As a long-time fan of the original Ghost in the Shell anime film, I’ve always found the Major’s cyborg body deeply unsettling. Her human brain removed and stuffed into a fully artificial shell—it’s a violation of the human form that taps into existential fears of lost humanity.
A Shocking Violation of Flesh and Identity
When first watching the Major’s brain transferred in the opening scenes, I was struck by how profoundly disturbing the process seemed. The Major wakes in her new body in anguish, realizing her human mind is now trapped in a prosthetic form. This cyborg rebirth highlights immense suffering and loss of humanity through her transformation against her will.
A Disconnect Between Ghost and Shell
The Major’s cyborg body creates a sense of disconnect from her identity and humanity. She reflects on her lost human past and doesn’t fully identify with her mechanical shell. Staring at an old photo of her human self, she runs her hands over her former face, reminding us of all she lost. When hacked by Kuze, she screams as he overrides her systems, manipulating her prosthetic body like a puppet. She seems divorced from a form that enables violation of her still-human mind.
The Threat of Manipulation and Loss of Agency
Kuze poses a threat to the Major’s cyborg embodiment. His ability to hack her systems and control her artificial body taps into fears of vulnerability and loss of agency over our human forms. As Kuze forces her to attack allies, I feel her anguish at this utter loss of freedom and bodily autonomy within a technically advanced but unnatural shell.
A Warning for Our Technical Future
The Major’s journey warns of a world where human minds depend on advanced cybernetics, disregarding natural human embodiment. Her struggle suggests no technology is worth losing our flesh, autonomy, and identity. Though surviving, her ordeal leaves me wondering if a cyborg existence could be endured without a “ghostly” death of self.
Kuze manipulating the Major plays on anxieties around loss of agency and humanity in an increasingly technical world. Their battle reflects human experience trapped in a machine fighting for freedom of form, adding meaning to questions around identity, humanity, and existence. The Major reveals her transformation may have cut too deep, subsuming her soul within an unhuman shell. Her tale warns that progress shouldn’t mean losing touch with the value of our own flesh.
Founder and Lead Developer for Horror Facts independent horror magazine.
Husband, Sailor and Independent Writer