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These are a list of relatively suggestive tropes relating to Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex that are not discussed at any point as part of the storyline by the characters.

  • Adaptation Displacement: Modern anime fans (on both sides of the Pacific) are more familiar with this series than either the manga or the Mamoru Oshii films.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: The runaway Walking Tank from the second episode. It's surprising how much empathy you can feel for a machine that resembles a giant metal spider.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: No information is ever given about Proto in the few appearances he makes in 2nd Gig. It isn't until he falls victim to an attack barrier and reveals that he's a Bio-Android prototype that we ever learn anything. Unfortunately, this comes near the end of the series, and really plays no part of the story, and such a detail was never hinted at or mentioned again. It may have been an Aborted Arc that somehow still got some details through, or a possible Sequel Hook for another plotline.
    • There was one small hint. Proto is short for Prototype.
  • Complete Monster: Gouda.
  • Did They or Didn't They?: The Major may or may not have slept with Batou during episode 25 of the first season. It's another shot you might miss if you look away, as the two of them (wearing their undershirts and having had the prerequisite discussion of mnemonic devices as related to personal identity) walk off together with Batou's arm around the Major's waist.
  • Fan Nickname: "Jabba the Home Affairs Minister" - the Minister of Home Affairs, the man Aramaki reports to and a Gonk among Gonks.
  • Fridge Brilliance: If you were wondering who the identity of the fifty-ish looking man with important knowledge of The Laughing Man was in the "Chat" episode of season 1, pay close attention and you'll notice that he and TLM share the same VA, Steve Blum (with each at opposite ends of his vocal range, no less) meaning they may well have been the same person.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • The episode "JUNGLE CRUISE", where people are forced to watch themselves die has this in spades. The episode is one long homage to both Heart of Darkness, Silence of the Lambs, and Strange Days which should explain a bit. It was so graphic that Adult Swim put a viewer discretion advisory before airing it.
    • The second series uses exploding heads symbolically, once in the first episode and once in the last. There is no panning away.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Kuze.
  • Paranoia Fuel: If you think about it, you can be hacked at any time, by anyone, to force yourself to commit suicide, murder your family, reveal personal secrets... There's a reason why some people refuse to have any cyberization in their brains at all, despite the disadvantages: it makes their brains effectively hack-proof. There's one case of an extremely reclusive rich guy who is paranoid of anyone stealing his secrets, and has no brain-jacks at all, so Section 9's usual method of digging up cyber-dirt on their subject is stymied.
  • The Problem with Licensed Games: Mostly averted in both the Play Station 2 and PSP spin-off games. Both games have plenty of character interaction that you'd expect to experience from Section 9's members, and has deeply fleshed out storylines and dialogue that tie neatly into the SAC universe as Stand Alone episodes. Connections to the Nemuro Landing Operation in particular for the Play Station 2 game. The problems are that they're technically mediocre, featuring loose Run-N-Gun controls, difficult platforming, fair graphics (for 2006-era games), cheap AI, and downright horrible music that usually consists of a few boring notes looping every 30 seconds or so. They're faithful to the series' established lore and storylines, but aren't presented in the best fashions.
  • Ship Tease: ANGELS' SHARE features one between the Major and Aramaki. Other episodes tease Major x Batou.
  • What Do You Mean It's Not Political?: The anime was created and aired during both terms of the Bush administration, but making an imperialistic version of America as the villain is not supposed to be a shot at either America or Bush's policies. The premise dates back to Shirow Masamune's Appleseed series, which he wrote before Ghost in the Shell in the early 80's.
    • While the concept may be derived from a much older work, it's hard not to see Kenji Kamiyama's choice to use this particular idea for the series in light of the wave of anti-American sentiment sweeping the international community during the mid-Bush years when both seasons were made. Kamiyama seems none too fond of capitalism either. What makes all this particularly ironic is that the series was partially funded with American and British money (Bandai USA and Manga Entertainment, specifically).
    • The Laughing Man and the social phenomenon he inspires bear distinct similarities to Julian Assange and Anonymous, respectively. However, the series was made several years before Anonymous popped up, and several more years before Assange gained international notoriety, making the first season come across as bizarrely prophetic in hindsight.
    • It's hard not to see the similarities between Hideo Kuze and left-wing revolutionaries such as Che Guevara, not to mention the similarities between his vision of the "superstructure" and a socialist utopia. That the second season's other (far less sympathetically portrayed) villain is a right-wing bureaucrat who has a close working relationship with the (literally) imperialist Americans and is jonesing for a return to Japan's Cold War economic golden era is also somewhat eyebrow-raising.
  • The Woobie: The Tachikomas in the English dub are this, but only sometimes. When they're only talking, they become The Woobie because of their adorable voices, but when they're fighting the Woobieism changes and they become both an Iron Woobie and Badass Adorable at the same time.
    • Prime Minister Kayabuki might also count for some viewers. The poor woman could really use a vacation...
    • Iron Woobie: Togusa, being the New Meat on the team.
    • Stoic Woobie: Major Kusanagi, herself.
  • Woolseyism: Since a lot of characters speak without opening their mouths, there's more room for this than in most productions. The dub usually strays really close to the subtitle's translations, but there are a few times when some minor improvements are snuck in. A notable one is when Batou sees a rich man's collection of expensive cars and remarks, "What a shame." The dub inserts the line afterward, "All these beauties in captivity, when you should be running free in the wild." Entirely in-character for Batou, and funny to boot. Another is when a Tachikoma is shot to pieces on a highway by a tank they're pursuing; its brain is fine, fortunately, and the Major tells it to sit tight. The dub adds the line "Sure thing... since I can't move..."
  • Your Size May Vary: How do the Tachikomas often fit in hallways or staircases, with their compact-car size?
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