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  • How exactly did the Individual Eleven kill each other?
    • Stand two people across from each other, and give them like a yardstick each or something long (NOT a sword) and ask them to "cut each other's head off" at the same time. If both slash right-to-left, then its physically impossible to get a clean slice all the way through on both people because either your arms or swords will bump into each other. Yet, somehow, during the cutaway, the IE bent the laws of physics and matter to simultaneously chop each other's heads off.
      • People have elbows. If they hold their arms bent while slicing, the blades don't cross paths until after their heads have come off, or actually move away from each other if they use a backhand slice and start with their swords touching. For the latter, building up enough speed to cut cleanly can be attributed to cyborg muscles.
      • The MPD files on those later IE guys have them pegged to be ex-police officers and ex-JSDF officers/enlisted personnel with at least a couple of them being career mercenaries, so it's not reasonable that they'd have cyberized limbs to help improve their speed and movement.
  • In the final episode why do the Tachikomas have to sacrifice themselves in order to intercept the nuke? They were ordered by the Major to make room for several million people, but they couldn't move their own A.I.s to a server that isn't about to be turned into a gaseous chunk of metal? Even accepting the possible counterargument that they aren't authorised to move their own files, why not ask any of the humans of section 9 to give them authorisation? Plot-Induced Stupidity combined with Rule of Drama?
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    • There is a scene were they appear to do just that. there's a server saying Tachikoma's memory or something. Considering solid state society this seems to have worked
      • It says "Tachikoma All Memory". They used some of the space they made for the refugees, to save their own memory and AI's.
    • The Tachikomas were sending every satellite they can take control of in an attempt to stop the nuke. The fact that the one that contained their A.I.s was the one that destroyed the nuke was just a coincidence. However, they knew the situation was so dire that they couldn't just move onto another satellite just to save themselves, and once they started, there was no stopping it.
  • In one of the last episodes of the second series, it's mentioned that the micro-machines that 'scrub' the radiation only work when they are deployed right after an explosion, so they are sucked into the blast area or something. So how were they at all useful for removing the radiation caused by WW 3, seeing as as far as I understood it, they were invented after the war?
    • It is mentioned that deploying them before and letting them be sucked into the blast area is how they attain maximum efficiency. We can assume that they work even after the explosion has occurred, just not as well.
  • What actually happened with Togusa's computer at the end of "¥€$"? As far as I know, the matter of the stock never comes up again....
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    • Wasn't that a lead in to a Laughing Man episode?
    • This one was under the impression that someone hacked his computer and moved all the money from their bank account into another.
      • Or maybe a remnant of Yokose's own AI program.
      • Its most likely the money making AI buying stock that would profit well in response to Togusa placing the coin on Yokose body as tole for the ferry man.
      • It is. Yokose's money making program coincidentally targeted Togusa's computer, and it just happened to be good karma for Togusa showing respect for his body. The program itself couldn't have known what was happening, but decided to invest stocks into Serano Genomics. A bit of Fridge Brilliance, really. It was revealed that Serano Genomics was the only company who wasn't the victim of corporate sabotage during the Laughing Man incident, while other large companies experienced great drops in their own stocks. The program may have unintentionally aided in their survival. Of course, the only way for Togusa to have benefited from this is his wife later realized that the purchase was made, and then decided to sell them off. The issue really isn't touched upon again.
  • So am I right in thinking that the big fight at the end of PORTRAITZ didn't actually happen and Aoi just brain hacked Togusa into thinking he was being attacked due to the fact that the statue was shot up in the same way the security cyborg was, or did the attack actually happen and Aoi just rearranged the scene afterwards?
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    • Correct. The entire thing happened in Togusa's head. The shot-up statue was the physical result of Togusa's hack.
  • Why was it necessary for Aramaki to "throw his men to the wolves" near the end of season 1? I understand pinning the Laughing Man incident on Section 9 and temporarily disbanding the unit, but why did they need to have a showdown with the Umibozu? Aramaki could've just ordered his men to surrender and it would've saved a ton of needless bloodshed and money, not to mention the risk that his team would be killed. It would make sense if the Umibozu were under the control of the conspiracy that made everyone think Section 9 had gone rogue, but the soldiers were clearly ordered to take them alive and the Prime Minister obviously wanted to reestablish the unit afterward. Why did dozens of soldiers have to die in order to capture friendly agents?
    • Because the Umibozu didn't know anything about the conspiracy or Section 9's involvement. They were given strict orders to deal with them and take them alive if possible. Aramaki and Section 9 knew that simply surrendering would not allow them to reorganize later on. The public media needed to be convinced that Section 9 really did go rogue, and were completely removed, so that they would be forgotten about. Section 9 "unofficially" exists, so leaving any trace of attention caused by the scandal wouldn't work for them to be reorganized later.
    • Except the result of surrendering would've been exactly the same. Section 9 still would've been captured, just sooner and with no loss of life. The media was already convinced they'd gone rogue by that point, and them running around the city was covered up anyway. The PM had already decided to disband and reorganize Section 9 before sending out the order to capture them and had made that clear to Aramaki. Why would them surrendering have changed anything?
      • Keep in mind it wasn't the PM or the other ministers who went after Section 9. It was the head of the ruling party (I can't recall his name at the moment), who was also the head of the laughing man conspiracy. Using his connections in the Navy, HE called in the Umibozu and pinned the Laughing Man incident on Section 9 (which was easy given their obscurity and autonomy). The PM knew all of this, but refused to directly intervene until after the upcoming elections because it would hurt him politically. If Section 9 had simply surrendered, it's likely the conspirators would've realized they were being played and made preparations for their eventual ouster. Having Section 9 fight back in full force made him believe he had gotten away with it. Once the elections passed, they took him to trial, and on that very same day Section 9 was reformed.

