Hideo Kuzeクゼ・ヒデオKuze Hideo
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|Voice actor(s) (English)||
Hideo Kuze (クゼ・ヒデオ Kuze Hideo) is a fictional character in Masamune Shirow's Ghost in the Shell anime series Stand Alone Complex 2nd Gig. Kuze is a full cyborg and is a main suspect in Section 9's investigation of the Individual Eleven. He is unusual among prostheticized individuals since he has chosen to have a sculpted face, which is far more difficult to manipulate than a standard prosthetic face. Due to this, Kuze's mouth typically remains motionless while he speaks.
Hideo Kuze is one of the known eleven members of the terrorist group known as the "Individual Eleven". During a mass suicide by the Individual Eleven, Kuze alone survived, leaving and hiding out in the Refugee Residential District. He spearheads a revolutionary socialist independence movement by the refugees in Japan.
During his childhood years, Hideo who still went by the last name 'Hisaragi' after his parents surname, was involved in a plane crash at the age of six. He lost his parents in the crash. He was one of two survivors found, the other being Motoko Kusanagi. Kuze was paralyzed and his left arm was his only functional body part. As he laid in the hospital bed, he began to feel sorry for the girl who laid in a bed next to his. He knew she would never recover, so he learned how to fold origami cranes with his only functional body part. In Japanese Culture if a thousand cranes are folded, then a wish will come true. The girl underwent a procedure to replace her damaged body for a fully cyberized one.
After the procedure, the girl visited Kuze while he was still recovering from his injuries, although Kuze did not know who she was, believing the girl died. During one of the visits, Kuze asked the girl if it was possible to fold cranes with a cybernetic body. The girl tried and failed, unable to adeptly manipulate the fine motor skills of her prosthetic parts. She soon left, saying she would return when she was able to fold cranes for him prompting him to realize who she was; he never saw her again. A few days later, he underwent the same full cyberization procedure as the girl. At some point later, he was adopted by at least one foster father, whose surname "Kuze" he adopted as his own.
During a visit to a university, Kuze found the girl's empty body in one of the laboratories. He knew this was the girl he had been looking for since he was a child. Years later, while Section 9 was testing out their new recruits, Major Kusanagi wandered into another part of town. When she entered an antique shop, she found her cybernetic body from when she was a child. The boy's body sat beside her. The shop owner told her that years after the girl's body was found, the boy tried to locate her but was unsuccessful. At the end of the episode the Major reveals that Kuze was the first person she ever loved.
The relationship between the Major and Kuze is heavily implied throughout 2nd GIG. After diving into Kuze's cyberbrain, the Major becomes bothered by the suspicion that she knows him from somewhere. Both characters are shown folding paper cranes single-handedly in several episodes.
The Peninsular WarEdit
Before joining the Individual Eleven, Kuze was a former soldier for the SDF. In 2024 after World War IV, The American Empire deployed UN troops to where internal conflict continued in North Korea. Japan was offered excavation rights if they deployed their JSDF troops. Kuze, in a mechanized infantry unit, was stationed with the PKF-issue hybrid cyborgs, they were ordered to circle north of Shinuiju and launch a preemptive strike on the People's Army. During the ascent of the mountain, Kuze's platoon found a refugee camp along a river located on a border. The area was not mentioned in the intelligence report issued by the SDF.
At the time, the camp was being looted by the soldiers of The People's Army whose intentions were to become bandits. Seeing this, Kuze's platoon engaged in combat and, one by one, soldiers of the People's Army began surrendering. Kuze's men saved the remaining villagers in a very lopsided battle between crack cyborg commandos and starving People's Army soldiers, which turned out to be the only real combat they ever saw. After fighting the People's Army, the platoon were advised to be aware of possible guerrilla attacks on the camp.
A problem later arose in the platoon camp, when the soldiers began suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder due to the experience of gunning down people in their first battle. Most of the soldiers who retained most of their original body organs began drinking alcohol and using drugs smuggled in by the refugees to escape the nightmares of the massacre.
When order began breaking down in the SDF, the Japanese media began pelting insensitive comments at the platoon. The criticism of the platoon's behavior was more severe due to censorship of the massacre which hadn't reached the media. The soldiers' freedom was later restricted due to policies designed to prevent further disgrace. Many of the soldiers were barred from returning to Japan. Some footage of the refugee camp massacre was leaked to certain broadcast stations.
A false rumor began to spread that the JSDF executed the massacre. Riots broke out demanding an explanation to the massacre, while soldiers couldn't defend themselves from an outbreak of rumors. One day while a journalist was commenting on one of the soldiers, Kuze approached him and agreed with the man's remarks of foreign invasion. Kuze demanded to trade his assault rifle in for the journalist's camera. When the journalist handed over his camera, Kuze walked into the refugee camp and was not seen by any of his platoon scouts again.
