Ghost in the Shell is well know and popular that since it’s release in 1989, there have been four movies, three television series, four games, three OVAs, and a live action film in the works. Chances are you have heard about this series. Chances are are you have not read the manga. The manga was originally published in 1989 and the came to America in 1995. The manga was written and illustrated by Masamune Shirow, pen name for Masanori Ota. Who also wrote the Appleseed manga. All of his work is cyberpunk influenced and is set in the future.
Ghost in the Shell is set ten years in the future from today. Which means it was set 30 years into the future when it was released. It talks about connecting to the internet (well not the internet), robots, cyborgs, and cyber crimes. This are things that are coming up now. All the characters connect to computers with their minds. There are chips being developed now that will let you do that. There are already robots, they don’t have an AI but they have their own quirks. Think about it. Your computer does that weird thing that only yours does. Things like Google glasses and robotic organs are becoming a normal every day occurrence. You can’t go a day with out hearing about a new cyber crime. Some one was already thinking about all this in 1989, even before that.
This manga is defiantly for adults. Not only does it have woman in very skimpy clothes, or none at all. There are some interesting angles with some strategic placement. But it is very violent and graphic when it comes to death. There is also a very hot and heavy lesbian scene in the first volume. Quite well detailed too.
The first volume, the original series, is definitely the best fallowing Major Motoko Kusanagi and the rest of Section 9. The manga its self is only 11 chapters. 11 well done chapters, but still very short. It has a bit of a comedic element to it as well, that isn’t there as much in the other volumes. The next one would have to be 1.5: Human-Error Processor. Which fallows Section 9 on four cases after the Major goes missing after the events of the first manga. The weakest of the three would have to be 2: Man-Machine Interface. It fallows the Major, now Motoko Aramaki, who is now a security chief at a company. It’s an interesting story but it does get confusing when Motoko is switching between bodies over and over. Making you wonder how many are there and who is she really. But, it never answers these questions.
I recommend this series for any sci-fi nerd out there. Also, if you like any of the animes, you should really check out the original. It is different from the anime but not so much that it’s something completely different. You don’t have to read all three of them but defiantly the first and original volume, 11 chapters, is worth your time.
Photo Credit: The Ghost in the Shell, Masamune Shirow, Kodansha Comics USA