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Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (攻殻機動隊 STAND ALONE COMPLEX Kōkaku Kidōtai Sutando Arōn Konpurekkusu?, "Mobile Armoured Riot Police: Stand Alone Complex") is a Japanese animated television series, based on Masamune Shirow's manga Ghost in the Shell. The episodes were directed by Kenji Kamiyama, animated by Production I.G, and produced by Bandai Visual, Bandai Entertainment, Dentsu, Nippon Television Network, Tokuma Shoten, Victor Entertainment, and Manga Entertainment.[1] Stand Alone Complex was first licensed and broadcast in 2002 by anime television network Animax across most of Asia, as well as Latin America.[2] It was subsequently licensed in the United States and Canada by Bandai Entertainment/Bandai Visual,[3] in the United Kingdom by Manga Entertainment,[4] and in Australia by Madman Entertainment.[5] It continues to be broadcast in the United States as of August 2010 on Adult Swim,[6] and was broadcast in Canada and the United Kingdom by YTV[7] and AnimeCentral,[8] respectively.

The opening theme for each episode is "Inner universe" (lyrics: Origa, Shanti Snyder; music: Yoko Kanno; vocals: Origa), and the ending theme for each episode is "Lithium Flower" (lyrics: Tim Jensen; music: Yoko Kanno; vocals: Scott Matthew).[9] The original soundtrack, containing the opening and closing themes in addition to other tracks from the series, was released by Victor Entertainment on January 22, 2002 in Japan,[10] and by Bandai Visual on November 7, 2004 in the United States.[11]

Thirteen DVD compilations, each containing two episodes, were released by Bandai Visual between December 21, 2002 and December 21, 2003.[12] The English adaptation of the anime was released in seven DVD compilations, each containing four episodes, by Manga Entertainment and Anchor Bay Entertainment between July 27, 2004 and July 26, 2005.[13] Complete DVD collection boxes were released by Bandai Visual as a Limited Edition on July 27, 2007 in Japan,[14] and by Manga Entertainment on October 31, 2006 in the United States.[15]

Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex contains two types of episodes: "Standalone (SA)" episodes, and "Complex (C)" episodes. Episodes which are designated SA are "Stand-Alone" episodes taking place independently of the main plot, and usually focus on Section 9's investigation of isolated cases. Episodes designated C for "Complex" advance the main plot, which follows the members of Public Security Section 9 as they investigate the background behind the Laughing Man incident: the kidnapping and subsequent release of a Japanese CEO by a sophisticated hacker.[16]

