Glenn Hough (gallyangel) is a nonpracticing futurist, an anime and manga otaku, and is almost obsessive about finishing several of the lists tracked on WWEnd. In this series on SF Manga Glenn will provide an overview of the medium and the place of science fiction within it.
What Shirow started over two decades ago is still rolling along. The Ghost in the Shell manga I talked about way back at the start of this little series, is now informally known as GITS 1.0, which is followed by GITS 1.5 and GITS 2.0. Next come the Stand Alone Complex series of takubons and three original novels. There have also been three movies, two seasons of the Stand Alone Complex TV series, and numerous specials. As of this writing, the newest installment OAV, Ghost in the Shell: Arise (which concerns how the Major was recruited and Section 9 was created) is just out. The accompanying manga is also just out in the monthly anthologies and has not even been collected into a takubon yet. This just about sums up the official GITS franchise. Oh, did I mention games. Can’t forget about those and all of their accompanying books. (Imagine the shelf space it all takes up!)
This is what Kodansha says about the first manga Takubon of GITS:SAC.
Stand Alone Complex takes place in the year 2030, in the fictional Japanese city of New Port. The story follows the members of Public Security Section 9, a special-operations task-force made up of former military officers and police detectives. The manga presents individual cases that Section 9 investigates, along with an ongoing, more serious investigation into the serial killer and hacker known only as “The Laughing Man.”
Glenn Hough (gallyangel) is a nonpracticing futurist, an anime and manga otaku, and is almost obsessive about finishing several of the lists tracked on WWEnd. In this series on SF Manga Glenn will provide an overview of the medium and the place of science fiction in it.
Hi. Hi. Glad to see you again. Welcome. It’s practically time to say pull up a chair by the fire. It’s the dampness. That’s what gets me.
Since I know we can all go wiki-wiki and have all the summery one could want in seconds, I’d like to concentrate on the questions: why these mangas? Out of all of the possible SF mangas, why should we, why did I, pay attention to these?
Well, when it comes to the top SF mangas out there, I think the top three spots are basically agreed upon. Their order, however, is not. It’s a matter of personal appeal. Do you go for the ecological collapse and resource wars as humanity lives on in the twilight world of Nausicaa? Or do you go for the forced human evolution and the releasing of psychic powers which can not be controlled in Akira? Or do you go with the cyberpunk ethic, wrapped in a police procedural, which ends in something that looks very much like what the Kurzweil crowd would call the singularity in Ghost in the Shell?
Personally, I think Ghost in the Shell takes the top spot. Yes, definitely, all three have transformation at their cores but I think Ghost is more relevant as a motif for what the 21st century will be about.