Zen and Ghost in the Shell

July 12, 2007

For quite some time I have had a penchant for characters that exhibit Zen-like or Buddhist qualities. Perhaps it’s their cool demeanor in the face of danger that allures me, but it’s hard to say. But what qualities are “Zen-like” or “Buddhist”? Wikipedia names these qualities as having mindfulness and concentration for Buddhism and Zen (since Zen is a school of Buddhism), and an “emphasis on experiential wisdom” [1].

In the landmark movie Ghost in the Shell, the character embodying these qualities is certainly Batou [2]. He is always mindful of his surroundings and of those around him, even when those around him aren’t. A key example of this in the film is the following part of the film upon the team’s capture of the Puppet Master:
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