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Ghost in the Shell (Ghost in the Shell, #1)
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Ghost in the Shell (Ghost in the Shell #1-8)

4.23  ·  Rating Details  ·  6,149 Ratings  ·  178 Reviews
In the rapidly converging landscape of the 21st century Major Kusanagi is charged to track down the craftiest and most dangerous terrorists and cybercriminals, including ghost hackers When he track the trail of one hacker, her quest leads her to a world she could never have imagined.
Paperback, Second English Edition, 350 pages
Published June 20th 2006 by Dark Horse Comics (first published October 5th 1991)
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Best of Cyberpunk
10th out of 220 books — 909 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Erik Angle
Feb 03, 2015 Erik Angle rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: otaku, cyberpunk fans, postcyberpunk fans
DISCLAIMER: I have watched every adaptation of this work (excluding video games), so I was well acquainted with the characters, concepts, and world of Kōkaku Kidōtai/Ghost in the Shell prior to reading this volume.

As a book of ideas for other people to take and craft a story out of, this manga is fantastic: high tech, low life, bureaucratic back-stabbing, and psychosociopolitical musings that are not only still relevant, but I would say important, for our expanding technophilic culture. Absolute
David Schaafsma
This is a classic science fiction manga by revered mangaka Shirow (a pseudonym). I am sorry to say (since many of my sci fi and manga GR friends loved it) I had a little trouble getting into it. I had to start and restart it several times. The ambition of the piece is obvious: It explores 21st century man vs machine AI issues, with a cyborg female Major Kusanagi who kicks ass and looks like what some people hope to see at Hooters, I suppose. Anyway, you know her and have seen her a bit too much, ...more
Mar 22, 2008 Psychophant rated it really liked it
This is the book that, in my opinion, closed down cyberpunk as a literary current, in 1991. It is what the matrix tried to become, a meld of style, futurism and religious take on that basic cyberpunk question, what it means to be human.

It is a very dense book, difficult to follow and with lots of subtext and unreliable narrators. It is also incredibly well drawn and laid out. It is self contained, which is also rare on this genre.

It still feels fresh and up to date, which just pays homage to its
Apr 30, 2016 Sara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: manga
So disappointed that I can't finish this manga. I know it's a classic. I never figured out what was going on. I also have a problem with 80's hair and clothes distracting me from vintage manga and old movies, but that's my own issue. I think I might check out the anime, though.

I did appreciate Motoko's sense of humor but it wasn't enough to get me through this book.
Chris Youngblood
I don't know. Maybe I'm stupid. Maybe it's an issue with the translations. Maybe Masamune Shirow is just an incredibly obtuse writer. Either way, I found these books (along with Appleseed) a bit muddled and indecipherable. I repeatedly felt that the books were written as though Mr. Shirow automatically expected us to understand certain things that were not explained - almost as if one were required to see the thought processes that went into the writing - the constant, unexplained references to ...more
Joel Julian
Feb 10, 2015 Joel Julian rated it it was ok
This was an interesting read. Quite inconsistent in many ways, it failed to maintain a particular tone, often jumping between humorous and serious scenarios. The art changes a lot as it progresses, as do the characters - none of which helps. The most inconsistent thing of all being Major Kusanagi's breasts which seem to vary in size by the page.
The plot is very episodic, making it hard to invest in. A concept is introduced at the beginning of the book, and then referred back to every now and
Jun 11, 2013 S. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I added some children's books here on goodreads and then get flooded with recommendations / discussions notifications and had to de-rate most of them. with this in mind, hopefully rating this comic book won't result in dramatically different book recs from the GR algorithm. Shirow's work stands more on pictures than stories, to be sure, and his specialty, lithe females in bodysuits and combat robots, is inspiredly chosen, but in any case, i guess it's fair to call this the best of Japanese cyber ...more
Edwin  Klemm
Feb 21, 2015 Edwin Klemm rated it it was amazing
I just finished a most fascinating Novel or maybe it was a Manga, a Graphic Novel. Whatever the case, I really should have read this book before seeing the DVD Ghost In The Shell. I bought the DVD several years ago and have loved it ever since. I think everyone has to some extent liked this show either as a movie or as a tv show. There are remarkable similarities between both. I could follow the book having seen the movie. The only real difference was that there is a lot more of the comic effect ...more
Dec 30, 2015 H rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sff, comics
I have mixed feelings about this volume. I read it spread out over quite a long time, during lunch breaks at work, and maybe that wasn't the right way to do it -- although it was originally a serialised work, so you'd expect it to work well that way. I enjoyed the early chapters, and the end has made me interested for the next part, but by the time I got to the setup of the last few chapter's overarching plot, I was impatient for it to end.

