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Ghost In The Shell Anime Watch Order

ghost in the shell anime watch order

Here’s the Ghost in the Shell Anime Watch order so you can watch Ghost in the Shell chronologically!

Ghost In The Shell is one of the famous anime franchises in the industry. Initially, the Ghost In The Shell manga was released in 1989. 

It focuses on a cyberpunk plot that thrilled several readers around the world during its initial release and since then it has been the most popular cyberpunk manga ever. 

The storyline is focused on the protagonist, Motoko Kusanagi who’s the leader of a counter cyberterrorist organization. The events in the anime are set in Japan in the mid 21st century.

Ghost In The Shell, like most anime, has several seasons, films, and spin-off content hence it can be confusing for viewers to know which is the right order. If you’re new to the Ghost In The Shell fandom then we’ve prepared a detailed watch order for you right here.

Ghost In The Shell Anime Watch Order

The storyline of Ghost In The Shell anime centers on the employees of a law enforcement organization named Public Security Section 9. The role of this organization is to investigate terrorism acts and any cybercrime cases. 

The main protagonist of this entire anime series is Motoko Kusanagi who’s the head of Public Security Section 9. Most of the events occurring in the anime take place in the middle of the 21st century. In this era, most people have transformed into cyborgs and have prosthetic bodies. 

It is the job of the members of the Public Security Section 9 to find out about the dark secrets that lurk within the Japanese government and takedown criminals behind conspiracy acts. 

Ghost In The Shell Anime Watch OrderRelease DateEpisodes/Duration
Ghost In The Shell Nov 19951h 23m
Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone ComplexOct 200226 episodes
Ghost In The Shell: S.A.C. 2nd GIGJan 200426 – 52
Ghost In The Shell 2: InnocenceMar 20041h 39m
Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex – Solid State SocietySep 20062h 3m
Ghost In The Shell: Arise- Alternative ArchitectureJuly 201310 episodes
Ghost In The Shell: The New MovieJune 20151h 40m
Ghost In The Shell: SAC_2045April 202012 episodes

Ghost In The Shell (1995)

This is the first installment of the Ghost In The Shell anime and this is a movie which was released in 1995. The events in the movie focus on the year 2029 when technological advancements are at their peak and cybernetic technology are prevalent. 

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Humans can completely alter their bodies with the help of cybernetic technology. The human brain can also be modified to the cyber brain, which is an advanced version of the brain that allows humans to access the internet.

The protagonist of the story is a woman named Motoko Kusanagi who’s the leader of the Public Security Section 9. She and her teammates go looking for a hacker named, Puppet Master who illegally hacks into hybrids of humans and cyborgs and controls them for his use. Now it’s up to Kusanagi to save the world from the cyber-criminal.

Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex (2002)

This season focuses on a new character called the Laughing Man who’s a hacktivist that reveals about the secrets of the Japanese government and a micromachine manufacturing plant who are profiting off expensive micromachine treatment provided to the cyberization affected hybrids. 

The Laughing Man revealed this on live television by threatening one of the owners of the manufacturing company to disclose their secretive information. 

This leads to the Laughing Man becoming a renowned hero and several people start imitating him. Later his identity was used by some of the Japanese politicians to attract the public and profit through it. However, the Section 9 members expose the corrupted people and the Japanese government is overthrown.

Ghost In The Shell: S.A.C 2nd GIG (2004)

This is a continuation of the previous season and the events occur 2 years after the Stand Alone Complex season. This season focuses implications of the two world wars on society and the economy. 

These wars resulted in several Asians being displaced and are being invited to Japan to seek refuge. There they work as cheap laborers but they’re left unemployed after the war broke out. 

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The refugees are now having beef with the government. Meanwhile, a terrorist group causes a hostage crisis and the person behind these acts is Kazundo Goda. 

Section 9 learns that Goda is a criminal who incited violence among the people and they must stop him before he absconds.

Ghost In The Shell 2: Innocence (2004)

This movie focuses on a new protagonist named Batou who’s a new member of Section 9. Batou and Togusa team up to follow an investigation on malfunctioning gynoids. 

