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Worlds Without End Blog

SF Manga 101: Ghost in the Shell – Stand Alone Complex Posted at 2:13 PM by Glenn Hough


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.

SAC05And in the Beginning there was the Major…

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.”

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