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                            Ghost in the Shell
                            (Kookaku Kidootai)
                 by Frasco (s162462@studenti.ing.unipi.it)

Set  in  the  near  future,  where  information  networks and direct neural
interfaces  are  revolutionizing  society. But the divisions of nations and
races  remain,  and  keeping  the  peace  is a mobile strike force. "Major"
Kusanagi  Motoko  is an officer of the Security Police Section 9; she has a
full  cyborg body, which houses her living brain. Together with team leader
Aramaki  and  fellow  part-cyborg  Bato,  the  9th  division  takes  on the
terrorists of the information age.
For the tankoubon, Shirow drew 36 additional color pages, many of which are
"fade-ins"  and  "fade-outs" to the black and white pages. The plot is more
or  less  episodic,  with  less of the twisting intrigue that characterises
Appleseed,  though  there  is  a lot of difficult mecha/cyberpunk jargon. A
second  volume  is  planned;  one  new  instalment  was  published in Young
Magazine Weekly #26, 1992, with slightly revised character designs.


                       Shirow on Ghost in the shell
              Comments by Shirow from Intron Depot 1 Artbook:
                                   INTRO
GitS  was  serialized  in  Kodansha's Young Magazine "Pirate Edition" every
three  months  from  1989  to 1990. By now cyberpunk has become an everyday
word,  but  its  vision of the future remains bleak. I have no patience for
meaningless  platitudes  like  "The  future  is  bright!", but I also don't
think  it's  a  foregone conclusion that it will be dark. How light or dark
society  becomes  will  be  determined  by people, not science. Speaking of
which,  I'm  sure the Cyberbrain (direct computer/brain interface) would be
an  amazing  drug,  but  it would have quite a few hurdles to jump - costs,
risks,  and software, to name three - before gaining widespread popularity.
Besides,  would  that  many people want to tamper with their brains just to
enter  a world of sham experience? Even in virtual reality, you'd still get
hungry.  You  won't get rid of physical sensation unless you eliminate your
body altogether. Sounds like a half-baked idea at best...

                               SUPER SPARTAN
[...]  Actually,  they  don't  have  to  rely  on  the wiring shown here to
exchange  information;  they're  also  capable of optical communication (by
aligning  fingertip  terminals,  say, or eye-to-eye Lasers). I just thought
the use of wires would be easier for the reader to grasp.
[...]  Speaking  of  interfaces,  I  should've  emphasized  the  concept of
"connectin  units"  rather  than "boarding" the Fuchikoma. They have levers
and  switches  for  manual  operation,  but normally they're supposed to be
controlled  as  extensions  of  oneseif via direct interface jacks. I don't
know  if  cyborgs  get  drunk,  but  if  they do, that would be one illegal
cyborg. A drunk cyborg would be damn hard to handle....

                                JUNK JUNGLE
Interface-capable  cyborgs,  who  can receive information directly in their
brains,  must  be  capable  of  experiences more amusing than reality, like
the  scene  on  the  third  page shown opposite. (I decided against the old
cliche'  of  grappling  with  a  monster  of unknown origin, which l'd hate
drawing  anyway.)  However,  simulated sex through data suit feedback would
require  one  heck  of  a  suit and look downright disgusting, so I decided
not  to  even  think  about  it.  Anyway,  l'm  sure  deep-sea  adventures,
space-walking  ,  and trips around the world would be big-ticket items, too
(would RPG play a leading role?). As wrote in the book, the more visual the
stimulus,  the  less  meaningful  cyberbrain  sex  would  be....  I drew an
all-girl  orgy  because I didn't want to draw some guy's butt (gad, this is
getting  crass), and because I figured that connecting different-sex brains
wouldn't  necessarily  amplify  the pleasure principle. (It might be fun if
you  could  control  each others' bodies...) Well, there's a lot more to be
said  about  this  page,  it  suffice to say it's a tricky piece that still
raises  questions  about  "movement"  in manga.... Note the synchronization
between Batou and Kusanagi.

                                DUMB BARTER
The  bullet  for  a Seburo(tm) is a linle smaller than the conical tip of a
pencil.  It  consists  of  a lightweight, extremely hard core surrounded by
an  explosive  charge and film coating, and is quite expensive. By the time
ofthe story, C4 is an old-fashioned PE obtainable in Japan. In this case it
was probably taken from the seized property warehouse of the First Section.
That's  a  gas explosion downstairs one of those notorious FAE bombs. For a
cyborg  that  takes  in outside air (as most do), nothing could be scarier.
You  could  fill  one with explosives via the lungs or body orifices, using
gas  as  a medium. Would the air intake and eye valves be able to deal with
this? [...]

