Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 Sustainable War Ending, Explained

‘Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 Sustainable War’ or ‘Koukaku Kidoutai: SAC_2045 – Jizoku Kanou Sensou’ is a compilation film developed from the first season of ‘Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045.’ As the title suggests, the film (and the TV anime) is part of the Stand Alone Complex universe, which also includes TV anime ‘Koukaku Kidoutai: Stand Alone Complex’ and ‘Koukaku Kidoutai: Stand Alone Complex 2nd GIG’ and anime film ‘Koukaku Kidoutai: Stand Alone Complex – Solid State Society.’

Set about 11 years after ‘Solid State Society,’ ‘Sustainable War’ revolves around Major Motoko Kusanagi and her team’s attempt to contain an unprecedented, mysterious, and global threat known as the posthumans. Here is everything you need to know about the ending of ‘Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 Sustainable War.’ SPOILERS AHEAD.

Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 Sustainable War Plot Synopsis

Over a decade after the events of ‘Solid State Society,’ the Major and her team are in the American Empire, working as a mercenary group known as GHOST. They are currently affiliated with the Obsidian security firm. In 2042, the four most powerful political entities in the world — the American Empire, China, the Russian Federation, and the European Union — decided to start a war among themselves in order to breathe life into the global economy.

They called the conflict the “Sustainable War” — it was fought among AIs, and human casualties were kept at a minimum. However, in 2044, the war caused the Global Simultaneous Default, an economic crisis that erased all forms of financial data. The Sustainable War subsequently became the only way for the four instigators to keep their economies well-oiled and running. While the ordinary people’s lives were ruined, the one percenter continued to thrive due to war profits.

At the start of the film, GHOST launches a mission in Palm Springs, California, which has become one of the many battlefields of the Sustainable War. The Major and her team’s initially simple mission of stopping some raiders from attacking a gated community becomes complicated when it is revealed that a one-percenter has supplied the raiders with weapons. After the mission ends unsuccessfully, GHOST is approached by NSA agent John Smith, who forces the group to execute a retrieval mission for the one-percenter Patrick Huge. During the mission, GHOST quickly realizes that Huge is not human and is forced to kill him.

Meanwhile, in Japan, Daisuke Aramaki tasks Togusa with finding his former Public Security Section 9 colleagues in America. Togusa speaks to the head of Obsidian and reports back to Aramaki. Just as Smith is about to neutralize the Major and the others to maintain secrecy about Huge, Aramaki intervenes. Smith then reluctantly reveals that Huge was part of a dangerous group of entities the American government refers to as “posthumans” and takes them to a secret facility that houses one such entity. While GHOST is there, the posthuman tries to kill everyone and is killed by Batou. GHOST subsequently returns to Japan to deal with the three posthumans residing in the country.

Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 Sustainable War Ending: Who Are the Posthumans?

After linking her cyberbrain to that of Huge, the Major realizes that he is not human. The government of the American Empire is actively investigating the entities, but even they don’t know much about them. The posthumans’ cyberbrains have been completely changed by the transformation, which is always accompanied by a fever. They gain the level of intelligence and cognitive speed boost that is unheard of even among complete cyborgs. They seem to detest certain human groups. It is revealed that the posthumans are the ones that caused the Global Simultaneous Default. Huge was the one-percenter that was supplying weapons to the raiders. Gary Harts, the post-human in the secret NSA facility, tried to launch a nuclear missile at the Russian federation.

In Japan, posthuman and boxer Sanji Yaguchi targets corrupted government officials and apparently comes after the Japanese Prime Minister Chris Otomo Tate to know his plans with the country. Meanwhile, high school student Takashi Shimamura seems to have more control over himself than the others and chooses to venture into his forgotten memories. As for the third one, Suzuka Mizukane, she is yet to make an appearance in the ‘Ghost in the Shell’ universe.

Where Does Togusa Go? What Is Think Pol?

Togusa becomes exposed to Shimamura’s posthuman codes while trying to analyze the files they found at the boy’s home. It creates a connection between the two. The files later turn out to be a program developed to retrieve long-forgotten memories. Togusa and the others realize that Shimamura created Think Pol, a program that he used to take control of his classmates’ cyberbrains and kill the teacher who sexually assaulted Shimamura’s friend Kanami, and she later committed suicide. He named the program after the phrase “Thought Police,” which he found in his favorite book, George Orwell’s ‘1984.’

Tracing the memories that Shimamura retrieved, Togusa learns that the boy got the book from an airborne trooper. His cousin, Yuzu, later encountered three government officials trying to bury a body. The airborne trooper arrived and killed all three men, but Yuzu was killed in the crossfire. Shimamura subsequently joined the airborne trooper’s group. As Togusa witnesses this, his cyberbrain and that of Shimamura’s seem to break the barrier of time. Shimamura communicates with Togusa and asks him to join him as he explores his past. Toward the end of the film, Togusa likely speaks to Batou from within the memories of Shimamura.

Why Doesn’t Sanji Yaguchi Attack Prime Minister Tate?

As mentioned above, Sanji Yaguchi targets corrupt government officials. He also kills Tate’s father-in-law because he was involved in bribing and refugee exploitation as the manager of a company that received a wide range of contracts in the ambitious project of rebuilding Tokyo. However, despite having the chance to do so, Yaguchi doesn’t attack the prime minister. He is later captured by the Major and handed over to the NSA.

There has been much speculation about Tate’s intention since he has taken office. As he was born in America, a significant portion of the Japanese population has been afraid that Tate is an American puppet. Although Smith tries to force Tate to be just that, the latter asserts his commitment to restoring Japan to its former glory. This is likely why Yaguchi spares Tate. It appears that there is a greater ploy at play on behalf of the posthumans against the four major political powers. The posthumans apparently don’t look at entire humanity with disdain, but only certain corrupt and power-hungry groups.

Read More: Do Motoko Kusanagi and Batou Die in Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 Sustainable War?