With the imminent release of Hollywood’s remake of Ghost In The Shell, fans may be wanting to get familiar with the GiTS universe. But with so many TV series, OVAs and movies built around this story, it may be daunting to know where to start.
To begin with, it should be noted that the Ghost In The Shell movies, the S.A.C. storylines and the Arise storylines are all interpretations of the original manga by Masamune Shirow, and could be watched independently of each other. The S.A.C. series is more of a crime-focussed series whereas the movies are more focussed on the philosophical side of things. The Arise OVA’s are also seperate from the movies and series however they serve as the prequel to the movies.
Below is a list of how to watch Ghost In The Shell in the right order based on the story’s chronological timeline:
1 Ghost In The Shell: Arise (2014, OVA Feature)
Set in the year 2027, this is a four-part OVA prequel to Ghost In The Shell telling the origin story of Section 9. The four OVA parts are:
- Borders 1: Ghost Pain
- Borders 2: Ghost Whispers
- Borders 3: Ghost Tears
- Borders 4: Ghost Stands Alone
1.1 Ghost In The Shell: Arise – Alternative Architecture (2015, TV Series)
This is a recompilation of the the original four Arise OVA series in a television format consisting of 10 episodes.
2 Ghost In the Shell: Arise – Borders 5: Pyrophoric Cult (2015, OVA Feature)
This OVA feature fills the gap between the events of Ghost In The Shell: Arise and Ghost In The Shell: The New Movie (2015).
3 Ghost In The Shell: The New Movie (2015, Movie)
Set after the events of Ghost In The Shell: Arise, this is prelude to the original Ghost In The Shell movie (1995), it finishes where the 1995 movie begins.
4 Ghost In The Shell (1995, Movie)
The original movie that started it all, set in the year 2029.
4.1 Ghost In The Shell 2.0 (2008, Movie)
This is a re-mastered version of 1995’s Ghost In The Shell movie (and not to be confused with Ghost In The Shell 2: Innocence). It features some updated character voices and enhanced CGI.
5 Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex (S.A.C.) (2005, TV Series)
A crime-focussed series set in the year 2030. This series consists of 26 episodes.
5.1 The Laughing Man (2005, OVA Feature)
This is a feature length summary of Stand Alone Complex (S.A.C.).
6 Ghost In The Shell: S.A.C. 2nd GIG (2005, TV Series)
A crime-focussed series set in the year 2032. This series consists of 26 episodes.
6.1 Individual Eleven (2005, OVA Feature)
This is a feature length summary retelling the events of Ghost In The Shell: S.A.C. 2nd GIG with a focus on the relationship between Motoko Kusanagi and Hideo Kuze.
7 Ghost In The Shell 2: Innocence (2004, Movie)
Set in the year 2032.
8 Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex – Solid State Society (2011, OVA Feature)
Set in the year 2034.