batou agree on that name, despite his confusion about what it means. The dub keeps this as Omoshiro to match the lip movements of the animation.
- New Meat: Compared to Section 9, anyway. He's more of a generic merc compared to their specialized experience with cyberwarfare, which unfortunately makes him a liability in the mission to capture Patrick Huge, since he's the only member of the team that can't resist Huge hacking his motor functions.
- Private Military Contractors: The only member who's known to be a full-time merc.
- Token Minority: African-American operator of GHOST.
The Laughing Man
Voiced by: Kōichi Yamadera (Japanese), Steve Blum (English; TV Series), Michael Adamthwaite (English; OVAs)
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: The Laughing Man.
- Anti-Villain: He wanted to expose Serano and the truth behind The Conspiracy for the sake of truth and justice to those affected by it. Indeed, he and Serano are on friendly terms, and he's really more of an Anti-Hero by not at all intending to be responsible for all the hell that ensued in his wake, to the point of helping the Major in his own way.
- Badass Longcoat: He's a master hacker who conceals his body with a long blue parka.
- 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.
- Big Damn Heroes: When a cover-up agent attempts to assassinate The Major while she's getting a body swap after a previous battle with the agent's comrades, Aoi comes in person to remove the would-be fatal needles in her brain, uploads his memories to Motoko's brain to give her all the info she needs, and lets her handle the rest. Which she summarily does.
- 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.
- Color-Coded Characters: He's associated with blue. His parka and hat are both deep blue, and his white "laughing man" logo has blue trim. His alias, "Aoi", is the Japanese word for blue.
- Every One Calls Him Barkeep: His real name is never stated.
- 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.
- Karma Houdini: A Subverted Trope, since he was just one young man intending to fight corruption and wasn't personally involved with much else than the initial kidnapping of Serano; he had little karma to serve and even saves The Major personally alongside giving her his memories to make up for his mistakes nonetheless.
- 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.
- 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.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: His kidnapping of Serano, which he was doing to expose corporate corruption, ending spawning numerous imitators and allowed The Conspiracy to manipulate those involved even more extensively.
- 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.
- "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: A super hacker.
- 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: He wanted to fight corruption. In the end he didn't do anything too excessive, and didn't even take a single life, but his actions did cause a massive Nice Job Breaking It, Hero! as both imitators and The Conspiracy capitalized on his hastiness.
Voiced by: Ken Narita (Japanese), Daran Norris (English; TV Series), Michael Kopsa (English; OVAs)
An ex-terrorist when he was young by joining left-wing groups prior to entering university, he became known as a programmer for Serrano Genomic's Japanese branch.
- Asshole Victim: Nobody really cared if Fukami killed him since he was in on the conspiracy.
- Far East Asian Terrorists: Nanao used to be a left-wing terrorist when he was young.
- Man Behind the Man: Of the fake assassination attempt on the National Police Agency Superintendent General, who was also a part of the Government Conspiracy.
- Reality Ensues: Being outed for being involved in underground left-wing groups gave him a hard time in finding another job. Truth in Television for professed communists/communist sympathizers in Asia generally have a hard time finding jobs if and when they renounce violent beliefs and if they do, it's a menial job that's enough for them to having some money to save up on.
- The Scapegoat: The conspiracy planned to have him killed by Fukami so that they can easily bury the case.
Laughing Man Arc
An ex-Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Forces officer who joined politics after leaving his position of Chief of Staff, MSDF behind, he was the head of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare before he became Secretary-General of the ruling party in the first season.
- Big Bad: Of the first season.
- Cop Killer: Yakushima was the one who made arrangements to go after public prosecutors and police officers who try to nail him for his involvement in the Laughing Man case/embezzlement of public funds.
- Non-Action Big Bad: He mobilizes corrupt cops from the Narcotics Suppression Squad and the Umibozu and other assets instead of confronting Section 9 head on.
- Villain with Good Publicity: A well-known career JMSDF officer, the head of the MHLW and the head of the ruling party.
Voiced by: Ryo Kamon (Japanese), Christopher Carroll (English; TV Series), Ross Douglas (English; OVAs)
A high-ranking MPD officer who once investigated the Laughing Man's activities, he's due to retire years after the case went cold. Daido's also involved in the Laughing Man frameup/conspiracy in the first season.
- Dirty Cop: Daido's known to receive kickbacks from Serrano Genomics' Japanese office.
- Fallen Hero: By the time the show starts, Daido is reported to be accepting bribes.
- Mole in Charge: Heads the MPD and directs detectives to investigate the LM's activities.