Kuze became a refugee after not returning back to Japan. He walked from camp to camp, observing the life of refugees by taking pictures. While traveling through the camps, the elderly became interested in Kuze and offered him drinks, children asked him to fold paper planes. Men and women stood in lines, telling their life stories to Kuze, who never spoke a word. He often smiled at them and took their photographs.
Three months later, the People's Army surrendered, the SDF was cleared of its obligations, and the media stopped talking about the massacre. A day before the SDF was to withdraw, Kuze disappeared from the camp, leaving behind only a photograph. He was believed to have crossed the border and headed west into Taiwan. While investigating the "Individual Eleven" case, Ishikawa mentions he met a man who has seen Kuze in the Taiwanese refugee camps.
The Leigo Island Incident Edit
At some point before the Individual Eleven Events but after the closure of The Laughing Man incident as shown at the end of the SAC storyline, Kuze arrived at the Leigo Island, a privately-owned resort island electronically sequestered from the outside world. The island had the capability of providing synchronized fake sensations to any of its presumably rich vacationers by intervening into the cyberized senses of touch, taste and smell. Kuze, who was going by the name of Hideo Hisaragi and called "Hide" was there to follow a possible lead on the terrorist Jupiter. He was currently serving as a freelance prosthetics consultant who was active in tracking down terrorists. 
The Individual Eleven Events Edit
Kuze's Revolution Edit
End of 2nd GIG Edit
During the last episode of 2nd GIG, Motoko Kusanagi and Kuze are both trapped underneath rubble together. Motoko asks Kuze if he can still make paper cranes with only his left hand. Kuze realizes that the Major was the little girl who was in a coma in the bed next to him, when he was hospitalized after being the only survivors of the plane crash which forced both of them to undergo full cyborgization when they were children. Both are later rescued by Batou.
Aramaki later corners Gouda with a few Section 9 operatives. When Gouda tries to escape in an elevator, the Major is waiting for him inside with her optical camouflage activated. She shoots Gouda down and realizes that the American Empire is going to target Kuze. She rushes away and jumps out the building, desperate to get to Kuze before he is killed. She is too late to save his body from contamination by micromachines, but Kuze's last words imply that he may not have been killed after all. He says "I'll go on ahead". Adding further support to this claim is from the helicopter scene, the fact that Motoko was momentarily surprised and murmured "You..." while Kuze, incapacitated by a cyberbrain lock, is shown holding a bitten apple. A possible explanation is that Motoko was contacted by Kuze when she was engaging on the cybernet.
Kuze's plan for a revolution was to lead the refugees into cyberspace and leave their bodies behind. "I'll go on ahead" may mean that he already went into cyberspace ahead of the others in order to start the revolution. It is possible that, after the conclusion of the last episode, the ghost of Kuze exists on the net as a distinct entity. It has been speculated that the Major's failure in saving Kuze may have sparked her departure from Public Safety Security Section Nine. The Major has been away from Section 9 for 2 years in Solid State Society. Following the public explanation of director Kenji Kamiyama, it definitely was the crucial reason.
Philosophy and GoalsEdit
In the live-action adaptation, Kuze is played by Michael Pitt. The characterization in that movie also contains elements of both Laughing Man and the Puppet Master. He is at first introduced as a mysterious terrorist who is killing prominent scientists, mostly by hacking into their cyberbrains. Once he captures Major, he reveals his plan to spread his ghost online, while also revealing that his cyborg nature is due to being part of the same project that eventually created her. Major eventually discovers Kuze was Hideo, one of the brothers in arms of her original identity Motoko Kusanagi in a rebellion against Hanka Robotics, who after suffering an identity wipe through Project 2571 became unbalanced and murderous.
- ↑ In Episode 12, viewers can see Kuze's mouth move for a short time when he was speaking to other Individual Eleven members. Also, a Section 9 forensic expert in Episode 13 comments that while his mouth remains motionless, Hideo has great difficulty in moving it.
- ↑ The surname of Hideo Kuze's family was revealed in the short story Soft and White by Kafka Asagiri as it appeared in the prose anthology The Ghost in the Shell: Five New Short Stories.
- ↑ This was confirmed in the short story Soft and White.
- ↑ Mentioned by Ishikawa in 2nd GIG, Episode 16 during his debriefing session with Batou and the others via cyberbrain diving kit
- ↑ This information led Motoko to head to Taiwan and conduct her investigation there, as seen in 2nd GIG' episode 17.
- ↑ The events summarized under this paragraph and the rest of the sub-heading are chronicled in the short prose story Soft and White by Kafka Asagiri, as it appeared in the collection The Ghost in the Shell: Five New Short Stories.
- ↑ He believed that this is a revolution that will lead humanity to a higher structure. This concept is somewhat similar to what was stated by Project 2501, better known as the Puppetmaster, in the GITS movies and manga.
|Characters of Ghost in the Shell|
Cabinet Intelligence Service: Kazundo Gouda