You're quoting Milton, but we are not Satan.

Discuss the philosophy found in the various incarnations of Ghost in the Shell

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marto_motoko
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You're quoting Milton, but we are not Satan.

Post by marto_motoko »

I've always wondered about the significance of Batou's statement.

Satan - the opposing figure, yet Batou denies any comparison. Ironic, really.
Section nine is the good, the protector, the just organization that unscrupulously fights that which tarnishes the politics and safety of Japan. Yet Batou, the right hand of Motoko, grows ever deeper like his lost friend - questioning, isolated, bending and twisting the rules placed upon him. A figure yearning for understanding and answers, even if he knows they are beyond him.

In Togusa's mind, what must have been transpiring once he heard Batou's reply?

"Yet you curse even your every minute since she's left."
"You sink deeper into questioning each day, like Satan wrathful for the lack of power, which used to be the Major."
"Well you certainly aren't an angel, are you now, you big oaf."

I feel like there's more than one way to argue Batou's statement, perhaps only to prove how offensive the very mention of a battle of power seemed to him. After all, he isn't being promoted, he's being observed, he deals with things under absolutely no care for health or logical maneuver, and the person who breathed life into him was taken away into a world unknown to him due to her hunger for power in understanding and freedom.

Satan's struggle for power and inability to achieve it.




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Locke
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Post by Locke »

I think Batou was just clarifying that while he and Togusa were certainly the "attackers," they were only plotting against and fighting their enemy to, as you said, serve the interests of their agency, which they obviously found to be the collective "good guy" in this case.

Now, from a storytelling standpoint, of course they are the "good guys," and I say "good guys" rather than "protagonists" because even protagonists can have moral motives that just about any filmmaker would find "bad guy" material. This creates an entirely new branch of argument, so I won't pursue it further--it's a little beside the point.

In the context of the Milton work Togusa quoted, Satan and his supporters (while passionate and unflinching in their cause) are at a serious disadvantage, since they constantly take a stand against Yahweh, who (in this context) is an omnipotent being. Of course, I wouldn't say that Section 9 was an omnipotent anything, but think about how poorly equipped, for example, the Yakuza members Batou neutralized were by comparison. Or, in the first film, the ghost-hacked thug that the Major dispatched--you understand.

Section 9 had the government backing them, and while Locus Solus had some good people working for them, it ultimately turned out that Section 9 and its resident "guardian angel" (the Major) played God in this Milton reenactment, not Satan.
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Elmo_Redux
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Post by Elmo_Redux »

I remember not really understanding why Togusa quotes Milton when I first watched it. It's been a while since I've watched Innocence, but I think it was one of my favourite parts of paradise lost "Satan stood and called/His legions, angel forms, who lay entranced/Thick as autumnal leaves that strew the brooks" Is that correct?

If so then it's describing the moment just after Satan has lost his battle and both he and his angels have fallen, and he calls out to rally them but they are too awed by the beautiful otherness of the world they have been cast down into.

Maybe Togusa is alluding to the fallen world they are being cast into, how alien it is compared to where they have come from and it's strange beauty?

It's a nice juxtaposition with the earlier biblical reference but I still don't entirely see why they used it.
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marto_motoko
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Post by marto_motoko »

Interesting. Each of the three points we have brought up happen to be equally as valid in the way they could be applied.

Batou's personal imagery being identifiable to Satan, Togusa reflecting upon the world they're going into (which would leave me in awe too!), and of course the political reference of who's backing the forces of God.


I do wonder though, do you think Batou would sympathize with Satan, or God?


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Elmo_Redux
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Post by Elmo_Redux »

He's a bit of a rebel with no time for the rules of the authoritarian system for which he works and once he's rescued her he is less than enthusiastic about the mortals he is made to serve. - I think he's a pro-satan man. :)
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Freitag
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Post by Freitag »

I sorta think it falls into the category of other things I've seen in the anime medium.

The writers just love to grab anything metaphysical from other cultures and glue it into the present story line as if it were highly relevant - without really understanding the idea behind it.

Sort of like if I invoked the imagery of the Trinity because I had a saucer, a cup, and a teapot.
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Post by Elmo_Redux »

well mythology is a lietmotif in mamoru oshii's films, in particular the changing and re-writing of them - in innocence it is the dangers of the how the puppet/golem/human-making myths shape our cultures and attitudes. So while he may be giving context-free juxtaposition between these mythologies of biblical events open to the interpretation of the audience, just as he does with images, I do not think it's a purely stylistic thing. The semantics of Oshii's symbolism-heavy films can be fairly opaque, as here, but I think there's normally an intended meaning in it, even if it is meant to be open to interpretation.
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Post by Wanderland »

Freitag wrote:Sort of like if I invoked the imagery of the Trinity because I had a saucer, a cup, and a teapot.
If you invoked the trinity because you had a saucer, a cup, and a teapot, you would be inviting us to consider them from a particular point of view, which in actuality could be a whole lot more productive than you seem to want your comparison to suggest. Surely the very fact that the quote is made opens the way to different interpretations; it’s all very well saying that writers don’t understand the ideas behind metaphysical concepts, but what’s to say that your perception of these ideas is the only accurate one? In relating superficially different concepts we can explore them in new ways and create new, more all-encompassing theories – isn’t that what this board is about?

That said, I’ll have to re-watch the film before I can even begin to guess what the Milton reference is all about!

E: Perhaps Batou’s ‘Yeah, I guess that’s true – you use your metaphors and I’ll use mine’ is appropriate here.
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