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The Ghost in the Shell Vol. 1

(Ghost in the Shell #1)

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  10,249 ratings  ·  486 reviews
Deep into the twenty-first century, the line between man and machine has been inexorably blurred as humans rely on the enhancement of mechanical implants and robots are upgraded with human tissue. In this rapidly converging landscape, cyborg superagent Major Motoko Kusanagi is charged to track down the craftiest and most dangerous terrorists and cybercriminals, including “ ...more
Kindle Edition, 368 pages
Published December 14th 2016 by Kodansha (first published 1989)
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Liam the stories don't really link together. chapter 4 is just about what it's about - the robots gaining some political consciousness but running up again…morethe stories don't really link together. chapter 4 is just about what it's about - the robots gaining some political consciousness but running up against their dependence on humans(less)
Andrew Bacon No movie has ever ruined another movie. The original Pirates of the Caribbean, for example, is in no way tarnished by any of its terrible sequels. No …moreNo movie has ever ruined another movie. The original Pirates of the Caribbean, for example, is in no way tarnished by any of its terrible sequels. No screen version of Dracula is worse because of any other version. They're different movies. Try to separate them in your mind and remember that they were made by different people with different intentions.(less)
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Michael Finocchiaro
AWESOME! I mean seriously, the movie will be coming out soon as I write this in late Feb 2017, but I read the comic in English translation over 20 years ago and LOVED it. I also read the sequel and watched the associated anime that it inspired. It is a fantastic universe in a sort of dystopian future that poses the same basic questions as the I Robot series by Asimov - how will artificial intelligence change human kind and at what moment is an android sentient. A MUST READ before the movie comes ...more
Leonard Gaya
Ghost in the Shell is a manga from the 1980s (just like Akira), which was at first only known to the manga aficionados in Japan. It later became one of the landmarks of the genre, especially after being adapted countless times into TV series, movies and video games.

This album is mostly a series of procedural supercop dramas set in the near future. I suppose they were, by the usual practice, initially published as a series in a Japanese periodical and then gathered into a single tankobon. All the
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
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
This manga has some very cool aspects as well as some very annoying ones. But ultimately it was a disappointment for me.

Let’s start with the cool stuff.


It has a kick-ass female main character that exudes a tremendous amount of confidence.

There are some interesting concepts about artificial intelligence and what it takes for something (someone?) to be deemed alive.

It also has some very cool settings and great style.

The artwork is inconsistent, though.
The colored parts are mostly great, with many
As a big fan of cyberpunk, I probably should have read this a lot sooner. As it was, it was mostly the arrival of the live-action movie that finally drove me to get to it. To be honest, I'm really not a fan of manga. Elements of how it's generally drawn as well as a general lack of interest has led to staying away from that style for the most part. Ghost in the Shell is a little difficult to rate as I enjoyed parts of it (particularly the nuanced thoughts on identity and the line between machine ...more
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
Gianfranco Mancini

Vote 4 (5 if you are a diehard fan of the GITS anime like me)

After a Ghost in the Shell anime marathon where my wife and me watched in less than 2 weeks Mamoru Oshii's 1995 anime masterwork, the awful 2.0 recent version with 3d sequences added, 2nd movie Innocence, first and second season/gig of Stand Alone Complex series, the GITS SAC movie, the Arise prequel miniseries and at last the live action movie that was far better then expected (sadly the whitewashing critics and low incomes killed the
Apr 30, 2016 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.
Rory Wilding
At a time when anime was seen as an underground phenomenon during the nineties, there will be a handful of us who would buy VHS tapes that were distributed by Manga Entertainment. One of the few titles that stood out for us was Mamoru Oshii’s 1995 sci-fi masterpiece Ghost in the Shell, which not only refined cyberpunk and pushing the boundaries of adult animation, but became a massive influence to future sci-fi works i.e. The Matrix. However, out of the numerous movies, TV shows and video games ...more
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
Jedi JC Daquis
The Ghost in the Shell is a mash-up of the cyberpunk Japanese cyborg genre, mixed with elements of politics, transcendence of the mind and a bit of spiritual science. Yet this work of Masamune Shirow is not another Akira. Though each of the chapters in this collection is a good read in its own right, Ghost in the Shell fails to deliver a cohesive over-arching narrative where everything is loosely bound together with a surprisingly generic amount of counter-terrorism action.

