Before the 2017 Hollywood movie, it?s good to know or brush up on the colorful, sci-fi world of Ghost in the Shell and become familiar with its characters.
Series creator Masamune Shirow?s inspiration for the title, Ghost in the Shell, was Arthur Koestler?s Ghost in the Machine. Though in Japan, Ghost in the Shell was released as Kokaku Kidotai, which translates to ?Mobile Armored Riot Police?. It was in 1989 when the manga was first serialized in Japan under the same name. The original manga anthology ran from 1989 to 1990 in Kondansha?s Young Magazine.
The tankobon (single volume, trade paperback) English version was released by Dark Horse Comics in December 1995.
Reports claim that the 2017 live-action adaptation, directed by Rupert Sanders, will follow the original manga series instead of the adaptations that were released after. The Hollywood movie, starring Scarlet Johansson as the Major, will be about the Major stopping the most dangerous criminals and fighting against a new enemy that threatens to sabotage Hanka Robotic?s Artificial Intelligence technology. In preparation, The Bitbag recommends that fans should read the following manga before the movie premiers:
No. 1 ? Kokaku Kidotai: The Ghost in the Shell ? In 2029, Major Makoto Kusanagi, leader of Public Security Section 9, was introduced. She was in charge of hunting down the Puppet Master, a cyber-criminal responsible for ?ghost hacking? humans with cyberbrains. Kusanagi later on discovered that the Puppet Master was an advanced artificial intelligence created by someone from the government. She destroyed this AI but later on discovered that it had then taken over her own cyberbrain. The Puppet Master sought to evolve through Kusanagi by merging with her ghost.
No. 2 ? Ghost in the Shell 2: Man-Machine Interface ? Set 5 years after the events in the first book, the Major became a chief security officer for a multinational conglomerate. Then known as Motoko Aramaki, she attacked spies and cyber-hackers by digitally transferring herself between cyborg bodies around the world. Psychic investigator Tamaki Tamai sensed danger when an AI professor, Dr. Rahampol, fell into the hands of data pirates.
If you can?t get enough of GITS, feel free to also read No. 1.5 ? Ghost in the Shell: Human- Error Processor, which features a series of investigations during the time between the first 2 books mentioned above.