Cyborg Major Motoko Kusanagi from the movie Ghost in the Shell

Major Motoko Kusanagi, main character and cyborg from the movie Ghost in the Shell, as well as the Manga comic and Anime series of the same title, sets out to track down a notorious cyber terrorist named the Puppet Master, whilst seeking to resolve her existential dilemma: is her ghost - her memories, or soul, if you will, human or artificially created, much like the rest of her body?

Major Motoko Kusanagi - Ghost in the Shell

Ghost in the Shell doesn't reveal much about her origins, except for a few very cursory remarks by her and other characters. However, we know from the comic and the series that before she was recruited to Section 9 she had used to be a member of the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force, hence her rank, and that she had suffered an accident which resulted in the destruction of most of her body. She was refitted by Megatech, a company which supplies cyborgs to the government, and her memories were implanted into her cybernetic brain.

Her cybernetic augmentations enhanced her hand-to-hand combat skills as well as her general physical prowess, so she could scale buildings in a few leaps, or punch through a windshield. Despite these improvements she has retained her human, even feminine, physique, except for one minor, yet very noticeable detail - namely, she almost never blinks. However, the full extent of her enhancements becomes blatantly evident in the final confrontation where she takes on a powerful killer robot single-handed.

Major Motoko Kusanagi - Ghost in the Shell

Also, utilizing futuristic technology Major Motoko Kusanagi displays a range of diverse abilities: she can make herself invisible, or go skuba diving despite her heavy artificial body, or plug into the police mainframe via four sockets at the nape of her neck, or plug into other cyborgs and hack their ghosts.

Her greatest asset, however, seems to be a team of operatives working alongside her. Her relationship with them is a complex mix of gruff banter, trust and devotion. For all her abilities, she depends on them and their respective skills. For example, she has chosen Togusa, who has only slight cybernetic augmentations in his brain and is the most human member of Section 9, over other more powerful cyborgs preferring variety over homogeneity believing that overspecialization ultimately leads to predictability and failure.



Ghost in the Shell Movie Review


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