                               BYE BYE CLAY
At  this  point  work was proceeding at a good pace and I could uld see the
light  atthe  end  ofthe  book,  so my work started to show a litte muscle.
The  appearance  of  the  Major's shoulder joints suggested to many readers
that  the  rest  of  her arms were mechanical. I should explaic that in the
previous  story,  her  arms  were  torn off,but replaced. When the skin was
refabricated,   the  joints  still  protrudded  a  bit.  (She's  an  almost
entirely mechanized cyborg.) I happen to like the first page. In the panels
at top right, I was trying to get that cyberpunk look, old cars, etcetera -
don't  judge  them  too harshly! If the population looks sparse, let's just
say  there was a war, or an asteroid fell, or something. My theme this time
was  not  the  population explosion Thinking about that would only make the
comic  depressing.  Even  small  businesses must transcend the confines own
country, right?! And old products and technology can still come in handy!

                                BRAIN DRAIN
The  character  isn't  wearing  a  mask (1) because this is a comic and (2)
because  I  thought  goggles would probably fog up when emerging from water
into  air  early  in the morning . If this were alive-action film, you'd be
able   to  identify  the  character  by  his  eyes,  but  in  manga,  where
everything  is  symbolic,  I  thought a mask would confuse matters. This is
actually  supposed  to  be a night scene, so some of Kusanagi's actions may
appear somewhat foolish, but.... High-speed submersible rubber rafts really
exist,  as do underwater breathing systems that recycle exhaled air. By the
way,  the  gun muzzle has a waterproof seal-however, you couldn't tell that
from the panels shown here (it's made clear in the book, though).
[...]  Since  Japanese comics read from upper right to lower left, this may
be  difficult  for some foreign readers to follow. In English editions, the
pages  are  flopped  to  read  left-to-right, sometimes creating a bit of a
sense  of  distortion,  as  the  line  of  sight  no longer flows perfectly
correctly  from  top  to bottom. l've heard that many manga artists dislike
having  their  work  published  in  the West forthat reason. It's a serious
problem.  and  one  with no real practical solution... (I personally had no
objection  to  being  published  in  English  this way, since, being warped
myself,  I'd  rather  have  a  slightly warped English edition than none at
all).
                               GitS Episodes
These  episodes  have  been  published  in  Italy as Squadra Speciale Ghost
(Kappa Magazine 01 - 08 by Star Comics July 1992 - Febrary 1993):
1. Prologue               (05 March 2029)
2. Super Spartan          (10 April 2029)
3. Junk Jungle            (27 July 2029)
4. MegaTech Machine 1
5. MegaTech Machine 2
6. Robot Rondo            (01 October 2029)
7. Phantom Fund           (24 Dicember 2029)
8. Dumb Barter            (02 May 2030)
9. Bye Bye Clay           (17 July 2030)
10. Brain Drain           (09 September 2030)
11. Ghost Coast           (18 September 2030)


                              GitS Characters
ARAMAKI: Chief, Security Police Section 9
Aramaki  is  very  intelligent and resourceful enough to control the unique
personalities  of  Bateau  and  Kusanagi.  He  has been Chief of the secret
intelligence agency for as long as anyone can remember. He would rather get
his  job  done  and hates to intervene in politics. However, he is also the
Machiavelist  who  doesn't mind getting his hands dirty in pursuit of duty.
His personality is too complex to perceive what he is actually thinking.

"MAJOR" MOTOKO KUSANAGI: Security Police Section 9
All  background  info  about  Kusanagi  is  unknown,  but assuming from her
nick-name,  she  may have been in military service before. She is an expert
on unlawful activity, secret intelligence, and demolitions. The "Major" was
scouted from the special maneuver team of the Ministry of Home Affairs. She
commands  Bateau  and  Togusa,  which  makes  her  the number two person in
Section  9.  Kusanagi  had  her  body  changed to that of a cybernetic one;
Motoko's  body  is almost completely robotised and only a part of her brain
is  from  her  original body. She has an early 20's cyborg body, but actual
age  is  estimated  at being in her late 30's. Her sub-brain can access any
kind  of computer network on the Earth. The appearance of the Puppet Master
has caused her to suspect the existence of her very soul or "ghost".

BATO: Security Police Section 9
An  expert  of  unlawful activities like Motoko, he has been working as her
partner  for  several  years.  His  role is to support and control Kusanagi
(who  tends  to  go  too far). They have been working together so long that
they have grown accustomed to each other. His personal life is unknown.

TOGUSA: Security Police Section 9
Togusa is in his late 20's and married. He is the rare case of a person who
has  transferred  to  Section  9  from  the  police department, after being
scouted  by  Kusanagi.  Even  though  his  brain  has  a  connection to the
cybernet,  most  of  his  body  is  still original. Togusa is considered an
outsider  by  the  other  members  of  Section  9,  who  are mostly cyborgs
transferred from the military.