- Small Role, Big Impact: The leaks done by S9 that he was going to retire and live in the Netherlands gave the unit a solid look into a potential conspiracy in the rank of the MPD.
- Villain with Good Publicity: Daido's a well-known officer who led the LM case prior to S9 being formally raised by the government.
- Walking Spoiler: The plot to target Daido ultimately would lead to the Laughing Man arc.
Voiced by: Hiroshi Yanaka (Japanese), Jamieson Price (English)
An ex-police officer who went to the private sector acting as Serano's close protection officer, he's acting on order from Yakushima's group in the first season.
Individual Eleven arc
Voiced by: Rikiya Koyama (Japanese), Kirk Thornton (English; TV Series), John Murphy (English; OVAs)
Member of the Individual Eleven terrorist group, Kuze's first major action upon his introduction into the series is an attempt at the Prime Minister'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 in mechanized infantry ops. He deserted a day or so before Kuze's platoon was due to return back to Japan.
- Anti-Villain: His goals are helping refugees who have problems with the Japanese government, whom are also the targets of Gouda's Evil Plan. In more black and white story he'd be the hero.
- Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence: Implied to have successfully uploaded his ghost to the internet, escaping an assassination by Gouda. In any case, his physical body is empty.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Leads an army of refugees and due to his cyborg body and military experience is easily the best fighter among them.
- Big Bad Wannabe: He comes close to being a Big Bad Ensemble, but in the end he proves just an Unwitting Pawn for Gouda even though he broke free from his virus. In fact he even needs Section 9 to save him from Gouda's plan.
- The Chessmaster: Organizes the refugees into an army
- Dark Messiah: To the refugees, he's a savior. To Section 9, he's a dangerous terrorist.
- Elites Are More Glamorous: He was in a mechanized infantry unit of the JGSDF and saw combat against ex-KPA soldiers who were targeting North Korean refugees trying to seek asylum in China.
- Far East Asian Terrorists: As a member of 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.
- Heel Realization: Just before the Individual Eleven arrive at their destination for the mass suicide plot, he requests to borrow a copy of the manifesto since he apparently misplaced it. When the other ten members all claim they forgot their copies, he quickly twigs onto the fact that it doesn't even exist. Not long after he breaks free of the virus and refuses to commit suicide.
- Implacable Man: Thanks to his high-quality cyborg body designed specifically for endurance in combat. It's operating past its lifespan means it's pain receptors no longer function so he doesn't feel pain.
- 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.
- Not So Different: He is very similar to the Major.
- They're both former soldiers who served in elite units, they're both highly skilled at hacking and other forms of technology, both possess fully cybernetic bodies and they both survived a plane crash which resulted in them going full cyborg.
- 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.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: It's never really explored, but it was said that most (if not all) of the soldiers in Kuze's old army unit suffered from PTSD after their first (and last) firefight. It may very well be something he struggled with, but he doesn't seem to exhibit any signs of trauma at this point in his life.
- Übermensch: Could be read as this, with Gouda as his Last Man.
- Unwitting Pawn: To Gouda. His revolution with the refugees was all part of Gouda's Evil Plan, and without Section 9's interference, he and all of them would have been killed in a nuclear strike.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: His ultimate goal is to turn the refugee district of Dejima into an autonomous zone. He wants to turn it into its own country to be acknowledged world-wide. While he would rather not do it if it could be helped, his methods for accomplishing that goal involves stealing plutonium and secretly siphoning hidden amounts of money from the general populace in order to fund the war chest, if it comes down to it.
Voiced by: Ken Nishida (Japanese), John Snyder (English; TV Series), French Tickner (English; OVAs)
Head of data manipulation within the Cabinet Intelligence Service. An extremely shady character who quickly draws the suspicion and dislike of Section 9.
- 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.
- Beta Test Baddie: His sole motivation for everything is his inferiority complex.
- 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.
- The Comically Serious: Gouda is always a serious man, his subtle Smug Snake tendencies aside, but he screams almost the entire way down when forced to do an airdrop with Batou.
- 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.
- Hate Sink: Kazundo Gouda, the head of the Japanese Cabinet Intelligence Service and the mastermind behind the Individual Eleven, is a truly loathsome man. Despite his status as a very powerful bureaucrat, Gouda desires even greater power and will stop to any moral low to gain it. Devoid of charisma or empathy, Gouda acts rude and condescending to his peers, manipulates both the government and the refugees for his own ends, and directly causes multiple mass murders and a coup attempt just to satiate his ego. Even before the full scale of his atrocities are revealed, the members of Section 9 instantly dislike and distrust him, with Batou taking great pleasure in making Gouda scream in terror by grabbing him while jumping from a helicopter. Once Gouda's crimes are revealed, Section 9 are repulsed by his actions and become openly opposed to him.
