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Not only does Motoko not have a real ghost - No one does!
The entire Ghost in the Shell series takes place in a world where humans haven't existed for a long time - possibly centuries. Those who believe themselves to be full-body prosthetic cyborgs are actually androids, built and programmed from scratch. The few characters we see with definitely biological parts aren't late adopters who haven't yet replaced their bodies - They're the latest generation in an ongoing attempt to finally bring back the human species. The fact that, even these mostly biological characters still have some degree of augmentation (like Ishikawa, Togusa, and Saito) is actually due to the fact that the bio-rebirth program is still incomplete. The synthetic-organic tissue is unstable without cybernetic augmentation.
  • "Ghost" simply means an individual's self-identity that can't be fully determined from any individual component of their physiology. They're not supernatural souls, just something that can't be fully quantified with modern technology. If you are capable of asking "do I have a ghost?", and understanding the question, it means that you have one. Incidentally, why would people assume that the year is around 2030's in this scenario?
    • "an individual's self-identity that can't be fully determined from any individual component of their physiology." Defines soul. Just because he removes the religious aspects to the question, doesn't change the fact that the two concepts are the same.
    • This is dangerously close to being an discussion about nothing but semantics, but to me a soul implies a transcendental existance independent of a physical manifestation. A ghost is perhaps just a singular consciousness, a sentint presence, which does not necessarily imply independence from physical manifestation. The word soul has implications not shared with the word sentience (or perhaps 'ghost' in the context of the film). Back to the main point though - a major running theme of the film (perhaps the main theme, even) is that humanity isn't an important concept anymore, because what defines our existance is our ghost, not its origin or its container/shell. To say that 'humans haven't existed in a long time' I think misses this point, or are you saying that a ghost is not necessarily truely sentient? Otherwise I am not sure what distinction is being made here between a sentience (indistinguishable from that of an original human) contained in a cybernetic brain, and an original human.
  • This doesn't quite work, as it's specifically mentioned in a summary of the laughing man incident that two unaugmented homeless people saw his real face.

The world of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex is set on Earth in the Transformers universe after the Transformers had left earth.
After the Autobots had won the war on Earth they left for Cybertron leaving a litter of Decepticon slag behind them. A few human scientists picked the dead Transformers up and experimented with their core personality units to find out how to conserve the human brain with such technology.
After a lot of experiments they came up with the first cyborg thanks to the Transformers.

The world of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex is not Earth.
It's the home planet of the Borg from Star Trek, but in a distant past, when the development of cyber technology had just begun and the hive mind had not yet developed, but certain smaller pre-forms of it (like, for example, the Gestalt of the old people in Solid State Society) were already around. Motoko Kusanagi will eventually become the first incarnation of the Borg Queen.

In the GITS world, Russia, and some of its neighbors, are part of a Eurasian Union State.
The original GITS manga, like 'Appleseed', assumes the continued existence of the USSR—though not geographically as large as it was in, say, 1985, due to World War (practically no country is). The TV series explicitly refers to the SVR, an institution that emerged as a direct result of the August Coup that led to the transformation of the USSR into the CIS. However, there are still references to 'the Soviets'—by Kayabuki referencing the 'American-Soviet Alliance', the third player in North American (the other two being the remaining United States and the American Empire), interchangeably described as 'Russo-American Alliance' as well. It's a recognition of a tendency in the capitalist world to have use to do the same thing. In Stand Alone Complex, the formation of the CIS did happen at some point, but was later followed by a further supranational union (an extension of what exists in the real world), certainly between Russia, Belarus, Ossetia, and Abkhazia, and possibly included Armenia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Nagorno-Karabakhand, and perhaps Mongolia and Ukraine. "Soviets" simply means "council" in Russian, so if the the Union State is a parliamentary supranational federation, it's still 'technically' correct, and it might be more convenient, and familiar, than "Eurasian Union of Republics".
  • I'd like to know where you heard about this "SVR", this "August Coup", and this "CIS". The only CIS I know of from the series is the Central Intelligence Agency that Ghoda works for.
  • "CIS" stands for Commonwealth of Independent States. This includes: Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzia, Azerbaijan, Moldova. So
  • The "Ameri-Soviet Union" was renamed to the Russo-American Alliance post 1992 in real life just to keep with the events. According to Appleseed, the Cold War came to a peaceful resolution with the formation of the Russo-American Alliance, which as you mentioned, was one of the three countries the United States eventually turned into. In Appleseed, this same peaceful resolution somehow also formed the American Empire, but no detail is given just how it did. In the SAC universe, the 2nd American Civil War in 2016 resulted in the American Empire splitting off. See the entry on Divided States of America for the full details and the states that got split into what.
  • Going back to Russia: The Appleseed supplementary material was written in 1986 (and thus is quite out of date even by it's own standards- Shirow admits this), but the "Soviet Federation" remains an independent country from the European Commonwealth that formed. China has actually expanded significantly after they switched to a democratic government (having a gigant meteor land right on Beijin and leaving a crater literally the size of Texas made them change their ways). India, Mongolia, and the Southern Asian countries are now absorbed into it, as well as North Korea and a small portion of Russia's eastern part. Russia does still exist in the GITS universe, but there's not much information about it in the SAC verse.

