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Noir Affect$
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Christopher Breu and Elizabeth A. Hatmaker

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780823287802

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823287802.001.0001

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Cyborg Affect and the Power of the Posthuman in the Ghost in the Shell Franchise

Cyborg Affect and the Power of the Posthuman in the Ghost in the Shell Franchise

(p.156) Chapter 7 Cyborg Affect and the Power of the Posthuman in the Ghost in the Shell Franchise
Noir Affect

Peter Hitchcock

Fordham University Press

This chapter explores noir affect in Ghost in a Shell, a quarter-century-old, Japanese manga/anime franchise that spans several series in print, feature films, and television. Whatever the media, the different versions of the narrative conform to standard expectations of adolescent heterosexual masculinism. Yet such elements seem to form the series’ mystical shell rather than the conflicted and contradictory rationality of their central kernel (which itself springs from the serial logic of the noir police procedural). On the one hand, the chapter argues that representational aesthetics necessarily constrain even the radical and free association of an anime subculture; on the other hand, the series critically engages the forms of time articulated in the intersection of cyborg signification and seriality. Cyborg affect does not just ask the familiar question, where does a body end? It also interrogates the terms of technological reproducibility in relationship to political possibility. The synchrony of Major Motoko Kusanagi (the central character/cyborg) holds important lessons for how we read/see affect in relationship to the series, a formation haunted by the ghost of socialization itself.

Keywords:   affect, anime, bodies, cyborg, film, Ghost in a Shell, noir, serial, technology, temporality

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