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Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence

Original title: イノセンス.

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Cyborg detective Batou is assigned to investigate a series of murders committed by gynoids—doll-like cyborgs, which all malfunctioned, killed, then self-destructed afterwards. The brains of the gynoids initialize in order to protect their manufacturer's software, but in one gynoid, which Batou himself neutralized, one file remains: a voice speaking the phrase "Help me."

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Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence

2004, Sci-fi/Anime, 1h 38m

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The animation is lovely, but the plot is complex to the point of inscrutability, leaving Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence both original and numbing. Read critic reviews

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Ghost in the shell 2: innocence   photos.

A mostly mechanical cyborg (Akio Ôtsuka) and his human-looking partner (Kôichi Yamadera) track robotic sex dolls that have murdered their masters.

Rating: PG-13 (Violence|Disturbing Images|Brief Language)

Genre: Sci-fi, Anime

Original Language: Chinese

Director: Mamoru Oshii

Producer: Mitsuhisa Ishikawa , Toshio Suzuki

Writer: Masamune Shirow , Mamoru Oshii

Release Date (Theaters): Sep 17, 2004  original

Release Date (Streaming): Feb 21, 2017

Box Office (Gross USA): $924.5K

Runtime: 1h 38m

Distributor: DreamWorks SKG, Go Fish Pictures

Production Co: Production I.G., Dentsu, Studio Ghibli, Kodansha Ltd., Bandai Visual Co. Ltd.

Sound Mix: Dolby EX, Surround, DTS

Aspect Ratio: Flat (1.85:1)

Cast & Crew

Akio Ôtsuka

Bateau Voice

Atsuko Tanaka

Major Motoko Kusanagi Voice

Koichi Yamadera

Togusa Voice

Section 9 Department Chief Aramaki Voice

Yutaka Nakano

Ishikawa Voice

Hiroaki Hirata

Yoshiko Sakakibara

Haraway Voice

Masaki Terasoma

Azuma Voice

On'na no ko Voice

Naoto Takenaka

Mamoru Oshii

Masamune Shirow

Screenwriter

Mitsuhisa Ishikawa

Ryuji Mitsumoto

Line Producer

Toshio Suzuki

Kenji Kawai

Original Music

News & Interviews for Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence

"Ghost" in a Live-Action "Shell"?

Dr. Dorian Prepares for "Open Hearts"

The Annie Awards Announce Their Nominations

Critic Reviews for Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence

Audience reviews for ghost in the shell 2: innocence.

A okay follow up continuing the story of the male lead from the first, not as enthralling as the first but it does have some moments to move it along

where can i see ghost in the shell 2 innocence

I used to think the first film was incredibly complex and therefore, very inaccessible. However, the 2nd film is even more convoluted and theory heavy than the first to the point where you can't help but feel it doesn't steer you in a direction that ultimately serves the story's overlying plot. And not the look like a brainless twat, but it really needed more action to balance out with the dialogue heavy philosophical referencing. Nevertheless, a worthy sequel to the original GITS; just lacks the balance in execution that the first maintained.

I liked the philosophical ideas in this film. It was well paced and I was interested to see what happened. The main problem I had with the film was in the script, it was like every minute they had to utter another quote, or saying, which was very annoying.

Sitting here scratching by Basset hound watching Bato do the same in the movie is some serious deja vu. It's maybe more a measure of myself, but I really miss the super cyber-sexual Major Motoko and her brief appearance in a unattractive mannequin's body just doesn't do it for me. The story is constructed around Bato who is the 2nd most developed character in the series, but surprisingly there is no back story---none---nill. No flash back to pre-section 9 days as Rangers no flash back to section-9 days as many of the other reviews site it is an intellectually and philosophically deep story, but fails to draw you in at a gut level even when Motoko pulls so hard her cybernetic arm flays apart, seen that one before with more impact. OK before you pan me the Visuals and audio really are excellent in the blu-ray format.

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Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence

Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence (2004)

In the year 2032, Batô, a cyborg detective for the anti-terrorist unit Public Security Section 9, investigates the case of a female robot--one created solely for sexual pleasure--who slaught... Read all In the year 2032, Batô, a cyborg detective for the anti-terrorist unit Public Security Section 9, investigates the case of a female robot--one created solely for sexual pleasure--who slaughtered her owner. In the year 2032, Batô, a cyborg detective for the anti-terrorist unit Public Security Section 9, investigates the case of a female robot--one created solely for sexual pleasure--who slaughtered her owner.

  • Naoko Kusumi
  • Mizuho Nishikubo
  • Mamoru Oshii
  • Shirow Masamune
  • Richard Epcar
  • Akio Ôtsuka
  • Atsuko Tanaka
  • 113 User reviews
  • 132 Critic reviews
  • 66 Metascore
  • 6 wins & 8 nominations

Ghost in the Shell 2

  • Major Motoko Kusanagi
  • Section 9 Department Chief Aramaki

Kôichi Yamadera

  • Richard Epcar (english version)
  • All cast & crew
  • Production, box office & more at IMDbPro

More like this

Ghost in the Shell

Did you know

  • Trivia This is the first ever anime film to be nominated for the Palme d'Or in the Cannes International Film Festival in 2004. It is the 6th animated film to enter the competition at Cannes.
  • Goofs During the forensics examination, one of the computer screens misspells "research" as "RESAERCH".

Major Motoko Kusanagi : We weep for a bird's cry, but not for a fish's blood. Blessed are those with a voice. If the dolls also had voices, they would have screamed, "I didn't want to become human."

