Kusanagi Motoko Profile
Major Motoko Kusanagi is a fictional Japanese character in the Ghost in the Shell anime and manga series. She is a cyborg employed as the squad leader of Public Security Section 9, a fictional division of the real Japanese National Public Safety Commission. She is voiced by Atsuko Tanaka in the movies and the Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex series. In the English dubbing of the original film, she is voiced by Mimi Woods. In both the sequel and in the Stand Alone Complex TV series, she is voiced by Mary Elizabeth McGlynn.
Kusanagi's various incarnations in the manga, movies, and TV series all portray her differently. Since each of these has an independent storyline, Kusanagi's physical and mental characteristics have been modified in different ways to reflect the focus of each respective story.
Kusanagi is the main protagonist in the movie Ghost in the Shell, where she is Aramaki's second in command in Section 9. She is a very effective leader and is able to use her wits and cybernetic body in bringing criminals to justice. However, despite the number of cyborgs in Section 9, Kusanagi hand-picks Togusa, who has undergone only minimal brain modification, to balance the roster, an interesting expression of her belief that homogeneity is a weakness and that versatility is a strength. Kusanagi is frequently portrayed in the film as contemplative and brooding, in contrast to the down-to-earth nature of her colleague Batou. She usually wields an M-23 submachine gun that, while fictional, bears a striking resemblance to a P-90 - though with the magazine mounted vertically on the underside instead of horizontally as is the case with the P-90 and expends it's empty shells to the side like a conventional weapon.
Since she has a full cybernetic body, she is not certain her ghost, or her soul, retains any humanity. In fact, she speculates on the possibility that she's entirely synthetic, with artificially generated memories designed to fool her into thinking she was once human. She goes scuba diving for relaxation, although she is so heavy that she would sink like an anchor if any malfunction in her buoyancy devices were to occur. Her fatalistic attitude towards her diving thoroughly confounds Batou. Throughout the movie, she seeks to find answers to her questions and finally meets the Puppet Master, a rogue AI who became sentient and who is similar to her in its quest for existential meaning. In the climax of the film, Kusanagi and the Puppet Master "merge" to form an entirely new entity that exists free of physical boundaries and propagates itself through the Net.
Innocence, picking up three years after the events of the original movie, focuses on Batou, who in the Major's absence has himself become brooding, withdrawn, and plagued by existential angst. Though she is referred to repeatedly in dialogue, the Major herself does not make any sort of appearance until Batou hears her voice in the convenience store, delivering the cryptic warning that he has "entered the Kill Zone."
Later in the film, the Major makes her first "true" appearance in Kim's manor, where she breaks into the hallway component of Kim's looping false memories and inserts herself (represented by the little girl prosthetic body she inhabited at the end of the first movie), providing clues to alert Batou to Kim's attempted ghost-hack on himself and Togusa.
Near the end of the film, the Major's ghost finally returns in person to help Batou on the Locus Solus gynoid factory ship. Using a satellite transmission, she attempts to download her ghost into one of the Hadaly gynoid production models - however, due to the insufficient memory of the gynoid's e-brain, she is only able to download a fraction of her full ghost into the doll. (She notes with marked disdain that the gynoid had barely enough memory for combat protocols.) Her personality has not changed much from the first movie - she still retains her fondness for philosophy and her considerable skills in battle, though she has also gained the Puppet Master's formidable hacking abilities. In a climactic sequence strongly reminiscent of that in the first film (right down to the musical score), she tears apart her mechanical body in the process of opening the ship's CPU hatch in order to hack into it. After successfully locking down the ship and uncovering the truth behind the conspiracy, Kusanagi prepares to once again disappear into the Net, but reassures a despondent Batou that whenever he logs in, she will always be beside him.