Ghost In The Shell Watch Order [Where To Watch]

Ghost In The Shell Chronological Watch Order


Ghost in the Shell is one of those series that you get to know about, only after you have become a hardcore anime fan. And that’s because this anime is a lot more than just mindless action.


It is a story that dives into deeper themes and uses convoluted plots to tell its story. And while it does add the essence of creativity to its storytelling, it also creates a confusing situation for fans.


Since a lot of the Ghost in the Shell series occur in different timelines, it is important to know the best order for you as a viewer. And that’s what we will provide here today.


I hope you enjoy it.




Ghost in the Shell Chronological Watch Order


It is important to note that Ghost in the Shell: Arise is placed at the top of the list. However, it is recommended that you watch this instalment way later.


This is because you need to know the basics of the Ghost in the Shell world in order to understand the events that take place in this instalment. Moreover, since there are multiple timelines, you can either watch Ghost in the Shell Movie from 1995 and call it a day or watch different timelines to experience the entire series.


Also, Here are the alternatives for the actual segments if you don’t wish to watch them.


1. Ghost in the Shell Movie, 1995 – Ghost in the Shell 2.0, 2008


2. Ghost in the Shell: S. A. C. 2nd GIG – Individual Eleven


3. Ghost in the Shell: Arise – Ghost in the Shell: Arise – Alternative Architecture


Serial Number


Format (Series/Movie/OVA)

Release Date


Ghost in the Shell: Arise


22 June 2013


Ghost in the Shell


18 November 1995


Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex


1 October 2002


Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex 2nd Gig


1 January 2004


Ghost in the Shel 2: Innocence


6 March 2004


Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex – Solid State Society


1 September 2006


Ghost in the Shell: The New Movie


20 June 2015


Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045


23 April 2020




Where to watch: Netflix, FUNIMATION, Crunchyroll


You can enjoy the original Ghost in the Shell movie from 1995, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex – Solid State Society, and Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 on Netflix.


Ghost in the Shell: The New Movie can be enjoyed on Netflix as well as Crunchyroll. Ghost in the Shell Arise can be watched on Crunchyroll and FUNIMATION. Whereas, Ghost in the Shell: Innocence can only be enjoyed on FUNIMATION.




Ghost in the Shell Watch Order Based on Release Date


The watch order for Ghost in the Shell based on the release date is not much different from the chronological watch order. The only difference here is that Ghost in the Shell: Arise appears later in this order than in the chronological one.


However, it is recommended to enjoy Arise, after a few instalments anyway so this watch order will be quite something.


1. Ghost in the Shell

In the year 2029, the city of Niihama transformed into a technologically advanced metropolis, allowing its inhabitants to replace body parts with cybernetic enhancements. Public Security Section 9, led by the determined Major Motoko Kusanagi, is responsible for maintaining order in this interconnected world.


Their latest mission involves tracking down a mysterious hacker known as the “Puppet Master,” who erases the memories of their victims. Equipped with a nearly fully robotic body, the Puppet Master possesses extraordinary abilities.


As Motoko and her team delve deeper into the investigation, they encounter other interested parties, including Section 6, adding complexity to the case. Amidst the pursuit, Motoko reflects on profound philosophical questions and realizes that the answers lie with the enigmatic Puppet Master.


2. Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex

In the not-too-distant future, humanity has reached a remarkable stage where full-body transplants from flesh to machine are feasible, blurring the boundaries of physical and cybernetic capabilities. This technological progress brings both great advancements and new dangers as criminals exploit these possibilities.


To combat these emerging threats, the Japanese Government establishes Section 9, an independent police unit dedicated to tackling high-profile crimes resulting from this technology. Led by Daisuke Aramaki and Motoko Kusanagi, Section 9 handles a wide range of cases across society with notable success.


3. Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex 2nd Gig

After successfully closing the “Laughing Man” case, Section 9 is reassembled by Japan’s newly elected Prime Minister, Youko Kayabuki, to combat the ongoing menace of cyber-terrorism. A mysterious group named “The Individual Eleven” emerges, instigating acts of terror across Japan.


While Motoko Kusanagi, Daisuke Aramaki, Batou, and their team delve into the investigation, the Japanese government faces a separate crisis—providing asylum to foreign refugees displaced by the Third World War.


However, as Section 9 confronts Gouda Kazundo, a prominent figure in the Cabinet Intelligence Service, they begin to suspect his involvement and uncover unexpected connections between the refugee crisis and The Individual Eleven.


4. Ghost in the Shel 2: Innocence

Following the disappearance of Major Motoko Kusanagi, Batou from Section 9 is assigned to probe a series of brutal murders believed to be committed by defective gynoids, or sex robots.


However, when Batou receives a cryptic message from one of these malfunctioning robots, he starts to question the true source of their abnormalities. Political motives and the existence of an illicit “ghost” entity enter the picture, ensnaring Batou and his partner Togusa in a dangerous conspiracy.


As their investigation progresses, the line between human and machine becomes increasingly blurred, and the boundaries of reality and perception merge. Battling formidable foes, Batou and Togusa navigate a futuristic world inhabited by machines and lifelike dolls, where genuine human connection appears to be absent.


5. Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex – Solid State Society

The year is 2034, and Motoko Kusanagi has been absent from Section 9 for two years. Togusa has taken on the mantle of leadership, and the team has grown in size.


