This season's Pandora in the Crimson Shell: Ghost Urn is a work created in part by Masamune Shirow - the same fellow behind Ghost in the Shell. Much to my chagrin, I haven't gotten around to watching Ghost in the Shell. But I do know bits and pieces about it, and there seem to be some surface-level similarities to Pandora in the Crimson Shell (which is airing right now, and which I'm watching).

Obviously, the title, for one (both in English and Japanese - Koukaku Kidoutai vs. Koukaku no Pandora); Pandora has "Gerzekoma" robots while Ghost has "Tachikoma" robots; and the whole focus on cybernetics and the line between humans and machines.

Do these surface-level similarities reflect any material relationship between the two? (e.g. is Pandora an alternate-universe to Ghost, or a "meanwhile, in this other part of the world" story, or something?) Or is it just that Masamune Shirow chose to write about similar themes in two otherwise unrelated manga?

  • Apparently there's a movie that came out in December 2015 and a series that just started airing and I could find only 3 episodes out to date.
    – Hakase
    Jan 23 '16 at 8:22
  • From what I've seen it's happening a few decades before the events of GITS and might be the same universe. Everything concerning cyberization is there, in early stages of tech development.
    – Hakase
    Jan 23 '16 at 9:45
  • If it really is a prequel to GitS then it's a really weird one given the massive differences in tone and style.
    – ConMan
    Jan 25 '16 at 0:22
  • Seems to me that it's obvious The Major was a Mahou Shoujou in a previous life. May 5 '19 at 19:38

In a sense, yes, they are on the same universe with Ghost in the Shell: Arise, which is the prequel to the original Ghost in the Shell manga/movie.

The TVTropes's article (Warning, TVTropes link!) mentioned some background about it:

Pandora in the Crimson Shell: Ghost Urn (紅殻のパンドラ / Koukaku no Pandora) is a cyberpunk action comedy manga based on an unused concept of Masamune Shirow (designs of which would eventually be re-used in Ghost in the Shell: Arise).

(Emphasis mine)

Researching further on Japanese Wikipedia also mentioned about its relation/connection with Ghost in the Shell: Arise,

Relation with Ghost in the Shell: Arise

At the time when it was originally planned, the title was supposed to be Ghost Urn with its plot having the same background setting as Ghost in the Shell: Arise (GitS:Arise). In the original plot, Uzal Delilah (Sahar Schehera) who was supposed to be the same person with Dr. Zhinzhee Bekka Arr Thied who appeared in chapter 3 & 4 of GitS:Arise; Clarion, and BUER were supposed to appear in GitS:Arise. Moreover, GitS:Arise's character Kurtz was originally Ghost Urn's character, with Ian Kurtz as her equivalent character.

The setting took place years after Uzal and their companion moved to Cenancle Island and were living there after the incident in GitS:Arise. The illustration of the original plot that appears at the end of its tankobon not only shows Kurtz, but also cyborgs who protect Dr. Thied, Nami Hozumi, and other characters who become the model for GitS:Arise's characters.

However, Ghost Urn anime project was suspended due to various circumstances. When KADOKAWA restarted the project, this time with manga, the setting and characters were recomposed. In addition to that, the setting became pre-GitS:Arise, and characters who were supposed to be the same in both series were separated totally. Finally, the title was changed to Pandora in the Crimson Shell: Ghost Urn.

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