Episodes

# Title airdate US airdate
1 SA: Public Security Section 9 – SECTION-9
"Kōan Kyūka SECTION-9" (公安9課 SECTION-9)
October 1, 2002 November 7, 2004
Section 9 is called in to resolve a hostage crisis at a geisha house staffed by android geisha. After the crisis is taken care of, Aramaki is approached by Kubota, who reveals that the Japanese Foreign Minister was being actively investigated by military intelligence after expressing interest in the Ichinose Report, a document detailing diplomatic and military actions to be taken in the event of a national crisis. Given the sensitive nature of the case, Kubota asks that Section 9 take over the investigation where the original team left off. While reviewing the details of the hostage crisis at the geisha house, Togusa figures out what really happened: the Foreign Minister had his cyberbrain switched with that of an unknown intelligence agent working for the American Empire. Section 9 springs into action, successfully preventing the American intelligence agent, who is using the Foreign Minister's body, from leaving the country with the sensitive report in his possession.
2 SA: Runaway Evidence – TESTATION
"Bōsō no Shōmei TESTATION" (暴走の証明 TESTATION)
October 8, 2002 November 14, 2004
A heavy-assault multi-ped tank runs amok, under the control of an unknown hijacker using the "recognition code" of the tank's designer, Kago Takeshi, who died a week earlier. After going on a destructive spree at the testing facility, the tank heads towards the urban area of Niihama. Section 9 is called in to stop the tank, as no terrorist group has claimed responsibility, and the military refuses to involve itself unless terrorism is the clear motive. Saito attempts to snipe the tank, but is thwarted due to the tank's capability to link into the same satellite Saito is using to aim. Meanwhile, Togusa and Ishikawa interview the tank's co-designer, Ooba Toshio. After some questioning by Togusa, Ooba reveals the identity of the tank's hijacker: Kago Takeshi, the original designer. After Kago's death, Ooba linked Kago's brain to the tank's AI, effectively putting Kago in complete control of the tank. Ooba further reveals that Kago's possible motive may be to avenge himself upon his parents; he had serious medical problems, but his parents refused to allow him to get a cyberbody or even a cyberbrain due to their religious beliefs. Kago's destination is his parents home, and Section 9 must stop him before he gets there. They are unsuccessful, and Section 9 is forced to battle Kago; in the end, they destroy the tank and Motoko short-circuits Kago's brain. However, the Major discovers a split second before she does so that all Kago was trying to do was show his parents his new steel body.
3 SA: A Modest Rebellion – ANDROID AND I
"Sasayaka na Hanran ANDROID AND I" (ささやかな反乱 ANDROID AND I)
October 15, 2002 November 21, 2004
A series of android suicides prompts Section 9 to investigate the manufacturer. While Section Head Daisuke Aramaki questions the plant manager, Kusanagi and a Tachikoma covertly hack into the plant's database to try to uncover any possible wrongdoings by the manufacturer. As it turns out, all the androids were of the same model, an obsolete product known as the GA07_JL android, dubbed the Jeri by its small but loyal fanbase. The Genesis Jeri-model android was popular because of the ease with which an end-user could modify it to their own specifications. While the plant manager half-jokingly comments that the Jeris have grown despondent because of their obsolete status, Kusanagi discovers that a virus has been inserted into the mainframe, probably by an end-user who had sent his Jeri back to Genesis for refurbishing. The it's revealed that the user wanted to eliminate the other Jeri's so that his would be unique. The episode also includes an extended homage to the French New Wave film Breathless (1960 film).
4 C: The Visual Device will Laugh – INTERCEPTER
"Shikaku Soshi wa Warau INTERCEPTER" (視覚素子は笑う INTERCEPTER)
October 22, 2002 November 28, 2004
Yamaguchi, an old friend of Togusa's and a police detective working in the Laughing Man task force, is murdered after he calls Togusa, requesting to see him concerning what Yamaguchi terms "suspicious internal activity" by higher ups in the police department. At Yamaguchi's wake, Togusa is approached by Yamaguchi's wife, who delivers an envelope from him to Togusa that contain a series of strange photographs. Upon scrutinizing the photographs, Togusa realizes that none of them are taken using a camera. Continuing his investigation, Togusa interviews another detective in the Laughing Man task force, who coincidentally mentions that the task force is waiting to bug a primary suspect in the case with cybernetic surveillance devices called "interceptors". The interceptors allow constant audio and visual monitoring of the subject via their own senses. Togusa puts two and two together, concluding that the Laughing Man task force members were bugged with these devices illegally for monitoring, although the purpose of such illegal surveillance remains unknown. Shortly thereafter, the information about the illegal use of the interceptors is leaked by Section 9, prompting the police Commissioner to call a press conference regarding the growing scandal. The Commissioner publicly denies any responsibility, instead blaming the head of the "Laughing Man" task force, Nibu Kunihiko, and announcing Nibu's immediate resignation. News reporters press the Commissioner about the possible involvement of higher officials, as well as the Commissioner's own ties to nanomachine maker Serano-Genomix, who manufactured the interceptors, but the Commissioner continues in his denials. At that point, the mysterious hacker known as The Laughing Man returns. Hijacking a police official's cyberbrain, the Laughing Man denounces what he refers to as the "previous farce", and announces that due to the police's efforts to cover up the truth, he will reluctantly challenge them again. Finally, he delivers a death threat to the commissioner, stating that he will remove him (mimicking a gun with the hijacked police official's hand) if the truth is not revealed in full.
5 C: The Inviting Bird will Chant – DECOY
"Manekidori wa Utau DECOY" (マネキドリは謡う DECOY)
October 29, 2002 December 5, 2004
Section 9 suspects that the Police Investigators handling the Laughing Man case are using their primary suspect, a former Serano Genomics, Inc. programmer with a shady anti-corporate past named Nanao Ei, as a decoy to hide some form of higher-level corruption. Aramaki orders Section 9 to commence around the clock surveillance on Nanao Ei in an attempt to catch him in the act. Elsewhere, Kusanagi meets with Kurutan to use her external memory device in an effort to learn more about The Laughing Man Case. However, when the police Superintendent-General is set to give a speech about the Interceptor incident and the Laughing Man case, one of the officers present has his cyberbrain hacked by the Laughing Man. The Laughing Man demands that the Superintendent-General tell the truth, or he will be assassinated.
6 C: The Copycat will Dance – MEME
"Mohōsha wa Odoru MEME" (模倣者は踊る MEME)
November 5, 2002 December 12, 2004
Things go fairly haywire as Kusanagi suspects that The Laughing Man has inserted a virus into the police units guarding the Superintendent-General. As Section 9 members struggle to evacuate the Superintendent-General to safety, the anti-virus team at HQ races to develop a vaccine to protect against it. However, random civilians begin joining in the assassination attempt as well, without any sort of external influence. After escorting the Superintendent-General to safety and apprehending all of the assassins, the police are left wondering what caused dozens of completely unrelated people to attempt to murder a single man. After the immediate threat is averted, Aramaki orders Section 9 to open their own investigation into the Laughing Man case.
7 SA: Idolatry – IDOLATOR
"Gūzō Sūhai IDOLATER" (偶像崇拝 IDOLATER)
November 12, 2002 December 19, 2004
It has come to the attention of the Minister of Home Affairs that Jenoma revolutionary leader Marcelo Jarti has been visiting Japan regularly every five months. Jarti is one of the world’s foremost wanted men, and has been targeted for assassination by commandos of the United States Delta Force and United Kingdom Special Air Service (SAS) a total of six times; miraculously, he has survived each of these attempts. When Jarti returns to Japan following the most recently failed assassination attempt Section 9 is called in to trail him and determine why Jarti has been visiting their country. It turns out that Jarti is not just a single individual, but actually an army of cybernetic clones. Section 9 captures the facility the clones are being kept in, but purposely allow release of a Jarti clone in order to maintain the global status quo.
8 SA: The Fortunate Ones – MISSING HEARTS
"Megumareshi Monotachi MISSING HEARTS" (恵まれし者たち MISSING HEARTS)
November 19, 2002 January 2, 2005
Kurutan, a friend of Kusanagi's, calls the Major to the hospital where she works to look into the source of a young girl's heart transplant. It seems that the heart she received was given without consent of the owner's parents. The girl's doctors feared she might have had to be given a full-cyborg conversion, a thought that stirs painful memories for Kusanagi. Aramaki, believing that the culprits may be tied to a mass kidnapping ring, orders Section 9 to look into the case for connections between the organs, the company that sold them, and the mitsunish motor oil refugee camp. Finally, the culprits are revealed to be a gang of rich students. Before arresting them, Kusanagi decides to scare and humiliate the students by posing as a murderous Yakuza enforcer.

