Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Ghost In The Shell Volume 2: Man-Machine Interface (v. 2) Paperback – January 25, 2005
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. In this brilliant and difficult sequel, Masamune revisits the future, cyborg-dominated world detailed in the original manga. While Batou, the gruff cyber-security operative from volume one, makes an appearance, this new work is more of a meditation on the first book's central theme—the melding of cybernetic technology, human personality and the spiritual "ghost" or life force at its essence—than a continuation of the original story. Book one ended after Major Kusanagi, Batou's sexy cyborg commander, downloaded her "self" into a bodiless, "self-aware" artificial intelligence. Now Masamune focuses on another beautiful cyborg, Motoko Aramaki, chief security officer for a giant multinational conglomerate. Aramaki digitally transfers her personality and capabilities between cyborg bodies stashed around the world, as she attacks industrial spies, assassins and cyber-hackers while keeping up a steady stream of digital communications with various robotic assistants and her secretary back at the office. Once again Masamune attempts to assay the virtual terrain where technological entities meet the essence of human spirituality, connecting the mythology of sci-fi machinery to both the metaphysics of religion and the timeless allure and complexity of Asian creation-myths. The color and b&w graphics are stunning, brilliantly evoking the nonvisual world of data transmission. While his story can be confusing, Masamune has created one of the most thoughtful and gorgeous manga ever produced. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The long-awaited sequel to the 1990s smash hit manga Ghost in the Shell certainly won't disappoint the fans. On the surface, the story is a cyber-espionage caper in which Motoko Aramaki, heroine of the first book and now a hyperadvanced cyborg, uses all of her resources, real and virtual, to investigate a series of strange attacks against her employers, Poseidon Industrial. As the mystery deepens, however, characters and reader discover that there is more here than meets the eye, and that leads characters and reader to question what intelligence and existence really are. As the questions mount, Man-Machine Interface becomes an awesome display of story and art working in tandem to lay the reader flat. The art has a kinetic energy that flows through the pages with a power that just sweeps one up. The story, meanwhile, exerts great crossover appeal to fans of the cyber-punk, tech-noir fiction of the likes of Neal Stephenson and William Gibson. Tina Coleman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Let's start with the artwork. As I've noticed with Shirow's work, all the ways from Appleseed, his style has matured with each work and is at a very advanced level, in my opinion, among top comic book artists in the world. He has a certain style of coloring that, to me, is really unique in how subtle, lifelike, and tactile he makes fabrics and skin. While only roughly 35-40% of the book is colored, it is done so fantastically.
In addition, Shirow has a supreme mastery of the female body form. It's simply stunning to see how beautifully he can render the female body, especially with the dynamic energy he brings to his characters. While he renders many of the panels with the female characters in the buff, he does not render "R" nudity, but rather "PG-13" nudity, except in one panel). (As a sidenote, parents of younger readers should perhaps consider this an "R" rated book. While none of the nudity is gratuitous, it can be a little too much for some).
As fans of Shirow have noticed, he has been experimenting with integrating 3D, rendered environments and objects with his 2D artwork. He shows his mastery of this technique in many of the panels, where it seems seemless; you feel as if the character is really a part of the scene. Then in others, it seems poorly done (for example, he renders pigs in a sequence of panels and the pigs just look weird). I'd also offer some criticism of his rendering of "virtual space", as it quickly becomes cluttered and very difficult to navigate, visually, especially in the low-res, black and white lineart panels.
As with all Shirow works, there is certainly enough cool technobabble and gadgets to get your geek juices flowing. From exoskeletons that envelope and "swallow" the pilot, to oddly constructed androids, to the techno-metaphysical discussions of reality, life, existence, and justice.
My main criticism with the work is the incontinuity *within* the plot itself (I fully understand and accept that this is not a continuation of the first). Without going deeply into the plot, there are some scenarios where he will start what seems like an arc, but then the arc disappears, without entering into the plot again. It seems like whole parts of the book were created just for the sake of showing artwork, and not progressing plot (to me, plot should always come first in a written work, which this is, despite the medium). It feels like the recent Star Wars movies in that they are really a showcase for Lucas's technique with fully rendered set and have lost any semblence of a cohesive plot and great acting (especially Harrison Ford) that made the first three the classics that they are. Yes, while I do appreciate the eye candy, this is still a graphic novel, and, as such, I expect a cohesive plot and not random interjections of this and that and whatever.
Some fans will also find the lack of action (compared to the first book) a bit disappointing. The first book was far grittier and more action packed than this book. It also had a richer cast of characters. "Man-Machine Interface" really only features one character (albeit in various bodies and forms) and thus loses some of the dynamic interactions between characters. Shirow never gets a chance to fully developer the chief of Poseidon police and his crew.
Overall, this book is excellent if you simply love Shirow's beautiful artwork, mastery of the female body form, and creative techno-gadgets. The plot, especially the ending, will leave you sorely disappointed. Whereas the first ended on a revelation of a metaphysical type, this book ends in a fizzle.
There is a good story here, but it's pure tech. "Man-Machine Interface" is named this way for a reason. Motoko is corporate, this time. Not military. If you're looking for a continuation of Masamune's first manga, you won't find it. What you will find is layers of Shirow's version of the internet, and one person's expert manipulation of the data within. Which is actually what the story IS about. Data mining, and applying that data to the best advantage of the company Motoko works for. And if you follow the story correctly, you discover, like she does, that there's quite a bit of similarity and uniqueness to life, both digitally, and physically. It took me a couple of readings to see that, myself.
Buy the book for the art. Buy the book for the tech. But if you're looking for a Section 9 adventure, you might be disappointed.
however, for those of you looking for a direct sequel to the first book, this isn't it, its a very weird story that is actually very confusing until the end, motoko becomes a hyper advanced ghost on the net and downloads her self into multiple bodies,
the story featured here, follows the journey of one of these motoko copies to its very demise. However, the story at the end dose come back to the original motoko and section 9...sorta, batu and aramaki are in this story but only in the beginning and at the end, and it dose end story wise as if it were going to sequel.
other than that the only bad thing about this is that its printed in a slightly larger "Manga" size. its not like the first book, where it was a 300pg full size graphic novel, no the book is significantly smaller in dimension and has 307 pages, the text is smaller *8pt font MAX*, and this time about 1/2 of is in full *CG* color,
so yea its a must have for all diehard shell fans..but for new comers and not so diehards alike, this book may be a bit of a let down....
Most recent customer reviews
Okay, I got that out there. I cannot complain about his drawing, his grasp of technology, his vision of the future, or his intricate...Read more