  • Connections Featured in Animation Lookback: Top 10 Best Animated Sequels (2011)
  • Soundtracks Follow Me Performed by Kimiko Itô Written by Herbert Kretzmer and Hal Shaper (as H. Shaper) Composed by Joaquín Rodrigo (as J. Rodrigo) Arranged by Kenji Kawai

User reviews 113

  • Sentinel-15
  • Jan 9, 2005
  • How long is Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence? Powered by Alexa
  • What year does this sequel take place?
  • How come all the cars in this movie have a classic design?
  • How come there's Chinese writing on the signs instead of Japanese Kanji?
  • September 24, 2004 (United States)
  • Go Fish Pictures - Teaser Site (United States)
  • Innocence: Ghost in the Shell
  • Bandai Visual Company
  • Buena Vista Home Entertainment
  • DENTSU Music And Entertainment
  • See more company credits at IMDbPro
  • ¥2,000,000,000 (estimated)
  • Sep 19, 2004

Technical specs

  • Runtime 1 hour 40 minutes
  • Dolby Digital EX

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Ghost in the Shell 2 : Innocence

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Beautiful, interesting, incredible cinema.

Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence

GHOST IN THE SHELL 2: INNOCENCE

イノセンス | inosensu.

In the year 2032, Batô, a cyborg detective for the anti-terrorist unit Public Security Section 9, investigates the case of a female robot—one created solely for sexual pleasure—who slaughtered her owner.

A follow-up to the 1995 sci-fi drama from anime legend Mamoru Oshii, this sequel is a clever blend of CGI and traditional, hand-drawn animation. Echoing cult classic Blade Runner for the dystopian tone of its plotting, Ghost in the Shell 2 offers a neon swirl of action and philosophy.

Ghibli Wiki

Warning: the wiki content may contain spoilers!

Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence

  • View history

With a story loosely connected to the manga by Masamune Shirow, the film was written and directed by "Ghost in the Shell" director Mamoru Oshii. The film was honored best sci-fi film at the 2004 Nihon SF Taisho Awards and was in competition at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival. The soundtrack for the film was released under the name "Innocence O.S.T." and a related novel called Ghost in the Shell: Innocence - After the Long Goodbye was released on February 29, 2004. This film makes many allusions and references to other famous works, such as The Future Eve. The foreign DVD release of the film faced many issues ranging from licensing to audio.

  • 2 Allusions and references
  • 3.1 Director's ideas
  • 4.1 English-language dub
  • 5.1 Soundtrack
  • 6 Further reading
  • 7 External links
  • 8 Navigation

The story is loosely based on Ghost in the Shell manga chapter "Robot Rondo" (with elements of "Phantom Fund"). Opening in 2032, Public Security Section 9 cybernetic operative Batou is teamed with Togusa, an agent with very few cybernetic upgrades, following the events of Ghost in the Shell .

After a series of deaths due to malfunctioning gynoids—doll-like sex robots—Section 9 is asked to investigate. As the gynoids all malfunctioned without clear cause, the deaths are believed to be premeditated murders; Batou and Togusa are sent to investigate possible terrorist or political motives. Additionally, the most recent gynoid's remains show they all contained an illegal "ghost". Section 9 concludes human sentience is being artificially duplicated onto the dolls illegally, making the robots more lifelike, and possibly acting as a motive in the murders.

Called to a homicide scene, information warfare/technology specialist Ishikawa explains the victim is Jack Walkson, a consignment officer at gynoid company LOCUS SOLUS, who may have been killed by the Yakuza. A previous Yakuza boss was recently killed by a gynoid, so Ishikawa concludes Walkson was held responsible and killed in an act of revenge. Batou and Togusa enter a Yakuza bar to question the current boss, only to be threatened by the bar occupants. Batou opens fire, killing and wounding numerous gang members, including the cyborg that murdered Walkson. The current boss then admits his predecessor was somehow involved in LOCUS SOLUS, but insists he doesn't know how.

Entering a store on his way home, Batou is then seemingly warned by the Major and shot in the arm by an unseen assailant. Caught in a firefight, Batou nearly kills the store owner in confusion, but is subdued when Ishikawa appears. While having his damaged arm replaced, Batou is informed by Ishikawa that his e-brain was hacked, causing him to shoot himself and attack the store occupants. Ishikawa explains that Batou was hacked to try and cause further scandal following his Yakuza assault in an attempt to stop the Section 9 investigation.

Batou and Togusa then head for the mansion of Kim, a soldier-turned-hacker with an obsession with dolls. Seemingly dead, Kim soon reveals he "lives" inside the shell of a human-sized marionette, and discusses philosophy with his visitors. Kim admits ties to LOCUS SOLUS, divulging that the company manufactures its gynoids in international waters to evade local legislation. Warned again by the Major, Batou realizes that Kim has secretly hacked into his and Togusa's e-brains, and is currently trapping them in a false reality. Resetting Togusa's brain, Batou subdues Kim, noting he knows Kim hacked his brain in the store.

Resolved to gather material evidence, Batou infiltrates the LOCUS SOLUS ship while Togusa remotely hacks its security systems using an unaware Kim as a proxy. The ship's security becomes aware of the hacking and retaliates with a virus that fries Kim's cyberbrain. Simultaneously, a hidden virus loads a combat program into the production-line gynoids, causing them to attack everyone aboard. As Batou fights to the ship's center, the Major then appears by controlling a gynoid remotely, helping Batou fight the gynoids and hack the ship's security.

Taking control of the ship, the Major then reveals to Batou the truth about the gynoids. Hiring the Yakuza to traffick young girls, LOCUS SOLUS mass-duplicated their consciousnesses into the gynoids, giving them human "ghosts" to make them more realistic, an illegal process that destroys the girls' brains. Batou rescues a young girl from a "ghost dubbing" machine, and she explains that Jack Walkson, learning the truth about LOCUS SOLUS, promised to save the girls by tampering with the ghosting process; this caused the gynoids to murder their owners, allowing Walkson to attract police attention and indirectly kill the Yakuza boss. Despite Walkson's actions saving the girls, Batou objects that he also victimized the gynoids as well, causing them severe distress by giving them damaged ghosts. Having solved the case, Batou asks the Major if she's happy now, and she notes that she'll always be beside him on the network, before disconnecting from the gynoid.