The Major was a test subject in the Japanese version of the program used to create the cyborgs of Gunslinger Girl.
Think about it. She was a little girl who suffered injuries when she was very young. Then she was taken away and turned into a cyborg who now works for the Government and is very skilled in combat. It is very likely that being a full cyborg she didn't suffer the effects of the conditioning which lead to death and it is also likely that didn't need a handler now that she can work on her own.
  • Doesn't work for the Stand Alone Complex version because 1) She's specifically stated to the survivor of a plane crash that killed all but one other person and left her in a deep coma and 2) the other person (who also became a fully body cyborg) is an anti-government rebel.

Ghost in the Shell is the near future of Evangelion.
Think about it. It's set fifteen years after Eva(at least the anime is), there has been mention of a war that obviously had an effect on technology and society world-wide, and souls are relatively easy to transplant into machines.

Obviously, Instrumentality failed spectacularly in that everyone came back quickly, possably that day, and all the prosthetic body parts and mechs could easily come from commercialization of equipment from Project E. The reason Shinji and Asuka are never mentioned or seen is because after Third Impact and Instrumentality, they voluntarily went into hiding, and are probably living contently in some remote location.


The reason there are so few WMGs for this show is because the Major is hacking the site and deleting them all, because so many of them happen to match classified material.
This naturally requires time travel.
  • The Laughing Man is undoing her hacks in real-time to expose the truth behind the neferious workings of the GITS committee. Information Wants to Be Free!

These three movies were before Ghost in the Shell, (1995) and are very similar to it. All four works are somewhere that someone would want to escape from. Possibly except for The Brave Little Toaster, they are crime ridden, war torn, and poverty stricken places. In all four works, the world is dangerous and treacherous, and parts and abilities of characters can be stolen and sold off. The Hero is human in none of these stories. In all except The Brave Little Toaster, the ending is a vast firefight near, or in, a body of water.

  • In The Brave Little Toaster, (1987) a human abandons a group of sentient appliances, who then fight against impossible odds in a hostile world to win back their master. Then, in Stand Alone Complex: MACHINES DESRANTES, The Major tries to have her loyal tanks vivisected. Some survive, and fight against impossible odds in a hostile world to win back their master.
  • In The Little Mermaid (1989), a 15 year old girl sold her voice, with her voice removed, not voice acting, and had her lower body replaced with prostheses. The protagonist is in her museum when she sings a song of anthropological ambition, and her father uses an multiple rocket launching, individually portable weapon to destroy her museum, in a multiple rocket launching rage. Basically, he blew a confined, water-filled space to bits with them both inside. She tried to romance someone, and had to compete against someone that used a full prosthetic body and The Power of Rock to manufacture sex appeal. The protagonist reneged on her agreement, and in the ensuing underwater, massive, ultra-destructive armed struggle, the most competent characters in the entire movie were killed by their own employer in one volley of gunfire. The firefight involved a powerful captured weapon. The protagonist grew up and had a doomed marriage.
  • Humanity is like a security blanket in Ghost in the Shell (GITS), and humanity helps protect against cyberbrain attacks. GITS has lots of existentialist philosophizing and humanity-supporting knickknacks, like The Major's wristwatch, for example. So both GITS and The Little Mermaid have humanity as a virtue, existentialist philosophy, and humanity-knickknacks. Many characters in both works use fire based weapons, and at least two characters in each work use prostheses. Both types of equipment are very effective in both works. At the end of both movies, a main character is resurrected, and two characters in The Little Mermaid and Stand Alone Complex get coupled: Eric and Ariel get married to each other. Motoko gets in the body that she likes much better, and Motoko and Bateau stand around together barely clothed in an apartment. Guess what happens next.
  • In the All Dogs Go to Heaven (1989) franchise, the protagonists prominently include two undead gangsters that cheat at least one of their human allies. A car is used as a weapon. They rely on pocket watches for their survival, and race against time in a fight for survival against impossible odds in a crime-ridden, poverty-stricken, filthy world. There was much alcohol, gambling, greed, gunfire, and risk of getting eaten alive. One of the dogs went to hell, not heaven.
  • In SA - Automated Capitalism, the principal is a dead stock trader that seems to be alive because of commands coming from his computer, falsely suggesting that he still does business from that computer. In GITS, many villains are business motivated criminals, and a protagonist, Pazu, is rumored to be a former gangster. The Major constantly has her pocket watch with her, and the one time that she seems not to have it, she is "killed". There are plenty of criminals and poor people in GITS, and there are alleys covered in trash and blackened with grime. In MISSING HEARTS and CAPTIVATED, organs were or nearly were stolen, so in a sense people were eaten alive. There was also plenty of sex, alcohol drinking, and gunfire in GITS.
  • This theory is ridiculous because GITS is clearly the sequel to Blade Runner. The main difference is that it's set in Japan, where it doesn't rain as much as it does in L.A., and instead of the police hunting down cyborgs, they are cyborgs.
    • Replicants are androids, not cyborgs. Rather Japan is different because they have fewer restrictions on prosthetics and due to the necessity of cheap labor (from negative population growth) they haven't banned replicants like America has.

