If You're Disappointed By Ghost In The Shell, Try This Comic

After paying money I will never get back for the disappointment that is 2017's Ghost in the Shell, I realised that it hadn't scratched my itch for a Tokyo-esque sci-fi tech opera. It delivered, mostly, on the dystopian vision of Tokyo that Evan Narcisse called "futureshock design porn". But while its setting contained infinite storytelling possibilities, Ghost in the Shell tapped into few of them. Leaving the theatre, I felt awfully unsatisfied.

Tokyo Ghost

So, this weekend, I returned to Tokyo Ghost. It's a current sci-fi comic about how technology changes what it means to be human by Rick Remender and Sean Murphy. A lot of it takes place in 2089 Los Angeles, where constables Led Dent and Debbie Decay chase down hacker criminals in a world where humans are hackable. It's very William Gibson, where Dent's tech addiction, mirroring the modern heroin epidemic, has him "plugged in" to dozens of feeds constantly. For her part, Decay is a rare, unfettered technophobe.

On an assignment, they travel to the "garden nation" of Tokyo, the only nation that hasn't succumbed to tech-mania. There, Dent's feed addiction and Debbie's tech aversion lead them along different, and mutually exclusive, paths. Tokyo Ghost then becomes a story of love, forgiveness and ideology.

Tokyo Ghost

Tokyo Ghost hits a lot of the same themes that Ghost in the Shell nods toward, but with a more fleshed-out world and characters better suited to explore it.

Tokyo Ghost

If you've already watched the original 1995 Ghost in the Shell — this is step one — and want a fresher take on what it means for humans to be hackable, check out this comic.


    I suggest that people watch the movie and make their own minds up rather than take Kotaku journos seriously. Imo it's as good as the original anime, they're both a bit dated nowadays but both are equally entertaining.

    So if I wasn't disappointed I am good right? I don't need to read this? Cool, I actually enjoyed the movie.

    Years of dumpster fires that are anime to movie adaptations had me super stoked that Hollywood had decided not to give in an "Evolution".

    Another post being negative about Ghost in the Shell. How about letting people make up their own minds. But congrats on the only positive-ish sounding post by the author I've seen in a while

    But author... the comic has tokyo in its name and has caucasians in the art? Aren't I meant to hate it or something by what I've been reading on Kotaku lately?

      The trick is to never be happy with anything. Be perpetually unsatisfied, and then it's everyone else's job to live up to your expectations and make you happy. You are special. The world owes you.

    Please ignore all comparisons to Ghost in the Shell and just read this book. It's really, really good.

    Also, it's not really current. Pretty sure it's now ended (at issue 10 or 12) but that just means it's conveniently available in two trade paperbacks at your local comic supplier.

    It's really good.

      Yeah, it's ended, although if I recall correctly, the writer mentioned plans for another story/volume in the future.

    The entirety of the important themes and perspectives in the original were just blurted out in a few expository monologues, being a pioneer of adult themes in anime doesn't mean it's the best at storytelling. I'm not sure how much the original should warrant any grand expectations from the remake.

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