- Inferiority Superiority Complex: 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. Appropriately, what brings him down is written acknowledgement of his abilities from the Prime Minister, which allowed Section 9 to use lethal force in preventing his defection to the Americans.
- 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: Has one eye different than the other.
- 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.
- No Respect Guy: Spent years as a highly competent yet anonymous bureaucrat, who never got any credit for his skill because he never stood out from the crowd.
- Obviously Evil: With the scars, the smugness and the attitude, you could see this from miles away.
- Oh, Crap!: Has a brief moment of this when he's told that the Prime Minister's written around his Diplomatic Immunity to kill him if he doesn't surrender. Shortly thereafter, his accompaniment tries to assure him it's a bluff; if he had taken the warning to heart instead of agreeing on the bluff, he probably wouldn't have gotten his head blown off his shoulders.
- 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. So much so that when he was mutilated in an accident, he chose to stay that way so people would remember him.
- Unexpected Virgin: He's a deeply insecure virgin himself, and has a bit of a complex about it. 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.
- You Wouldn't Shoot Me: Believes that he has a form of diplomatic immunity and that Section 9 is bluffing when they threaten to shoot him if he doesn't surrender. He was very wrong.
Solid State Society arc
Voiced by: Yuya Uchida (Japanese), Christopher Corey Smith (English)
The main villain of the Solid State Society. The Puppeteer is a mysterious hacker linked with multiple cases of missing children that Section 9 suspects has a connection with a string of suicides they are investigating. Note that despite the name he has no connection with The Puppet Master from the Ghost in the Shell movie, except perhaps as a Mythology Gag.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: Along with its boss Munei Ito.
- Enemy Without: Claims to be the Major's subconscious given a will of its own. Though he could also be a gestalt of the subconscious of multiple people, mostly senior citizens, with the Major's subconscious acting as the hub. They all still fit into the trope.
- Foreshadowing: An unnamed salaryman walks past the Major as she steps out of the elevator leading to her safehouse. It's only later when we see him again during Munei's arrest that he's identified as the Puppeteer, which clues us in on the fact that he's the Major's subconcscious, or at least it's part of him. The latter bit is never actually made clear.
- Mind Hive: The Puppeteer is made up of several minds from the net, including the Major's.
- Posthumous Character: The originally creator of the Solid State Society, Tateaki Koshiki, died two years ago.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Has unusually purple hair like the Major.
Voiced by: Keisuke Ishida (Japanese), Kyle Hebert (English)
Another antagonist in Solid State Society. He's a known politician in the Diet, who wants to create a new class in Japan where the ruling class is made up of pure, racial Japanese nationals. Munei has connections to Public Security Section 6 aka the Treaty Review Council and the Seok Republic holdouts.
The leader of the Seok Republic, his dictatorial rule came to an end when his government was forced to disband, forcing his officials to seek asylum in various countries in the Asia-Pacific region. In Solid State Society, he sought asylum in Japan.
- Expy: Ka Rum is possibly one for Asian dictators like Ferdinand Marcos, Suharto and YMMV, Lee Kuan Yew.
- Far East Asian Terrorists: By the time SSS started, he was in the midst of conducting a terror attack with a micromachine virus.
- Villain of Another Story: His time as dictator of the Seok Republic.
Voiced by: Masuo Amada (Japanese), Joe Romersa (English)
The son of Ka Rum and a known officer in the Seok military with the rank of Colonel.
- Asshole Victim: The Niihama Airport incident ended with him killing himself due to being hacked by the Puppeteer.
- Far East Asian Terrorists: Was on the conspiracy to launch a micromachine virus attack in Japan.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: The start of SSS implied that he wanted to get out of Japan and abort the terror attack with Ka Rum due to the Puppeteer targeting him.
Voiced by: Mantaro Iwao (Japanese), Yutaka Maseba (English)
A Cold Sniper who served in the Seok military, he sought asylum in mainland China after the republic collapsed.
- Cold Sniper: Said to be one by reputation in the Seok Republic.
- Elites Are More Glamorous: Served as an officer in the Seok military's Praetorian Guard in its glory days.
- Expy: He has a Hawkeye program in his eye like Saito.
- Far East Asian Terrorists: Like all the other Seok officials, Raj has fallen in line with them.
- Sniper Duel: Raj faces off against Saito while trying to assassinate Munei. Not knowing that he's got intel to whack him.
- Spell My Name with an "S": His surname's sometimes known as Hughe.