ISHIKAWA: Security Police Section 9
The  oldest  member  of  Section 9 except for Aramaki. He is relied upon to
keep his cool in a crisis.

NAKAMURA:  Chief,  Security  Police Section 6; Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
treaty ratification division
Nakamura's territory is different from Section 9, however, after the Puppet
Master  incident,  he  launched  a secret operation, trying to out-maneuver
Aramaki and Section 9. He is more likely to go "by the book" than Aramaki.
PUPPET MASTER: Offical codename "Project 2501"
This  is the program developed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for their
diplomatic  conspiracy  activities.  It  is  connected  to all the computer
networks  in  the  world.  After  accessing  various kinds of databases and
programs, it reached sentience and claimed itself a life form.


                                 The movie
                                  Summary
In the year 2029, the world is made borderless by the net; augmented humans
live  in virtual environments, watched over by law enforcement that is able
to  download  themselves  into  super-powered,  crime  busting  mecha.  The
ultimate  secret agent of the future is not human, has no physical body and
can  freely  travel  the  information  highways  of  the world, hacking and
manipulating  whatever  and  whenever  required.  The agent, created by the
Ministry  of  Foreign  Affairs,  is  designated  code name Project 2501 and
distanced  from them under the pseudonym "The Puppet Master". 2501 seems to
be  the  perfect  solution  to  their international espionage requirements.
Everything runs smoothly until this prototype virtual agent concludes it is
a  life  form  in its own right "born in a sea of information" and requests
political  asylum  and  true physical existence in defiance of its creator.
The  race is on to recapture the Top Secret Project 2501 before it succeeds
in  finding  a host body and escapes for good. What the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs  hasn't  counted  on is the Puppet Master's cunning and reserve. It
has  threatened  to  expose their illegal creation (itself) to the Internal
Bureau  of  Investigations  who  are  unaware of its source, and regard the
Puppet  Master  as  a  Grade  A  priority security threat. The two agencies
maneuver  discreetly  against  one  another in a violent, high-tech race to
capture the ever changing omnipresent Puppet Master. The Internal Bureau is
unaware  of  the  Puppet  Master's  persuasive  ability  to offer seductive
hints at true freedom to their semi-cybernetic human agents, who are forced
to  question  their  own  validity  as  human  beings. One of these agents,
"Major"  Motoko  Kusanagi, is a highly trained female agent sent to counter
the  Puppet  Master's  threat, will have to make the ultimate decision when
the Puppet Master suggests a merger with her. While the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs  and  the  Internal  Bureau of Investigations are engaged in direct
explosive  confrontation,  Kusanagi  must  decide  if  she will fulfill the
Puppet  Master's ultimate objective to become truly human and exist outside
of the Electronic Net.

Creator: Masamune Shirow
Director:         Momoru Oshii
Screenplay:       Kazunori Ito
Animation:        Toshihiko Nishikubo
Music:            Kenji Kawai
Mecha Design:     Shoji Kawamori
Character Design: Keisuke Okiura & Hiroyuki Okiura
Copyright:        Kodansha/Bandai Visual/
                  Manga Entertainment
Running time:     85 mins

Ghost in the Shell becomes one of the most significant films in the history
of  Japanese animation in autumn 1996 when it is simultaneously launched in
Japan,  Britain  and  America. This is the first time an anime has received
such  international  recognition, evidence of the genre's growing worldwide
appeal.  GitS  is premiered at the Odeon in Leicester Square as part of the
London  film  Festival  on  Saturday  11  November. During the film you can
recognize  three episodes from the manga: Junk Jungle, Bye Bye Clay e Brain
Drain,  but  there  are  particulars  from  others  episodes like the fight
against the tank (it comes from Dumb Barter).
The  film has been co-produced by Kodansha (the Japanese publishing company
responsible  for  Katsuhiro  Otomo's acclaimed anime, Akira), Bandai Visual
and  the British company Manga Entertainment - the first Western partner in
a  Japanese  animation  project.  The  soundtrack to GitS also features One
Minute   Warning,  a  track  which  appears  on  the  forthcoming  Original
Soundtracks  1 album by Passengers, the latest venture by U2 and Brian Eno.
GitS  sets  new standards in animation, combining state-of-the-art computer
graphics  with  traditional cel techniques. The film was directed by Mamoru
Oshii who was also responsible for the enormously successful Patlabor anime
series.


