Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. 2nd GIG is the second season of the Japanese anime series Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, based on Masamune Shirow's Ghost in the Shell manga series. It premiered on the 1st January 2004 in Japan on the anime satellite television network, Animax, on a pay-per-view basis. The series was later aired on the terrestrial Nippon TV from 12 April 2005.
Animax also later aired the series across its other networks worldwide, including its English language] networks in Southeast Asia and South Asia, and its other networks in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Latin America and several other regions. It was also later aired in the United States on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim block. Bandai Visual owns the DVD distribution rights in Japan while Manga Entertainment owns the distribution rights in North America and Europe. The show began airing daily on AnimeCentral beginning November 4, 2007 in both English (two nightly screenings) and original Japanese (one late-night screening). As with other AnimeCentral series (e.g., Wolf's Rain and .hack//SIGN) the first run of episodes was immediately followed by a re-run.
Stand Alone Complex 2nd GIG uncovers a significant amount of back-story that was only vaguely talked about during the first season, including information about the last world wars. Between the turn of the century and 2032, there were two major conflicts that changed world politics. The first being nuclear World War III, and the other being non-nuclear World War IV, also known as the Second Vietnam War. The increase in independent states and sovereign regions grew from the chaos of the last 30 years. The planet remains divided and several locations exist on the planet where sovereignty is in question, where no one is really sure who owns or governs what.
This fictional history matches one presented in Appleseed Databook, suggesting that both Appleseed and Ghost in the Shell may be occurring in the same fictional universe, albeit at different points of its timeline.
While originally intended to "underscore the dilemmas and concerns that people would face if they relied too heavily on the new communications infrastructure." Stand Alone Complex eventually came to represent a phenomenon where unrelated, yet very similar actions of individuals create a seemingly concerted effort.
In the first series, it usually refers to events surrounding the Laughing Man case, and to some extent, the teamwork observed in Public Security Section 9. It is presented as an emergent phenomenon catalyzed by parallelization of the human psyche through the cyberbrain networks.
For the second series, when Kenji Kamiyama discussed the theme with Mamoru Oshii, they decided that they could not avoid the issue of War: "In other words, we simply couldn't ignore the way society had evolved since the events of 9-11 : That was the approach we decided to take, and I tried to illustrate a 21st century (near-future) war. But to tell you the truth, I couldn't avoid feeding back into modern reality".
▶ Main article: Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex 2nd GIG (Episodes)
Timeline of events
1991 Kuril Islands
- Russia returned four Kuril Islands (including Etorofu) to Japan.
2000–2015 World War III
- World War III was a nuclear war, occurring sometime between 2000 and 2015 (in episode "DU - 33" it is suggested that the war ended sometime around 2002). While very little is still revealed about the events that occurred to cause the war, evidence shows that the war started from a series of nuclear exchanges across Eurasia.
- Nuclear bombing of Tokyo: The seat of government was temporarily transferred to Niihama (Kobe) before permanent relocation to Fukuoka, Kyūshū. Central Tokyo was submerged under water.
- Nuclear bombing of Okinawa
- Nuclear bombing of Berlin, capital of Germany.
- Birth of Motoko Kusanagi, supposedly in 2003.
2015 Development of the "Japanese Miracle"
- Japan remained passive while the war went on, until the city of Tokyo was destroyed by a nuclear blast, and even then, only became involved with the war in the background, never committing the Japan Self-Defense Forces to actual combat. By the end of the war, several of the world's powers had fallen. Virtually the only unaffected power left in the world was Japan, because the damage from the war was minimized by the "Japanese Miracle," a swarm of micromachines capable of removing radiation from the environment. The arrival of the Japanese Miracle is said to have contributed to America's waning power; since nuclear fallout could now be mitigated, American nuclear weapons were no longer as powerful.
Rise of the American Empire
- After World War III ended, America was divided into the American Empire, composed of the Ameri-Soviet Union, and United States of America. The American Empire had become an imperialist government, in an attempt to regain world power by conquering new areas in North and South America. Due to a battered economy and weak political position, the American Empire entered into a security pact with Japan. The pact reaffirms Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution in prohibiting Japan from both deploying its army overseas and possessing nuclear weapons.
2015–2024 World War IV (Second Vietnam War)
- The Second Vietnam War, as its name suggests, was centered around the Siam Peninsula. However, while the conflict started in the region around Vietnam, countries around the world were still reeling in internal conflict after the last World War. By the summer of 2020, Europe and Asia were deadlocked in a futile war of attrition.
- Japan had moved toward punitive isolationist policies while internally it found a strange political balance after World War III.
- Recapturing of Nemuro. The Umibozu became known locally and internationally for their tactics and their skills in the successful recapture of the port city.
2020 Mexican War and South American campaign
- The American Empire called for the deployment of United Nations troops, under the pretext of overthrowing the corrupt Mexican and other South American governments. Through carpet-bombing, mechanized troops, and wartime atrocities (see A Perfect Day for a Jungle Cruise), the combined UN forces moved through the regions to sweep up the remaining guerrillas.
