The criminal stories are often simple, but that’s almost beside the point. The real question isn’t who the culprit is but why the culprit did it: The series depicts intricate infighting within the government, with the intelligence agencies jockeying with the police and the military while the Department of Health uses other departments as tools for its own schemes.
In the cyberpunk novels and films of the 1980s, the future was usually run by megacorporations that had taken over all the functions of government. Ghost in the Shell takes a slightly different road. Rather than vanishing, the government becomes symbiotic with the corporations: a corporate state.
Such corporatism, of course, is hardly alien to Japan — or to Europe and America, for that matter. The show merely pushes the idea further. Corruption in a company spills over to the government and vice versa; trade secrecy and national security combine to eliminate transparency. Unlike many science fiction dystopias, this one seems uncomfortably realistic.
I know that I rather enjoyed the original film when it came out.