It is the year 2032, and the line between humans and machines has been blurred almost beyond distinction. Humans have forgotten that they are human, and those that are left co-exist with cyborgs--human spirits inhabiting entirely mechanized bodies, and dolls--robots with no human elements at all. Batou is a cyborg. His body is artificial: the only remnants of his humanity are found in traces of his brain--and the memories of a woman called 'The Major'. A detective for the government's covert anti-terrorist unit, called Public Security Section 9, Batou is investigating the case of a gynoid--a hyper-realistic female robot, created specifically for sexual companionship, who malfunctions and slaughters her owner. As Batou delves deeper into the investigation, questions arise about humanity's need to immortalize its image in dolls. The answers to those questions lead to the shocking truth behind the crime--and quite possibly to the very meaning of life, itself.