But given some more ti
Gemma ♕ antari.and.the.books
My first manga! Took me a while to get my head around how to follow the panels but I really enjoyed this. I loved the characters and the cyberpunk world. I found some of the technology stuff a little hard to follow sometimes which meant I didn't give a full five stars but I will definitely be checking out the film and the next volume!
This is one of my favourite comic books, science-fiction works in any medium and things put to print ever. Mind you, I couldn't finish GITS the first time I started reading it back in high school. Not just because of the convoluted plot being hard to follow but also as a consequence of me reading the chapter where the story out of blue cuts to the heroine Major Motoko Kusanagi in the middle of an oiled-up lesbian orgy on a yacht while I was riding on a train in public back then! This is censored ...more
Roxana Chirilă
In humanity's cyber-future, cyberwomen will occasionally wear underwear with chain straps. What can I say? Scantily clad women with weird lingerie seem to have been all the rage in the future we never got to have (possibly because, after the 80s, programmers started making silly things like the internet and we gave up on memorable haircuts).

Aaanyways, fashion aside.

"Ghost in the Shell" is less of a unified whole than I was expecting. Knowing that there are only three volumes in the original mang
Lashaan Balasingam (Bookidote)
You can find my review on my blog by clicking here.

The cyberpunk genre seems to be so much more rare nowadays, but it is the iconic classic stories of the late 80s and early 90s that remind us of its ingenuity, mind-numbing visuals and visionary story-telling. Besides Battle Angel Alita, there is one other series that has left a permanent mark in the genre, especially with its anime adaptations: The Ghost in the Shell. This seinen (aimed at adult men) manga was first serialized in 1989 and was w
Neil R. Coulter
I'm late to all of this—too late, probably—but I recently watched Ghost in the Shell (the 1995 animated film, not the more recent one with Scarlett Johansson). I tried it first with the English dub, which was just awful. Then later I watched the whole thing in Japanese with subtitles, which was better. I know some people just love the film, but I felt kind of cold toward it. The animation style is interesting, particularly the lingering shots of cityscape, but I don't find it beautiful. Also, I ...more
Jul 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I picked this book up from the library, I felt uncomfortable. The cover shows a young girl who looks naked on the cover. I felt inclined to justify myself. "I'm looking into cyberpunk," I said, "and this was one of the first ones, back in the day." She looked at me and nodded her head. "Cool," she said, with no readable expression. I wasn't satisfied. I pointed at the girl. "She's a robot. It's a cybernetic body. Only her brain is human." She looked at me. Confession time. "I'm sorry. I jus ...more
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
Mar 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, comics
The Ghost in the Shell was a work that was ahead of its time. Shirow Masamune's take on the cyberworld and AI, as well as the hackers, was a fascinating concept. Hence the popularity of his manga and anime. Major Motoko Kusanagi is a cyborg. She used to be military but has now come to work for Section 9.

This book collects the first volume of the Ghost in the Shell stories. It gives you the background and the world building. As seminal a work as this is, you are wondering why only three stars? So
May 22, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: manga
Uneven, with good parts and more averaged one. The story is complex and probably would benefit from being re-read.

3/5 Stars

I wanted to love this manga. I really, really did. I'm a big fan of manga and anime from the 80s and 90s (Akira is a personal favorite), and I love the feature-length anime film based on the Ghost in the Shell series. But the manga really failed to capture me in quite the same way.
The art was fantastic and Major Kusanagi was as snappy as ever, but I found the story incredibly difficult to follow and it seemed to lack the hint of darkness that gives the anime its dimension. I'm hoping t
Jun 11, 2013 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
Feb 13, 2015 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
Mar 08, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: manga-comics
I must say that my first interaction with the universe of GitS was the 1995 film. So when I first started reading this I was put off by how much of a different character the major was. The whole book is much more light-hearted than the film.

For the most part it is more of an episodic work. We start in-media-res and the feeling of that only really goes away at the end as we go through snippets of life in section 9 and in this sci-fi future. You don't really get to understand all the context, and
Something different, but I was curious to (finally) read it before the new (live) action movie comes out relatively soon. (Although, as I understand it, the new movie is a re-make of the original anime (animated) movie, which doesn't fully track the book anyway.)

I admit I don't read much manga, so - for me - it's "just another" graphic novel from around the same period (late 1980's into the early 1990's) in which graphic novels and adult comic books began to hit their stride in the U.S., followi
Apr 02, 2014 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
This manga is like the anime but also very different. The anime does feature some scenes from the manga and overall they do cover some of the same topics - but the tones are very different. This book is a little on the lighter side, especially some of the author notes are pretty funny.
Sep 28, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was so bored and baffled by this comic that I gave up halfway through.
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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. Whil

Other books in the series

Ghost in the Shell (3 books)
  • Ghost in the Shell 1.5: Human-error Processor (Ghost in the Shell, #1.5)
  • Ghost in the Shell 2: Man-machine Interface (Ghost in the Shell, #2)

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