Ghost in the Shell (攻殻機動隊 Kōkaku Kidōtai, literally "Mobile Armored Riot Police") is a media franchise based on the Japanese seinen manga series written and illustrated by Masamune Shirow. The first manga was originally serialized in Young Magazine from April 1989 to November 1990 and was followed by a sequel, Man-Machine Interface, from September 1991 to August 1997, each series was later published as its own tankōbon volume by Kodansha. The manga presents itself as a collection of scenarios featuring counter-terrorist organization Public Security Section 9, led by protagonist Major Motoko Kusanagi, in a futuristic Japan.
The series was first adapted as a film by Production I.G. in 1995, followed by a sequel, Innocence, in 2004. Two anime television series, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex and Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. 2nd GIG, were also produced by Production I.G. and aired on Animax from 2002 to 2005, there were also several OVA produced based on the anime series. Video games, soundtracks, light novels, art books and other merchandise have also been released. In 2003, Kodansha published Ghost in the Shell 1.5: Human-Error Processer, a collection of manga chapters previously unreleased by Shirow.
The first English-language adaptation of the original manga The Ghost in the Shell was released in December 1995 in the United States, published by Dark Horse Comics and translated by Studio Proteus. A version was released by Titan Books in the United Kingdom in 1997. Several months after the original film's Japanese release, an English dub of the film was distributed internationally by Manga Entertainment to critical acclaim, developing the film's fanbase outside of Japan. Since the film's success abroad, most Ghost in the Shell media has been translated and released in English-speaking territories, including the anime series, which aired on the Sci-Fi Channel, Cartoon Network's Adult Swim programming block, and the United Kingdom's AnimeCentral. New, albeit censored, editions of all three manga volumes remain in print from Kodansha in the United States, home video versions of the various films and anime series are available in English as well.