Koukaku Kidoutai: Stand Alone Complex

Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex

What would you like to edit?

Alternative Titles

Synonyms: Ghost in the Shell SAC, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
English: Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
German: Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
Spanish: Ghost In The Shell : Stand Alone Complex
French: Ghost in The Shell: Stand Alone Complex
More titles


Type: TV
Episodes: 26
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Oct 1, 2002 to Oct 1, 2003
Premiered: Fall 2002
Broadcast: Fridays at 15:30 (JST)
Studios: Production I.G
Source: Manga
Genres: ActionAction, Award WinningAward Winning, MysteryMystery, Sci-FiSci-Fi
Themes: Adult CastAdult Cast, DetectiveDetective, MechaMecha, MilitaryMilitary
Demographic: SeinenSeinen
Duration: 25 min. per ep.
Rating: R - 17+ (violence & profanity)


Score: 8.421 (scored by 165252165,252 users)
1 indicates a weighted score.
Ranked: #1732
2 based on the top anime page. Please note that 'Not yet aired' and 'R18+' titles are excluded.
Popularity: #581
Members: 399,135
Favorites: 8,603

Available At


Streaming Platforms

May be unavailable in your region.


Psycho-Pass is, perhaps, the closest thing to GitS:SAC that we will ever see. This isn't to accuse PP of mindless copycatting, though; although both shows deal with similar settings and subject matter, as well as have similar direction and audiovisual feel, Psycho-Pass clearly holds its own and even improves upon GitS in terms of pacing and visual flair at times. It may not be up to one's taste, but it's definitely worth checking out, and its handling of the subject matter surely deserves credit either way. Important to say, much like its spiritual predecessor, PP also respects the viewer's intelligence to a remarkable degree, offering mostly  read more 
report Recommended by moozooh
Futuristic animes that have characters who are Kick Ass! The main characters in both animes, the Major for GITS and Spike for Bebop, both have strong convictions and an unknown past that fuels their character's values.  
report Recommended by xaynie
They are both futuristic sci-fi series featuring philosophical aspects. Ergo Proxy is a bit slower-moving, with greater emphasis on charater development, whereas GitS is somewhat more episodic and more plot-focused, but both are excellent choices for a sci-fi anime fan. 
report Recommended by adamh89
Both share a similar style where a greater storyline is carried on by seemingly unrelated episodes (or episode pairs in the case of Darker than Black). 
report Recommended by luinthoron
Both GitS and SEL tackle the themes of the melding of humanity and machinery/computers, although they approach the concept in very different ways. SEL focuses on a single girl, and her exploration and gradual absorption into the world of "the Wired" (AKA the internet). It's semi-futuristic, and very very creepy. It's also somewhat more psychological than GitS. GitS is centered around on a group of cops who deal primarily with computer and cyborg related crimes. It's more action oriented than Lain, and at least as good. It's done by Production I.G., so the animation is amazing, and blends 2D  read more 
report Recommended by honeybunch
Texhonolyze is darker and heavier then Ghost in the Shell but it shares similar atmosphere and cyberpank features. 
report Recommended by Meifumado
Special task forces in a "police procedural" type of story structure with plenty of philosophizing between the two.  
report Recommended by Danish
Cyberpunk societies where most people are upgrading their body, with some pushing it to the limit and becoming almost fully mechanical. Both anime deal with criminal and military applications of these technologies. Top hackers play a major role in their stories, using their talents on machines and humans alike. 
report Recommended by El-Melloi
Gritty feel with backroom politicking and conspiracy. Strong female lead with a mysterious past and mad skills. Both groups of characters also have a techie character(s), a strongman, someone who is relatively new and inexperienced in their new profession, and side characters to provide the occasional comedic crack. Also explores many questions involving a perceived loss of humanity and psychological well-being, in one falling to savagery and "base" behaviors and the other to in a sea of cybernetic technologies. In fact, the main difference is which side of the law the characters work on and the cyberpunk vs renegade theme. 
report Recommended by hessan
Both shows have really prominent elements of mystery and suspense which keep audiences actively watching and on the edge of their seats! Though one is obviously futuristic and the other set a few decades in the past they share a common allure due to the fact that they're so exciting and intriguing and they keep us guessing at things. They also both include a lot of ethical dilemmas. Generally, they're both just really awesome... :) 
report Recommended by SaraSlurpsCoffee
Similar main characters (Motoko and Balsa) although in a completely diffrent setting. both are mature and look, feel and sound older than they really are both can be very kind and very harsh, act rational (mostly), show great strength and leadership qualities and individual charisma. 
