Section 9, with help from Purin, investigates a possible post-human connection to random killings using social media mob outrage.
ep 10 – “NET PEOPLE – Reasons Leading to an Internet Firestorm”
SAC_2045 continues to make contemporaneous social commentary just like earlier Stand Alone Complex seasons. The hashtag #HasJustineLandedYet went viral on Twitter in late 2013, after a newly hired ad exec made a bad joke about AIDS in South Africa before boarding her flight to Johannesburg. The young lady’s ordeal of losing her privacy, job, and reputation was the first example of the Internet outrage mob targeting a private citizen. Japan, with its history of bullying and suicide, has a term for Internet mob flaming, 炎上 (enjou). The Netflix translation of the episode title (“Reasons Leading to Flameout”) doesn’t quite capture the context of the cyber colloquialism. Things have only gotten worse for social media outrage mobs with doxxing, swatting, and deplatforming, so imagine 25 years further into the future. Literally killing people through the Internet is the natural progression.
Purin impresses and creeps me out with her Batou worship. How does she have access to his work log? SAC_2045 should give us some answers soon because her crush on Batou is turning into a side plot. Perhaps she only knows Batou from the Tachikomas’ files? Their experiences of Batou would have the rosy air of worship from an outside perspective. A Tachikoma was certainly present during a warrantless raid by Batou. Probably many times! I hope Japan has a broad legal principle of probable cause to cover Batou’s, and now Purin’s actions during their Section 9 investigations.
Whoa. A literal Internet mob killed an air traveler. SAC_2045 makes a great metaphor for anonymous faceless mobs of Internet rage with these eyeless faces. I wonder what this whole scene looked like from the outside. Did the cyber punches and kicks bruise the poor guy, or did he get his injuries only from his falls? Obviously, the mob attack fried his cyberbrain somehow.
Purin cracks me up. She’s always so happy to see Batou. Did SAC_2045 create a Tachikoma in human form? Ha! Purin doesn’t officially work for Section 9, yet she’s finding cases for them which might point to post-humans. Interesting way to visualize a synchronized distributed hacking attack. Purin thinks the synchronization of millions of hacking attempts is the work of a post-human. The Major agrees!
Ooh, a lead. The glasses-wearing post-human showed herself on camera. Is she the one doing this cyber flash mob rage? Or a SAC_2045 red herring? This Mizukane lady is dressing way sexier than her ID picture. She even has red frames now! Har. Motoko won’t give Purin orders since she’s not in Section 9. Well, who does Purin work for then? Ishikawa and Borma put Purin at ease. The Major likes loose cannons, so Purin should go out and make some noise on her own.
I’d rather see Motoko, Batou, and Togusa on their investigation, but SAC_2045 wants to concentrate on the newbie Purin. I do think she’s a human Tachikoma. Or been very influenced by spending time with them. Purin recreated the scene of the latest cyberbrain mob attack and found a group of virtual spectators. That’s a good lead. The poor guy looked like he was the only one who saw his attackers. From the outside, it looked like he was suffering hallucinations. Man, why is a fat, dyspeptic nerd always the face of novel Internet crime? Stereotypes have a germ of truth in them, unfortunately.
Purin imitates Batou’s investigative style, complete with his “nudges” to stir a witness’s memory. WWBD (What Would Batou Do?) is not a harmonious social philosophy. “Here’s your warrant!” One Puuunch! Wait, that was last time on SAC_2045. Thankfully, we did not see how Purin got fatty to take off his clothes. Ew. Well, this Peep Hole software for spectators is another lead, but it doesn’t feel like something a post-human would care about.
SAC_2045 makes me think of Psycho Pass with this strange venue of the Nameless King and his odd mudpuppy avatar. I think the writers were wise to let Purin go through this unserious stuff instead of Motoko and the rest of Section 9. The heart of the flash mob is the Think Poll (also a pun on Sync Poll) engine, where social media decides whether someone lives or dies like in a Roman gladiator fight. This is the post-human’s work.
Ah. This Nameless King sounds like a petulant teenager. SAC_2045 shows us what some of the public think about the last episode. He doesn’t understand how adults could accept Prime Minister Tate taking over his late father-in-law’s duties with the Tokyo Reconstruction Project when it smacks of government corruption. This dude is not the post-human. They don’t explain anything. They just do it. Haha! Motoko and the others found this guy on their own, and he really was a high schooler!
Ahahaha! These dangerous cyborgs just walked into a high schooler’s room! Nice. They get coffee and cheesecake from his mom! SAC_2045’s contrast between Purin’s investigation and the pros is hilarious. Motoko knows this kid only made Peep Hole. He didn’t program Think Poll. He just found it on his junior high school’s server, which means a prior graduate is the post-human. This kid was one of the first mob members of a Think Poll operation, where the kids took revenge on a sexually abusive teacher. Motoko talks to the kid like a worldly school nurse. “How innocent.” She has very dry humor.
Oh. That Nameless King conversation with Purin was just SAC_2045’s way of foreshadowing that Think Poll would go after PM Tate next. Let’s see how Motoko, Batou, and Togusa do against a mob of NPCs. Interesting. Tate couldn’t make his cyberbrain go offline. Cool. The security personnel can damage these hackers. That means Section 9 can too! Motoko is all about the kicks.
Now it’s a total video game. If SAC_2045 used the brawl engine in the Batman: Arkham series, I’d totally play that. This is not a serious fight. Togusa is doing his best Bruce Lee impression. The Nameless King and the Think Poll programmer were naïve. PM Tate’s hate mob only numbered 2,000 instead of the millions the random targets got. Either Tate is more respected than idealistic teenagers think, or adult netizens tolerate common political corruption more. It’s probably a combination of both. Think Poll makes a hate target, but the pollees still vote up or down.
In the debrief, Section 9 keeps showing pictures of the messy-haired post-human, so I assume he’s the original programmer of Think Poll. Batou gave Purin a compliment but told her to be more careful. They were watching her the whole time! SAC_2045 has a new thing called “being wired” that lovers do. I need more specifics on this, especially if Purin offers to do it with Batou and he rejects it like her mixtape. Look at that pout! Motoko looks like she’s having fun watching all this play out.
Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 streams on Netflix.