Operator (Ghost in the Shell)

Operator (Ghost in the Shell)

An Operator (オペレーター Operētā?) is a fictional class of robot in the Ghost in the Shell series. They are voiced by Eri Oono and Debra Jean Rogers.



The Operators are designed to handle various tasks within the government agency Public Security Section 9, such as operating computers, carrying equipment within the agency's building, and even crewing aircraft. Physically they are gynoids, seen wearing office lady-style suits. In one episode, additional Operators are seen coming out of the walls to replace disabled units during a particularly strenuous task, suggesting that Section 9 has many in backup and that the units are switched regularly.[1]

Their physical appearance is of a female wearing an office lady's suit. They have brown hair tied in a pony tail with brown eyes. They happen to be some of the most advanced Operators in the series besides Proto who is a prototype bioroid.


Operator units are programmed with human-like emotions, including voice inflections, typically human reactions (one is quoted as saying "Huh?" and looking confused when she is told to pick up a person who has left the scene suddenly and is no longer in sight) and human-like body language. Section 9's more advanced robots, the Tachikomas, comment on these as looking "fake", especially a "thinking pose" one Operator assumes when trying to answer a question. Because of the Operators' willingness to be put in danger by the members of Section 9, they receive scorn from the Tachikomas, who are developing individuality and possibly even their own ghosts (nerve center that communicates with the soul: the intact function of this area is required for the survival of an organism as a person).

The Operators appear to have no combat capabilities of their own, though they are used as a diversion in the episode Cash Eye when two units are sent into the basement to distract the guards while a disk of knockout-gas is deployed from the elevator.[2] They have a distinctive feature (first seen in older cyberneticists unwilling to undergo brain modification, though the Operators utilize them as an added layer of defense against computer viruses): hands that can deploy a considerable number of internal rod-like "fingers", letting them type many times faster than normal. This feature however only appears to be used during particularly-demanding tasks. On the other hand the Operators seen in Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex seem to be a newer model which do not use the rod-like "fingers" as much since they type fast enough.

Despite being very advanced androids, the AI of the Operators is also limited. In one episode, the Tachikomas argue with one Operator. She displays emotion and other aspects of intelligence, but falls prey to the classic liar paradox of What I am saying is a lie.[3] The result was that the Operator seized up, locked into an infinite loop of repeating "I, um..."[3] This is similar to the classic Star Trek episode "I, Mudd", in which a human defeats robotic units with the same paradox. The Artificial Intelligence of the Tachikomas, by comparison, is enough to both solve this paradox and state it to others.

Other Operators

Operators in the JGSDF

Section 9 is not the only organization to use Operators. Multiple agencies use Operators that look different from the ones used at Section 9, such as the JMSDF. JMSDF Operator models have black untied hair and brown eyes, and have the assigned rank of Chief Petty Officer. The JGSDF uses an Operator model with short brown hair, brown eyes and glasses, with an assigned rank of Private First Class. The Prefectural Police Operators have long brown hair and wear a standard policewoman's uniform, with a rank of Constable.

Military Operators are more advanced than civilian service models, but appear to be less mentally 'capable' than those of Section 9. An example of this was the failure of JMSDF Operators to respond quickly to changes in pilot health & eventual death during a Jigabachi hijack incident. Generally speaking, military and government models are more advanced than civilian models, however.

Operator-like gynoids have been observed, examples of which include maids, prostitutes, and nurses etc. Wealthy individuals often have nurse corps (multiple identicals) configured to a personally attractive form, which in turn are often personally erotic. Some operator types may be either legally or illegally modified to contain site-protection weapon systems. Their use is questionably effective, as internal AI conflict latency will often give an even mildly determined intruder the upper hand in armed confrontations.


  1. ^ See Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Episode 21 - Left-Behind Trace – ERASER.
  2. ^ See Ghost in the Shell: SAC 2nd GIG - Saturday Night and Sunday Morning – CASH EYE.
  3. ^ a b See Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Episode 15 - Time of the Machines – MACHINES DÉSIRANTES

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