Aoi is the son of L.
  • That's an attractive idea, but it's unfortunately impossible. My guess is that Aoi would have been born a number of years after L's death.
    • Sperm bank.

Prime Minister Kayabuki is of Chinese ancestry.
The Prime Minister's surname (芧葺, meaning 'reed thatch') doesn't make much sense as a Japanese name, except as a nod to Margaret Thatcher. However, in Chinese, the character 芧, which means approximately the same thing, is also used as a surname, indicating that either the Prime Minister or her family could have changed their name to a Japanese word with the same meaning as their Chinese name upon emigrating. Also, her character design is very similar to that of Fem, the South Chinese hit(wo)man in the episode Full Auto Capitalism; ¥€$, especially around the eyes and in the skin tone. Finally, Kayabuki's dialogue at certain points in the series indicates that she has some sort of odd attachment to China, which seems strange considering that China and Japan haven't been on the best of terms through the past several decades, and that the Chinese government is actively making her job more difficult by escalating the problem of the growing refugee population. Since Japan doesn't have any law against foreign-born people serving as the prime minister, it's entirely possible that she was born in China or grew up there, explaining her implied wistful desire for things to be better between the two countries.
  • How would that be pronounced?
    • The Chinese pronunciation is máo.

Borma's obese appearance is due to massive amounts of subdermal armor and padding.
It's rather odd that a full-body cyborg would want to appear borderline morbidly obese, especially in paramilitary duty, when it came to him: Borma mentions during the 2nd Gig that he used to rig and dismantle bombs for the army, so his physiology would be designed specifically for that purpose. He is built to endure the blast of an explosion far better than a normal cyborg ever could.
  • Secondary materials confirm his cyborg frame is heavily reinforced and his speciality is Demolition and EOD.

Batou is gay, but also in love with the major
That's why he wants her to swap out to a male body — so he can resolve that conflict.

At some point, Major Kusanagi swapped her old cyberbody for a new one.
This explains why she looks different in the show versus the movie. When her body was destroyed trying to rescue the Puppet Master, her ghost was transferred into the body of a little girl (which is how we see her in the final scene of the movie) but when she went back to work for Section 9, she opted for a different model with purple hair and red eyes, just because she thought it'd look cool. And how's this for Fridge Brilliance - her ghost merging with that of the Puppet Master explains why her personality is somewhat different in the show than in the movie. To support this version of events, note that the movie takes place in 2029 but the show does in 2030.
  • The show and the movie are explicitly two entirely different continuities, in no way linked together by any way, other than being inspired by the original manga. Word of God can attest to that. The Major in all three continuities has a slightly different personality: in the manga she is slightly shallow and aimless individual with good helping of Deadpan Snarker in the mix. When the Puppeteer hitchhikes in her subconscious (in this continuity it takes months before she actually fuses with him), she becomes the cold, detached, yet deeply uncertain individual who the movie's Major is mostly based on. The series Major is amalgamation of all three; more serious and focused than the early manga Major, but still quite snarky and lively compared to her movie incarnation.
    • That they're not the same continuity is a given. This is just an attempt at Canon Welding. Having not read the manga, I can't comment on it, but it is implied that the show takes place after the events of the movie. (Isn't it?)
      • It's not. The events of the movie never transpired in the series. The Puppetmaster does not exist at all, and the Major only leaves Section 9 between 2nd Gig and Man-Machine Interface, never prior to it. Also, the characters in the series are meant to be distinctly younger and more optimistic than their movie counterparts. This is especially clear with Aramaki, who in the movies is a rather lethargic and detached individual, but in the series he's a hot-blooded, driven man with an unbending sense of justice.

Gabriel was the ghost-hacked garbage man's dog.
Because leave it to Batou to adopt a dog from some poor berk who just found out his whole life is a lie.

Cyborgs are actually starchildren from 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Starchild eyes look exactly like cyborg eyes.

We couldn't ascend from bone-weilding apes to spacefaring humans in one step (never minding how the movie portrays this). Likewise, we can't ascend from meat-based lifeforms straight to godlike transdimensional energy beings in one-step. Like their Precursors, humans first have to ascend to cybernetic, then to completely android, only then can they move on to energy beings. Thus, the starchild that David Bowman was sent back to Earth as was actually a cyborg. At that point the human race began a slow ascent to cybernetic life, and cyborgs aka starchildren are becoming commonplace by the time Ghost in a Shell is set.


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