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The Best Episodes of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex

Every episode of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex ranked from best to worst. Let's dive into the Best Episodes of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex!

In the future when technological enhancements and robotics are a way of life, Major Motoko Kusanagi and Section 9 take care of the jobs that are too difficult for the police. Section 9 employs hackers, sharpshooters, detectives and cyborgs all in an effort to thwart cyber criminals and their plans to attack the innocent.

Genres:Action & AdventureAnimationCrimeSci-Fi & Fantasy
Network:ANIMAX

Top Episode Highlight

The best episode of "Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex" is "C: Smoke of Gunpowder, Hail of Bullets; BARRAGE", rated 8.7/10 from 256 user votes. It was directed by Kazunobu Fuseki and written by Taiki Sakurai. "C: Smoke of Gunpowder, Hail of Bullets; BARRAGE" aired on 3/18/2003 and is rated 0.2 point(s) higher than the second highest rated, "IN: Return to Patriotism; ENDLESS∞GIG".

  • C: Smoke of Gunpowder, Hail of Bullets; BARRAGE
    8.7/10 256 votes

    #1 - C: Smoke of Gunpowder, Hail of Bullets; BARRAGE

    Season 1 Episode 25 - Aired 2003-03-18

    As the JMSDF's Special Forces Unit rounds up the remaining members of Section 9, Daisuke Aramaki meets with the Minister of Justice to make one last appeal to the government to salvage his team. Section 9 may be down, but certainly not out. They have help in the form of their "think-tanks", otherwise known as the Tachikomas. Public Security will make one final push to save itself from extinction.

    Director: Kazunobu Fuseki

    Writer: Taiki Sakurai

  • IN:  Return to Patriotism; ENDLESS∞GIG
    8.5/10 213 votes

    #2 - IN: Return to Patriotism; ENDLESS∞GIG

    Season 2 Episode 26 - Aired 2005-01-08

    Kuze and the Major come up with a plan to save the refugees, but the chances of its success are slim. Realizing this, the Tachikomas disobey the Major's orders and come up with a plan of their own. Batou has also disobeyed the Major's orders to go to the bridge and is desperately searching for her in the ruins of Dejima. Meanwhile, the Prime Minister is frustrated with being spurned by the Chief Cabinet Secretary. Determined to be remembered as more than a mere figurehead, she takes matters into her own hands.

    Director: Masayuki Yoshihara

    Writer: Kenji Kamiyama

  • C:  Left-Behind Trace; ERASER
    8.4/10 252 votes

    #3 - C: Left-Behind Trace; ERASER

    Season 1 Episode 21 - Aired 2003-02-18

    Following the events of the "RE-VIEW", Togusa has been rushed to the hospital. Just before he goes into surgery, he passes what he has learned to the rest of his team. As he fights for his life, his colleagues at Section 9 take over the case to find the vaccine recipient ledger and the person responsible for taking it. However, others in the government are not happy about this investigation. The Drug and Narcotic Suppression Squad, the same unit that had shot Togusa in the previous episode, is again dispatched by the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare in order to find the thief and the ledger before Section 9 does.

    Director: Kenichi Takeshita

    Writer: Dai Sato

  • IN:  Kusanagi's Labyrinth; affection
    8.3/10 199 votes

    #4 - IN: Kusanagi's Labyrinth; affection

    Season 2 Episode 11 - Aired 2004-06-05

    Training has commenced to find new recruits for Section 9. With Motoko acting as the target, Batou and Togusa watch as the recruits try to keep up with the Major. After ditching some of the recruits, Motoko has to lose just one more pair. She ascends some stairs in an alley and the recruits follow her. Moving out into the street above, the recruits see that they have lost the target. However, Batou and Togusa have lost contact with the Major as well.

    Director: Jun Matsumoto

    Writer: Kenji Kamiyama, Yutaka Oomatsu

  • C:  Sunset in the Lonely City; ANNIHILATION
    8.2/10 223 votes

    #5 - C: Sunset in the Lonely City; ANNIHILATION

    Season 1 Episode 24 - Aired 2003-03-11

    Togusa, at the request of Chief Aramaki, returns to work. Both head out to the Prime Minister's residence with a detailed report citing Secretary-General Yakushima as the real power behind the Laughing Man Incident. However, before they can even leave their own building, they are told by the Minister of Home Affairs that Public Security has already been accused of being the masterminds behind the Laughing Man. The situation has gone from bad to worse and it will take a concerted effort by all of its members for Section 9 to clear itself of the charges.