Allusions and references [ ]

Innocence contains many references to fantasy, philosophy and Zen, and addresses aesthetic and moral questions. For example, the film begins with a quotation from Auguste Villiers de l'Isle-Adam's Tomorrow's Eve from 1886: "If our Gods and our hopes are nothing but scientific phenomena, then let us admit it must be said that our love is scientific as well." Other numerous quotations in the film come from Buddha, Confucius, Descartes, the Old Testament, Meiji-era critic Saitō Ryokuu, Richard Dawkins, Max Weber, Jacob Grimm, Plato, John Milton, 14th century playwright Zeami Motokiyo, the Tridentine Mass, and Julien Offray de La Mettrie, French Enlightenment philosopher and author of "Man a Machine".

The characters and their names contain many allusions to other older works. For example, the "Hadaly" model robots refer to a human-like robot named Hadaly featured in Tomorrow's Eve, also the book that popularized the word android. The company LOCUS SOLUS is named for the 1914 novel by Raymond Roussel, which also shares certain thematic elements with the film, such as a mansion containing tableaux vivants. The police forensic specialist, Haraway, is most likely named for Donna Haraway, feminist author of A Cyborg Manifesto. Haraway's character is likely based on Susan Calvin from Asimov's Robot series. The Robot series is also referenced in the film's androids as they comply with a modified version of Asimov's Third Law of Robotics.

Dolls are also an important motif in Innocence ; many have "spirits" of some sort, but at the same time are not quite human. They are based on the art of Hans Bellmer, a dollmaker famous for his disturbing, erotic ball-jointed female dolls.

The parade sequence is based on a religious procession and a temple in Taiwan.

Production [ ]

Director's ideas [ ].

On the origins of the movie, director Mamoru Oshii says he didn't envision it solely as a sequel to Ghost in the Shell. He said, "I had a dozen ideas, linked to my views on life, my philosophy, that I wanted to include in this film ... I attacked Innocence as a technical challenge; I wanted to go beyond typical animation limits, answer personal questions and at the same time appeal to filmgoers."[citation needed] During production, the first decision Oshii made was to not make Motoko Kusanagi the main character and instead make it a story about someone searching for her. Oshii chose to make the movie have a different tone and feel from the original.

Oshii traveled the world in order to find inspirations for the film. Oshii based the appearance on the dolls created by Hans Bellmer he saw at the International Center of Photography in New York. He credited Jean-Luc Godard for the idea of including quotes by other authors: "[The texts] ... give a certain richness to cinema because the visual is not all there is. Thanks to Godard, the spectator can concoct his own interpretation ... The image associated with the text is a unifying act that aims at renewing cinema, that let's [sic] it take to new dimensions."[citation needed]

Oshii noted his attention to detail might be particularly Japanese: "I get absorbed in the finer points – like what the back of a bottle label looks like when you see it through the glass [demonstrates with a bottle of mineral water]. That's very Japanese, I suppose. I want people to go back to the film again and again to pick up things they missed the first time." Describing the overall look, the director said, "The film is set in the future, but it's looking at present-day society. And as I said, there's an autobiographical element as well. I'm looking back at some of the things I liked as a child — the 1950s cars and so on. Basically, I wanted to create a different world — not a future world."

The dog Gabriel, looking once more like the only "real" being, makes a key appearance, as in many of Oshii's movies. A scene with Batou feeding his dog is echoed in Ash in Avalon (2001). He explained the reason why all his films feature a basset hound—his companion in real life: "This body you see before you is an empty shell. The dog represents my body. Human beings can be free only if they free themselves from their bodies. When I am playing around with my dog, I forget that I am a human being, and it's only then that I feel free."

As for the state of art and animation, Oshii had this to say:

I think that Hollywood is relying more and more on 3D imaging like that of Shrek. The strength behind Japanese animation is based in the designer's pencil. Even if he mixes 2D, 3D, and computer graphics, the foundation is still 2D. Only doing 3D does not interest me.

On the overall message of the film, the director said "This movie ... concludes that all forms of life – humans, animals and robots – are equal. In this day and age when everything is uncertain, we should all think about what to value in life and how to coexist with others." On his narrative intentions Oshii comments: "I had a bigger budget than for Ghost in the Shell. I also had more time to prepare it. Yet despite the economic leeway, abundant details and orientations, it was still important to tell an intimate story."

Title change [ ]

In order to better market the film outside Japan, the Ghost in the Shell 2 moniker was added to the title of the film, with Innocence becoming the subtitle. Some fans saw this as conflicting with Oshii's statements that the film wasn't, in actuality, a standard Hollywood-esque sequel, and was able to, and intended to, stand on its own.

English-language dub [ ]

When Go Fish Pictures released Innocence, they released it subtitled, without English dubbing, a controversial choice since every Ghost in the Shell anime released by Manga Entertainment outside of Japan had been dubbed. Anime News Network announced Manga Entertainment UK's co-production of an English dub with Madman Entertainment, their Australian distributor and longtime partner,[8] and Richard Epcar's (the voice of Batou) Epcar Entertainment studio for the dubbing. This was the first dub Manga UK had produced since X in 1999 and the first dub Madman produced. This dub was released in the UK by Manga and in Australia by Madman Entertainment (using the Go Fish Pictures transfer). Bandai Entertainment created a second dub for the North American market using most of the voice actors from the Manga/Madman version making some changes to the cast and production team and using Animaze's studio.

Related media [ ]

Soundtrack [ ].

The soundtrack was composed by Kenji Kawai, who also did Ghost in the Shell soundtrack.[9] As he expressed in the liner notes, he agreed with Mamoru Oshii that the soundtrack pattern itself somewhat after "would follow the music from the original film." Additionally, Oshii made specific requests for "a huge music box," a "jazzy theme," and a "reprise of the song 'Follow Me'".

The music box, heard in the "Doll House" tracks, was procured from Sankyo Shoji. Wanting it to sound as if played in a huge space, Kenji Kawai had the music box recorded in studio, and then played back in the underground quarry of Ohya with four speakers and two subwoofers, where it was recorded with eight microphones.

The minyoh singers chorus, heard in the "Chants" in the first movie, and in the "Ballade of Puppets" in Innocence, was expanded to include 75 performers, which proved challenging to record. The session lasted for 14 straight hours.

Follow Me is a reprise of a song originally interpreted by Demis Roussos in 1982. The music is based on Joaquín Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez, with lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer and Hal Shaper.

Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence O.S.T. track listing

  • "Dungeon" 1:22
  • "The Ballade of Puppets: Flowers Grieve and Fall" 3:38
  • "Type 2052 "Hadaly"" 4:05
  • "River of Crystals" 5:47
  • "Attack the Wakabayashi" 3:29

6. "Etorofu" 3:53 7. "The Ballade of Puppets: In a New World Gods Will Descend" 5:09 8. "The Doll House I" 1:31 9. "The Doll House II" 2:54 10. "The Ballade of Puppets: The Ghost Awaits in the World Beyond" 9:44

  • Toh Kami Emi Tame 0:31
  • "Follow Me" 5:01

Novel A novel by Masaki Yamada called Innocence: After the Long Goodbye (イノセンス After the Long Goodbye) serves as a prequel, taking place just before the film and told from Batou's perspective as he surrounds his search for his dog Gabriel (Gabu). It was published by Tokuma Shoten on February 29, 2004,[10] and the English-language version was published by Viz Media in the US on October 2005.[11] Viz media later released a four-volume Ani-manga boxset on April 2005.[12]

Further reading [ ]

  • Brown, Steven T., "Machinic Desires: Hans Bellmer's Dolls and the Technological Uncanny in Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence ", Mechademia 3 (2008), 222-253
  • Hartlieb, Sean, "Humanity in Anime: Analyzing the Films of Mamoru Oshii", 'Chapter Nine: Innocence' (2016), 347-453
  • Monnet, Livia, "Anatomy of Permutational Desire: Perversion in Hans Bellmer and Oshii Mamoru", Mechademia 5 (2010), 285-309
  • Monnet, Livia, "Anatomy of Permutational Desire, Part II: Bellmer's Dolls and Oshii's Gynoids", Mechademia 6 (2010), 153-169
  • Monnet, Livia, "Anatomy of Permutational Desire, Part III: The Artificial Woman and the Perverse Structure of Modernity", Mechademia 7 (2012), 282-297
  • Ruh, Brian (14 Jun 2011). " The Faux and the Hound - BD ". Anime News Network.
  • Hartlieb, Sean. " Analyzes on Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence ". AnalyzingOshii.

External links [ ]

Official Sites

  • Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence Official Homepage
  • Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence on Cannes Film Festival

Information

ANN

  • Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence on Wikipedia

Navigation [ ]

Advertisement

Film review: Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence

By Rowan Hooper and Will Knight

1 October 2005

Robots are killing their human owners and Agent Batou of the counter-terrorism unit Section 9 – himself almost completely cyborg – is assigned to investigate.

This is the premise for Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence , an animated film directed by Mamoru Oshii and based on the classic Manga comic book series of the same name by Masamune Shirow.

View a trailer for the film here (requires QuickTime), or here (requires Flash).

As in the original film, the sequel explores the consequences of people becoming ever more reliant on technology, and central to the theme is what happens when the human soul, or “ghost”, is all that remains inside a technologically enhanced “shell”.

This is a dystopian vision of the future – one in which cybernetic enhancement, memory prosthetics and super-human androids are part of everyday life. It provides a disturbing reflection on the nature of scientific and technological progress and, if not actually anti-science, asks some serious questions about the folly of human nature.

The film is set in 2032, three years on from the first film, in an unspecified metropolis in the Far East. There Batou discovers that a number of “gynoids”, or “female” androids have murdered their owners.

These are no ordinary bots, however. As we soon discover, they have certain organs unnecessary for normal robotic function. “They are sex robots,” remarks Togusa, Batou’s human partner – a throwback to more traditional times.

So far, so sci-fi. But, as the story unfolds, it becomes clear that Oshii is asking some pretty heavy questions. Philosophy and literature are recurring themes, in fact, with characters using their artificial memories to quote authors like Milton, Confucius, Darwin and Descartes at will.

Extended phenotype

Oshii also explores what Richard Dawkins calls the extended phenotype, structures that are genetically encoded, but external to the body. The beaver’s dam and the spider’s web are natural illustrations of this, and, in the film, memory itself has become externalised in this manner.

Eventually, Oshii draws many of the same conclusions as the futurist Ray Kurzweil ( New Scientist, 24 September 2005 ), who believes humanity is moving exponentially towards a machine-improved future.

But even if you dismiss this vision of human destiny, the film provides food for thought. Many technologies that have already extended human capabilities, and while we might not call devices such as cellphones, computers and the internet “companions” yet, most of us feel unsettled if we lose access to them.

Such philosophical, sci-fi musings might not be to everyone’s taste. But most people should be happy to sit back and enjoy possibly the most lavish and beautiful animated film ever produced. Four years in the making, the sequel is an awe-inspiring blend of photorealistic CGI (computer-generated imagery) and traditional, hand-drawn animation.

The dazzling style and technical wizardry of the original film influenced numerous directors, most notably inspiring The Matrix trilogy. If anything, Oshii’s second instalment outshines the first.

Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence is released in UK cinemas on 28 October. It was released in the US in 2004.

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Ghost in the Shell Wiki

2: Innocence

  • View history

Innocencejap

Original Japanese Poster

Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence is the sequel to the anime film Ghost in the Shell .

Innocence is a movie that explores inanimate objects and representative forms as artificial life.

Released in Japan on March 6, 2004, with a United States release on September 17, 2004, Innocence had a production budget of approximately $20 million dollars (approx. 2 billion yen). In order to raise such a large amount of money, Production I.G 's president Mitsuhisa Ishikawa asked Studio Ghibli 's president Toshio Suzuki to work on the project with him as a co-producer. The movie is directed by Mamoru Oshii , with a story loosely connected to the manga by Shirow Masamune . The film was produced by Production I.G, which also produced the original movie and the animated TV series Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex .

Alongside the movie, there was a book published that served as a prequel to Innocence called After the Long Goodbye .

