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Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence (2004)

Cast: Akio Ôtsuka, Kouichi Yamadera, Tamio Oki, more...
Director: Mamoru Oshii
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Production I.G.
Genre: Anime, Foreign, Robots & Cyborgs, Science Fiction Anime, Anime Feature Films
Running Time: 99 min.
Languages: Japanese
Subtitles: English

Anime legend Mamoru Oshii wrote and directed this eagerly awaited sequel to his groundbreaking sci-fi drama Ghost in the Shell, which follows the continued adventures of futuristic crime fighters Bateau (voice of Akio Otsuka) and Togusa (voice of Kouichi Yamadera). It's the year 2032, and Bateau and Togusa have been assigned by the anti-terrorist force Sector 9 to track down several "gynoids" -- androids designed to resemble human females and programmed for pleasure -- who have gone on a murder spree. With the help of an android-technology expert named Kim (voice of Naoto Takenaka), Bateau and Togusa find themselves following the trail of Locus Solus, an outlaw organization that may be responsible for turning the gynoids into murderers. As he digs deeper into the investigation, Bateau finds himself thinking back to his times with former colleague Major (voice of Atsuko Tanaka) and pondering the notion of love and attachment in an increasingly unnatural world. Ghost in the Shell: Innocence was screened in competition at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

One of the most anticipated anime features in years is surely Mamoru Oshii's Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence. "You can call me fanboy," wrote J. Hoberman in the Village Voice recently, "but this is the best anime I've ever seen." Sean Axmaker takes part in a talk with the director about the future of anime - and the human species. Full article >>

GreenCine Member Reviews

Excellent sequel! by rpmfla April 24, 2006 - 11:01 AM PDT
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful
It has been years since I saw the original Ghost in the Shell. I do remember enjoying it and it is considered one of the best of all time. My main memory is of the fantastic soundtrack, and how well it fit with the imagery. I don't recall too much about the plot, other than it had a female cop who was becoming more like a robot.

This sequel also has a fantastic soundtrack, with some of the same (or at least very similar) music and sounds. This is a definate plus, since I thought they were great the first time around.

Some of the animation appears to be 3D CGI (many backgrounds and objects), while some has the more traditional appearance of cel animation (the people and robots). Both are well done, but when the 3D CGI is on screen you really will be blown away (you MUST see this on a big screen!)

One interesting sidenote: One would expect cyborg females who's main purpose is sex to have idealized, perfect bodies. That isn't the case here. The "sexbots" have bodies that are very much like artist Hans Bellmer's "Dolls" (La Poupee), which were created as fetish objects, not idealized females. If you look at Bellmer's Dolls and then see this fim, you'll see what I mean.

Even Better Than Ghost In The Shell by ddennis August 22, 2005 - 9:53 PM PDT
3 out of 3 members found this review helpful
Okay, first off, full disclosure - I've not only seen the first film, but also seen the entirety of the Ghost In the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (GITS:SAC) Complex TV series. As such, I'm a bit tainted.

This movie represents a parallel universe to that of GITS:SAC, namely in the fact that Section 9 is not restricted to Japan (most of Innocence takes place in China) and that Major Motoko Kusanagi's body has been destroyed, just as it was in the original Ghost in the Shell. One thing that remains a loose end is that, at the end of the first Ghost in the Shell, Motoko was given the body of a young girl, while in this reality she seems to exist entirely on/in the Net, much like the Puppetmaster.

Despite the parallel universe and little inconsistencies, GITS fans should be very pleased with Innocence. Except for a bit too much philosophy, the story is much cleaner and tighter than the first GITS. the animation is amazing, and, perhaps a bit surprisingly, Batou is just as good a being the main character as Motoko. Add in better music, amazing sound effects (it actually made my amp clip) and better subtitles and I'd be hard pressed to prefer the original GITS to this one, except for the first's originality and more frequent anime cheesecake moments, if that's your thing.

"Ghosting" Again by talltale January 5, 2005 - 5:27 AM PST
4 out of 5 members found this review helpful
GHOST IN THE SHELL 2: INNOCENCE is a worthy sequel to the original but you'd better heed this warning: Don't watch it until you've seen the first one. Otherwise you'll be fairly adrift. There are a number of similar sequences in one and two: a trip through a strange and magical portion of the city set to wonderful music, a couple of fine action set pieces, and lots and lots of philosophizing--some of it even trenchant and fun. (At one point, after some typical talk about life, reality, robots and dolls, a character says to his sidekick, "Better get back to business." Doesn't he realize that philosophy IS the business here?!) The animation veers from as good as it gets to rather mundane (in the case of the humans/robots). When it's wonderful, though, for my taste it can't be surpassed.

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GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 7.43)
231 Votes
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Cannes Film Festival & More - 2004
Official Selection, Certain Regards... and more. Here is a bit more information on the films screened at the Cannes. I have attempted to list all the films that were considered for an award as well as any special screenings.
Cyberpunk films

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