Ghost in the Shell is a Japanese media franchise originally published as a seinen manga series of the same name written and illustrated by Masamune Shirow. The manga, first serialized in 1989 under the subtitle of The Ghost in the Shell, and later published as its own tankōbon volumes by Kodansha, told the story of the fictional counter-cyberterrorist organization Public Security Section 9, led by protagonist Major Motoko Kusanagi, in the mid-21st century of Japan.
The Ghost in the Shell universe is an expansive and complex one, with many characters featuring across the (sometimes contradictory) Films, TV series, Novels, and Manga.
It should be noted that in order to list all characters and their positions or roles in the universe, it is necessary to include information that is very relevant to the plots of the various Ghost in the Shell media, information which can be considered as spoilers.
Public Security Section 9
Chief of Section 9. A strict but very intelligent man, Aramaki has many connections and a great amount of political power. He is a personal friend of Kubota, a very powerful man in the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Army (JGSDA), commonly referred too as the GSDA.
Known by many names, but most commonly as the “Major”, Kusanagi is possibly the most prolific character in the Ghost in the Shell universe. A deadly and fearless soldier at close and ranged combat, Kusanagi can master all weapons, material or virtual, in part due to her total control over her prosthetic body. Throughout the GITS storylines, there are many allusions to the fact that Kusanagi has been fully prosthetic from a very young age.
Aside from Aramaki, Togusa is the only member of section 9 that is still fully human (disregarding his mandatory cyberbrain). Togusa is a clever thinker and skilled agent, and is famed for his use of an ‘outdated’ revolver.
A large and imposing figure, Batou is a combat master and very skilled in the field. In the second series of Stand Alone Complex, it is alluded to that Batou was a ranking member of the military Rangers before he joined Section 9.
Section 9’s explosives expert, Borma is recognised by his bald head, prosthetic eyes, and large stature. It is alluded to that Borma used to work for the Japanese Self Defence Force before he joined Section 9.
Though he tends to avoid combat situations, Ishikawa provides excellent logistics and hacking prowess, giving invaluable aid to his fellow officers on the ground.
A silent and reclusive character, Pazu is rumoured to have been a Yakuza gangster before he joined Section 9, as well as having a reputation with women.
Section 9’s ace sniper, Saito has a prosthetic eye which can interface with the world’s satellite networks and allow him to make incredibly accurate shots with firearms.
One of “The Rookies” of section 9, Azuma joins the team during the events of 2nd Gig.
Like Azuma, Yano joins section 9 during the selection of new blood in 2nd Gig.
A rare prototype bioroid, Proto was a section 9 technician before he became one of the team in 2nd Gig.
The Laughing Man
The main antagonist of the first series of Stand Alone Complex, the Laughing Man is an extremely talented hacker with strong social and political motives. Througout the story, the Laughing Man is shown to be able to hack multiple video streams simultaneously, entirely hijack active cyberbrains, and even edit what people can see.
The Puppet Master
Also known as Project 2501, the Puppet Master is an important character in the Ghost in the Shell manga by Masamune Shirow, and the 1995 Ghost in the Shell film by Mamoru Oshii. The Puppet Master is an experimental Artificial Intelligence programe designed by Section 6.
Ex-army and Individual Eleven member, Kuze uses a rare but incredibly tough PKF prosthetic body. Becoming an important antagonist in 2nd Gig, Kuze is seen as a legendary figure by the refugees living in Japan, Korea, and Taiwan, and eventually becomes a martyr.
Army Intelligence Officer and former colleague of Aramaki.
- Innocence: After the Long Goodbye
- The Lost Memory
- Revenge of the Cold Machines
- White Maze
- Ghost in the Shell
- 1.5: Human-Error Processor
- 2: Man-Machine Interface
- Arise Sleepless Eye
- Ghost in the Shell (2.0)
- S.A.C. Solid State Society
- The New Movie
- Ghost in the Shell (2017)
- Stand Alone Complex
- Stand Alone Complex 2nd GIG
- Arise – Alternative