Motoko Kusanagi

Motoko Kusanagi is a anime/manga character in the Ghost in the Shell franchise
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Motoko is an intelligent and talented cyborg with a secretive past. Known as "The Major", she is the leading field agent of Public Security Section 9, and the protagonist in the Ghost in the Shell franchise.

Origin

Little is known about Motoko Kusanagi's life prior to her becoming a cyborg and joining the Japanese National Public Safety Commission. As a child she was the victim of a plane crash and spent an unknown amount of time in a coma until she was transferred into an artificial body, without her permission. She does not remember her original name from this life; Motoko Kusanagi is a pseudonym (the name Kusanagi being derived from from the name of a legendary sword from Japanese mythology).

Personality

Motoko Kusanagi
Motoko Kusanagi

Motoko's personality is slightly different with each incarnation of the character, from the manga volumes by Shirow Masamune, the anime films from director Mamoru Oshii, and the Stand Alone Complex anime TV series directed by Kenji Kamiyama. However, throughout all of them she is devoted to and excellent at her job, intelligent, and fast-thinking.

Manga

This is arguably the most personable iteration of Motoko, as here she banters occasionally with her troops and is known to smile, stick her tongue out, and otherwise be occasionally playful. It is also debatable on whether she appears in all 3 of Shirow's volumes. Motoko is the protagonist in the first volume, and makes an appearance in volume 1.5 Human Error/Processor. A character by the name of Motoko Aramaki appears as the main character in volume 2 Man/Machine Interface, and Bmay be the new "life" created when the original Motoko merged with the Puppeteer program at the end of the first volume. At one point she is referred to as "Motoko 11" suggesting that there may be even more versions of her.

Fans have speculated about the sexuality of the character in the Manga. She has a boyfriend, but there is also a sexually explicit sequence in the first volume in which she is involved with other female cyborgs

Films: Ghost in the Shell and Ghost in the Shell: Innocence

Motoko Kusanagi as seen in the first GitS film
Motoko Kusanagi as seen in the first GitS film

This version of Motoko Kusanagi is far more subdued in terms of personality, to the point of brooding, but no less effective as a leader than her Manga counterpart. Throughout the first film she seems distant and detached as she is preoccupied by a rash of cyber-crimes instigated by the so called "Puppet Master" (Project 2501). The film focuses on her inner struggle to come to terms with her own nature, whether or not she has a "ghost" or if she has lost her humanity to the machine, and what it all portends for the nature of humanity in a world in which mankind and technology are becoming ever more inextricably linked.

Motoko has a much smaller presence in the sequel, Innocence, although she does appear in the film in a supporting role while aiding former partners Batou and Togusa.

TV Series - Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex & Ghost in the Shell: SAC: Solid State Society

Motoko in GitS: SAC
Motoko in GitS: SAC

In Stand Alone Complex, Motoko resembles her manga-self much more than in the films, although her banter-y relationship with Chief Aramaki isn't seen. Some fans have come to the conclusion that Motoko may be bisexual due to the content of several episodes combined with the rarity of her close relationships with men. This is also true of her Manga incarnation as mentioned earlier. Throughout the series however, Motoko and Batou seem to develop a closeness, as do Motoko and Hideo Kuze. During the series Kusanagi is also sometimes seen taking on the identity of "Chroma" while she is in the cyber-world, before returning to her real body. After the death of Kuze at the end of the second season, Motoko retires from Section 9 and practically disappears for a time. She is seen again in the film Solid State Society when the actions of the Puppeteer bring her and Section 9 (both conducting their own investigations) together again

Voiced by
Name Movies TV Shows
Maaya Sakamoto
0
1
Atsuko Tanaka
4
27
Mary Elizabeth McGlynn
2
27
Rank Game #1647 in Power Rank
General Information Edit
Name: Motoko Kusanagi
Name: 草薙素子
Romanji: Kusanagi Motoko
Gender: Female
Birthday:
1st manga book: Ghost in the Shell #1
1st anime episode: Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex #1
1st anime movie: Ghost in the Shell
Aliases The Major,
Chroma
Recent Movies
Ghost in the Shell 2.0

A reproduced version of the original 1995 Ghost in the Shell film. This revamp will have new scenes featuring CGI animation and 6.1 channel surround ...

Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Comples - Solid State Society

Taking place some time after the SAC 2nd Gig series, Section 9 finds itself facing new challenges after Major Kusanagi's mysterious departure, including a mysterious ...

Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence

Mamoru Oshii's heavily philosophical sequel to the original Ghost in the Shell film.

Ghost in the Shell

A somewhat more dire adaptation of Shirow Masamune's manga of the same name.

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