The Jameson character who appears in this episode also appears regularly in the Tachikoma Days omake.

9 C: The Man Who Dwells in the Shadows of the Net – CHAT! CHAT! CHAT!
"Net no Yami ni Sumu Otoko CHAT! CHAT! CHAT!" (ネットの闇に棲む男 CHAT! CHAT! CHAT!)
November 26, 2002 January 9, 2005
Kusanagi enters a chat room dedicated to The Laughing Man. Various crackpot (and a few plausible) theories are passed around JFK-style as the chat room members view various bits of evidence from the Laughing Man case. While in the chat room Kusanagi homes in on an older man sitting at the table who seems to have more knowledge about the Laughing Man incidents than the others in the room. After confronting the man and exchanging information with him, Kusanagi and one of the other members in the chat room are suddenly transferred out of the chat room, with unexpected results.
10 SA: A Perfect Day for a Jungle Cruise – JUNGLE CRUISE
"Mitsurin Kōro ni Uttetsuke no Hi JUNGLE CRUISE" (密林航路にうってつけの日 JUNGLE CRUISE)
December 3, 2002 January 16, 2005
Marco Amereti, a former American Imperial Navy Petty Officer turned serial killer, has arrived in Japan and for the last two months has murdered several women by slicing the skin off their torsos in the form of a T-shirt. American CIA officers have been dispatched to Japan, ostensibly to assist Section 9 in their effort to track down and apprehend Marco before he can strike again. When the CIA officers show no surprise at the developments in the case Ishikawa hacks into the CIA database to find out why, and learns that Marco was part of an American Empire commando team sent into the jungles of South America to conduct a covert operation aimed at breaking an enemy’s will to fight, by using terror-tactics (like flaying civilians alive). Elsewhere, Batou — an ex-JGSDF Ranger who has seen first hand the horrors of the CIA operation — resolves to stop Marco by any means necessary, but his behaviour during the case has led to suspicion that Batou may attempt to kill Marco, rather than arrest him.

