Sunday, November 22, 2009

ghost in the shell

OK first things first, anyone actually checking out this site be sure to check out my expanding links section I spend a lot of rime online so I'm sure to keep adding to that regularly for a little while.
second I know there's no way I'm going to be able to keep up daily updates for very long.

so not having a better idea of how to transition i'll just say I've been watching a lot of ghost in the shell stand alone complex lately. it's an anime with a cyber punk setting, it takes place in an alternate universe from the first two ghost in the shell movies (same settings but those events didn't take place), and it's all based off of the original manga, though I have no idea how closely based or which one follows closer.

the story folows a group known as section nine, who primarily seem to be the "eleite police force" kind of unit common in fiction, though I can't be sure since they seem pretty lax with what would nomrally be strict police procedure. with the exception of two members the active members of the squad are all effectively cyborgs. the group is led by major kusanagi (the one in the picture) and chief aramaki. the major is the one that feels like the leader through out most of the series, the chief being more of the kind of leader that's at the police station and pulling strings in the political department. so far I'd have to say that major kusanagi and batou are my favorite characters with the major making a solid run towards being among my favorite fictional characters, though cyborgs always have an advantage in that department she's a good charecter. she's a very strong a good leader, that typically as high understanding of the situation around her, even though a few surprises pop up frequently (inevitable in a world were a battle equipped robot can look perfectly human until it attacks). And most of all she manages to pull that off without falling into the "I'm a badass bitch who resents everyone else" or the "I'm so overcompensation famine in my off time" that seems to be the only way that most big productions can pull of strong female characters now a days. overall I'd highly recomend this to any one who enjoys cyberpunk fiction

one more awkward transition later.

now to over analyze my interest in cyber punk in general. I must admit I have very little experience directly with this genre, which is more than a little surprising because even playing make believe in early grade school most of my characters came off as cyborgs or the like, so it seems like a natural fit. maybe it's just the fact that I didn't know it had it's own name until recently and if not searching for it by that name actual cyberpunk fiction seems to be pretty rare
but what I have seen I truly enjoy, and usually for more than just my normal escapist fiction. and I can think of a few reasons. one is the freedom of the body that seems to be the undertone of such fiction. in the case of ghost in the shell it's strongly implied if not down right stated that most members of section 9 have entirely synthetic bodies with only there brains still being human and even those have some augmentation, and being able to jump into the internet, no matter what names it's given, with an avatar of your choice. this sort of freedom of the mind is a wonderful concept to me allowing the characters to experience the world as they wish. another is the inevitable examination on life and human nature, that seems to come with it, ghost in the shell doesn't' dwell on it too long but there is an episode were they present the idea of what qualifies as life when you have humans that are mostly machines and computer programs that very closely mimic real human intelligence.

well as long as it is I thought I'd have a few more ideas for my analyzing of me and cyberpunk but I seem to have pretty much run dry at the moment . so what are your thoughts. any one else here enjoy cyberpunk and have a few ideas why, or maybe just a few titles you'd recommend.


  1. Neuromancer- Bill Gibson, I like bill more than his books, but it is (erroneously) heralded as the first cyber punk novel,
    Artificial Kid- Bruce Sterling, who makes a better writer than critic
    Snow Crash - Neal Stephenson, unoriginal, but he borrows so well
    Fairyland - Paul Mcauley, very cool stuff
    Noir _ KWJeter, very, very noir
    But then there are a host of others, Pat Cadigan, WTQuick, John Shirley, early Tim Powers, (v.early laser imprint)etc. etc.. If you want to narrow down your search or contact otherwise, say, on my comments, I'll be happy to give you more.

  2. thanks for for all the recommendations, I actually just started reading neuromancer, enjoying it so far but only a couple of chapters in, and I'll be sure to check out the other books as well.