  • 3 Cannes Film Festival
  • 4 DVD controversy
  • 6 English cast
  • 8 Mamoru Oshii on Innocence
  • 11.1 Related links

Much of the story line is taken from the original Ghost in the Shell manga, from a chapter called Robot Rondo, albeit heavily modified from the original tale. The story of Innocence begins in 2032, when cities are inhabited by the dwindling races of humans, purely mechanical androids, and cyborgs like Batou who still have a ghost (the in-universe term for the human spirit), but are vulnerable to ghost hacking.

The movie features several characters from the preceding movie, like Togusa , the most organic member of the team, Chief Aramaki and Batou, as the protagonists. Batou was usually partnered with Major Kusanagi , who disappeared at the end of the first film. He's now teamed with a reluctant Togusa, who says he never asked for the assignment and that he knows he could never compare to the Major.

The special officers of Public Security Section 9 are investigating a cyborg corporation called LOCUS SOLUS (from the novel of the same name by French author Raymond Roussel ) and its gynoids—androids made in the form of young women and used as sex dolls—that have killed eight people, having deliberately been tampered with in order to trigger a police investigation. The dolls possessed a "ghost" (which made them so desirable) that was created by using a "ghost-dubbing" machine, an illegal procedure which produces "information-degraded, high-volume copies", but results in the death of the originals. Young girls were kidnapped by the Yakuza and sold to LOCUS SOLUS for this process. Two of the girls conspire with a LOCUS SOLUS shipping inspector named Volkerson to cause the malfunctions and thus draw official attention to their plight.

Batou's body is fully artificial. As the movie's trailer dramatically posits, "the only remnants left of his humanity, encased inside a titanium skull shell, are traces of his brain, and the memories of a woman called Motoko Kusanagi ." Major Motoko Kusanagi, the protagonist of Ghost in the Shell , is listed as missing, although government agents are still looking for her as she has confidential knowledge on Project 2501 . In the film, Batou explains to Togusa that he helped the Major escape because the government only cared about what she knew and not her as a person.

In the climax of the film, when Batou is being overwhelmed by rampant gynoids, all activated with their combat modes enabled, Kusanagi and Batou get reunited in the middle of a firefight when she downloads a part of her consciousness into an empty gynoid and assists Batou in disabling the lethal gynoids. After "Kusanagi" has fulfilled her task, she reassures Batou that "[She'll] always be with [him] online"; then the gynoid deactivates.

  • Original Story : Shirow Masamune/"Ghost in the Shell" (Kodansha)
  • Screenplay : Mamoru Oshii
  • Director : Mamoru Oshii
  • Sequence Directors : Toshihiko Nishikubo, Naoko Kusumi
  • Character Design : Hiroyuki Okiura
  • Mechanical Designer : Atsushi Takeuchi
  • Production Designer : Yohei Taneda
  • Supervising Layout Artists : Takashi Watabe, Atsushi Takeuchi
  • Supervising Key Animators : Kazuchika Kise, Tetsuya Nishio, Hiroyuki Okiura
  • Art Director : Shuichi Hirata
  • Supervising Color Designer : Kumiko Yusa
  • Color Supervisors : Idumi Hirose, Eiko Matsushima, Yoko Watanabe
  • Director of Photography : Miki Sakuma
  • Digital Effects Supervisor : Hiroyuki Hayashi
  • Visual Effects Supervisor : Hisashi Ezura
  • Editing : Junichi Uematsu, Sachiko Miki, Chihiro Nakano
  • Line Producers : Ryuji Mitsumoto, Masatoshi Nishizawa
  • Recording Director : Kazuhiro Wakabayashi
  • Sound Designer : Randy Thom (Skywalker Sound)
  • Music : Kenji Kawai
  • Theme Song : Kimiko Itoh / "Follow Me" (VideoArts Music)
  • Animation Production : Production I.G
  • Co-Produced by : Studio Ghibli
  • Producers : Mitsuhisa Ishikawa and Toshio Suzuki
  • Produced by : Production I.G / Tokuma Shoten / Nippon Television Network / Dentsu / Disney / Toho / Mitsubishi Corporation
  • Distributed in Japan by : Toho

Cannes Film Festival [ ]

Innocence was one of the feature films in competition at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival . It was only the 6th animated film to be featured at Cannes and along with the Persepolis were the only two animated films to be finalists for the Palme D'Or award. The eventual winner that year was Fahrenheit 9/11 .

DVD controversy [ ]

On December 28, 2004, DreamWorks (parent company of theatrical distributor Go Fish Pictures ) released Innocence on DVD in the United States. Reviews immediately began appearing on Amazon and other websites criticizing the movie's subtitle track. Instead of including the overlay subtitles from the theatrical release, DreamWorks produced the DVD subtitles using closed captioning. The result was a script that intruded on the movie's visual effects; and in addition to reading dialogue, audiences saw unnecessary alerts like "Footsteps..." or "Helicopter approaches..." After receiving numerous complaints, DreamWorks released a statement saying that unsatisfied customers could exchange their DVDs for properly subtitled ones, postage paid; and that version 4 already had the proper subtitling.

Another complaint many people have with the release is the fact that the movie has no English dub. People argue that this ruins continuity, seeing as how the original movie and the TV series both have English audio versions. This is not new for DreamWorks, as the other feature films they have released that were not originally made in English (such as Millennium Actress and Ringu ) do not have English dubs either.

Manga Entertainment , which released the first movie and collaborated with Bandai Entertainment to release the TV series, released the movie with an English dub featuring the same cast as used in Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex in the UK on February 27, 2006.

This Film is Rated PG-13 for Violence, Disturbing Images and Brief Language.