    Director: Yasuhiro Geshi

    Writer: Taiki Sakurai

  • C:  Public Security Section 9, Once Again; STAND ALONE COMPLEX
    8.2/10 303 votes

    #6 - C: Public Security Section 9, Once Again; STAND ALONE COMPLEX

    Season 1 Episode 26 - Aired 2003-03-25

    Togusa has been released from jail, but his badge and gun are confiscated and he is given papers showing the dissolution of Section 9. Out of work and depressed, he tries to find information on the others, but turns up nothing. Trying to turn his life around, he begins to look for a new job, only to be sidetracked by the ongoing case against Secretary-General Yakushima involving the illegal use of micromachines. With the news plastered everywhere, Togusa cannot help but wonder where he stands now.

    Director: Toshiyuki Kono

    Writer: Dai Sato

  • IN:  Aerial Bombing of Dejima; NUCLEAR POWER
    8.2/10 174 votes

    #7 - IN: Aerial Bombing of Dejima; NUCLEAR POWER

    Season 2 Episode 24 - Aired 2004-12-04

    With the felling of Dejima Bridge by the refugees, a rumor circulates around the Cabinet that the refugees plan a mass suicide bombing using nuclear bombs. Fearing this, the Cabinet steps up the attack against the city. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Kayabuki has been secretly arrested and taken to an unknown location. Aramaki, Togusa and Proto, in trying to help the P.M. are also taken into custody and secured in her office. With Section 9 having entered the non-communication zone and Aramaki being cut off from communication, Ishikawa and a Tachikoma make their way to Spring-8 on their own. Meanwhile, Gouda has sent an unwitting Section 4 after Section 9 to retrieve the plutonium.

    Director: Masaki Tachibana

    Writer: Kenji Kamiyama

  • IN:  To the Other Side of Paradise; THIS SIDE OF JUSTICE
    8.2/10 168 votes

    #8 - IN: To the Other Side of Paradise; THIS SIDE OF JUSTICE

    Season 2 Episode 25 - Aired 2005-01-08

    As the attack on Dejima escalates, the Major catches up with Kuze. She explains the whole situation to him and he agrees to follow her. They are about to leave when both are attacked by the Self-Defense forces and in the confusion are trapped under the rubble. Togusa rescues the Prime Minister and brings her back to her office. There, Aramaki hopes her influence will stop the launching of the ultimate weapon. Meanwhile, Batou reasons with Section 4.

    Director: Jun Matsumoto

    Writer: Kenji Kamiyama

  • DI:  Beware the Left Eye; POKER FACE
    8.1/10 181 votes

    #9 - DI: Beware the Left Eye; POKER FACE

    Season 2 Episode 14 - Aired 2004-07-03

    While on an assignment guarding the Prime Minister, Saitou and the Tachikomas pass the time playing poker with a few policemen who are also assigned to the case. Much to the chagrin of the other men, Saitou wins hand after hand. The Tachikomas take notice of Saitou's uncanny accuracy and start to comment. Their constant chattering quickly gets on the other player's nerves, so to smooth things over Saitou recounts his time working as a sniper for mercenaries in Mexico.

    Director: Masayuki Yoshihara

    Writer: Kenji Kamiyama, Taiki Sakurai

  • IN:  Escape in Defeat; EMBARRASSMENT
    8.1/10 161 votes

    #10 - IN: Escape in Defeat; EMBARRASSMENT

    Season 2 Episode 21 - Aired 2004-11-06

    Much to the chagrin of Batou, Motoko, and the rest of the team, Kuze and the refugees manage to escape in one of the camouflaged boats. They are further hampered when an explosion causes heavy losses, leaving them unable to follow the fleeing boat. Regrouping, the team decides to refocus the investigation to the events surrounding Kuze. They start a secret investigation into Sagawa Electronics, the company responsible for the nuclear material transaction, and find that Gouda was involved. Meanwhile, as the boat heads for Dejima, Kuze makes his own unsettling discovery.

    Director: Masayuki Yoshihara

    Writer: Kenji Kamiyama

  • SA:  A Perfect Day for a Jungle Cruise; JUNGLE CRUISE
    8.0/10 263 votes

    #11 - SA: A Perfect Day for a Jungle Cruise; JUNGLE CRUISE

    Season 1 Episode 10 - Aired 2002-12-03

    Marco Amoretti, a former Navy Petty Officer from the American Empire, has come to Japan and is committing heinous acts of brutality against women. Section 9 is assisted in this matter by the American Empire's CIA. While this doesn't sit well with Public Security's members, Batou finds the whole case particularly hard on his psyche as the nightmares from his past rear their ugly head.

    Director: Jun Matsumoto

    Writer: Dai Sato

  • C:  Vanished Medication; RE-VIEW
    8.0/10 231 votes

    #12 - C: Vanished Medication; RE-VIEW

    Season 1 Episode 20 - Aired 2003-02-11

    Back on the Laughing Man case, Section 9 tries to find evidence of tampering in the Nanao=A case and delves more into the recent hack job at the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare ("PORTRAITZ"). Using J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye as a guide, Togusa checks out the MHLW and finds that something is missing: a ledger containing a list of vaccine recipients.