- During this time, hundreds of mercenary groups surface throughout the war-torn Central and South American regions, populated by the remnants of armies once connected to nations that no longer exist. Also during this time, there were several unofficial operations that involved Japanese UN troops.
2024 The Peninsular War (Second Korean War)
- Civil war broke out in the peninsula leading to unification.
- American Empire called for troop deployment under the name of the UN to stabilize fighting within the peninsula.
- Japan deployed the UN peacekeeper force (PKF) in the relatively safe area of Shinuiju, where commando trooper Hideo Kuze unexpectedly spotted 120 members of the People's Army who were attacking starving refugees.
- The remaining soldiers of the People's Army surrendered to the UN forces after a short battle.
- Save for Kuze, the PKF soldiers suffered PTSD, and couldn't defend themselves against the mass media's information tempering that issued soon after the rescue.
- Mass media information tempering issues caused by the government's lack of intervention convinced PKF commando Hideo Kuze to go rogue.
2024 The Laughing Man incident
- Echoing the Glico Morinaga case and political corruption scandals of the 1980s.
2029 Formation of Section 9
2030 SAC storyline begins
2031 Section 9 officially disbanded
- Section 9 disbanded
- Formation of Kayabuki Cabinet after general election
- Secretary General Yakushima arrested
- June 9: Tachikoma AI satellite launched
- Section 9 re-forms, never actually having been disbanded in the first place
2032 2nd GIG storyline begins
- Between the events of 2nd GIG and Solid State Society, Major Kusanagi resigns from Section 9.
2034 Events of Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. Solid State Society take place
Section 9 - Principal Cast
- Chief Daisuke Aramaki (Osamu Saka/William Knight): Head of Section 9
- Major Motoko Kusanagi (Atsuko Tanaka/Mary Elizabeth McGlynn): A full cyborg and second in command in Section 9. Expert operative in the field of combat and crime investigations.
- Batou (Akio Otsuka/Richard Epcar): former ranger, full cyborg. Distinguishable by his peculiar eyes. and his close relationship with the Major
- Togusa (Koichi Yamadera/Crispin Freeman): Batou's partner, former police detective
- Ishikawa (Yutaka Nakano/Michael McCarty): specializes in online information gathering. Crew navigator.
- Saito (Toru Okawa/Dave Wittenberg): expert sniper. Later alluded to have been a former mercenary
- Pazu (Takashi Onozuka/Bob Buchholz): jack-of-all-trades investigator. Rumored to be former Yakuza
- Borma (Taro Yamaguchi/Dean Wein): explosives specialist
- The Tachikoma (Sakiko Tamagawa/Carrie Daniels, Colleen O'Shaughnesseyy, Sherry Lynn, Rebecca Forstadt, Julie Maddalena, Sandy Fox, Melissa Fahn, Lara Jill Miller, Peggy O'Neal, Lia Sargent): Nine spider-like sentient tanks designed for assistance and transportation
Old recurring characters
- Kubota (Taimei Suzuki/Michael Forest): Army Intelligence Officer, former colleague of Aramaki and Section 9.
- The Minister of Home Affairs (Yōsuke Akimoto/Tom Wyner): still keeps his old job with the new cabinet, Aramaki's boss
- Section 9 Forensics Team: also known as the "red coats"
- Section 9 All-Purpose Female Androids (Eri Oono/Debra Rogers): can make tea, operate computer terminals, answer telephones, drive, and pilot tiltrotor aircraft
New recurring characters
- Prime Minister Yoko Kayabuki (Yoshiko Sakakibara/Barbara Goodson): First female prime minister in Japan
- Chief Cabinet Secretary Takakura (Yoshinori Mutou/Eddie Jones (eps 31, 33, 42) Bill Basset (eps 49, 52): The powerbroker behind the new coalition government
- Kazundo Gouda (Ken Nishida/John Snyder): Head of the Cabinet Intelligence Service. A megalomaniac man who enjoys inflicting emotional and psychological pain upon others. Divine entity wannabe.
- Hideo Kuze (Rikiya Koyama/Kirk Thornton): An apparent member of the "Individual Eleven" terrorist group, who is later revealed to be a former JGSDF commando gone rogue in hopes to help the refugee community. Despite being set up by Gouda unwittingly, Kuze hums a strong unspeakable energy deep beneath his damaged shell. He has a peculiar connection with the Major.
- Proto (Ooki Sugiyama/Richard Miro): Section 9 new recruit, Tachikoma maintenance technician, prototype bioroid
- Azuma (Masahiro Ogata/Erik Davies): Section 9 new recruit, field operative
- Yano: Section 9 new recruit, rookie and field operative.
- Fumiya Dobashi (Makoto Yasumura/Chris Smith): Journalist, self-proclaimed expert on the "Individual Eleven" theory. Later revealed to be a brainwashed mole set up by Gouda.