English cast [ ]

  • Mary Elizabeth McGlynn - Motoko Kusanagi
  • Richard Epcar - Batou [1]
  • Crispin Freeman - Togusa
  • Erik Davies - Azuma
  • Michael McCarty - Ishikawa
  • William Frederick Knight - Daisuke Aramaki
  • Barbara Goodson - Haraway (Animaze/Bandai)
  • Fred Sanders - Koga (Animaze/Bandai)
  • Doug Stone - Lin (Animaze/Bandai)
  • Travis Willingham - Kim (Animaze/Bandai)
  • Steve Kramer - Katsunari Wakabayashi (Animaze/Bandai)
  • Karen Huie - Locus Solus PA System #1 (Speaking Cantonese) (Animaze/Bandai)
  • Jim Lau - Locus Solus PA System #2 (Speaking Cantonese) (Animaze/Bandai)
  • Joe Romersa - Crab Man / Undersea Cyborg (Animaze/Bandai)
  • John Snyder - Cyborg Arm Doctor (Animaze/Bandai)
  • David Earnest - SWAT Commander / Yakuza 1 (Animaze/Bandai)
  • Kyle Hebert - Detective (Animaze/Bandai)
  • Loy Edge - Forensics Chief (Animaze/Bandai)
  • Roger Craig Smith - Briefing Voice / Yamadori Transport Pilot (Animaze/Bandai)
  • Sandy Fox - Togusa's Daughter (Animaze/Bandai)
  • Laura Bailey - Rescued Girl (Animaze/Bandai)
  • Ellyn Stern - Haraway (Manga UK)
  • Robert Axelrod - Koga / Lin (Manga UK)
  • Joey D'Auria - Kim (Manga UK)
  • Richard Cansino - Katsunari Wakabayashi / SWAT Commander / Yakuza 1 (Manga UK)
  • Bob Papenbrook - Crab Man / Cyborg Arm Doctor / Undersea Cyborg / Yakuza 2 (Manga UK)
  • Steve Kramer - Detective (Manga UK)
  • Terrence Stone - Forensics Chief / Yamadori Transport Pilot / Yakuza 3 (Manga UK)
  • Michael McConnohie - Briefing Voice / Forensics Staff
  • Sherry Lynn - Rescued Girl (Manga UK)
  • Stephanie Sheh - Dispatcher / Togusa's Daughter (Manga UK)

Mamoru Oshii on Innocence [ ]

On the origins of the movie, director Mamoru Oshii says:

"When Production I.G first proposed the project to me, I thought about it for two weeks. I didn't make Innocence as a sequel to Ghost in the Shell . In fact I had a dozen ideas, linked to my views on life, my philosophy, that I wanted to include in this film. [...] I attacked Innocence as a technical challenge; I wanted to go beyond typical animation limits, answer personal questions and at the same time appeal to filmgoers."

Innocence begins with a quotation from Auguste Villiers de l'Isle-Adam 's Tomorrow's Eve (1886):

"If our Gods and our hopes are nothing but scientific phenomena, then let us admit it must be said that our love is scientific as well."

The movie is filled with references to fantasy, philosophy and Zen and addresses aesthetic and moral questions. The numerous quotations come from Buddha , Confucius , Descartes , the Old Testament , Saito Ryokuu , Max Weber , Jacob Grimm , Plato , John Milton , Zeami , Villiers de L'Isle-Adam and La Mettrie , author of "Man a Machine" (1748) .

The characters and character names contain many allusions to earlier works. For example, the "Hadaly" model robots refer to Tomorrow's Eve , the first book to use the word android, and which features a human-like robot named Hadaly. The police forensic specialist, Haraway, is most likely named for Donna Haraway , author of the Cyborg Manifesto .

Dolls are an important motif in Innocence ; many beings have a "spirit" of some sort, but at the same time are not quite human. The female dolls are based on the art of Hans Bellmer , which is the pioneer of ball-jointed dolls. Bellmer's name briefly appears in one scene on a book cover. As Oshii comments, "They want to become fully human — but they can't. That dilemma becomes unbearable for them. The humans who made them are to blame. They try to make a doll that is as human as possible — but they don't think of the consequences." Even the human or partly-human characters move in doll-like ways, grants Oshii. Oshii also planned an exhibition to commemorate the film. The exhibition showcased several Japanese artists' work of ball jointed dolls.

It could prefigure a new century with people facing "towards a humanity of hard disks and memories" [1] when animate and inanimate start to merge in new forms like "interconnected 'living dolls'".

While pursuing the truth behind the crime incident that happened in the course of the movie, Batou and Togusa, flying to Etorofu, a special economic development zone, make the following observation: [2]

"If the substance of life is information, transmitted through genes, then society and culture are essentially immense information transmission systems, and the city, a huge external memory storage device."

On his narrative intentions Oshii comments:

"For Innocence , I had a bigger budget than for Ghost in the Shell . I also had more time to prepare it. Yet despite the economic leeway, abundant details and orientations, it was still important to tell an intimate story. [...] Personally, I adore the quotes in the film. It was a real pleasure for me. The budget and work that went into it contributed to the high quality of imagery. The images had to be up to par, as rich as the visuals." "This desire to include quotes by other authors came from Godard . The text is very important for a film, that I learned from him. It gives a certain richness to cinema because the visual is not all there is. Thanks to Godard, the spectator can concoct his own interpretation. [...] The image associated to the text corresponds to a unifying act that aims at renewing cinema, that lets it take on new dimensions."

Kenji Kawai 's technologic music greatly contributes to the film's futuristic atmosphere, and reinforces its link to Ghost in the Shell : for example, the opening theme echoes the ubiquitous "Making of a Cyborg" piece from the first movie.

Some others turn to more modern jazz fusion and romance like the song "Follow Me", which is used in the trailer and became popular among fans of the movie (although with a significant lyrical re-write, the ending song "Follow Me" greatly resembles the song "En Aranjuez Con Tu Amor." The theme in both is taken from the second movement of Joaquin Rodrigo's "Concierto de Aranjuez").

Mamoru Oshii's concept follows in the tradition of the romantic myth of the manufacture of a creature, which is at the same time human and artificial, such as Frankenstein 's monster or the Golem from Jewish Folklore. There is a substantial amount of religious and philosophical musing on this general topic, which arguably gives it a more mystical tone than most cyberpunk.

Oshii said the film was first inspired by bleak thoughts of economic recession and violent crime. He imagines a world where humans have been replaced by their virtual selves.

"Distinguishing the virtual from the real is a major error on the part of human beings. To me, the birth and death of a human being is already a virtual event," the 52-year-old director told a news conference at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival. "I think that accepting that what we are seeing is not real will open the doors of truth for mankind," he added.