Gynoids are doll-like robots and they’ve been malfunctioning without reasoning. Upon investigation, Batou discovers the gynoids they found contained an illegal ghost and they’re being made to look more like humans so that the humans will be framed for the murders committed by gynoids.

Batou and Togusa investigate further and find out a gynoid company named LOCUS SOLUS is behind the acts of malfunctioned gynoids. They try to collect evidence against the company by infiltrating their ship only to find out other crimes committed by the company.

Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex – Solid State Society (2006)

Events in this season take place in the year 2034 which is two years after the 2nd GIG. The Public Security Section 9 is now led by Togusa and the organization has expanded rapidly. 

Section 9 is now investigating a suicide spree of the refugees in the Siak Republic. As they go to investigate the case they find that the refugee leader is dead mysteriously. 

The Siak Republic has conspired to attack in retaliation and Batou is sent to intercept the mission. Section 9 learns that a new hacker called the Puppeteer is responsible for the suicide spree of the refugees and also for using children to be carriers of a cybernetic virus. 

Now it’s up to Section 9 to save all the children and the citizens from terrorist attacks.

Ghost In The Shell: Arise- Alternative Architecture (2013)

This season is a compilation of the four original video animation that was released as a TV series. The events in this occur in the year 2027 when most people around the globe have turned into cyborgs by altering their bodies with prosthetic parts. 

This is a prequel to the original series and focuses on the beginning of Public Security Section 9 and the early life of Motoko Kusanagi before she was even employed in Section 9. 

Kusanagi is seen working as a spy in the Federal 501 organization which is specialized in espionage and infiltration techniques. Kusanagi is in beef with the Federal 501 since they own her prosthetic body and this leads to conflict between them.

Ghost In The Shell: The New Movie (2015)

This movie focuses on events occurring in the year 2027 when the World War Five came to a drastic end. Suddenly, a bomb detonated in the Newport City which killed several people and a strange weapons dealer. 

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The Public Security officer, Daisuki Aramaki suspects that the dead weapons dealer might have links to the Federal 501 organization.

Daisuke Aramaki hires the cyborg hacker and spy, Motoko Kusanagi to investigate deeper into the matters of the strange bomb detonation. 

Ghost In The Shell: SAC_2045 (2020)

Fast forward to the year 2045, the Simultaneous Global Default which is an economic disaster, makes all the currency form invaluable. This leads the Big 4 countries to survive by engaging in a sustainable war to keep their economies running. 

The former Section 9 members Batou and Makoto work as mercenaries to a new organization named GHOST. 

They earn a living by using their experience in cybernetics to catch criminals and whatnot. However, a new threat called the Post Humans emerges which forces the former Section 9 chief, Aramaki to reunite the renowned counter-terrorism organization. 

Ghost In The Shell Anime Watch Order: FAQs

Should I watch Ghost In The Shell movie first?

The first Ghost In The Shell movie was released in 1995 and was the first ever installment released by the franchise. Since the movie is the first content of the Ghost In The Shell franchise it’s best to watch the movie first because it focuses on the main narrative of the entire series.

In what order should I watch Ghost In The Shell?

The correct chronological order to watch Ghost In The Shell is as follows: 
Ghost In The Shell
Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex
Ghost In The Shell: S.A.C. 2nd GIG
Ghost In The Shell 2: Innocence
Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex – Solid State Society
Ghost In The Shell: Arise – Alternative Architecture
Ghost In The Shell: The New Movie
Ghost In The Shell: SAC_2045

Is Ghost In The Shell 2.0 a sequel?

Ghost In The Shell 2.0 is not the sequel to the original anime series. It’s similar to a director’s cut which was redone by using new CGI methods instead of following the iconic visual effects. In addition, Ghost In The Shell 2.0 is only a collection of scenes redesigned and not the entire movie. 

Is Ghost In The Shell 2045 a sequel?

Ghost In The Shell 2045 is a new sequel of the Ghost In The Shell anime and it was released in the year 2020. It focuses on the protagonists Makoto and Bataou and the events occurring in the year 2045 when they reunite the original Section 9.

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