Ghost in the Shell 1.5
Human-Error Processor

Author: Shirow Masamune
Artist: Shirow Masamune
Titan Books
RRP: 14.99, US $17.95
ISBN-13: 978 1 84576 691 7
ISBN-10: 1 84576 691 1
Available 23 November 2007

Deep into the 21st century, the line between man and machine has been inexorably blurred as humans rely on the enhancement of mechanical implants and robots are upgraded with human tissue. In this rapidly converging technoscape, the covert-ops agents of Section 9 are charged to track and crack the most dangerous terrorists, cybercriminals, and ghost hackers the digital future has to offer. Whether dealing with remote-controlled corpses, lethally malfunctioning micromachines, or cop-killer cyborgs, Section 9 is determined to serve and protect...

Ghost in the Shell 1.5: Human-Error Processor represents the first time a western audience has been able to discover the "lost" Ghost in the Shell stories, created by Shirow Masamune after completing work on the original Ghost in the Shell manga and prior to his tour-de-force, Ghost in the Shell 2: Man-Manchine Interface, but never collected until now.

Focusing on Section 9 agents in their daily battle against technocrime, Human-Error Processor collects together the stories Fat Cat, Drive Slave, Mines of Mind and Lost Past - all produced in the authentic right-to-left reading format, as originally published in Japan.

The script is as well written as we've come to expect from Masamune, but what surprised me was his amusing ramblings that appear at the foot of many of the pages. These are here to explain something in the main text that might not be clear but, more often than not, it's used tongue in cheek.

The artwork is also a thing of beauty. It's a shame that Masamune's original work wasn't fully realised in colour. Here, every now and then, we get four consecutive pages in colour and they look amazing.

This collection doesn't need a recommendation from me - all manga fans will already know that this is another fantastic collection that everyone should add to their list of must buy books.

Nick Smithson

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