- © Shirow Masamune/ Kodansha Ltd.
- Manga Score: 6.71
- Author: Shirow Masamune
- Publisher: Kodansha
- Volumes: 1
- DB title: Koukaku Kidoutai 2: Manmachine Interface
- Rating: 18 and up
- Genres: ActionSci-FiAdult CastPsychological
The Ghost in the Shell 2
March 6, 2035. Motoko Aramaki is a hyper-advanced cyborg, a counter-terrorist Net security expert, heading the investigative department of the giant multi-national Poseidon Industrial. Partly transcending the physical world and existing in a virtual world of networks, Motoko is a fusion of multiple entities and identities, deploying remotely controlled prosthetic humanoid surrogates around the globe to investigate a series of bizarre incidents. Meanwhile, Tamaki Tamai, a psychic detective from the Channeling Agency, has been commissioned to explore strange changes in the temporal universe brought about by two forces, one represented by the teachings of a professor named Rahampol, the other by the complex, evolving Motoko entity. What unfolds will all be in a day’s work—a day that will change everything, forever. The long-awaited sequel to Shirow Masamune’s groundbreaking The Ghost in the Shell, and one of the most highly anticipated graphic novel events in many years, Man-Machine Interface is Shirow’s most ambitious and complex story yet, with deep forays into philosophy and the meaning of artificial life, intelligence, and existence. Utilizing awe-inspiring digital effects on a level never before seen in the annals of graphic fiction, Shirow has raised the bar for what can be achieved, page after page!
69 people found this review helpful
This is not even a GiTS, this is just hentai. The story is totally messed up (just like my reviev). You don't know what's happening there. I am preatty big fan of GiTS, but to be honest, this is worst manga I've read so far. The plot is almost impossible to follow and i didn't find any enjoyment in this.
The only good thing about it, is drawing. Almost on every paged there is a naked or half naked women.
I can't reccomend this to anyone. This is my rating:
Overall 3 (for pity) read more
28 people found this review helpful
If the original manga stood us on a hill overlooking this ocean, Ghost in the Shell 2: Man-Machine Interface places us firmly on the shoreline where the waters swell and recede. Motoko Kusanagi ended the first manga with a next step towards humankind’s transcendence. In this work, she takes the second.
Nearly five years have passed since she merged with the Puppeteer and left Section 9 to venture out into the Net. But while she now acts as head of security for Poseidon Industrial, she’s almost a different person. Even more skilled in cyberwarfare, much more self-confident, more the business woman than the smack-talking assault girl. And yet she clearly has lingering connections to her past, seen in her current name: Motoko Aramaki.
The theme of identity is much unchanged since Masamune Shirow’s first treatment. If anything, it shows how much Motoko’s sense of self has blurred and the extent to which she is willing to preserve -- or even discard -- it. Throughout the story, she ends up using over half-a-dozen different prosthetic bodies. While at times she will be physically recognizable to fans, her ‘main’ body is not one we’re familiar with.
She switches forms with such ease that it begs the question: who is Motoko now? It’s a fascinating question and one that receives an equally thought-provoking (see also: mind-blowing) conclusion, but it is also the first stumbling block that may irk lovers of every other GITS adaptation.
It cannot be stressed enough that this is not a direct extension of the original. Oh, it’s definitely the “what comes next” of the original plot, but don’t expect more of the same. Motoko isn’t entirely the Major you’ve come to know and love; Section 9 isn’t even in the background, instead vaguely on the periphery elsewhere. So you probably won’t be seeing your favorite characters -- and you definitely won’t be seeing them team up to take down cyber-terrorists and preserve public security.
Shirow himself penned a preface to this manga, amusingly (and appropriately) entitled ‘Warning: Read Me First!’, saying much the same. He warns us this is something new. He tells us this isn’t what we expected. He even apologizes for this fact and hopes we’ll give it a chance!
And if hacking cyberbrains, beating the crap out of cybernetic bodies, and watching the lovely, battle-hardened Motoko dish out that action is your idea of a good time: you really, really should.
To say the artwork here is beautiful, breath-taking, and Shirow’s best work yet is almost an insult. Such superlatives cannot describe how staggeringly amazing each panel looks. 200 pages (that’s two-thirds of the entire manga!) are fully colored. Color explodes off the pages. Quite literally bleeds into and out of black-and-white panels -- transitions that are themselves artistic in purpose. And this isn’t just Shirow painting inside the rich lines of ink. This is Shirow using digital imaging and blending it seamlessly with his always-great drawings. It’s the same vibrant burst of life as seen when Kurosawa finally made the transition to colored film -- the same expected greatness, but with a new spell-binding visual wonder.
Like Motoko, give him the chance and he will dazzle you.
The fanservice is -- as you might already suspect -- pervasive, extensive, and many other adjectives probably currently racing through your mind. Few pages go by without a carefully angled shot of a posterior, bust, or nether region. In cyberspace, Motoko appears more often than not fully nude -- minus the naughtier bits detailed. At first, this omission can potentially seem like a distraction, but instead this choice emphasizes the form, rather than function, of Motoko’s body. It becomes a work of art in itself, not just a biological machine. And yes, I am using the term ‘biological’ very loosely here.
Man-Machine Interface is a heady work. It is intelligent yet confusing, exciting yet difficult. Cyberwarfare battles drag on for pages upon pages, filled with enough techno-jargon to require patience, careful thought, and multiple readings. Some sense gets lost. Likewise, the story rarely takes time to breathe and even when it does what has happened -- or is happening -- is not always clear. It’s a work that asks many questions and forces the reader to figure out the answers, even when those answers are staring you straight in the face. There’s a dense, almost opaque, realism here: all the characters understand the world and its workings, but that hardly means you will.
In the end, that will either alienate or captivate you. But that seems to be the point. There’s a concept called the ‘technological singularity’: the point at which our normal paradigms break down and new models are required in order to understand the current, new paradigm. Yet, ironically, that new understanding is beyond our intelligence. Like showing a movie to a Neanderthal or describing a computer to an Elizabethan, there is simply no reliable frame of reference to impart the total understanding that you have of these things to them.
That ‘lost in translation’ feel permeates this work and is at the heart of Motoko’s struggle to rationalize the man with the machine. The question is in the subtitle. “Man-Machine Interface.” What is that interface? Is it the gateway to the Net? Is it just the synthesis of cyborg body with human mind? Is it Motoko herself?
Still we stand, our feet in the ocean. We know it’s possible, but can we change? And what does it mean to transcend ourselves? Would we know what to look for? Would we even recognize ourselves? Motoko refuses to say. But in her journey, in that refusal, she seems to be beckoning us to be ready. To wait for when the tide rolls in. To listen for a great wave to rise up. To do then what we do best when we cast aside the limits of our shell.
Dive deep. read more