I like the police crime drama style structure, with a ca
Dec 14, 2011 Πέτρος rated it it was amazing
GiTS, the story of an anti-terrorist group of men and cyborgs, as they prevent cyber crimes. And this is not even the tip of the iceberg. GiTS stands as most likely the best in overall and most influential cyberpunk work in manga and it is still a concept that was never surpassed in detail and attention by any other. Seriously, the Matrix trilogy looks like elementary school before it. Here is a list of all the awesome things you can find in this manga.

1) Great artwork and cinematics. Masamune S
Ryan Stewart
Oct 19, 2015 Ryan Stewart rated it liked it
Man, I sure do love good cyberpunk. The mid-90s "Ghost in the Shell" anime movie is up there with "Blade Runner" and the original "Matrix" on the short list of the best this genre has to offer, so I decided to dive into the manga because, well, my library had it and I just had surgery so money is tight. Decisions made easy. But I digress... this is very good but it doesn't do it for me on the same level as the film or the anime "Standalone Complex" did. Maybe I'll appreciate this after I read mo ...more
Jun 02, 2011 Xylemicarious rated it really liked it
Wow. Well, let me put it this way: It's almost entirely very dense philosophy and politics, broken up with the occasional blast of gunfire or flash of nudity. I hate to say it though... I probably like the movie a bit better. This just felt a bit too fragmented and episodic for its own good. Peril of the medium I suppose. Anyway, it's still pretty much required reading for cyberpunk enthusiasts, it also serves as a decent intro to information theory and philosophy of machinery/cybernetics if you ...more
Griffin Youngstrum
Jan 12, 2016 Griffin Youngstrum rated it it was ok
I tried, you guys. I wanted to like this so much more. The universe Masamune has created is detailed, massive and not far from a real future.

But man, the writing is so difficult. Political and tactical banter that involves words and phrases that we're sopposed to just know. It gets so stupidly technical, that I lost what the hell was going on. And I would go over rereading sections!

The promotional art really tricks you into something more stylized, sexy and straighforward, which isnt the case.

Jun 15, 2011 Brian rated it it was ok
Just re-read this. Pretty good, but it's clear that much of what made the movie really great had more to do with Oshii than Shirow.
Nov 30, 2014 Adam rated it it was ok
Kenji Kamiyama's GitS: Stand Alone Complex is a really great show. I figured that, as is usually the case, the book inspiration for a thing is usually richer in characters and ideas than its visual product, and that I've seen enough anime by now that it's about time I read a manga.

I was also hoping that the manga would shed light on the plot points from the series and films. When I first started watching Ghost in the Shell, both the plots and the concepts used to explain them (particularly the
Oct 27, 2010 Matthew rated it liked it
I have to say that I’m honestly surprised. Not so much disappointed, just surprised.

GitS is probably one of the few anime/manga worlds which I hold in high personal regard. This isn’t to say that I’m championing it above others, it was just simply one of the very few that appealed to me as a teenager and lasted through the years as my whims and tastes solidified into what they are now.

I suppose my take on the manga was pretty much dependant on how I took each issue in. I instead read this strai
Jul 21, 2013 Terry rated it really liked it
The manga 'Ghost in the Shell', comes securely wrapped in cellophane, with a parental advisory warning label on the front c over. Yes, it includes a little of everything you would expect when seeing a parental advisory.
It is an excellent book. Basically it is a serious, adult science fiction (cyber-punk or post-cyberpunk) illustrated novel. Or put another way, it is an adult comic book. The setting is a future in which the technology and the human have begun to overlap. Some humans chose to have
Mar 22, 2009 Jared rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of anime, cyberpunk or the movies/tv Ghost in the Shell
Recommended to Jared by: No one
After being a fan of Ghost in the Shell through the television series Stand Alone Complex (SAC), I've been going back through the earlier stuff. I am saddened that I missed out on this as a teenager.

It was interesting to read the manga because it has more comic relief in it than any of the movies or the TV series. The characters have some significant differences, or show other traits that the "screen" versions of the characters don't show. Kusanagi has a love interest from Section 6, which I fou
John Wiswell
Mar 19, 2013 John Wiswell rated it really liked it
Glad to have finally sat down with this seminal cyberpunk. It’s challenging and excites me to give the sub-genre more of a chance, as being relatively ignorant of it, much of these ideas feel fresh. Several of its chapters are overwhelming, though, as Masamune seemed happy to write so much character exposition that rather than grasping what characters had to do, I was frequently swamped by characters and intel. Throw in any culture clash I might have and I was still only guessing I’d figured it ...more
Dec 28, 2012 Ma'Belle rated it it was ok
I knew this series was somewhat legendary when I finally picked it up from the library. I had seen the TV series and movie 8 years earlier while waist deep in 20th century "continental" philosophy and enjoyed it. When I read the book, I nearly came to the conclusion that no matter how much I love reading about interesting theoretical or actual scientific developments and their social, philosophical, and environmental implications, the cyberpunk genre, or at least its representation in Ghost in t ...more
Jan 27, 2012 Katie rated it it was ok
I was completely confused from page one, I felt I had come in half-way through a hard sci-fi series. The Plot was all over the place and the characters were hard to keep up with.