report Recommended by aswani
Dig out your sleuth hats. Both series follow a plot that is very challenging to figure out. While Ghost in the Shell has a greater focus on action, Death Note and GitS share the ability to baffle with plot twists and complex schemes. 
report Recommended by aramarth
Both involve robots that develop individuality.  
report Recommended by xMatronxMalicex
The shows have plots which feel similar to eachother with their focus on secet organizations, conspiracy and mystery. They are also both produced by Production IG so they have a similar look and feel. 
report Recommended by Quanta
Both have political backgrounds which are heavily discussed. Both have secret government organizations with adult characters who have special set of skills and worked as a team. Both have awesome and jazzy music. Difference is that GITS sets in the alternate post-WIII while SnNR sets in pre-WWII. 
report Recommended by xxxholic_wing
Both are futuristic and deal with cyber crime/environments. Although Real Drive isn't a countermeasure against terrorists, it does deal with the unknown [metal] that is threatening environment and people's consciousness. 
report Recommended by ten6cha
The art isn't very similar but the settings are extremely similar. Both take place in a cyberpunk future that is somewhat dystopian or otherwise given over to a government that has a lot of control over its citizens and the information they are given. Both delve a bit into technologies like androids and information technology and censorship. They are also both crime/detective dramas, GitS more so crime and Un-Go more so detective work. There's are nebulous references to a big war prior to the happenings of the story and and both main characters origins are a bit mysterious. There are some differences. GitS has a bit  read more 
report Recommended by noirgrimoir
Kaiba is similar in terms of themes more than aesthetics or plot. Like in Ghost in the Shell SAC, a person's memories can be transferred from one body to another. Similarly, a person's economic class affects whether they can take advantage of this technology. This is a key focus of Kaiba, along with the mystery of the main character's forgotten memories. Since both series are action-packed, fans of one will not be to put off by the other. If you give Kaiba's experimental visual style a chance, you will not be disappointed. Similarly, something to consider about Ghost in the Shell is that it often features  read more 
report Recommended by flameiguana
only a couple episodes in but, no guns life feels like they gave Batou his own hard boiled show. if that sound interesting to you, give it a go. 
report Recommended by neph909
Weapons, blood, fights, an elite squad, politics, military, etc. Both of them are animes with some action, focusing in a group of "elite" soldiers and their missions, but going deeper along with the anime's progress. In the end, their acts ultimately leading to political decisions that may change the whole world. 
report Recommended by Andre113
Both anime have terrorism as a main part of their story. Both excell in visuals and sound. But, GitS is way better in everything else. If ZnT is like a dull painting with beautiful borders, then GitS is like a chef-d'oevre of a painting with every kind of detail and masterful handle. 
report Recommended by FuegoIndigo
Both have a dark mood, and both of the main characters are very strong, and use guns as their main weapons. 
report Recommended by IntroverTurtle
Both have Sci-fi world that have a lot of connections to current world politics and use their worlds to highlight problems in the world today. 
report Recommended by gabe475
"Do androids dream of electric sheep" - such is the theme for both of these series, the question of how close the articifical inteligence can be to humans. Both anime have cast which is a mix of humans and IA working for a certain agency someday in a more technologically advanced future and portrays solving cases for said agency and interactions between those characters. If you enjoyed Plastic Memories, you should give Ghost in the Shell try. The other way around it's not that sure though, as Ghost in the Shell is meant for older audience so its fans might not enjoy Plastic Memories that  read more 
report Recommended by abystoma2
Both have quite a dark feeling to them and are action packed, and watching one reminded me of the other. 
report Recommended by killua94
These two series are created by Masamune Shirow and focus on a police division in a futuristic setting. They also feature strong, independent female leads. 
report Recommended by LoveLikeBlood
Both shows feature a special unit of the police/government dealing with crime in a mature, gripping atmosphere. GITS SAC starts off being episodic whereas Hero Mask follows the same case from the start, but, without spoling anything, once the Laughing Man story kicks in in GITS both shows share a similar plotline (even though GITS has definitely a more sci-fi oriented setting). In any case, I'm sure you'll enjoy HM if you liked GITS and the other way around. 
report Recommended by donhumberto
