As the title suggests, I want to start watching Ghost in the Shell. But I have seen many different ones and dont know if they're all part of the same series etc.

What are some suggestions for where to start the series?


3 Answers 3


I would suggest:

  1. Ghost in the Shell, the original movie, and/or Ghost in the Shell 2.0, a remastered version.
  2. Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, the sequel to the original movie.
  3. Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex and 2nd Gig. These are two television serieses that is not based in the same continuity as the movie, but contains similar themes and characters. 2nd Gig is just Season 2.
  4. Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. Solid State Society. A television movie that follows on from the TV serieses.

As mentioned above, the latter two items are set in a different but similar universe so can be watched individually from the first two. I recommend the movies first because the original GitS movie was intended to be taken in without pre-watchings, whereas I felt the television series made some assumptions about familiarity with the source material.

  • 2
    Might be important to mention: Both series (SAC/2nd Gig) refer to incidents in the past, which are revealed throughout the series. They're not part of the movies. Also, in case you're going to watch the German version (not sure where you're from), try to get the remastered version of the first movie - same voices as the series (voice actors of Stargate SG-1) and overall better experience.
    – Mario
    Jul 17, 2012 at 8:50
  • Good point - in the series, anything that happened in the past is not referring to the movie.
    – dlanod
    Jul 17, 2012 at 8:53
  • 2
    Where would you put "Arise" in this sequence? Before everything else?
    – Jasmine
    Feb 4, 2015 at 22:19
  • MY suggested starting place would be the manga TPB, THEN the movies/TV shows.
    – Omegacron
    Feb 5, 2015 at 19:27
  • Arise is apparently in its own continuity, not a part of the movie-verse or the continuity of SAC. As to when it should be watched relative to other versions of GITS? That's up to the viewer... Jun 18, 2015 at 1:36

Hands down: Mamoru Oshii's original 1995 film, 'Ghost in the Shell'.

  • 12
    You should flesh out your answer. Why should he start there? What other Ghost in the Shell films/shows should he watch afterwards?
    – user1027
    Jul 18, 2012 at 1:15

I would recommend watching the movies first (the animated ones of course). They are simply beautiful, and exposure to similarly-themed stuff may make you less astonished. (Be sure to revisit the movies from time to time!)

Then, watch the two seasons of Stand Alone Complex and the SSS movie. These contain less philosophical ranting but more sociological thought. You may be inclined to watch the second movie of Patlabor to contemplate the second season, note that this is NOT in the GITS franchise.

I actually recommend watching SAC_2045, provided that you watch it in this way: watch it at 2x speed and in no more than six seperate occasions. Specifically, do watch the last few episodes without pausing. The story is told very poorly, the pace is weird (probably due to K.Keniyama's personal limitations and Netflix asking for more action scenes, note that this is my own wild speculation), but it gives a fascinating re-interpretation of 1984.

Finally, DO NOT watch the live-action remake if you loved the philosophical rant and the atmosphere of the animated versions. It only has a shell, not the ghost.

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