Man's Search for Meaning is the seventeenth episode of the Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 anime series.
Togusa finally realizes that he's been trapped in his own memories — and suddenly finds himself in a devastated Tokyo in the year 2045.
From a third-person view, Togusa watches as himself from 16 years ago is strapped to a chair and interrogated by a lady.
Continuing with the observation, Togusa reflects on how inexperienced and hotheaded he was during that period. Togusa then recalls that he was initially investigating a lead on Takashi Shimamura with Batou. The memory continues when another man named Noda, a cop from the Public Security Bureau, is placed in the cell with Togusa. They talk a bit about their situation and backgrounds until the memory switches to Togusa being tortured again.
Despite the lady's efforts, she claims that Togusa isn't the rat the men there suspect him to be. So, Togusa's restraints are lifted, but he's given two choices, kill Noda to prove himself or be killed himself. With the gun in hand, Togusa escapes from the place with Noda, while Togusa, from the present, continues to observe it all. A blizzard was storming outside the building they were locked away in. As they run through the field, Togusa reveals that he, too, is a cop and couldn't kill Noda because of his personal principles. Eventually, they make a make-shift hideaway by covering up a trench they find with planks of wood.
Once the storm settles, Noda warns Togusa that they didn't make it far from where they escaped. Noda suggests they split up to increase their chances of survival, and Togusa suggests that Noda hides in the forest while he goes in the opposite direction. Togusa commentates that he survives the situation and later joins Section 9, but cannot recall what lead up to it. From there, they separate, and Togusa suspects Noda sold him out to their captors, making him run aimlessly for three days. On the fourth day, he was finally caught up by his pursuers. Finding out that there was only a single bullet in the chamber of the gun, Togusa surrenders. On his knees, with his hands behind his head, Togusa contemplates everything to that point was a dream or not. Major appears before him with his gun in his hand and advises him to live and not die a "noble death".
Then, Togusa awakens from what seems to be a dream and finds himself on a moving subway train. Spotting Noda sitting close by to him, who has no recollection of ever meeting him, but reveals that he's now a "Clear Person" and is now riding the train to "N". Finally able to see the outside world, Togusa sees it's a barren wasteland with a few ruined buildings on the horizon.
The train finally stops at the final stop at Hakaze "592 Shin-Tokyo", and all of the passengers get off. Noda then asks him if he has a weapon there, and Togusa claims he doesn't. So Noda offers him one saying in the past, he sold someone out, which caused him to develop emotional baggage about it. It was "Miniluv" that purified his spirit and cleansed Noda of his guilt. Soon, Noda and the other train passengers become transfixed by the sunset and then head down to the station's lower level, where everyone congregates. Spotting Takashi in the crowd, Togusa tries to run to him but cannot reach him.
Separating from the crowd, Togusa tries to contact Major and the others, but can't because of a signal jammer. Locating a tobacco shop with a payphone, Togusa uses it to contact Batou at Section 9, who was tuning up a Tachikoma. Answering the phone, Togusa asks Batou an obscure question about how beautiful it can be to be alive as he gazes at the sunset and begins to cry.
|Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 Season 1 Episodes|
1: Sustainable War |
2: Divided by a Wall |
3: MIA |
4: Emissary from the Divide |
|Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 Season 2 Episodes|
13: DOMINO EFFECT / Silly Kukushkin |
14: CLOSE CALL / I've Awoken |
15: FACTOR / 1A84 |