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I was wondering if someone is still pondering the Laughing Man mystery from Ghost in the Shell. I watch the show, but I'm too stupid to figure it out. So is it dead obvious?

Uhhh, The Captain, anyone? :emb:
 

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I don't understand it completely, but I know a little, so I'll share it with you.

First you need to know that "I thought what I'd do was I'd pretend to be one of
those deaf mutes" is a line from J.D. Salinger's book "The Catcher in the Rye." This line basically describes the Laughing Man's attitude after pulling his first stunt (holding the executive of the one micro-machine company at gunpoint on tv). He thought that that single incident would be enough to spur an investigation into the murai vaccine scandal that was taking place. So he disappeared...

When Togusa did his undercover investigation at the clinic, though, he found a similar message written on a locker (I think), which said "I thought what I'd do was I'd pretend to be one of those deaf mutes... Or should I?" This meant that the Laughing Man was thinking about coming out again since his previous actions hadn't had the effect that he desired. Instead, the details of the Murai vaccine had been kept from the public by the current Prime Minister (can't remember his name).

I should have mentioned this earlier, but the Laughing Man had that one cyberbrain disease, which is why he was interested in the Murai vaccine in the first place. When he found out that the Murai vaccine was much more effective than the micro-machines, and that the major companies and the Prime Minister were promoting micro-machines just to make a profit, he decided to do something.

The rest of the Laughing Man case can be described as a struggle between Section 9, who has found out about the power abuses and corruption of the current prime minister, and the Prime Minister, who wages a small war against Section 9 and manipulates the media in order to keep the public from knowing the truth.

FYI, the "Laughing Man" is a short story also written by J.D. Salinger.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
So far, you are making more sense then the show itself. Do you think there is more than one laughing man?
 

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blueshogun96 said:
So far, you are making more sense then the show itself. Do you think there is more than one laughing man?
No. There is only one laughing man. All of the others are just copies of something they thought was the Laughing Man. Because they are emulating something which they thought was the Laughing Man, it is considered a stand alone complex.

Think of it like an oral story or a rumor. When people hear a rumor, they add to it, change, and put their own opinion into it. By the time the rumor gets around, it is nothing close to the original story.

After the initial incident with the Laughing Man on tv that made him famous, people tried to prolong the Laughing Man legend by doing their own hacks and threats against companies, even though none of these were done by the original Laughing Man. Of course, everyone thought it was the same person, but no one knew the difference.
 

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I hear interesting things about this Ghost in the Shell anime, at a few transhumanist mail lists. Now that I'm seeing The Captain's explanations, it got me even more interested.

Maybe I'll give it a shot someday. Is this anime licensed so I can buy it in DVD?
 

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Boltzmann said:
I hear interesting things about this Ghost in the Shell anime, at a few transhumanist mail lists. Now that I'm seeing The Captain's explanations, it got me even more interested.
GITS: SAC is quite possibly the best anime ever. Everything about it (animation, music, plot, story-telling, voice-acting), is top-notch. The characters, even the minor ones, are very deep. Moreover, the story is incredibly complex and covers everything from politics to economics and their effects on the world. I'm sure you would like it, since it has a lot to do with the definition of a human being. And it presents a very realistic world that will happen more or less sometime in the future. FYI, in this anime America is known as the "American Empire," which is not to surprising, considering the recent events.

I thought I would take this opportunity to tell a little bit about the environment of the series. It takes place in a future in which advanced robotics and nanotechnology has allowed humans to replace their bodies with artificial ones which are much stronger. Also, humans can have their memories/conscious transferred to a cyber-brain which can be placed into an artificial body. These cyberbrains can connect to the internet, so people can talk to each other at any distance and can browse lots of information instantly, just as one would use a computer. Furthermore, people can hack each other, which is what the Laughing Man was good at. Like I said, this is probably what will happen in the future.

Boltzmann said:
Maybe I'll give it a shot someday. Is this anime licensed so I can buy it in DVD?
Right now, the first season is licsensed and is currently being released in the US at least, but I don't think all 26 episodes are out yet on dvd. The second season, 2nd GIG, has not been licsensed yet and is currently being subbed by a group known as Laughing Man Fansubs. So far, 18 episodes from the second season have been subbed. I actually like the second season better than the first because several episodes explore the backgrounds of characters.
 

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Thanks for the information, The Captain. By your description, it sounds really great, specially given my tendencies towards such themes in science fiction.

Now I'm definitely going to give it a try ;)
 

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I just finished the first SAC and you will understand it better if you didn't watch it in sequence, it's kind of like a cypher puzzle, from what I understand there was no original "laughing man" "Stand alone complex" means that everyone is the laughing man at the same time and yet there is no one that started it and yet everyone copyed it without contact at all.

Just watch it from the middle and work your way 1/4 foward then watch the last half followed by the first quarter then the second last quarter, you'll have a better idea of what's going on
 

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Player-X said:
I just finished the first SAC and you will understand it better if you didn't watch it in sequence, it's kind of like a cypher puzzle, from what I understand there was no original "laughing man" "Stand alone complex" means that everyone is the laughing man at the same time and yet there is no one that started it and yet everyone copyed it without contact at all.

Just watch it from the middle and work your way 1/4 foward then watch the last half followed by the first quarter then the second last quarter, you'll have a better idea of what's going on
There was actually an original laughing man, who was the one kid you see in the mental institute. You also seem him in later episodes (he rescues Motoko when she is getting a new body). But as you said, lots of people tried copying the Laughing Man, and the copiers were the ones who made it so famous. In essence, it was these copiers and the general public who "created" the image of the Laughing Man. That is why it is a stand alone complex. Everyone thought they were copying, but they were actually creating.
 

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I'd just like to make a point: Though he jokes about in the final episode, the Laughting Man himself does not have Cyberbrain Sclerosis.
 

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Did you watch the series in order?



::spoiler warning::

That kid is the 'original' laughing man. Several copycats exthorted money from other companies, and fro mthe same company (Serano Geonomics) but the Laughing Man did not. After he was shown on the newscast, he dissapeared (to reside in the mental institute). The people 'infected' with the stand aloe complex were not infected by the laughing man, rather by a rogue group in the police force (IIRC. It was some branch of the government anyway) trying to prematurely end the case, to allow a full cover-up to the Murai vaccine. The kid is the original laughing, with his first and only appearance being on the newscast which started the whole Laughing Man meme.
 

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Shadow of nothing...
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Discussion Starter #13
Player-X said:
or did he? we don't know if there was even an original at all, the kid is not the original but is one of the laughing men
Laughing men? How many are there? :???:
 

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blueshogun96 said:
Laughing men? How many are there? :???:
Look at Edz's post. He has the best (and most correct IMO) explanation thus far. There is only one true laughing man (the kid). All the others are just copy-cats.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The Captain said:
Look at Edz's post. He has the best (and most correct IMO) explanation thus far. There is only one true laughing man (the kid). All the others are just copy-cats.
Sorry, I'm brain dead, especially when it comes to Stand Alone Complex :emb:

EDIT: I forgot to tell you, I don't read spoilers :)
 

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blueshogun96 said:
Sorry, I'm brain dead, especially when it comes to Stand Alone Complex :emb:

EDIT: I forgot to tell you, I don't read spoilers :)
So, in other words, you haven't finished watching the series yet?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
The Captain said:
So, in other words, you haven't finished watching the series yet?
nope :spit:
 
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