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The Lonely Struggle is the ninth episode of the Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 anime series.

Plot

Problems arise for Section 9 after one of the three post-humans in Japan murders several politicians, then targets the Prime Minister's father-in-law.

Summary

Sanji Yaguchi one of the Post-humans kills a pedestrian on the street, and Aramaki informs the Section 9 team about it. The scene was caught on film by chance by a journalist, and the victim's name was Koichi Tadakoro, the Security-General of the Ministry of Residential Control. So, Aramaki has the team search for similar cases that match Sanji's MO as a way to find him.

Later Batou and Togusa visit the hanger area and pass by the Tachikoma; there, Purin asks Batou about Post-humans. She confesses that she learned it from the Tachikoma, and Purin also tries to give Batou a walkman filled with Batou's musical tastes, but he refuses.

Meanwhile, Major meets with Ishikawa on what he's learned so far about Tadakoro's background, and Major has him dive deeper to find more information about him. Just then, Purin enters the scene to hook up to one of the computers.

Elsewhere, Batou and Togusa interview a former trainer of Sanji to learn more about him. He discloses that Sanji is suffering from overheating, which Pre-Post-humans suffer through before they become full Post-humans after he did some AR sparing. Major then orders Batou and Togusa to return to Section 9 immediately.

Purin then relays some new information she obtained by hacking into the Police HQ, which surprises Batou, but Major claims she'll let it slide. Purin then discloses 92 autopsy cases match how Tadakoro died, with a 98% chance the same person committed their murders. Since Sanji became a Post-human roughly three months ago, he's likely been killing a person once a day. The commonality among the victims is that they were either immigrants or refugees; although they were all registered as Japanese citizens, they obtained this illegally. Batou speculates the illegals something to fuel the Sustainable War. However, Purin claims that a man by the name of Ishiwata, the first victim of Sanji, used the immigrants to work on his Tokyo Reconstruction project as a cheap labor force. Traces left at the scene of Ishiwata's murder match those of Sanji's and lead Major to believe his natural body couldn't match up with his updated physical abilities. Purin then shows the group the list of people who used false identities and worked on the reconstruction project, all while receiving welfare benefits. Togusa then asks if Sanji is targeting people who cheat the system. Major then assumes that Tadakoro may have also been involved in this scheme, but Ishikawa claims there wasn't a speck of dirt that clung to that guy. So, Major assumes that the ones most benefit from the construction project are companies affiliated with the project.

Aramaki, accompanied by Major, later visits Prime Minister Tate about the situation and learns that Tadakoro was a mediator with the Tokyo Reconstruction Project. Aramaki then discloses that Tate's father-in-law owns a construction company associated with the project and could be targeted by Sanji. While Tate confirms that his father-in-law has contract workers with the project, he becomes upset that his father-in-law tried to bribe Tadakoro into the project. Despite this, Aramaki stands his ground and again warns that Tate's father-in-law would be another target of Sanji, and it'd be in his best interest to allow them to investigate this. However, Tate wants to confront his father-in-law first, and Aramaki approves of it and takes his leave with Major.

At Section 9 HQ, Ishikawa reveals to Togusa and Batou that Sachio Otomo, Tate's father-in-law, is a congressman. They then talk a bit about the Otomo family history, with Tate thrown into the conversation. Major then contacts Batou to take a Tachikoma and use it to guard Sachio against harm, noting the secret backdoor agreement between him and Tadakoro. That very night, Sachio was murdered by Sanji. News of this is delivered to Tate by his wife Akiko, and he blames the incompetence of Section 9 on this failure. John then enters the room and demands that a fake news story is released to cover up the intel about Post-humans. After a brief exchange with John over his bugged room, Tate requests Aramaki to release a story that his father-in-law's death was due to illness. He also asks that "real news" be released to lure out Sanji.

News that Tate will take over his father-in-law's position in the company is made, and he meets with his wife Akiko at the hospital where his father-in-law's body was. Meanwhile, Major tails him in stealth while Togusa, Batou, and Ishikawa head to that location. Soon, Sanji appears at the scene and demands to know Tate's purpose. Tate answers that he intends to restore the country to its former glory. Major then appears, boxes Sanji into submission, and attaches a cyber lock on him. When asked why Sanji didn't kill him on the spot, Tate answers that he probably wanted to hear his resolve before he did anything. John then arrives and takes the unconscious body of Sanji out of there.

Characters


Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 Season 1 Episodes

1: Sustainable War | 2: Divided by a Wall | 3: MIA | 4: Emissary from the Divide |
5: Gift from God | 6: Quantized Gospel | 7: First Bank Robbery |
8: What Came About as a Result of Togusa's Death | 9: The Lonely Struggle |
10: Reasons Leading to Flameout | 11: The Revolution of the 14-year-olds |
12: All Will Become N

Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 Season 2 Episodes

13: DOMINO EFFECT / Silly Kukushkin | 14: CLOSE CALL / I've Awoken | 15: FACTOR / 1A84 |
16: MEMORIES / Born in Heaven | 17: ROOM 101 / Man's Search for Meaning |
18: N-POWER / How to Build an Independent Nation | 19: TRUTH POINT OF CONTACT / Bridge of Promise |
20: DEMI DEUS / Those Who Evolve Toward Divinity | 21: LAST RESORT / A Long Slumber |
22: OPERATION STANDOFF / The Battle Begins | 23: DOOMSDAY / The Moon over the Ruined Castle |
24: DOUBLE THINK / Event Boundary

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