However, this is exactly what the CIA wants, since Marco is the only loose end that can tie them to the jungle op. Marco's hideout in the sewers is discovered, and Batou gives chase in a running gun battle. Batou experiences vivid flashbacks during the chase, with the dank sewers intercutting with the steaming jungle where he first battled Marco years ago. Batou finally manages to corner Marco, who begs Batou to kill him. However, Batou remembers that he is a law enforcement officer first, and arrests Marco instead. The CIA agents, unhappy that things didn't go as planned, are forced to return home with Marco in tow.

This episode was initially skipped in the YTV broadcast in Canada because of the graphic content. It was later aired uncut on December 30, 2005 at 1:30 AM and ran at the regular 12AM time slot during the series' second run. The Adult Swim broadcast in the US included a disclaimer before the episode aired warning viewers about the content.

11 C: In the Forest of Pupae – PORTRAITZ
"Aseichū no Mori de PORTRAITZ" (亜成虫の森で PORTRAITZ)
December 10, 2002 January 23, 2005
The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare has been hacked into, and classified material from their database has been stolen. Section 9 traces the hack and determined that the hack job originated from a facility that helps people with Cyberbrain Closed Shell Syndrome. Togusa goes undercover to investigate the social welfare facility, and immediately encounters suspicious behaviour from the facility's supervisors. Togusa manages to learn that a person called "the chief" visited the center during the week that the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare was hacked, but before he can determine the significance of this information Togusa is discovered; simultaneously, the facility unexpectedly goes online and Section 9’s databases are subsequently hacked, leading Kusanagi and Batou to make an emergency insertion to evacuate Togusa. The Chief is revealed to be the alter ego of a boy named Aoi, who seems to have vanished after the incident, with no evidence that he was ever a patient at the center, save for Togusa's testimony. But when Togusa draws Aoi's face from memory, the others are surprised to find that Togusa has drawn the infamous Laughing Man logo.
12 SA: Tachikoma Runs Away; The Movie Director's Dream – ESCAPE FROM
"Tachikoma no Iede, Eiga Kantoku no Yume ESCAPE FROM" (タチコマの家出 映画監督の夢 ESCAPE FROM)
December 17, 2002 January 30, 2005
Early in the morning Batou's Tachikoma self-activates and leaves the Tachikoma storage bay to explore the outer world. While roaming the streets of the city the Tachikoma encounters a young girl searching for her lost dog. The Tachikoma decides to help the girl, and together they manage to find the dog. While on their journey, the Tachikoma stumbles upon a cyberbrain being sold in a market that contains a ghost and brings it back to the storage bay. When the Tachikoma returns to Section 9 (well after nightfall) technicians begin extensive tests to determine why the tank went AWOL in the first place, while Section 9 members turn their attention to the cyberbrain in an effort to determine what the brain contains. When one of the lab technicians investigating the brain links with it and becomes "lost," Kusanagi volunteers to go after the missing man, leading her on a soul-searching ghost dive.
13 SA: Unequal Terrorist – NOT EQUAL
"Unequal Terrorist NOT EQUAL" (≠テロリスト NOT EQUAL)
December 24, 2002 February 6, 2005
Sixteen years ago Eka Turkuro, the daughter of a pioneering cyber company CEO, was kidnapped by a group opposed to cyberization. The girl's whereabouts remained a mystery until she was spotted by members of the Maritime Safety Team aboard an abandoned radiation scrubbing island off the coast of Okinawa. Four Special Security Team operators of the Japan Coast Guard were sent to find the girl and rescue her, but the team vanished without a trace. Section 9 is covertly dispatched to the island with two objectives: locate any remaining SST members and evacuate them, and find and rescue the missing girl. Section 9 is inserted by submarine, and after a time manages to find the girl, but when they do they realize that something is very wrong - the girl is the same age she was when she was kidnapped all those years ago! Simultaneously, the terrorists discover Section 9 has rescued their hostages, and a massive firefight for control of the hostages erupts between the terrorists and Section 9. They manage to escape, and make the shocking discovery that an elderly hostage they had rescued is the actual Eka Turkuro (the stress of her life as a hostage accelerated her aging), and that the girl is actually her daughter.
14 SA: Automated Capitalism – ¥€$
"Zenjidō Shihonshugi ¥€$" (全自動資本主義 ¥€$)
December 31, 2002 February 13, 2005
Acting on a tip, Section 9 breaks up a cabal of thieves hell-bent on wrecking a Japanese financial institution. Shortly after the raid a Chinese intelligence official contacts Section 9 and informs them of suspicious activity that he believes may indicate an assassination attempt by Chinese Socialists on a prominent, yet reclusive, Japanese multi-millionaire. Section 9 is therefore tasked with protecting the millionaire, a 56-year-old ex-mathematician who has amassed a fortune by playing the stock market. Section 9 and the assassin arrive within minutes of each other, but after reaching the millionaire’s bedroom both sides make an unexpected discovery. The millionare has actually been long dead, with the only reason why people believed that he was alive being his advanced financial program that automatically managed his investements.<p>

