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Ghost in the Shell is a 1995 Japanese animated film about cybernetic police officers who fight terrorism in a futuristic Hong Kong. The story involves a hacker named "The Puppet Master," who is controlling the minds of cybernetic people, and it's up to Major Kusanagi to stop him.
First anime film to be released at the same time in Japan, Britain, and the United States. Its intended goal was to bring anime to a more mainstream audience in the UK and the US. It didn't, but it did become a sleeper hit on video and DVD.
Motoko Kusangi stands atop a building watching over a meeting of a foreign official trying to extricate a citizen. Bateau tells Motoko, via wireless communication, that Section 6 is invading the room with the official. Section 6 uses a group of heavily armed men to overtake the official. Motoko strips off most of her clothing and jumps off the building. The official's guard detail break out guns from their briefcases and take cover. The official tells the detail to put their guns down so Section 6 enters the room. While they are distracted something breaks through the window and the official's head explodes. Motoko appears for a moment, jumps through the window backwards as she camouflages.
At Section 9 head quarters Motoko is told about the Puppet Master. The Puppet Master has been hacking into people's cyberbrains. They questioned why he has been using an old virus method that takes time. Motoko and Togusa head off following a lead. While he drives she tells him how he is not as augmented as the rest of the crew is why he was chosen for Section 9. She also mentions how she values different viewpoints and perspectives so as a group they do not stagnate.
The scene shifts over to two garbage men. One is completing the normal rounds while the other is making hacking through a phone. On their way to the next stop the hacker garbage collector explains why he is hacking. He says that he is trying to see his daughter because his wife won't let him. He says a guy felt for sorry for him and taught him how to hack the phones. Then he tries to show a picture to the other man but he ignores it. After their next stop Bateau arrives on the scene. They find nothing until a man runs out with garbage saying he thought that he had time because one of the collector's was on the phone. Bateau immediately leaves following the garbage truck. Motoko connects into the internet via wires to her neck. She finds the garbage route which prompts the garbage collection agency to call the truck. They ask why the police is interested in their route. The hacking collector is driving so he speeds to the man that helped him.
Invisible ass kicking
The man sees Bateau's vehicle behind the garbage truck so he shoots out the tires. The truck crashes while Bateau's van falls over. The man makes a stand and fires his machine gun, with high velocity rounds, at Bateau's van. Bateau and his partner escape as the van explodes. The thug puts up his hood so he optically camouflages himself. Bateau sees him trying to get away so he shoots at him. The man escapes into a crowded market while Bateau looks for him. Motoko exits her vehicle letting Togusa apprehend the garbage collectors. Bateau gets into a shootout with the man until he runs into the drainage area. On the way down Motoko fires at him and breaks his camouflage. He throws off his jacket, reloads, and runs away. At a clearing, Motoko confronts him cloaked and beats him into submission. After his defeat he proclaims he won't talk. Bateau tells him that he probably doesn't even know his own name. He asks him some basic questions and he just stares blankly.
Togusa interrogates the garbage man that was hacking. He asks if he understands that all his memories of a wife are artificial. The man has been living alone for 10 years. The photo that he has been showing is just a picture of himself and his dog. He asks if his real memories will ever come back. Togusa apologizes but tells him that they will probably never fully come back. Bateau mentions how sad it is when people's ghosts are hacked.
Motoko dives into the ocean. She slowly floats back to the surface with the aid of her backpack. Eventually she gets onto the boat with Bateau. He tries to understand why she would dive with a robotic body. After a while she espouses on how each person is unique but someone speaks through her. They are both confused however they head back.
Puppet Master in the middle
On the street a naked woman is hit by a car. The scene transitions over to Section 9's headquarters to the woman that is an android. What remains is the head and torso. Section 6 comes in to talk to the chief about the android. Togusa suspects them so he watches the footage of them entering headquarters. He watches it again in thermo mode and checks the pressure plates. The two men that entered don't add up to the 1000 pounds registering on the system. He concludes that a third person is there in thermo optics. When the two men make it to the android it begins to speak. They claim it is the Puppet Master and that they have been tracking it a while. Also that this was an elaborate trap for the Puppet Master. It refers to itself as Project 2501 and an explosion rips through the wall. Smoke is everywhere and the android disappears. Two camouflaged men escape into a car in an alley. Togusa is nearby and shoots at the car. He nails it with a homing beacon at it's rear license plate.
Motoko and Bateau follow the signal. Eventually the car meets up with another car so they split up. The car with the beacon gets boxed in by police squads. One of the men in the car explode by Bateau while the other one is rounded up. Motoko follows the other car to an old museum. She jumps out of the helicopter and sneaks in. Inside she finds a tank waiting for her. It starts spilling out rounds at her thus decimating her cover. She lobs an explosive round at it, shoots at it until out of ammo, and dodges out of the way of the bullets. One of the turrets run out so she camouflages herself. She manages to get on the tank and tries to pry the door open. She pulls so hard that literally her arm and leg rip off. The tank grabs her with a claw and prepares to crush her head. Bateau appears with a gigantic gun shooting at the tank. It stops moving so he takes the android out of the backseat of the car. Motoko insists on being hooked into the Puppet Master. He does so with a little help of the cyberbrain of the tank pilot. The Puppet Master and Motoko converse about merging into being. He tells her that they are alike and that this is the next natural step of evolving. She tries to understand why she was chosen. She consents as three helicopters above fire down. Bateau covers her head with his arm but the shot goes through. The android is obliterated and Motoko is decapitated.
The final scene is in one of Bateau's safe houses. Motoko wakes up as a little girl. Bateau explains what happened and asks her if the Puppet Master will always be a part of her. She explains that the incident on the boat was part of a quote and finishes it. She leaves and the movie ends with her saying "And where does the newborn go from here? The net is vast and infinite."