                       GitS2: Man-Machine Interface
After  extensive and exhausting discussions with Shirow, the target date of
the  Studio  Proteus  for  the  release of the first issues of Ghost in the
Shell  2:  Man-Machine  Interface  is  late 1998. The first issue will ship
simultaneously  with the collected volume from Japan. GitS 2 has only three
existing stories, but Shirow has recently completed six more, which will be
published  in  Japan  beginning  in  Young  Magazine  #30.  Still, it's not
completed.  Shirow  should do at least three more stories beyond that. Then
he has to add pages and retool the stories for the collection.
Await  before  subscript  to Young Magazine: GitS 2 is appearing only a few
times  a  year,  and a one year subscription to Young is likely to cost you
at least $500 to $800!!
1. Fat Cat                 44 pages Young Magazine 1991
2. Drive Slave             40 pages Young Magazine 1991
3. Mines of Mind                    Young Magazine 1995


                                Cyberdelics
It  is  a collection of "Shirow stuff". The box itself is gorgeous, printed
on iridescent paper. Inside are 10 posters of Ghost art, printed on various
paper  stocks  including  silver mylar). There are also two sheets of thick
paper  with  paper  model  cutouts  of  a Fuchikoma. Inside a folder are: a
scratch card, a phone card order sheet, a serial number card, two sheets of
stickers,  and  a  booklet by Shirow discussing the various artworks in the
box.  Finally,  there  is  a 500-piece jigsaw puzzle. It's rather expensive
(9000  yen;  it  is  on  sale  at  Kinokuniya Books for $135) and a limited
edition.

                               Others Ghosts
Recently in Japan have been published two new books: GitS Official Art Book
and Cyberdelics.
Unfortunately  I  haven't found others informations but now some images are
appearing on the web.
Miscellaneous:  go  immediately  to  Japan  if  you  want to play the "GitS
PlayStation  TV  game" or hear the "GitS Megatech Body CD" (about the songs
of the game?)!.


                   Various Info on Ghost in the Shell
                   ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
----------------------------------------------------------------------
                          Production Crew of GITS
                          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Japanese Language Version (Bandai Visual)
English Language Version (Manga Entertainment)

(C)1995 Shirow Masamune/Kodansha/Bandai Visual/Manga Entertainment

Feature Film
83 minutes
Original Story: Shirow Masamune (Young Magazine KCDX, Kodansha)
Director: Mamoru Oshii
Screenplay: Kazunori Ito
Animation Director: Toshihiko Nishikubo
Animation Supervisors: Kazuchika Kise, Hiroyuki Okiura
Character Design: Hiroyuki Okiura
Mechanical Design: Shoji Kawamori, Atsushi Takeuchi
Art Director: Hiromasa Ogura
Music: Kenji Kawai
Animation Production: Production I.G.
Computer Graphics: Omnibus Japan
Executive Producers: Teruo Miyahara, Shigeru Watanabe, Andy Frain
Produced by: Kodansha, Bandai Visual, Manga Entertainment

---------------------------------------------------------------------
                     Weapons of "Ghost in the Shell"
                     ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                             Section 9 Weapons
                             ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The firearms of the members of Public Security Section 9:

Zastaba Nosle CZN M22 '9Weapon' 5.7mm High-Velocity Submachinegun.

CZ 100- 9mm Automatic Handgun With Rigid Construction And Hexagonal Shaped
Rifling.

 Jericho  942FS-  12.7mm  (.50ca)  Automatic  Handgun, Large-Sized And High
Powered.

Mateba 207- 9mm Revolver Type Handgun With Counterweight, Hexagonal Shaped
Rifling

                             Section 6 Weapons
                             ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The general issue firearms of Section 6:

SIG 541 5.56mm Assault Rifle, Used Worldwide.

Steyr  Tactical  Machine  Pistol-  9mm Lightweight Weapon With Laser Aiming
System.

Beretta M8000 Cougar- 9mm Automatic Handgun, Used Worldwide.

                          Miscellaneous Firearms
                          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Firearms that appear in the hands of criminals and diplomatic security:

Chinese Uzi Sub Machine Gun- 9mm Copy Model Of Uzi Sub Machine Gun (Israeli),
Open-Bolt, Full-Auto Shooting.

Switzerland SIG-type Handgun- 9mm Automatic Handgun, Used Worldwide.

Ultima Ratio- the Final argument of kings

Mauser Taxischied 'Kompromisslos'- Uncomprising

SPIW 2020 Mini14 'Penetrator'- 'Standard issue big gun'

---------------------------------------------------------------------
                 Translation of main theme song from GITS
                 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 '  cause  the  song  is  written  in ancient japanese. I've posted literal
translation  of  the  song to rec.arts.anime.misc newsgroup for months ago,
though, I lost my own article ... so I try to translate it again here:

A ga maeba kuwashime yoinikeri
{ when I dance, beautiful lady is fascinated }

A ga maeba teru tsuki toyomu nari
{ when I dance, shining moon echos }

yobai ni kami amakudarite
{ for marriage, the god descends from his heaven }

yo ha ake nuedori naku
{ day breaks, nue-bird sings}


CopyRight compilation Boris Ivanov, hexer@aha.ru, 1997

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Последнее обновление: 16 августа 2001 года
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