The entire city of Nagasaki is evacuated and the JSDF moves in after a live nuclear bomb is found planted in the city, presumably by Dejima militants. Section 9 arrives to defuse the bomb and determine its precise origins.
As Togusa and Bato track down Nanao, Motoko and Paz are attempting to protect the Superintendent-General at a press conference about the police misuse of interceptors. When the virus does hit, Motoko and Paz have to act fast to save the intended victim. Meanwhile, the road to Nanao=A hits a dead end.
Section 9 is on the trail of Marcelo Jarti, a South American revolutionary hero who has arrived in Japan. However, Jarti is a hard man to catch because he employs look-alikes to deceive people. Nevertheless, Section 9 is convinced that the one they're tracking is the real thing, and after a rather out-of-control gunbattle in an upscale hotel, they track him to an old warehouse. When they split up, Togusa, Batou, and Motoko each encounter Jarti--at the same time!
Motoko's friend Courtin asks her to come to the hospital where she works. It seems a little girl just received a heart transplant, but the donor's family doesn't remember ever agreeing to donate the heart. Seeing the little girl reminds Motoko of her own past. When she mentions this story to Aramaki, he tells them to determine if this is tied to a ring of black-market organ smugglers supposedly run by the mafia.
Motoko enters into an online chat room devoted to the Laughing Man to see if she can find any new information on him. What she discovers is a spirited debate among the self-proclaimed "fans" of the Laughing Man, but very little hard evidence.
The CIA arrives in Japan with a request to help them hunt down a serial killer. The killer, a former CIA operative, has recently gone rogue and has turned up in Japan. He is an especially brutal killer, preferring to skin his victims alive in the pattern of a T-shirt. This sparks an odd reaction in Batou, and his normally laid-back demeanor is replaced with one of furious determination. What is the link between Batou and this man?
Motoko is about to be fitted for her new prosthetic body. But when the doctor arrives and begins the procedure, it's clear that she has no intent of letting Motoko out alive. With Motoko's friend Courtin waiting outside and unaware of what's going on, Motoko must fight for her life. Meanwhile, Aramaki receives a disturbing message that his brother has been kidnapped.
The Laughing Man returns! And, just as he did six years ago, he kidnaps the president of Serano Genomics without being detected. Section 9 arrives at Serano's house too late, and sets out to find him. The Laughing Man and Mr. Serano discuss what happened six years ago, and why Mr. Serano hasn't fulfilled his promise. This time, however, things are going to be different, with or without Serano's help.
The government orders Section 9 disbanded. Aramaki is taken away, and Togusa is arrested. Motoko assembles the remaining team members at HQ for one final mission. They prepare for a full-scale assault while Elite troopers and Armed Suits descend on Section 9 HQ.
Despite their best efforts, the remaining members of Section 9 are rounded up one by one by the government forces. Only Batou and Motoko are left. Batou goes to Motoko's apartment, even though he's sure its under surveillance. Once inside, he is attacked by the troops, but discovers Motoko's secret weapons cache and manages to fight back. But when the Armed Suit shows up, things start to go badly.
Togusa has been released from jail. But his badge and gun are confiscated, and he's given papers showing the dissolution of Section 9. Out of work and depressed, he tries to find information on the others, but there is nothing available. Thinking that he has nothing left to lose, he goes to assassinate the man responsible when he is stopped by--Batou! It seems that Section 9 is still alive and well after all, but what about the Major?
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