- The Man Behind the Man: Reponsible for providing weapons and armored military vehicles to the Raiders in California.
- Villain with Good Publicity: Known to be a tech visionary during the Sustainable Wars. Smith tells GHOST that he's one of the many posthumans responsible for instigating the war.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Appears to be a brain-damaged care patient endlessly tossing a paper airplane around and spitting out nonsense code into his cell's air-gapped computer. But the Major notes that he has to be calculating a ridiculous number of variables for his paper airplane to keep landing back in his hand, and the code turns out to be a virus .
- Big Eater: All posthumans are said to develop a heightened appetite during their transformation, but he's actually shown wolfing down a huge plate of sushi.
- Dead Person Conversation: Flashbacks to him at school show him talking to a young girl nobody else can see who calls him "big brother", she turns out to be his cousin, who got killed by a crooked cop when they stumbled upon him disposing of a body.
- Enfant Terrible: A 14-year-old posthuman revolutionary who wrote an app for killing people by DDOS.
- Expy: Takashi in the 2045 counterpart of the Laughing Man, with the Think Pol program he made. It resulted in other hackers like Shinya and Koji using it to dispense vigilante justice against the corrupt and powerful. The way he created an app at a young age for his own amusement that became a tool of violent reactionaries also has parallels with Moot, founder of 4chan.
Prime Minister Yoko Kayabuki
Voiced by: Yoshiko Sakakibara (Japanese), Barbara Goodson (English; TV Series), Ellen Kennedy (English; OVAs)
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).
- 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.
- Distressed Damsel: Has to be rescued by Section 9 twice.
- The Dog Bites Back: Was arrested by her own cabinet and set up to take the fall for the war with the refugees. When Togusa rescues her, she takes the chance to some payback on her manipulators and has them arrested, or killed in Gouda's case.
- Heroic BSoD: 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.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: 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 forcing the party's leadership to resign.
- No Party Given: Her political affiliation are unknown. But since Chief Cabinet Secretary Takakura is a known Neo-Conservative with pro-West views, it's possible to suggest that she's with the Liberal Democratic Party or a future offshoot.
- Puppet King: Was selected for her position as a public face while her cabinet did all the decisions and was planned to take the fall the war with the refugees. Gradually she grows out of it.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Implied to generally be this and tries to act an as aid to Section 9, but what action she can take is limited by manipulations of her cabinet.
- Took a Level in Badass: Manages to gradually become a more active leader as she's called to aid Section 9 throughout the season and in the finale it's her authority that allows them to kill Gouda.
- What the Hell, Hero?: The public didn't take too kindly on her cabinet allowing Ka Rum to seek refuge in Japan since he made terror threats in the past.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Takakura
Voiced by: Yoshinori Muto (Japanese), Eddie Jones (eps 31, 33 & 42), Bill Bassett (eps 49 & 52) (English; TV Series), Ken Kramer (English; OVAs)
- Mole in Charge: He work to instigate the refugee crisis in the latter part of 2nd GIG alongside his fellow Neo-Conservatives.
- No Party Given: He has no known political party affiliations, but 2nd GIG mentions that he's a Neo-Conservative by faction and views. It's possible that he's with the Liberal Democratic Party or a future offshoot of it.
- Villain with Good Publicity: A well-known politician in Kayabuki's cabinet.
Prime Minister Chris Tate Otomo
The only Prime Minister in Japanese politics who is of American heritage, he's responsible for secretly trying to reestablish Section 9 in part because of the American Empire's wishes to get into his good grace. Was formerly a serving ambassador from the American Empire.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: His presence in 2045 is one for foreign-born politicians in Japan, especially with the likes of Marutei Tsurunen when his election to the Diet brought up questions on whether someone who is a naturalized Japanese person can be prime minister one day.
- Phenotype Stereotype: The American-born current Prime Minister has blonde hair.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Tate was willing to listen to Aramaki's suggestion to help him get Section 9 back to full manpower after the events of Solid State Society.
- Zero-Approval Gambit: He makes himself look like a corrupt politician in order to provoke the posthumans into attacking him so that Section 9 can capture them.
Japanese Self-Defense Forces
Voiced by: Kazuya Tatekabe (Japanese), Kevin Seymour (English; TV Series)
An ex-JGSDF officer with the rank of Colonel, he was sentenced to jail for corruption during his time as an officer. He's known as the Red Baron.
- So Proud of You: In "Solid State Society" Aramaki goes to visit a mentor in hospital. It's not a dignified sight — his mentor is dying alone and in pain, rambling incoherently, with only his Sex Bots to tend him. When Aramaki goes to leave however, the mentor appears to mistake Aramaki for his son and says, "I'm glad an old fool like me sired a genius like you."
