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?
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I would suggest:
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.
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.