Innocence achieves a unique spatial atmosphere which is also worthy of mention. Panoramic views are enveloped in orange light and deep haze. Sunlight seldom falls on Batou, who wanders in solitude at ground level, bathed in yellow light, red neon, and blue electric light, effects which enhance the movie's atmosphere of film noir beyond its obvious reference to Blade Runner .

Unlike with a filmed movie, the creators of an animated movie must envision and create all the detailed elements that make up a scene, and the movie comes to life. Innocence approaches this challenge with some weird 3D scenes softly integrated to 2D characters; but it is said that "in some scenes there was intentional direction from Oshii to make 3D environment look unreal to describe ghost-hack and such complicated concepts."

Oshii says:

"I enjoy making the world [of the film] as detailed as possible. I get absorbed in the finer points -- like what the back of a bottle label looks like when you see it through the glass [demonstrates with a bottle of mineral water]. That's very Japanese, I suppose. I want people to go back to the film again and again to pick up things they missed the first time."

The dog Gabriel, looking one more time like the only real being, makes a key appearance, like in many of Oshii's movies. A scene of Batou feeding his dog is echoing Ash in Avalon and Mamoru Oshii in his real life, as the director himself admits: "Batou is a reflection of my own thoughts and feelings. Innocence is a kind of autobiographical film in that way."

He also explained the reason why all his films feature a basset hound —his faithful companion in real life.

"This body you see before you is an empty shell. The dog represents my body. Humans can be free only if they free themselves from their body. When I am playing around with my dog, I forget that I am a human being and it's only then that I feel free."

Even if some of the characters from Ghost in the Shell are present, Innocence goes far beyond the themes of electronic networks and human-machine technologies. The usual downbeat story line of Oshii's movies could perhaps restrict the audience to technology and anime fans.

Mamoru Oshii also adds his own reflections about art and animation:

"I think that Hollywood is relying more and more on 3D imaging like that of Shrek. The strength behind Japanese animation is based in the designer's pencil. Even if he mixes 2D, 3D, and computer graphics, the foundation is still 2D. Only doing 3D does not interest me."

The animation features a motif of figurative deformation of scenery — especially the massive cathedral-like Locus Solus building in the Northern Territories (Kurile Islands) and the Chinese parade, which will stay as one of the most amazing scenes in recent memory. Although the style is quite realistic and detailed, it mixes in startling distortions.

"The film is set in the future, but it's looking at present-day society. And as I said, there's an autobiographical element as well. I'm looking back at some of the things I liked as a child — the 1950s cars and so on. Basically, I wanted to create a different world — not a future world."
  • The setting in Innocence is in the same city as the first movie i.e. New Port City . The words in the background are all Chinese and not Japanese kanji.
  • Batou 's access code for his car is 2501 , the project number of the Puppet Master in the first Ghost in the Shell movie; this is the recognition code agreed on between Motoko and Batou after her fusion with the Puppet Master and before she disappears. In Innocence, this is how Batou recognizes that the infinite loop he and Togusa are experiencing in the Doll House is a trap – Motoko slips him clues in the hallway, one of which is ‘2501’.
  • In a stylistic twist, all of the cars in the film have a 1940s design while everything else is ultra-modern.
  • Almost every picture of a dog in the anime (on dog food boxes, billboards, etc.) depicts a Basset hound – the same breed of dog as Batou's pet Gabriel and director Mamoru Oshii 's pet dog. In fact, as noted in the main article above, the Basset is Mamoru Oshii 's signature hound and is found in all his films.
  • Locus Solus seems to be a Cantonese outfit – the control robots of the factory ship's systems all communicate in Cantonese, and presumably so do the staff (the announcer over the ship's PA system, instructing the security teams to arm after the gynoids start activating themselves, speaks in Cantonese).
  • A real music box was used to create the music for the Doll House, using an 80-note disc-playing (as opposed to drum-playing on typical music boxes) machine called “Orpheus”, manufactured by Sankyo Seiki of Japan. The music box was played and recorded in the studio; the recording was then taken to the Oya Stone Museum (a former subterranean stone quarry) where it was played back over a 5.1-speaker setup and re-recorded. The reverberation thus introduced was to mimic the vast expanse of the Doll House in the anime.
  • While Batou is in the Grocery Shop, as a hooded character walks past Batou, a voice tells him "You have entered the killzone"; many speculate the character is Motoko Kusanagi . In fact, in the 'special features' on the DVD, which documents the making of Innocence, Atsuko Tanaka (the voice actor for Motoko) is shown during one scene to be recording precisely that line in the studio. It therefore seems that the voice was indeed Motoko, Batou's guardian angel, warning him of Kim's impending hack of Batou's brain right there and then.
  • The ending of Innocence is similar to the end of Ghost in the Shell , where the Major returns to the vastness of the net.
  • Batou is twice referred to as an elephant in the forest. This is an allusion to a Buddhist poem:
  • Batou twice refers to Major Kusanagi as his guardian angel .
  • Before heading out to the Yakuza headquarters, Batou loads and cocks an FN Minimi machinegun stored in the boot of the car.
  • Togusa uses a Mateba Autorevolver , which is his trademark pistol in the Ghost in the Shell universe. It is easily identified by its barrel, which is aligned with the bottom of the cylinder instead of the top (as in other revolvers). This brings the barrel closer to the grip of the handgun, reducing the upward recoil/muzzle jump of the gun and thus increasing accuracy. A similar handgun is used by Vash in the anime Trigun .
  • Four special DVD boxed sets were released in Japan over a period of time. The first (Collector's box) included a 1/6 scale ball-jointed doll based on the gynoid in the beginning of the movie plus 2 books with art and 4 DVDs of extras, the second (Limited Edition, Volume 1 Dog Box) included a music box made with a sculpture of Batou's Basset hound, the third (Limited Edition, Volume 2 Staff Box) included 3 books with storyboards and information, and the fourth one (International Ver. type Motoko) released a year later along the International Version included a 1/6 scale ball-jointed doll based on a gynoid that Motoko hacked into at the end of the film (the doll itself is similar to the first release except with a different outfit and accessories). All four DVD boxed sets were made in extremely limited quantities and are quite rare today.
  • A supplementary music video DVD showcasing prominent computer animation scenes used in the film coupled with the soundtrack by Kenji Kawai was available both separately and bundled in a boxed set with the feature film.
  • One of the minor characters, forensic analyst Ms. Haraway, is a reference to the real-world professor of sociology and biology, Donna Haraway, who is a stern contributor to the whole transhumanism, post-cyberpunk movement. She has been quoted as saying that "I'd rather be a Cyborg, than a Goddess", in reference to her firm belief that in order for women to really liberate themselves from a "patriarchal society", they should devote themselves to technology and its applications and become cyborgs, as a means of separating themselves from men, and the common misconception of "what defines a woman and a female", including the stereotype that what defines a female as a woman is her decision to bear children. Ms. Haraway in the films has no children of her own, and does not facilitate or even comprehend the emotional content that comes with bearing a child; she thus has a rather harsh feminist outlook on child-rearing and childbirth.
  • Auguste Villiers de l'Isle-Adam : Tomorrow's Eve (The Future Eve) (1886)
  • John Milton : Paradise Lost (1667)
  • Raymond Roussel : Locus Solus (1914)
  • Julien Offray de La Mettrie  : Man a Machine (l'homme machine) (1748)
  • Isaac Asimov : Robot Series (The androids in the movie use a modified version of Asimov's Third Law of Robotics .)
  • Thomas, W.H. Griffith : Hebrews: A Devotional Commentary , (1962) p. 64
  • Donna Haraway  : Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: The Reinvention of Nature (1991)