Voiced by: Taimei Suzuki (Japanese), Michael Forest (English)
A JGSDF officer with the rank of Colonel, he's involved in GSDF-led intelligence operations. He knowns Aramaki from way back when they studied together at the National Defense Academy.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Kubota's willing to listen to Aramaki if it helps resolve a case without getting a lot of casualties.
American Empire Central Intelligence Agency
Suzuki Sato and Tanaka Watanabe
Voiced by: Atsushi Goto (Sato), Mitsuru Ogata (Watanabe) (Japanese), Kirk Thornton (Sato), Joey Camen (Watanabe) (English)
The two Japanese-American CIA agents Section 9 tangle with.
- But Not Too Foreign: They're Japanese-Americans.
- Hate Sink: Despite their brief screentime, CIA agents Suzuki Sato and Tanaka Watanabe stand out as particularly detestable. They manipulate Section 9 in an attempt to cover up a brutal war crime without any moral qualms or empathy and later attempt to help Kazundo Gohda, who has caused multiple murders and atrocities, defect and evade justice for his crimes. Once the true nature of the agents emerges, everyone in Section 9 is disgusted at them, with Batou punching Sato in rage and later insulting Watanabe the next time they meet.
- He Knows Too Much: Their motivation in having Marco Amoretti killed is to cover-up a brutal covert operation in South America that Amoretti participated in.
- Lack of Empathy: Neither agent show any moral qualms about their work or empathy towards the people killed as a result of Amorettis past and present crimes. When confronted about the South America operation, they refuse to even acknowledge it. When a surviving victim of Amoretti is rescued and in critial condition, Togusa and Batou express sympathy at her suffering. In contrast, Sato brushes it off, merely saying that skin regeneration has become advanced. Batou does not take this well.
- The Man Behind the Man: They're responsible for trying to manipulate Section 9 (especially Batou) to kill Marco Amoretti.
- They're also responsible for arranging Gouda's defection at the end of 2nd GIG. And they killed Kuze with a micromachine virus.
- Manipulative Bastard: Sato and Watanabe manipulate Section 9 in an attempt to cover up a past war crime committed by the American Empire.
- No Name Given: Their names are obviously pseudonyms, with both having names composed entirely of surnames.
American Empire National Security Agency
- Mythology Gag: Her interaction with Aramaki on a helipad is one from the 1995 manga where he spoke to a Russian agent next to a chopper.
Voiced by: Osamu Saka (Japanese), William Frederick Knight (English)
Daisuke's twin brother, the two were not in contact for some time before the events of the SAC world. He was reported to be last seen living in Dejima.
- Big Damn Heroes: Was seen in the last episodes of 2nd GIG helping the refugees leave Dejima after they got word that an airstrike was coming.
- Expy: An in-universe trope with his twin brother. Daisuke has the Major for his main contact and advisor back from her days in the JGSDF. Yousuke has his with Kuze, who had served in the JGSDF prior to his desertion.
Voiced by: Ayako Ito (Japanese), Julie Ann Taylor (English)
A close friend of Motoko's and Kurutan's roommate.
- Ambiguously Gay: She and Kurutan are live together, and sleep in the same bed. Dialogue implies that Motoko joins them for threesomes...but not as often as they'd like.
Voiced by: Yuko Sumimoto (Japanese), Amanda Winn-Lee (English, TV Series), Saffron Henderson (English, OVAs)
A close friend of Motoko's and Ran's roommate who works as a nurse. She asks for Section 9's help over a young girl's heart transplant when it turns out the heart was given without consent of the owner's parents.
- Ambiguously Gay: She and Ran live together, and sleep in the same bed. Dialogue implies that Motoko joins them for threesomes...but not as often as they'd like.
Dr. Hisashi Imakurusu
Voiced by: Toru Shinagawa (Japanese), Paul St. Peter (English; TV Series), Alec Willows (English; OVAs)
A known medical doctor in the field of cybermedicine, he's known for being an anti-Murai vaccine advocate in his working days. However, he's secretly taking it to counter the cyberbrain sclerosis that's been with him ever since.
- Hypocrite: Publicly known to be in a committee that did not approve the Murai vaccine as a suitable means of treatment. He covertly took it after being diagoned with cyberbrain schleroris during the 1st season.
Voiced by: Toshihiko Nakajima (Japanese), John Rubinstein (English; TV Series), Howard Siegal (English; OVAs)
The CEO of Serano Genomics, he was the known target of the Laughing Man back in 2024.