Ghost in the Shell (攻殻機動隊 Kōkaku Kidōtai?, Mobile Armoured Riot Police) is a Japanese science fiction manga created by Masamune Shirow originally released in 8 separate issues. He followed it up by Ghost in the Shell 2: Man/Machine Interface and more recently by Ghost in the Shell 1.5: Human Error Processor.

The manga is notable for the proliferation of footnotes and commentary by Shirow himself on both the technology and the socio-political background of the setting (in the complete, English language graphic novel edition, these take up more than 30 pages).


The overarching story of the manga is of Major Motoko Kusanagi's hunt for a cyber-criminal, The Puppeteer (known as The Puppet Master in the film), whose real identity is unknown. The Puppeteer commits a large number of crimes through a single modus operandi: "ghost hacking", that is, breaking into and taking control of human minds. As the agents of Public Security Section 9 start to unravel the mystery of the Puppeteer, it becomes clear that it is no ordinary criminal, but a unique autonomous artificial intelligence project (Top Secret Project 2501) created by another government agency, the Treaty Bureau of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), also known as Section 6. The Puppeteer escapes Section 6's control in pursuit of his evolution through merging with Kusanagi. Kusanagi, although initially skeptical, finally agrees to allow the Puppeteer to merge with her own consciousness, sharing her body, in what is no doubt intended to raise even more questions about the nature of human identity in a world where human consciousness is no longer unique.


The chapters have the date in DD-MM-YYYY format next to the title except for chapters 1, 4 and 5.

Release dateISBNRelease dateISBN
1 May 1989ISBN 4-06-313248-XDecember 1995ISBN 1-56971-081-3
  • 01 Prologue
  • 02 Super Spartan - 10.4.2029
  • 03 Junk Jungle - 27.7.2029
  • 04 Megatech Machine 1 - Revolt of the Robots
  • 05 Megatech Machine 2 - The Making of a Cyborg
  • 06 Robot Rondo - 1.10.2029
  • 07 Phantom Fund - 24.12.2029
  • 08 Dumb Barter - 2.5.2030
  • 09 Bye Bye Clay - 15.7.2030
  • 10 Brain Drain - 9.9.2030
  • 11 Ghost Coast - 18.9.2030
  • Film adaption

    An eponymous film adaption was released in Japan in 1995. The film stars Atsuko Tanaka and Akio Ōtsuka as the voices of Major Motoko Kusanagi and Batou respectively, and was directed by Mamoru Oshii.

    As of 2008 DreamWorks acquired the rights to produce a 3-D live action film adaptation of the original manga with Steven Spielberg tipping the scales in DreamWorks favor. So far Avi Arad and Steven Paul are confirmed producers and Jamie Moss will be adapting the manga into a screenplay.[1]

    Collected Editions


    1. Variety Report, Variety Magazine, Linked Article.

    External links

    ko:공각기동대 (만화) it:Ghost in the Shell (manga) tl:Ghost in the Shell (manga) zh:攻壳机动队 (漫画)

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