    Director: Toshiyuki Kono

    Writer: Dai Sato

  • C:  The Other Side of Good and Evil; EQUINOX
    8.0/10 221 votes

    #13 - C: The Other Side of Good and Evil; EQUINOX

    Season 1 Episode 23 - Aired 2003-03-04

    The Laughing Man returns and, just as he did six years ago, kidnaps the President of Serano Genomics without being detected. Section 9 arrives too late and sets out to find him. Meanwhile, the Laughing Man and Mr. Serano discuss what happened six years ago. The stakes are much higher this time, and for the Laughing Man failure is not an option.

    Director: Jun Matsumoto

    Writer: Junichi Fujisaku

  • DI:  Angel's Poem; TRANS PARENT
    8.0/10 173 votes

    #14 - DI: Angel's Poem; TRANS PARENT

    Season 2 Episode 18 - Aired 2004-09-04

    The Major and Batou are flown to Berlin in an effort to track down a terrorist called "Angel's Feathers". While there, Batou attracts the attention of a young girl in a wheelchair. The girl is waiting for the yearly visit from her father, but Batou's appearance piqued her curiosity. As the days lead up to her father's visit, her curiosity in this stranger grows stronger.

    Director: Toshiyuki Kono

    Writer: Kenji Kamiyama

  • IN:  The Day the Bridge Falls; MARTIAL LAW
    8.0/10 172 votes

    #15 - IN: The Day the Bridge Falls; MARTIAL LAW

    Season 2 Episode 23 - Aired 2004-12-04

    The Chief Cabinet Secretary uses the excuse of the refugees possessing 10kg of plutonium to mobilize the military against Dejima. With the available evidence against the refugees, Prime Minister Kayabuki reluctantly agrees. However, she soon learns from the Chief Cabinet Secretary that he's aligned himself with Imperial America and is now after her job. Knowing her days as P.M. are numbered, she agrees with Aramaki's plan and calls the U.N. in for a nuclear inspection of Dejima. The move buys them some time to defuse the situation, and Section 9 heads to Dejima to meet up with the U.N in two days. However, with tensions running high it is only a matter of time before someone fires the first shot.

    Director: Toshiyuki Kono

    Writer: Kenji Kamiyama

  • C:  Corporate Graft; SCANDAL
    7.9/10 219 votes

    #16 - C: Corporate Graft; SCANDAL

    Season 1 Episode 22 - Aired 2003-02-25

    Events begin to shift into overdrive after the events of "ERASER". While things seem to be going Section 9's way, people in the shadows are starting to appear. As Motoko, accompanied by her friend Kurutan, arrives at the hospital to switch to a new prosthetic body, Togusa begins the recovery process after being wounded by the DEA's NARC Squad. However, the people still active within the NARC Squad have a few more surprises in store.

    Director: Masaki Tachibana

    Writer: Junichi Fujisaku

  • IN:  To Those Without Even a Name...; SELECON
    7.9/10 166 votes

    #17 - IN: To Those Without Even a Name...; SELECON

    Season 2 Episode 12 - Aired 2004-06-05

    Section 9 has uncovered Shō Kawashima's ("FAKE FOOD") external memory device on the net. Hidden in a route to the Asian matrix only accessible through the European array, Section 9 concludes that the device was hidden by Gouda. Unfortunately, Gouda has left no trace of his movements in the device. The Major prepares to dive into the device with Bōma and Ishikawa watching her closely. However, before she can dive, Aramaki notifies her that someone even more important than the external memory device has just surfaced...

    Director: Masaki Tachibana

    Writer: Kenji Kamiyama, Yutaka Oomatsu

  • C:  The Copycat will Dance; MEME
    7.8/10 266 votes

    #18 - C: The Copycat will Dance; MEME

    Season 1 Episode 6 - Aired 2002-11-05

    At a press conference, the Superintendent-General makes himself a prime target for the Laughing Man's threat. Section 9 has gathered enough evidence to arrest Nanao=A, but before they can, he is able to release a modular, delayed-action virus. The virus seems to only affect those on the security detail that is guarding Superintendent-General Daidō. However, Section 9 will not know who on the security team has been taken over by the virus until the symptoms begin to manifest. By that time, it may be too late.