  • Am I right in thinking that "Stand Alone Complex" is supposed to mean something like "anomic hive-mind"? I don't know what "Stand Alone Complex" sounds like in Japanese, but in English it's borderline word-salad, and very confusing word salad at that (the word "complex" calls to mind Freud, which I'm guessing was not the intent)—is that deliberate, or "Blind Idiot" Translation? Or both?
    • It means "complex" in the sense of a group or network (it's used in other sciences apart from psychology to describe atomic structures in chemistry, buildings in engineering, groups of numbers in maths, etc). It's basically a network of people and information (a complex) formed by everything within it copying one another, without an external source (making it stand alone). Note that it's being described like a computer program despite being technically made up of people.

  • At the end of BARRAGE, it appears as though the Major is assassinated. The body does not have her watch on it, though, indicating that this is a remotely controlled spare body. If that's true, though, why did the Major feel as though she had to escape into the net and float around in there for a few months? Her escape only makes sense if that was the body her brain resided in. BUT, if that's true, her brain has been destroyed and now she is merely a consciousness inside a shell. So, which is it?
    • She escaped in the net, to have something to DO while she waited for her to be able to do things other then just wait. She also has always been someone who has...issues.

  • Kenji Kamiyama said in an interview that Godha is supposed to embody all the negative traits of the audience, so that when that viewers could hate him even more by seeing some of themselves in him. Is there something in that that is lost in translation, I don't see how any decent person could see themselves in Godha.
    • Godha has a good rant justifying his psychology, which is designed to fit flaws that Kenji saw in the psychology of your average Salaryman.

  • Who killed and gave orders to Nanao? If I remember right, Nanao was simply one of the "imitators" of the Laughing Man, and was used a scapegoat for the whole Interceptor business, but I don't remember it being revealed who ordered and then killed him. Wiki says it was Fukami, who seems to be the guy Togusa talked to right at the beginning, but I don't recall that guy ever turning up again. Then Nanao's death was mostly then ignored after the Interceptor business died down. Was his accomplice another imitator? If so, then who? If he were connected to the bigger arc involving Yakushima, then is he an Umibozu?
    • Fukami did it, but the arc was dropped. One of the issues with Stand Alone Complex. Some stuff just...doesn't pay off.

  • In episode 4 of 2nd Gig, how did the Tachikoma come to Togusa's rescue? The building was in the middle of the flooded area, with no buildings close enough to reach it. For that matter, how did the armed suits get up past the elevator in the shaft?

  • 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."

  • Do you know what the Major is mouthing right before she was shot? It looks a like a slow “Oh… shi-â€� 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.
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