The symbols in the title "¥€$" refer to the Japanese yen, the euro, and the dollar, respectively.

15 SA: Time of the Machines – MACHINES DÉSIRANTES
"Kikaitachi no Jikan MACHINES DESIRANTES" (機械たちの時間 MACHINES DESIRANTES)
January 7, 2003 February 20, 2005
Kusanagi's reservations regarding Section 9's Tachikoma units comes to a head. She has become disturbed by their behaviour, as their artificial intelligence agents appear to be developing too fast; she has additional concerns about the safety of retaining them in the unit for use in a battle situation. The Tachikomas have become vaguely aware of Kusanagi's concerns, and attempt to avoid deactivation by hatching a bizarre scheme to appeal to Kusanagi and prevent their removal. When Batou is summoned to a conference by Kusanagi, he learns of the situation with the Tachikomas and is told that they will be disarmed and shipped back to the lab for analysis. Although unhappy with the decision, Batou has no choice but to comply with the order.
16 SA: Chinks in the Armor of the Heart – Ag2O
"Kokoro no Sukima Ag2O" (心の隙間 Ag2O)
January 14, 2003 February 27, 2005
Sensitive information has been stolen from a U.S. Navy base, and the primary suspect is a former Paralympic silver medalist named Zaitsev. The Public Security office has instructed Batou to go undercover to spy on Zaitsev, a man whom he admires, to see if Zaitsev is somehow related to the missing information. Batou wants his information to be wrong and for Zaitsev to be innocent. The assignment calls into question Batou's attitude on his duty towards Section 9 and the decisions it forces him to make. However, Batou discovers that Zaitsev is indeed the spy and reluctantly turns him in.
17 SA: The True Reason For The Unfinished Love Affair – ANGELS' SHARE
"Mikansei Love Romance no Shinsō ANGELS' SHARE" (未完成ラブロマンスの真相 ANGELS' SHARE)
January 21, 2003 March 6, 2005
Major Kusanagi and Chief Aramaki are visiting London for an anti-terrorism conference. While there, Aramaki stops at a wine bank to visit an old friend of his who asks for his help in breaking up a Mafia money laundering scheme involving the bank and an unknown third party. Before Aramaki can leave, two thieves break in and a hostage situation ensues. In an effort to separate themselves from the incident, the Mafia attempts to have Aramaki and the bank staff killed during a police raid, while Kusanagi makes her own plans to rescue the chief and his friends from certain death. The Chief manages to convince the thieves (who are complete amateurs) to surrender, and they take shelter in a secret compartment. Kusanagi manages to infiltrate the bank and extract Aramaki, as well as the evidence needed to implicate the Mafia.
18 SA: Assassination Duet – LOST HERITAGE
"Ansatsu no Nijūsō LOST HERITAGE" (暗殺の二重奏 LOST HERITAGE)
January 28, 2003 March 13, 2005
After a five-year wait, Chinese vice foreign minister Jin has been allowed access to the Kagashewa war memorial in Japan. Jin is the first Chinese dignitary to be granted access to the site, but not everyone is happy with the decision, and before long a death threat is made against Jin. Elsewhere, Aramaki visits the grave of one of his deceased comrades, a Colonel in the GSDF. While at the grave site, Aramaki encounters the Colonel’s daughter, who voices her concern over her brother Yu’s sudden behavioural changes. When Section 9 determines Yu to be the prime suspect in the assassination attempt, Kusanagi and Togusa are sent to apprehend him, but arrive too late to arrest Yu. Simultaneously, Aramaki receives a disturbing phone call from his dead friend who explains in part the reason for his actions. Out of respect for the chief, Section 9 resolves to do everything in their power to take Yu in alive, but there is concern among the team members that Yu may not give them that chance. They manage to stop Yu by hacking his cyberbrain and fooling him into thinking his mission was successful. However, he has been permanently traumatized after merging his own ghost with his father's.
19 SA: Embraced by a Disguised Net – CAPTIVATED
"Gisōmō ni Dakarete CAPTIVATED" (偽装網に抱かれて CAPTIVATED)
February 4, 2003 March 20, 2005
Former Japanese Prime Minister Kanzaki’s daughter has been abducted, and Section 9 is called in to investigate her disappearance. The prime suspect in the case is "Blind Fold Ivan", a pseudonym for the North Territories Mafia. "Blind Fold Ivan" uses the same modus operandi in his abductions: over a three-day period, multiple underage women are kidnapped and then shipped to chop shops where they are killed, and all organs and cybernetic pieces are taken to be sold on the black market. Kanzaki had previously downplayed these mass kidnappings and denied the existence of "Blind Fold Ivan" in an effort to strengthen ties between Russia and Japan; however, he publicly reveals the kidnapping of his daughter at Aramaki’s request in order to save his daughter. The news abruptly changes the investigation by thrusting an ex-SVR officer and her hostages into the center of a scandalous, nationwide media event. The officer attempts to seek shelter at the Russian Embassy, but they are unwilling to give her asylum due to the political firestorm, resulting in her capture and the rescue of the kidnapped women.
20 C: Vanished Medication – RE-VIEW
"Kesareta Kusuri RE-VIEW" (消された薬 RE-VIEW)
February 11, 2003 March 27, 2005
