Man-Machine Interface represents much of Shirow's works in the 90s, and was quite the endeavor. As you can see below, GitS 2 exists in a few different varieties, as Shirow's been reworking this sequel for years(in fact, it started as something wholly different). For the most part, the focus is on one Motoko Aramaki, one of the net-children spawned from the joining of Motoko Kusanagi with the Puppet Master, with some cuts to Chief Aramaki and Batou of Section 9.
This definitely stands as an amazing piece of work, with Shirow utilizing both hand drawings and lots of CG work. In fact, he manages to fill at least half of the 300+ pages with full-color illustrations, an unprecedented accomplishment in the world of manga to the best of my knowledge. For now I don't have anything written up on the story, not even a synopsis, so add that to the list of things to bug me about doing.
Orignially released as part of the Solid Box Set set, this was the first appearance of Shirow's total reworking of GitS 2, and shared very little in common with the originally published material. This is definitely a rare find, and not something that I'll scan more than the cover of, given its hardcover nature. One last note that the book itself is printed at full size, not like the normal shrunken collections we usually see in the US. To give a quick look at the changes, I've shown a sample of a page as it appeared in this edition and the edited and flopped version of the US edition(the Japanese mass market version uses the same art, minus flopping).
Released mid-late 2001, this is essentially the final version of GitS 2, as it was the mass-marketed version. Unlike the Solid Box edition, this was printed with reduced dimensions like most collections. A Mousepad was also included in this edition, and while it has a nice image, it just does't work well for me, due primarily to the surface material, but it could just be the way my mouse is. This edition is almost identical to the version found in the Solid Box, with three notable changes as described below.
First, a scene at the beginning of the story in the Solid Box edition had a pair of Motoko's decots in full-sized female bodies swimming around near her ship, getting out, undressing, and popping out of their nude chests when noting the approach of another ship. Second, Shirow decided that the rape scene in Solid Box's Chapter 3 detracted from the story, and so redrew the entire set of panels for the characters involved into something much tamer. The final change was really an addition, as Shirow put together a full-color 24-page Epilogue for the story.
An English edition finally came out over the course of 2003 and into 2004(with a special foil cover for issue #1), and as far as imagery goes, it has followed the Standard Edition panel for panel. Well, almost. In bringing this to the US, Shirow went and reworked the massive piles of text worked into the artwork in MMI, flopping the whole thing himself such that we wouldn't have to suffer piles of backwards lettering. In fact, most of the delay in bringing it over is due to this self-editing.
Of course, with the Tokyopop machine running rampant, flopping isn't really done these days, but it was still something that was decided upon for MMI somewhere along the way, by Shirow himself if the stories are correct.
This was also recently released in a collected format, and just like the new 2nd Edition of GitS, it's in the 6x9" format, shrinkwrapped, and labelled for mature readers only. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like they included any bonus content beyond a full page image of the poster that came in the Solid Box, which they'd already included at the end of one of the issues. In collecting it, they also stripped out the other extras included at the end of a few issues and only offer an updated Shirow bio to make up for it.