- Yousuke Aramaki (Osamu Saka/William Frederick Knight): Aramaki's long-lost brother (previously mentioned in Stand Alone Complex). Helps Hideo Kuze with saving the refugees from collateral damage.
Ghost in the Shell S.A.C. 2nd GIG: Individual Eleven
On January 27, 2006, a movie version was released direct-to-DVD in Japan titled Ghost in the Shell S.A.C. 2nd GIG: Individual Eleven. The film edits down the series into a 160-minute version, much like The Laughing Man DVD before it. It is composed of the essential events related to the Individual Eleven storyline, and features new scenes and a remixed soundtrack. It has the focus on The Major's relationship with Kuze.
Theme songs and music
Episode 1–25 (Original broadcast)
- Opening theme: Rise, Music: Yoko Kanno, Lyrics: Tim Jensen/Origa, Vocals: Origa
- Closing theme: Living Inside the Shell, Music: Yoko Kanno, Lyrics: Shanti Snyder, Vocal: Steve Conte
Episode 1–25 (Terrestrial broadcast)
- Opening Theme: Christmas in the Silent Forest, Music: Yoko Kanno, Lyrics: Shanti Snyder, Vocals: Ilaria Graziano
- Closing Theme: Snyper, Music: Yoko Kanno, Lyrics: Tim Jensen, Vocals: Steve Conte and Ilaria Graziano
- Tachikoma Chase Scene: Cyberbird, Music: Yoko Kanno, Lyrics: Tim Jensen, Vocals: Steve Conte and Gabriela Robin
(Note: Music also played in Episode 24 Helicopter Infiltration Scene)
- Opening Theme: Torukia, Music: Yoko Kanno, Lyrics: Gabriela Robin, Vocals: Gabriela Robin
- Closing Theme: Christmas in the Silent Forest, Music: Yoko Kanno, Lyrics: Shanti Snyder, Vocals: Ilaria Graziano
- Composer: Yoko Kanno
- Music Producer: Toshiaki Ota
- Music Director: Yoshimoto Ishikawa
- Distributed by: Victor Entertainment
- Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex O.S.T. 2
- Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex O.S.T. 3
- Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. Solid State Society O.S.T. (Features tracks from 2nd GIG)
- Executive Producers: Mitsuhisa Ishikawa, Shigeru Watanabe
- Producers: Koichiro Matsuka, Hisanori Kunizaki
- Production Committee: Production I.G, Bandai Visual, Bandai Entertainment, Dentsu, Nippon Television, Tokuma Shoten, Victor Entertainment, Manga Entertainment
- Casting: Mouse Production
- Based on manga by: Shirow Masamune
- Director: Kenji Kamiyama
- Story Concept: Mamoru Oshii
- Staff Writers: Kenji Kamiyama, Dai Sato, Yoshiki Sakurai, Junichi Fujisaku, Yutaka Omatsu, Shotaro Suga
- Storyboard: Kazunobu Fusegi, Masayuki Yoshihara, Masaki Tachibana, Jun Matsumoto, Toshiyuki Kono, Junji Nishimura, Itsuro Kawasaki
- Original Character Design (Season 1): Makoto Shimomura
- Character Design (Season 2): Takayuki Goto, Tetsuya Nishio
- Mechanical Design: Kenji Teraoka, Shinobu Tsuneki
- Background Artist: Hiroshi Kato
- Art Director: Yusuke Takeda
- 3D Animation Director: Makoto Endo
- Color Coordinator: Yumiko Katayama
- Takayuki Goto
- Satoru Nakamura
- Kyoji Asano
- Ryota Niino
- Tetsuya Nishio
- Toshiharu Murata
- Director of Photography: Koji Tanaka
- Editing: Junichi Uematsu
- Sound Director: Kazuhiro Wakabayashi
- Sound Effects: Daisuke Jinbo
This section has information on how Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. 2nd GIG has been distributed, including both television and DVD sources.
- Asia Pacific (South Korea, Thailand, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, India)
- TV: Animax Taiwan, HK, Asia
- DVD (Region 3)
- North America
- Australia/New Zealand
- South Asia
- TV: Animax South Asia
- United Kingdom
- South America & Africa
- TV: Animax Latin America
- Interview with Kenji Kamiyama
- Official Production IG English page
- Official Production IG page
- Official Animax Website
- Official Site (United States)
- Official Production IG page
- Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex 2nd GIG at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia.
- Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex 2nd GIG ar Anime-Planet
- Anime News Network's Encyclopedia.
- Production I.G Website Into the Network: The Ghost in the Shell Universe
- Interview with Kenji Kamiyama
- Ibid. at Part 3 : The context of Stand Alone Complex
- Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex - The Laughing Man Movie. Retrieved on September 5, 2008.
- BBC's Ghost in the Shell Page. Retrieved on September 5, 2008.