Ghost in the Shell 2
Man-Machine Interface

Author: Shirow Masamune
Artist: Shirow Masamune
Titan Books
RRP 19.99
ISBN 1 84023 767 8
Available 25 February 2005

March 6, 2035. Motoko Aramaki is a hyper-advanced cyborg, a counter-terrorist net security expert heading the investigative department of the giant multinational, Poseidon Industrial. Partly transcending the physical world and existing in a virtual world of networks, Motoko is a fusion of multiple entities and identities, deploying remotely controlled prosthetic humanoid surrogates around the globe to solve a series of bizarre crimes. Meanwhile, Tamaki Tamai, a psychic investigator from the Channelling Agency, has been commissioned to investigate strange changes in the temporal universe, brought about by two forces, one represented by the teachings of a professor named Rahampol, and the other by the complex, evolving Motoko entity. What unfolds will be all in a day's work... a day that will change everything, forever...

For fans of the original Ghost in the Shell graphic novel, Man-Machine Interface is not a continuation, as such. As writer/illustrator Shirow Masamune states in his foreword, this story is set around five months after Ghost in the Shell, and is concerned with a different organisation to that in the first collection.

There are more colour pages in this collection than Ghost in the Shell, and also a lot more erotic illustrations. These are usually in the form of half/completely naked girls, but also feature that other Japanese obsession - girls in white panties. Actually, I'd say that a good 80% of this book has erotic imagery and most of it is unnecessary. To some that will be a bonus, to others a distraction, but however you view it, it doesn't detract from the fact that this is an engaging collection.

If you a fan of Manga, then you need to make sure you order this now.

Pete Boomer

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