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Headscratchers / Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex

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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 AIs 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?
    • 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 AIs 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....
    • 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?
    • 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?

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