The Netflix Anime Sequel Series To Sci-Fi Cyberpunk Classic

By Charlene Badasie | Updated

Ghost in The Shell SAC_2045

Ghost in The Shell SAC_2045, a follow-up to Ghost in The Shell: Stand Alone Complex, is on Netflix. The series is based on the 1980s Japanese manga Ghost in the Shell by Masamune Shirow. The story is set in the Stand Alone Complex sub-continuity. The show ran for two seasons, from 2020 to 2022. There are currently no plans for a third installment.

Ghost in The Shell SAC_2045, based on the anime film Ghost in the Shell, is streaming on Netflix.

Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 is set in a future where humanity has embraced super-advanced technology. Daily activities have become fully integrated with cybernetic enhancements and artificial intelligence. The series follows members of Public Security Section 9, a specialized government agency tasked with investigating cyber-related crimes and threats to national security.

In 2045, the world has been plunged into economic turmoil due to a global economic collapse caused by a cyber-terrorist event. Major Motoko Kusanagi and her team are reactivated to combat a new form of cyber warfare known as post-humanism. It involves a mysterious, powerful AI entity called Post-Human that threatens humanity’s existence.

As the team investigates, they uncover a complex conspiracy involving corporate interests, government agendas, and the blurred lines between human and AI consciousness. Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 received mixed reviews from fans and critics who appreciated the continuation of the franchise’s themes and characters but criticized the animation style, character designs, and pacing.

Many fans of the original Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex series found the 3D animation jarring compared to the traditional 2D style. However, opinions on the story’s complexity and exploration of contemporary issues were more positive. Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 was directed by Shinji Aramaki and Kenji Kamiyama.

Ghost in The Shell SAC_2045 Season 2

The animation studio Production IG, known for its work on the Ghost in the Shell franchise, was involved in producing the Netflix series. Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 was adapted into a compilation film titled Sustainable War, which premiered on November 12, 2021. The story follows Major Kusanagi and her team in the year 2045 as they try to tackle a global threat.

The team soon realizes that Shimura is behind Thinkpol, a program that allows the masses to condemn and execute people as they see fit. The second season of Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 has also been tapped to receive a compilation film, but there is no information yet on its release date..

The Original Manga

The Ghost in the Shell manga by Masamune Shirow was first serialized in Japan in 1989 in Young Magazine and was later compiled into a single volume. The written works are known for their intricate blend of cyberpunk themes, philosophical discussions, and stunning artwork.

“Ghost” refers to a person’s consciousness or soul, while the “shell” is their physical body. The manga explores the concept of a “ghost in the shell,” which refers to the idea that the true essence of a person exists in their consciousness rather than their physical form. The manga is divided into episodic chapters that involve the team tackling various cybercrimes and cases.

Due to its popularity, the Ghost in The Shell manga expanded to various media, including anime films, television series, novels, and video games. Notable adaptations include 1995’s Ghost in the Shell anime film directed by Mamoru Oshii. Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex was released in 2002. The anime television series explores the investigations of Public Security Section 9.

Scarlett Johansson’s Ghost in the Shell

Scarlett Johansson in Ghost in the Shell (2017)

A controversial Ghost in the Shell live-action adaptation was released in 2017, starring Scarlett Johansson as Major Motoko Kusanagi. The film aimed to bring the iconic anime and manga franchise to a broader Western audience. However, casting a non-Asian actress as the lead character sparked significant discussions about whitewashing in Hollywood.

Major Motoko Kusanagi is a Japanese character in the original Ghost in the Shell anime and manga. Advocates for diversity and representation in media argued that by not casting an Asian actress in the lead role, the film missed an opportunity to provide an accurate representation of Asian characters and actors.

The controversy had a notable impact on the reception of the Ghost in the Shell film. While some viewers were able to enjoy it on its own merits, the casting controversy overshadowed the release and was frequently mentioned in reviews. The film’s box office performance was considered disappointing, with many attributing its lackluster earnings to the negative publicity.

Fans can catch the first two seasons of Ghost in The Shell SAC_2045 on Netflix.