    Director: Masaki Tachibana

    Writer: Junichi Fujisaku

  • C:  Inside the Forest of the Sub-Imagoes; PORTRAITZ
    7.8/10 253 votes

    #19 - C: Inside the Forest of the Sub-Imagoes; PORTRAITZ

    Season 1 Episode 11 - Aired 2002-12-10

    A high-level hacking has occured at the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. Section 9 has traced the source of the hack job back to a vocational aid center located high in the mountains. The hack was done by someone very skilled since it only took two hours to crack the MHLW's ultra-secure barriers. The odd thing is that the MHLW has not filed a formal complaint about the incident. Togusa is sent undercover to discover what is going on at the aid center.

    Director: Toshiyuki Kono

    Writer: Taiki Sakurai

  • SA: Tachikoma Runaway, The Movie Director's Dream; ESCAPE FROM
    7.8/10 262 votes

    #20 - SA: Tachikoma Runaway, The Movie Director's Dream; ESCAPE FROM

    Season 1 Episode 12 - Aired 2002-12-17

    "Tachikoma Runaway": The Tachikoma that Batou has been feeding natural oil to awakens before the other Tachikomas do and leaves the hanger to have an adventure. On the town, it meets up with a girl named Miki who is searching for her dog. "The Movie Director's Dream": While out on its adventure, Batou's Tachikoma found a cyberbrain that has something very interesting within it. One of Section 9's lab techs has become "lost" inside the device, and it's up to the Major to bring him back.

    Director: Masayuki Yoshihara

    Writer: Taiki Sakurai

  • IN:  Confusion at the North End;  FABRICATE FOG
    7.8/10 164 votes

    #21 - IN: Confusion at the North End; FABRICATE FOG

    Season 2 Episode 20 - Aired 2004-10-02

    Section 9 heads to Etorofu in search of Kuze. During their investigations, the Major finds an interesting floppy disk on the body of a dead addict. The floppy proves to be a goldmine of information, as it contains records of plutonium transactions. The last buyer to purchase the material was a group of Asian refugees. Realizing the transaction is about to take place, the team rushes to the location and is surprised by what they find.

    Director: Kenichi Takeshita

    Writer: Kenji Kamiyama

  • C:  The Visual Device will Laugh; INTERCEPTER
    7.7/10 295 votes

    #22 - C: The Visual Device will Laugh; INTERCEPTER

    Season 1 Episode 4 - Aired 2002-10-22

    A former colleague of Togusa's named Yamaguchi calls and asks him to look at some sensitive data related to the Laughing Man case. Before Yamaguchi can arrive with the material, however, the car he is driving swerves off of the road and explodes. Aramaki allows Togusa to investigate Yamaguchi's death and Togusa is able to retrieve the information that his colleague wanted him to look at. The information could implicate high-ranking officials within Police HQ.

    Director: Hideyo Yamamoto

    Writer: Shoutarou Suga

  • DU:  Natural Enemy; NATURAL ENEMY
    7.7/10 181 votes

    #23 - DU: Natural Enemy; NATURAL ENEMY

    Season 2 Episode 4 - Aired 2004-02-07

    A joint training exercise between the Japanese Ground and Maritime Self-Defense Armies that takes place within the sealed sector of New Port City's Refugee District goes awry, putting the Asian refugees in danger. Section 9 Chief Aramaki takes the matter up with Kubota, his friend at the Ministry of Defense. While there, Aramaki is approached by a man from the Cabinet Intelligence Service: Kazunoto Gouda. Acting as a representative for his superior, the Chief Cabinet Secretary, Gōda requests that Aramaki bring the full force of Section 9 to bear on the situation. There's just one catch...

    Director: Masayuki Yoshihara

    Writer: Junichi Fujisaku, Kenji Kamiyama

  • IN: Chain of Symmetry; CHAIN REACTION
    7.7/10 163 votes

    #24 - IN: Chain of Symmetry; CHAIN REACTION

    Season 2 Episode 19 - Aired 2004-10-02

    Despite close scrutiny by the authorities, the Dejima refugees declare their independence. Kuze is suspected to be the mastermind behind this new resistance and Section 9 is sent to detain him. The Major hacks into the refugee cyberbrain hub and easily locates Kuze. When the team rushes to capture him, however, they find themselves in the middle of a trap.

    Director: Kazunobu Fuseki

    Writer: Kenji Kamiyama

  • DU:  Abandoned City; REVERSAL PROCESS
    7.7/10 158 votes

    #25 - DU: Abandoned City; REVERSAL PROCESS

    Season 2 Episode 22 - Aired 2004-11-06

    The city of Fukuoka is evacuated when a live nuclear bomb is found. With the Dejima Refugees targeted as the prime suspects, the government sends the Self-Defense Forces into the city. Aramaki suspects the CIS's involvement in this latest incident is deeper then it appears. Batou is sent to gather more information from Gouda, but will he be able to hold his temper against the arrogant agent?

    Director: Itsuro Kawasaki

    Writer: Kenji Kamiyama, Dai Sato