After the events of PORTRAITZ, Togusa uses J. D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye as a starting point and develops a theory that the Laughing Man is after something published on paper. Togusa receives permission to check out a Health, Labour, and Welfare records building and stumbles upon a key piece of evidence: a list of Cyberbrain Sclerosis patients treated with a secret vaccine has disappeared from the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare. Togusa traces the missing list to a group called the Sunflower Society, where he learns that several prominent Japanese citizens have been secretly treated with the experimental cyberbrain sclerosis medication, due to the secret fact that the nanomachine treatments are ineffective. Elsewhere, the head of the Japanese DEA unit dispatches the Narcotics Suppression Squad to eliminate the members of the Sunflower Society and recover the missing list. When the squad storms the Sunflower Society’s building, Togusa ends up getting caught in the massacre. He manages to escape, but not before becoming critically wounded.
21 C: Left-Behind Trace – ERASER
"Okizari no Kiseki ERASER" (置き去りの軌跡 ERASER)
February 18, 2003 April 3, 2005
Togusa finds himself in the hospital after being shot, but is desperate to impart what he has learned to the rest of the group. Through Togusa’s memories, Section 9 experiences the DEA raid against the Sunflower Society, prompting anger and rage. The Chief takes it upon himself to notify the head of the DEA of Togusa’s presence at the Sunflower Society building during the raid, prompting the DEA chief to order the Narcotics Suppression Squad (NSS) to the house of Dr. Imakurusu. Imakurusu had overseen the board that denied the Murai Vaccine; after being diagnosed with CS, he began using the vaccine and subsequently went into hiding. Section 9 believes Imakurusu may hold a clue to unraveling the entire Laughing Man case, and have undertaken a desperate search to locate him. With the aid of the American Empire and their unique surveillance satellites, Section 9 manages to find the doctor, and Batou volunteers to go after him. Elsewhere, high ranking elements of the Japanese government have launched their own campaign against Section 9 in an effort to bury the truth of the Laughing Man case, backing the NSS against Section 9. When both parties arrive at Imakurusu's location, all hell breaks loose between the DEA’s NSS squad and Section 9. Though they are unsuccessful in rescuing Imakurusu, Section 9 manages to get the evidence they need to take action against the DEA.
22 C: Corporate Graft – SCANDAL
"Gigoku SCANDAL" (疑獄 SCANDAL)
February 25, 2003 April 10, 2005
The Head of the DEA is arrested for murder in connection with the raid at the Sunflower Society building. Aramaki orders Section 9 to go through all of the facility's records to determine who is pulling the strings behind the attacks against Section 9 and whether that person or group is responsible for orchestrating the Laughing Man incidents. As Aramaki leaves the building he shares an elevator ride with former prime minister Kanzaki, who privately discloses that the prime suspect in the Laughing Man case has a lot of friends in high places and strong connections to the navy. Elsewhere, the remaining members of the Narcotic Suppression Squad attempt to frame Aramaki with drug trafficking by luring him to a refugee district, but their plan fails when Batou rescues the chief before the police arrive on the scene. Meanwhile, Kusanagi seeks to repair her prosthetic body after incurring severe damage in a battle against the government's latest prototype weapon. Her plan is to perform a simple body swap, but the doctor in charge of the procedure is in reality an NSS agent bent on killing her. Just when it seems that Kusanagi will be killed The Laughing Man arrives, and in exchange for Kusanagi’s assistance completes her body swap, thereby saving the Major.
23 C: The Other Side of Good and Evil – EQUINOX
"Zen'aku no Higan EQUINOX" (善悪の彼岸 EQUINOX)
March 4, 2003 April 17, 2005
The Laughing Man returns to again kidnap the CEO of Serano Genomics, just as he did six years before. Returning to the scene of the café where Serano was first kidnapped, he and the Laughing Man share the story of the events leading up to the kidnapping and the events following it. During the conversation The Laughing Man asks Serano why he never fulfilled his promise to tell the truth, and in response Serano informs the Laughing Man that the whole time, the Secretary General had him under arrest. Meanwhile, Section 9 determines the Secretary General to be the man pulling the strings behind the Laughing Man scandal, and have resolved to take Serano into protective custody to obtain his testimony. When the team discovers that Serano has been kidnapped by the Laughing Man they mount a frantic search to find and secure him. At the end of the episode, it is revealed that the Laughing Man was actually the Major in disguise and that the entire operation combined with Serano's conversation with the "Laughing Man" was Section 9's plot to confirm Serano Genomics' dealings with Secretary General Yakushima.
24 C: Sunset in the Lonely City – ANNIHILATION
"Kojō Rakujitsu ANNIHILATION" (孤城落日 ANNIHILATION)
March 11, 2003 April 24, 2005
