Sunday, July 22, 2012

MISC. MANGA, *Ghost In The Shell

This is without a doubt Masumune Shirow’s greatest manga work. By now, most you all should have seen the anime movie or TV series, but the manga is even better. (Note to all fanboy wannabes: the comic is always better than the movie it’s based on!)

Set in Tokyo during the mid-21st Century, a special branch of government security codenamed Section 9 helps protect against outside terrorists and foreign crimimals. Their special cybernetic agent, Major Matoko Kusinagi, and her crew patrol around in their special spider-like Fujikoma robot-mechs. Each has the ability to shield them selves in thermoptics that are transparent coverings that make them look invisible. Matoko takes on various cases dealing with “ghost-hacking” which is where people have their cyborg brains violated and reprogrammed to do crimes. One of the most ellusive of these ghost-hackers is the mysterious Puppeteer. Finally, the Puppeteer is caught, but he turns out to be a lifeform that emerged into existence inside the internet itself. After downloading himself into a cyborg body, he is captured by the government. However, it looks like he has been deleted once in for all in an attempt to escape. Matolo then gets charged with manslaughter after botching an assignment. She’s to be sent to prision, but fakes her own death in a kidnapping ruse. Her partner tries to fix her up with a new body, whilst the Puppeteer show up not dead but just sunk back into the net. He convinces Matoko to merge her cybernetic mind with his to form one combined persona. Matoko agrees, and the result is someone with all of Matoko’s memories and the Puppeteer’s abilities.

This is a lead-in to the Ghost In The Shell 2 manga, also available in English by Dark Horse Comics. Truly, this futuristic sci-fi is the pinnacle of cyberpunk comics and intense action. You must own this!

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