These really are what you would call big brain shows. Not because you need to be super smart to enjoy them, but because the authors and directors clearly knew exactly what they were doing. When it comes to complex, intelligent and creative stories, these two shows are as good as it gets. The writing is top notch an the plot structure is fantastic. Ghost in the Shell is more focused on the sci-fi aspect and builds intricate, speculative stories about the possibilties that the future might bring for politics, society and indivduals. Galactic heroes meanwhile goes full on war-story and crafts a gigantic and complex plot  read more 
report Recommended by Yorrick
Similar themes of identity, memory, and the relationship between man and machine. Both are noir-influenced and take a slower pace for the most part. However, The Big O has a much more prominent sense of humor and Western animation influence. 
report Recommended by Absalom7
• Strong, clever, and beautiful/sexy female MCs solving complex crime cases - both MCs have combat and hacking abilities and they even share very similar combat gloves! • Unique crime cases involving politics, corporations, military, and philosophy • Both series have philosophical elements, references to western literature, and the nature of the "ghost" / intelligence • Episodes 4 & 5 of Mnemosyne are especially similar with sci-fi and cybernetic/AI themes. There was even a scene in Ep. 4 where the highway was blocked and military tanks appeared, this reminded very much of Ghost in the Shell SAC. It is also where the audiences really have to work  read more 
report Recommended by reizamundi
I don't want to compare the two, but Ghost in the Shell is quite similar. - Both animes have female protagonists - Both are related to crime - Both include a way of solving crimes that isn't possible (or possible 'yet') - Lastly, both of these shows include some sort of memory dive-esque skill to solve a crime (part of the previous comparison) 
report Recommended by Damnits
Definitely a different direction from Stand Alone Complex, still it retains human dilemma of coping with the loss of oneself on the surface level this seems the ol "ship of theseus" paradox visualized into 1 and a half hour feature film 
report Recommended by Aqrif_nazman
Cyberpunk, androids, cyberbrains, cyborgs, all that cool sci-fi stuff and the series shows how it mixes with the society in the future. Both originate from manga by the same author, though Ghost in the Shell focuses more on the philosophical part while Pandora focuses more on the relationship (and some fanservice) side. 
report Recommended by abystoma2
In a way, Karakuri Circus is a shounen, anachronic version of Ghost in the Shell. Artificial humans - androids/puppets and theme that examined whether this artificial version of life can understand how humans feel, why they act and whether this can be replicated by machines. Also included cyborgs - humans with part of their body exchanged for mechanical parts. While in Ghost in the Shell this is all done with science, Karakury Circus doesn't really try to present a "realistic"" technology and it's a puppetry, machinery and alchemy. 
report Recommended by abystoma2
Both series deal with androids and have plausible futures. While Chobits focuses on the issue of androids replacing humans in a relationship, Ghost in The Shell (Stand Alone Complex) takes on the subject of cyberization and highlights a few issues that would arise from that (your brain getting hacked, reluctance to be cyberized due to beliefs, morals, or values, etc.). If you liked Chobits more for its intellectual take on androids than for the romance and ecchi, give Ghost in the Shell a try. 
report Recommended by DeadSnow24th
Both shows explore specific sci-fi concepts to tell mystery-thiller stories involving police work to solve a variety of cases supported by tightly written dense scripts and screenplay. (this obviously also heavily includes 2nd GIG as a recommendation)  
report Recommended by JudoJD
The theme of both of these is the blending of natural and artificial, and how humans are being replaced by robots. 
report Recommended by abystoma2
Mardock Scramble is very Ghost in the Shell - esque due to its dark atmosphere, its scientific elements and the main character as a female with a technologically advanced body of sorts. 
report Recommended by SaraSlurpsCoffee
The ethics of cybernetics and the boundaries of the human mind are themes that are explored in both franchises. Corporate or governmental conspiracies related to the usage of futuristic technologies are a major themes in both series. Cyberbrains (GitS) or data chip implants (Quantum), if you like a good mix of SF with action, you'll enjoy both series. Note that .hack is a much light-hearted version compared to Stand Alone Complex, which is for the more hardened viewers. 
report Recommended by wakka9ca
I could describe Pumpkin Scissors as a pre-cybernetic version of Ghost in the Shell. Both tell a story of a special team which investigates conspiracies and wrong-doings of the military and the goverment and add some social commentary to the mix. The compositions of the teams are also quite similar. Pumpkin Scissors has somewhat more relaxed and silly feeling (more comedy) to it than GitS, so it can serve as a lighter option to it. 