Having learned the entire truth behind the Laughing Man Incident from the Laughing Man himself, and having confirmed the information with Mr. Serano, Section 9 is finally ready to make their move against the man behind the corporate terrorism: standing Secretary General Yakushima. Unfortunately, Yakushima has learned of Section 9’s planned move, and has leaked the existence of the group to the press in an effort to cast the organization in a bad light. When Aramaki arrives to speak with the Prime Minister he presents the incriminating evidence against Yakushima, expecting the Prime Minister to take action and remove Yakushima from office. Unfortunately, the lower house elections are entering a crucial stage, and without the support of his party in that house the Prime Minister is uncertain of his ability to have Yakushima removed from office and arrested for his crimes. To counter this the Prime Minister decides to use the Special Forces Restriction Bill against Section 9 in an effort to improve his party’s image with the promise that he will take action after the elections have been completed. An alarmed Aramaki reluctantly agrees to the plan, and informs the Major of the impending raid on their headquarters, instructing her and the team to survive no matter what. Shortly after his departure from the Prime Minister's office Aramaki and Togusa become the first two members of Section 9 to be captured by the government. Elsewhere, a JMSDF carrier and three escorts have arrived in the waters off Niihama City. Aboard the carrier the Umibozu, an elite JMSDF Black Ops unit adept at paramilitary operations, prepares to storm Section 9 with armoured combat suits and assault choppers. After exchanging shots with the Umibozu, the assembled members of Section 9 stage a feint suicide attempt before escaping to the basement. Kusanagi briefs them on the chief's last instruction before issuing the final order to the unit: "Security Section 9 is now disbanded. That is all."
25 C: Smoke of Gunpowder, Hail of Bullets – BARRAGE
"Shōendan'u BARRAGE" (硝煙弾雨 BARRAGE)
March 18, 2003 May 1, 2005
Aramaki has been released under his own recognizance, and meets with the head of the Ministry of Justice to explain the situation and ask for help in ensuring his team members' safety, but the Minister of Justice is powerless to affect the situation beyond the prosecution of Yakushima. Elsewhere, Saito and Ishikawa are caught in separate traps set by Umibozu teams, but not before successfully dispersing information seeds given to them by the Major. With Batou and Motoko as the only uncaptured members of Section 9, Batou undertakes a risky sortie to Motoko's apartment to recover her sentimentally-valued watch. Before he can escape, Umibozu commandos arrive and a firefight ensues. Batou successfully fends off the first wave of attacks, but is unexpectedly confronted with two armoured combat suits, the second of which proves to be more than he can handle. Just when it seems that Batou will be killed, help arrives from a most unlikely source: the Tachikomas. Having witnessed the attack on Section 9, the three remaining Tachikomas rendezvous at the remains of Section 9's headquarters, and after a time manage to find Batou at Kusanagi's apartment. The Tachikoma tanks resolve to protect Batou at any cost, but armed only with wires and a single shell it seems an impossible task and only succeed by sacrificing themselves. Meanwhile, Kusanagi arrives to evacuate a badly injured Batou. She evacuates him to her hideout where she stores her remote bodies. Batou returns Kusanagi's watch and she puts it on her wrist. After seeing to his wounds, both attempt to leave the city, but the Umibozu have other plans (on orders from the cabinet) to assassinate the Major. The Major's decapitated body is not wearing the watch.
26 C: Public Security Section 9, Once Again – STAND ALONE COMPLEX
"Kōan Kyūka, Futatabi STAND ALONE COMPLEX" (公安9課,再び STAND ALONE COMPLEX)
March 25, 2003 May 8, 2005
After 15 days of fierce fighting the Umibozu complete their operation to dismantle Section 9 by assassinating Kusanagi and capturing Batou. The dismantling of Section 9, spun by the media as a JSDF preemptive strike against a radical security unit planning a coup, provides the prime minister with the public support his party needs to win the lower house elections. Immediately after the election, in keeping with his promise, the prime minister discloses the information regarding The Laughing Man case, fingering Yakushima as the ringleader. Three months pass, during which Togusa tries to come to terms with all that has happened with Section 9. In his attempts to find information on the rest of the team he learns that the Major was killed and the remaining members of Section 9 are serving time in a state prison for high treason. The news upsets Togusa, and he resolves to assassinate the man responsible for Section 9's dissolution. Togusa intends to catch Yakushima as he arrives at the ruling party’s headquarters, but before Togusa can follow through with his plan he is stopped by none other than Batou, who brings Togusa to Section 9’s temporary HQ. Here, Togusa is informed that Section 9's disbandment and destruction was merely a ploy, news that he greets with joy. Elsewhere, Kusanagi and Aramaki meet with Aoi, the man responsible for the abduction of Serano six years ago. For his outstanding hacking skills Aramaki offers Aoi a job at Section 9, but Aoi politely refuses citing he is not a team player and wishing to remain in an unused library to sort through and read its collection of books. Public Security, Section 9, is once more an active security unit of the Japanese government, and its members once more settle into the routines they had at the beginning of the series.

