Ghost in the Shell

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Ghost in the Shell poster.jpg

Ghost in the Shell is a cyberpunk manga series started in the 1980s by Masamune Shirow. It became the inspiration for Oni when Brent Pease saw the movie adaptation in a theater in 1995 or 1996. One of the primary themes of the movie is the feeling of loss of identity due to total cyborgization of the body and/or the alteration of memories by brain hacking.

Oni's main character, Konoko, was originally a cyborg in the early development of the game. She also had altered memories in this early story, and since the title "Oni" was considered temporary at the time, a final title of "Mnemonic Shadow" was considered for the game. Eventually the working title became the permanent title, and meanwhile the story was rewritten, turning Konoko into an organically-augmented person instead of a cyborg. The notion of altered memories was removed from the story as well. Konoko is clearly based on Ghost in the Shell's main character Motoko, and her boss on Aramaki, and Shinatama possibly on the android Operators of Section 9. However, Konoko is much more emotional and aggressive than the impassive Motoko. Konoko's neural link with Shinatama is likely based upon the brain implant which Section 9 members use to communicate with each other.

Although Ghost in the Shell's cyberpunk atmosphere is famous and may have been intended as an influence on Oni's look, very little of it is evident in Oni's final appearance, which was also revised to be less stereotypically sci-fi than its early look. Some examples of the cyberpunk style can still be found in Oni, e.g. Damocles and the inside of the Syndicate Mountain Compound.