Aramaki’s new Section 9 includes Agent Smith as a consultant, making the Major question if Japan will really be in charge.
ep 08 – “ASSEMBLE – What Came About as a Result of Togusa’s Death”
Hey, SAC_2045? Spoilers much? Don’t say a main character is going to die right in the episode title! Well, I’ll add a spoiler too then: Togusa didn’t die. We saw Motoko make Stan think she was a Chinese princess, so we already knew implanting fake memories was possible. Togusa has upgraded a lot of his skills, so it was nice to see he really can keep up with the rest of the Section 9 crew.
These fake memories in SAC_2045 are relevant today when we can already manipulate video and audio to make it look like one person said someone else’s words. In a bizarre connection to real life, Scarlett Johansson, the actor for the Ghost in the Shell live action Motoko, is the most famous target for deepfake porn. Togusa’s actions of hacking his assailants and faking his own death are just the 2045 versions of spy games for intelligence agencies. SAC_2045 uses cyberbrains and specialty software to show the technological evolution.
Another good thing about the episode’s focus on Togusa was how we got to see some of the emotional issues he carried for not leaving Japan to join Motoko’s GHOST team. In the earlier seasons of Stand Alone Complex, Togusa always had a strong attachment to his wife and children, which appears to be the reason he didn’t become a mercenary. In SAC_2045’s present day, Togusa feels the regret of not adventuring keenly because he ended up divorced anyway. Now that Section 9 is operating back in Japan, Togusa’s reason to stay is not as strong. That’s ironic. Well, he should still be around to be a father to his growing children, so there are many benefits to having all the members of Section 9 together locally. A big benefit for me is watching all the Tachikomas reunite and see all the fun they have with their new minder Purin. She makes a great female contrast to Motoko’s hard-boiled character.
Nice. SAC_2045 showed Aramaki finally sharing that handshake with the prime minister. Ha. PM Teito thinks the rest of the Section 9 crew haven’t arrived yet, but Aramaki claims they just have poor manners. Because they’re already there! Even the Tachikomas are in Teito’s office. The PM’s house needs a security upgrade. Teito is a regular dude. He noticed Motoko is “charming” and “elegant.” She might be older than he is and that’s her fourth or fifth different-looking body, but sure. She’s sexy. Tachikoma approves of “smooth” talk.
America asked Japan to help look for post-humans, but Motoko needs to have Section 9 work under her terms. They won’t take orders from Americans. Motoko also has a budget. Big budget! Haha! John Smith is joining the team! No dark glasses this time. SAC_2045 was not going to leave this great character behind. He’s an “advisor” for Section 9. He’s also still in charge of the “Post-human Countermeasures Bureau,” which is under the NSA.
Ah. One of these three post-humans in Japan is going to be the big bad guy until the end of the season. This is good info. The Americans call post-humans New Humans who arose from a cyberbrain society. Large numbers of people developed that fever we saw in Harts, but only 14 survived to awaken their powers. Each one but Patrick Huge disappeared until Harts walked into that nuclear missile silo. I’ve visited the SAC_2045 website so I know that guy showing only one eye is the important one. America is pushy about post-humans because they’re the ones who have suffered the most damage from them. Lost wealth, civil war, and societal breakdown are good claims to make.
Motoko knows how to negotiate. They left the table, but only to gather info on who is advocating for the Americans so strongly. Motoko’s team says they’re reluctant to join but then they went straight to the Tachikoma garage. It’s already decided. Unfortunately, it’s another SAC_2045 episode without a Tachikoma saying “Roger!” Maybe next time. I love it! The other guys are so happy to see Batou! They can wave to the Major. She’s not that mean. Hahaha. The ones left behind are so jealous of the other three. They’re noticeably new and improved compared to the local versions.
They want to sync up right now! “Parallelize” is the SAC_2045 term for it. Purin says no! Who put her in charge? She’s dressed like the head tech of the garage. She tried to shoo away the GHOST Tachikomas like they were stray cats. Hohoho! Purin looks like a huge fan of Batou. How? Ah. She’s not an AI. Oh. Everything she knows about Batou comes from the Tachikomas. Wait. They say she was as big a Batou fan as they were when they first met. She’s a stalker! Intriguing! She’s a smarty at the very least, with a PhD from MIT after skipping grades. Purin Esaki is only 23 years old. Go for it, Mr. Batou! This whole SAC_2045 scene is pure gold. Purin knows exactly how to discipline the Tachikomas. No Nintendo game for you!
Aw. Togusa gets to express his regret to the Major for not joining her when she left Japan. Motoko bringing up Togusa’s divorce puts a possible romantic dimension to this conversation. I think that would be one-sided on Togusa’s part. Motoko has a test for Togusa to make sure he can join Section 9 on her recommendation instead of just Aramaki’s — find out how Smith eavesdropped on their secure conversation with the prime minister. Aha. This is how we get to Togusa’s “death” from SAC_2045’s episode title.
This shot of Togusa running past the prime minister portraits conveniently crops the face of all of them except the last three, whom we already saw in the other Stand Alone Complex seasons. This is a straightforward mission with the GHOST drones. Find the bug, move it, talk to the guys who come looking for it, record who they say they’re working for, and get blackmail material for leverage.
Bad things always happen at the dockyards. Togusa has better training than these guys, but he needs information more than he needs to kill them. And so Togusa “died.” SAC_2045 had me going there! I wonder when he jacked in and planted the scenario. How far back was it? At the bar? I’d believe it. Nice. The Japan-America Security Treaty Division appears to favor the Americans. That’s good for Aramaki to know. Oh, Motoko was always going to join Section 9. She just needed it to run it her way. Togusa’s operation made that happen.
And so, Motoko got her budget, her whole team, and Smith rides hump in the backseat. Togusa even got a compliment from Batou. Life is good for Section 9.
Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 streams on Netflix.