Original Video Animation

Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex - The Laughing Man is a single episode original video animation that combines footage from the first season with new footage to retell one of the central story arcs of the series. The OVA was released on September 9, 2003 and is licensed for release in Region 1 by Bandai Entertainment.[17]

Tachikomatic Days

Tachikomatic Days are a series of comedic shorts attached to the end of every episode of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex featuring the Tachikoma think tanks of Section 9.[18]

See also

References

  1. "Production I.G.'s GitS:SAC Staff & Cast credits". Archived from the original on 2010-09-02. Retrieved 2010-09-02. 
  2. Script error
  3. "Bandai Visual anime titles, 2000-2006". Bandai Visual Co., Ltd. Archived from the original on 2010-09-02. Retrieved 2010-09-02. 
  4. "Manga Entertainment's official UK GitS:SAC website". Manga Entertainment. Retrieved 2010-09-02. 
  5. "Madman Entertainment's official GitS:SAC webpage". Madman Entertainment. Retrieved 2010-09-02. 
  6. "Adult Swim's GitS:SAC webpage". Adult Swim. Retrieved 2010-09-02. 
  7. "Channel Canada reports on YTV's fall 2005 lineup, including GitS:SAC". Channel Canada. Retrieved 2010-09-02. 
  8. "AnimeCentral's Series page for GitS:SAC". CSC Media Group Ltd. Archived from the original on 2010-09-01. Retrieved 2010-09-02. 
  9. "Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (TV) - Anime News Network". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2008-01-26. 
  10. Script error
  11. "Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex [SOUNDTRACK]". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2009-01-12. 
  12. Script error
  13. "The Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex Series". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2009-01-12. 
  14. Script error
  15. "Ghost in the Shell SAC Complete 1st Season Collection Box Set (2004)". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2009-01-12. 
  16. Person, Lawrence (15 January 2006). "Review of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex". Locus Online. Retrieved 2010-01-13. 
  17. "Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex - The Laughing Man (OAV)". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2008-01-26. 
  18. Santos, Carlo. "Review of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex Vol. #1". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2010-01-13. [dead link]

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