They find themselves entangled in a series of complex incidents, uncovering the presence of a skilled hacker known as the Puppeteer who is orchestrating these events. During his independent investigation, Batou encounters Motoko unexpectedly, only for her to warn him about the enigmatic Solid State Society before disappearing.


This encounter leaves Batou questioning whether Motoko could be the Puppeteer himself.


6. Ghost in the Shell: Arise

The anime is set in the year 2027, following the aftermath of a non-nuclear war. New Port City, still reeling from the war’s impact, becomes the target of a bombing carried out by a self-propelled mine.


In the midst of the turmoil, Daisuke Aramaki from the Public Security Section crosses paths with Motoko Kusanagi, a highly skilled cyborg hacker affiliated with the military’s 501st Secret Unit.


Batou, known for his ever-watchful eye, suspects Kusanagi’s involvement in the bombing incident. Meanwhile, Togusa, a detective from the Niihama Prefectural Police, finds himself investigating two separate cases: a shooting and the murder of a prostitute.


Unbeknownst to them, Kusanagi is being monitored by Kurutsu, the leader of the 501st Secret Unit, along with her team of cyborg agents.


7. Ghost in the Shell: The New Movie

Taking place in the year 2027, following the conclusion of non-nuclear World War IV, a devastating bomb detonates in Newport City. The target is a renowned arms dealer who is believed to have affiliations with the elusive 501 Organization.


Daisuke Aramaki, an official in Public Security, enlists the assistance of Motoko Kusanagi, an exceptional hacker known for her use of full-body cyber prostheses. Their mission is to delve into the details of the bombing and uncover the connections between the incident and the mysterious 501 Organization.


This movie will give you a good understanding of what the show wants to tell. And that’s why you need to watch it as soon as possible.


8. Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045

In the year 2045, artificial intelligence has undergone remarkable advancements, transforming into a weapon exploited by governments for unending warfare. Major Motoko Kusanagi, at the helm of the mercenary group GHOST, is well-versed in this environment.


However, the swift evolution of AI technology introduces a fresh menace. After departing from Public Security Section 9, Kusanagi and her team engage in global operations connected to proxy wars.


Their mission appears straightforward—to locate an arms dealer—but it draws GHOST into a clandestine conflict against cybernetically enhanced individuals called “post-humans.”




Top Rated Episodes of Ghost in the Shell


If you decide to rewatch this anime then you need to watch these 5 episodes no matter what. And if you are going to watch the anime for the first time, then make sure that you have your eyes open during these episodes.


They are the best that the series can offer and you shouldn’t miss out on them at all.


1. Shouendan-u/Barrage

As the sole survivors of Section 9, Batou and Motoko embark on a perilous mission to retrieve her concealed arsenal from her apartment. The episode will have a ton of moments that will hype you up like crazy and that’s why you need to watch it as soon as you can.


It is absolutely unreal.


2. Endless Gig

As refugees on Dejima desperately try to escape on makeshift rafts and boats, the JMSDF unleashes another round of naval artillery fire and missile strikes. This episode is jam-packed with unreal action that can’t be compared to anything else.


So all those who are in it for the fights must give this one a go.


3. Okizari no Kiseki/Eraser

While Section 9 is actively searching for the fugitive doctor Imakurusu, they are not the only ones on his trail. Another hyped episode that will give you the chills that you need and thus, you need to be cautious about it.


The moment you reach this episode, prepare yourself for some fascinating experiences.


4. Affection

Batou and Togusa are testing eight potential new recruits for Section 9. However, this entire process will showcase emotions that you weren’t anticipating from this series. After all, the surprise element of Ghost in the Shell is what makes it so amazing.


And so, when you decide to watch Affection, make sure that you keep an open mind.


5. Kojou Rakujitsu/Annihilation

With Section 9’s security compromised, the authorities are actively pursuing strategies to dismantle the entire division. Needless to say, this attempt won’t go unnoticed. And that’s where the fun of this episode actually aligns for the audience.


As one of the best episodes from the series, it has a lot more than you expect.





1. Is Ghost in the Shell SAC_2045 a sequel?

Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 serves as both a continuation and an adaptation of the preceding anime series, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. Therefore, it is a sequel that can be watched on its own.


However, it is advised that watching it in a sequence is comprehensive.


2. Should I watch Ghost in the Shell anime before the movie?

It is advised that the order in which you watch the series must contain the original movie as the first instalment. Since the original Ghost in the Shell movie is the most appreciated and comprehensive piece, it is a good decision to watch that before starting with anything else within the franchise.


3. What is the chronological release of Ghost in the Shell?

The following is the chronological order of Ghost in the Shell: Ghost in the Shell: Arise, Ghost in the Shell, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex 2nd Gig, Ghost in the Shel 2: Innocence, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex – Solid State Society, Ghost in the Shell: The New Movie, Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045


4. Can you watch Ghost in the Shell movie without watching the series

Yes. The movies have a standalone story that doesn’t require much backing from any anime series. Therefore, if you decide to only watch the movies from the franchise and nothing else, you will still be able to enjoy the series as a whole.


5. Are Ghost in the Shell and 2.0 the same?

Yes but no. 2.0 is just a rerelease of the original series with some marginal changes. These changes are done in the animation department and a few in the overall screenplay.


However, in the grand scheme of things, it can’t be considered a sequel altogether.


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