head of a data manipulation division
|Voice actor(s) (English)||
Kazundo Gouda (合田一人 Gōda Kazundo) is a fictional character in Masamune Shirow's Ghost in the Shell anime series. He is the primary antagonist of Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. 2nd GIG. In the series, Gouda is head of a data manipulation division within the Cabinet Intelligence Service. Gouda's name is difficult to pronounce, as demonstrated by Daisuke Aramaki's mispronunciation of the kanji of his given name as "Hitori" (ひとり). An alternate romanization of his name is "Kazundo."
While on a mission, Gouda was involved in an accident and had to have cybernetic parts installed. He was horribly disfigured, but, curiously, chose not to repair his face with easily available cybernetic parts. During a failed training exercise by the Japanese military for its new helicopters, Gouda was dispatched to approach Aramaki with a plan of action to protect the people living in the Refugee Residential District. Gouda later becomes a main suspect in the Individual Eleven case by Section 9. He is the head of the Strategic Influence Investigatory Committee within Japan's Cabinet Intelligence Service, a position which gives him the power to carry out his plans (see below). In addition, he has a valuable ally in Chief Cabinet Secretary Takakura, who aids Gouda's cause, seemingly to further his own political aspirations.
Gouda's character is much like his face, as he appears polite and well-spoken but seems to have ulterior, warped motives. Manipulative, amoral, and smug; he quickly draws suspicion and hostility from the members of Section 9, particularly Batou. He also acts to make himself appear superior by criticizing others.
The Individual ElevenEdit
Gouda is the mastermind of the whole Individual Eleven incident. He planned to use the tense issue of Japan's numerous postwar refugees in order to create social imbalance and political upheaval. The rogue helicopter incident in Episode Four may itself have been helped along by his maneuvering. His extremely convenient knowledge about everything to do with the situation suggests that he had a hand in its cause. It may even have served as "practice" for the bombing of Dejima with the same Jigabachi attack helicopters, given the incidents' similarities, which is noted by several characters including the Major and the Tachikomas.
Part of Gouda's plan is to harness the stand-alone complex social phenomenon in order to produce revolutionaries based on the refugee issue. He made these revolutionaries (the Individual Eleven) by disseminating a fake eleventh essay written by (fictional) writer and philosopher Patrick Sylvestre. This essay, itself titled "The Individual Eleven", contained a cyberbrain virus which forced the reader to conform to a scenario of terrorist actions related to the refugee issue (e.g. murdering cyber-rapper and refugee idol Densetsu, attempting to murder Prime Minister Yoko Kayabuki), followed by mutual suicide at the Selecon Tower. The strongest infected members, of which there were twelve, successfully carried out the scenario, each believing himself to be acting independently and without viral influence.
Gouda anticipated the emergence of one "hero", by the rules of the social variation of the stand-alone complex would go on to further exacerbate the refugee situation. This hero was Hideo Kuze, who disappeared after deciding not to go through with the suicide and resurfaced as a hero of the refugees. In order to stage a revolution, Kuze rallied the refugees to his side in Dejima by virtue of his will and utter belief in his cause (which had existed before his infection with the virus). Using Salami slicing, he obtains enough money to procure weapons-grade plutonium as leverage to secure the independence of Dejima. This process was facilitated by Gouda, who performed such actions as cutting all the power in Nagasaki as a distraction so Kuze could escape the naval blockade there. Gouda also arranged the circumstances so that Kuze would not actually get any plutonium, leaving the refugees with baseless confidence and the military with an excuse to start an all-out war with Dejima.
Ultimately, Gouda wished to escalate the conflict to the point where public dissatisfaction would destroy the government, allowing him to create a new power structure more to his liking. He doesn't seem to have any personal ambition (though several members of Section 9 suspected him of at least wanting credit for the incident) and claims to be only giving the Japanese people what they want "deep down", which he says is a return to the age of post-WWII rapid growth when the country prospered under the Cold War scheme; this time between American Empire and China (the "81 flag" mentioned by the American submarine commander in the last episode is the symbol for Chinese military). His final goal was to replace Kayabuki with more American Empire-friendly administration and make security alliance, creating Cold War tension in the region and making Japan a "docile consumer" without autonomy. It's been suspected that he collaborated with American Empire from the beginning, as Aramaki's quote in the final episode suggests. He almost succeeded, as the Prime Minister was ousted from office and a coup was underway as Dejima was being assaulted by the JSDF. Fortunately, Kuze, Motoko, and Section 9 (especially the Tachikomas) turned out to be too unpredictable for Gouda's scenario. Also, even under extreme pressure of being disregarded by American Empire, Prime Minister Kayabuki refused to get any help from China and acted in accordance with her belief of "National independence through personal independence" and Japan's autonomy, contrary to what Gouda predicted. Thanks to their actions, the Dejima conflict was halted before the full extent of the damage was done.
Seeing that his plans have failed, Gouda makes an agreement with representatives of the American Empire and plans to seek asylum with them. When Section 9 arrives to arrest him, he exploits a legal loophole; if he submits a written confession of his crimes to the police, he can leave for a country of his choosing. However, Section 9 exploits a loophole of its own. They possess a note signed by Yoko Kayabuki, which informs them that it would be a major loss for Japan if Gouda's skills were to fall in the hands of a foreign nation, empowering them to do anything necessary to prevent it. Gouda waves them off, believing that they are bluffing. He is then shot in the head and killed by Motoko Kusanagi.
- Gouda is a virgin, having never had sex before replacing his body with prosthetics. This is made evident in an episode when Batou borrowed Motoko's external memory device to confront him about the Individual Eleven issue. Gouda presents this information to Batou as part of an argument concerning the motivations of self-sacrificing activists.
|Characters of Ghost in the Shell|
Cabinet Intelligence Service: Kazundo Gouda