report Recommended by isokana
The Patlabor and Ghost in the Shell series are engaging police procedural that are very different (less dark or philosophical) from their movie counterparts. Section 9 (in Ghost in the Shell) and Second Special Vehicles Division (in Patlabor) are specialized units in a society where criminals are using advanced technologies to commit crimes. Patlabor has mostly stand alone episodes with a wide variety of styles including comedic slice of life, action mecha, and thriller. Ghost in the Shell alternates between lighter self-contained episodes and more serious episodes from the overarching storyline. Patlabor is an overlooked anime compared to Ghost in the Shell. 
report Recommended by lancelot200
The Ghost in the Shell series, specifically the 'Stand Alone Complex', and Denno Coil feature worlds where the internet has been heavily integrated into society. Each anime shares this feature; however, both take drastically different perspectives. Ghost in the Shell is what some would call a 'hard' science fiction, whereas, under the same scrutiny, Denno Coil would be considered a 'soft' science fiction. I think the adjectives 'hard' and 'soft' to a lot to describe the differences between the anime in terms of art, sound, story, and animation. For example, Ghost in the Shell takes the perspective of agents of the  read more 
report Recommended by OmegaRed
I will not go as far as to say Ryoko's Case file was on the same level as GITS, but it definitely had the same "Japanese politics" feeling when you watch it. On top of that, both are action-packed conspiracy series, with Case file tending more towards supernatural and pulp SF whereas GITS is pure hardcore cyberpunk SF (that even inspired the Wachowski Brothers into making the Matrix) 
report Recommended by wakka9ca
Cyberpunk. Similar animation style that blends both 2D with CGI. GitS has more dialogue while Wonderful Days relies more on the atmosphere to present it's ideas. 
report Recommended by Danish
Grundress is the "proof of concept" or, "the making of..." movie for GitS and Dominion Tank Police. With several similar plot lines, characters, themes (and some voice actors), Gundress lacks development in all of these areas. 4/10 only die-hard GitS or Masamune Shirow fans may actually enjoy this. 
report Recommended by DarksideLuke
If you like hackers and crackers doing their thing, then these two anime might provide you with some entertainment. While BPS is a 15 episode comedy series, GITS deals in more serious terms of cybercrime 
report Recommended by edythemighty
Both about robots in the world, both question society & life. Both are about a police type force to protect. 
report Recommended by Frenz
Both girls with guns, both share the same theme (androids) and talk about its issues, but GITS:S.A.C. is more a cyberpunk thriller whereas Najica is more a spy anime. 
report Recommended by BlackRicePoutine
Sci-fi stories about robots and AI. Both have a considerable amount of drama, as well. 
report Recommended by _eternal
Both are about special organisations about solving special crimes and both groups have strong women, old guys who know what there doing and robot lovers. 
report Recommended by gizmo99
Beyond the obvious visual cyberpunk stylings which link these two series, they have a lot of common ground in the questions of identity and humanity in an age of cybernetics which is mixed with exciting action. 
report Recommended by MS06FZ
These series are both similar in the aspect that they are set in the future, and based around the ever looming fact of cyber-terrorism and the Internet, hackers, and a large virtual world. 
report Recommended by Akamitsu
The music, art, character design and looks at technology are really similar. 
report Recommended by gizmo99
If you want Psychology,philosophy and morality try this one also. 
report Recommended by ezaya
Both HeatGuy J and Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex is set in futuristic cities full of advanced technology and how this affects the people who live there. They also have many similarities in terms of animation, with both featuring an integration CG and 2D animation quite often. Both feature disconnected stories of crime and corruption and the people whose job it is to do something about it. 
report Recommended by GreatRumbler
Like Rebuild of Evangelion, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex is a 21st-century reimagining of a classic 90's sci-fi anime, set in an alternate continuity. Whereas Evangelion made the transition from a TV series to feature-length films, GitS does the opposite. The results of both are uniquely satisfying and provide a memorable experience apart from their original source material. 
report Recommended by Ni_Go_Zero_Ichi
Different look and feel but there is a female enhanced with cyborg-like technology. Expresses exceptional strength, speed and agility.  
report Recommended by lisnoire
Both are military, science fiction-like and highly psychological. The athmosphere of Jin-Roh reminded me of the Ghost in the Shell TV Series. You should see both at least once! 
report Recommended by YuuChanneru