The sexy-lesbian-android bit wasn't even a smutty little offshoot, it was just porn for porns sake and the artwork went from absolutly beautiful to something my little brother could draw. At one point Masamune actually writes 'After this, there's a scene where Mokoto takes over the driving and Togusa checks his gear and
Derek Royal
Oct 04, 2015 Derek Royal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those classic works of manga I've been wanting to read for some time, and then finally got around to tackling. It's one of the most philosophically heavy narratives I've read in a while, especially when it comes to considerations of AI, life, and humanity. Musamune demands a lot from his readers, and this can be a dense work where comprehension can waver, if you're not careful. I'm not entirely sure I got everything I should, but still, a fascinating book to take on. I need to get ...more
May 01, 2014 Olgalijo rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those cult authors who have people telling you all over how good they are. I disagree. Completely. Yes, he applies some pretty hard core ethical dilemmas to the future world, but that's it. The artwork is just ugly, and not especially original, apart from the changes from black and white to color (and to tell you the truth, it looks more like he wanted color but was too lazy to follow up on it). The plot is difficult to follow, not because the ideas are so complicated, but because ...more
I found some of the stories in this collection interesting, others not so much. The colored pages were a nice add, but when it turned back to standard black and white drawings, the amount of details in each picture became a bit blurred. Also, some of the stories in this collection I didn't like, mostly because I didn't necessarily get all of their ideas (meaning some of the technical stuff descriped etc.). Still, overall an interesting manga, but since I didn't like all the stories that much/fou ...more
Dec 17, 2009 Yui rated it really liked it



This turned out to be the one of the best comic books that I've ever read..
If you like SF, then this is a 'must read' kind.

I watched both movies "The Ghost in the Shell" and "Innocence", and also liked them somehow, but this comic is way more interesting
Jun 02, 2015 Rebekah rated it really liked it
Definitely doesn't hold your hand. While it exposits the situation of where the world is at technologically, it gives you the place of rookie and will use terminology and describe situations and leave it up to you to figure out what's going on. Unless there isn't really much to go on (e.g. the first time the term "branched" appears it has a little note in the margin translating it as "monitored".) There are a few notes in the margins but things like 'diving' and 'syncing' are shown and you have ...more
May 19, 2015 Yozz rated it really liked it
GitS is a pretty gripping story about Section 9, a cyborg police task force in fighting criminals and other government sectors, often one as much as the other. This is probably a pretty narrow superlative, but my opinion is that this franchise is the definitive Japanese cyberpunk story.

The story itself is about Section 9 fighting crime and cyberterrorism, while also navigating the web of Japan's internal politics, which is done pretty well. The story is captivating, if a bit episodic. Being a ma
Eric Johnson
Mar 04, 2015 Eric Johnson rated it it was amazing
This of course started the whole GITS craze and for the most part is a good way to do it. While for the most part elements of this book (as well as 1.5) show up in the anime, it's still a work of art, both literally and also in the universe that Masamune Shirow creates for GITS. Needless to say the political-military issues that are presented in this book start... devolving into the Puppet Master case and therefore I think Masamune went too fast into that story arc. There is so much to his world ...more
This was interesting... the 'Ghost in the Shell' feature film was an eye-opening event back in my teens, and I've been wanting to read the original source material for I dont' know how many years.

Now that I've finally read it, there have been some interesting surprises, starting with the fact that the manga is much funnier and portrays the characters as much more human. That's one of the few peeves I've always had with the movie, everyone is so lifeless and artificial in their behavior and speec
Apr 24, 2013 Bria rated it liked it
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Masamune Shirow (士郎 正宗 ) is an internationally renowned manga artist. He is best known for the manga Ghost in the Shell, which has since been turned into two theatrical anime movies, two anime TV series, an anime TV movie, and several video games. Shirow is also known for creating erotic art.
Born in the Hyōgo Prefecture capital city of Kobe, he studied oil painting at Osaka University of Arts. Whi
More about Masamune Shirow...

Other Books in the Series

Ghost in the Shell (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • Super Spartan (Ghost in the Shell, #2)
  • Ghost in the Shell, tome 2
  • Junk Jungle (Ghost in the Shell, #3)
  • Het spookfonds (The ghost in the shell, #4)
  • Megatech Machine 1 - Revolt of the Robots (Ghost in the Shell, #4)
  • Soma's koehandel (The ghost in the shell, #5)
  • Megatech Machine 2 - The Making of a Cyborg (Ghost in the Shell, #5)
  • Robot Rondo (Ghost in the Shell, #6)
  • Phantom Fund (Ghost in the Shell, #7)
  • Kusanagi's blunder (The Ghost in the Shell, #7)

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