External links [ ]

  • Production I.G. Page
  • The English-language Web site for Ghost in the Shell 2 – Innocence
  • Production I.G English website
  • English transcript, based on the subtitles of the English DVD
  • Review by midnight eye
  • Beyond Anime – A Brief Guide to Experimental Japanese Animation
  • Innocence-Anime's Vision of the Ultimate City of the Future (Japanese article with an English translation)
  • Video effects screens from Adobe
  • Videos from Cannes (Highlights May 20th 2004, Steps: Innocence, Interview / Photo Call, Press conference, Trailer)
  • Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence at Anime-Planet

Related links [ ]

  • Man a Machine
  • Dolls of Hans Bellmer
  • ↑ Ghost in the Shell 2 Innocence
  • 1 Motoko Kusanagi
  • 2 Laughing Man
  • 3 Public Security Section 9 (organization)

where can i see ghost in the shell 2 innocence

Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence

Nine years after his classic Japanime "Ghost in the Shell," creator Mamoru Oshii fails to spin the same magic twice. Covering the same ground with no new thoughts, "Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence" is a let-down. Futuristic fable about vanishing human identity has a must-see appeal for fans, but pic will only enjoy a ghost of the original's success.

By Derek Elley

Derek Elley

  • One Day 14 years ago
  • Mulan 14 years ago
  • Golden Slumber 14 years ago

Nine years after his classic Japanime “Ghost in the Shell,” creator Mamoru Oshii fails to spin the same magic twice. Talky, repetitive and largely covering the same ground with no new thoughts, “Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence” is a major let-down. Futuristic fable about vanishing human identity (the “ghost”) in a cyborg/artificial age follows two characters from the original, beefy Batou and sidekick Togusa, on hunt for murderous female robots (“gynoids”). Journey has a must-see appeal for fans of the 1995 movie and sequences of imaginative visuals, but, internationally, pic will only enjoy a ghost of the original’s success.

Film’s slot in this year’s Cannes competition is puzzling in light of the presence in the market of hot new live action/anime title “Casshern,” which bests “Innocence” in inventiveness and sheer excitement at every level.

It’s 2032, and the almost totally mechanical security cyborg Batou, along with the human-looking Togusa, is assigned to a case in which a brand of gynoid, created for sexual pleasure, has gone crazy and started killing people.

After following a gun-blazing trail that leads through the city’s underworld, the two anti-terrorist Section 9 detectives track down mechanical Web head Kim, who points them in the direction of Locus Solus, the org behind the bad gynoids.

En route, Batou is troubled by his memories of the now-legendary Major, former femme head of Section 9, with whom he shared a memorable adventure –and, more important, philosophical discussions about their identities — in the first pic. However, in the meantime, Batou has become an aphorism-spouting machine (sample: “However a jackass travels, it won’t come back a horse”), which initially seems to be used for comic effect but soon becomes tiresome.

Apart from being largely incomprehensible and muddied by yards of meaningless techno-talk, the plot also provides few opportunities for the major theme of the pic — if people are now largely creations of science, is love also a creation of science? — to be developed.

Oshii delivers some reasonably good action sequences, though they’re pretty conventional in anime terms and lack the strange combination of physicality and sexuality that gave the original film its special flavor.

Animation this time round is much smoother and technically more elaborate, with intricate flying machines and rococo Chinoiserie. (All writing and signs are in hanja rather than kana.) But there’s a shortage of the earlier pic’s haunting, dream-like atmosphere, and memorable moments of stillness and sensuality.

The closest Oshii comes to that in this film is an aerial voyage, 50 minutes into the film, across a city of tall spires and oriental-Gothic buildings, billed as a “former prosperous Asian zone that’s now a lawless haven for criminals and undesirables.” (A futuristic Hong Kong, perhaps?)

But even the poetry of the animation — seagulls, twilight, mist and floating blossom — seems forced. At best it’s a striking central interlude, unincorporated into the main plot and hardly made much of even when our heroes land.

Encoring as composer, Kenji Kawai contributes high-pitched choral music that’s basically repeated without variation — a pure wash of color rather than a dramatic commentary on the action. The character of Togusa is little more than a reactive sidekick, and muscle-head Batou is not sympathetic enough to carry a whole movie.

Stealing the charm honors are the occasional animals, especially a basset hound that’s cute enough to adopt.

As one aphorism repeatedly states in the movie: “Life and death come and go like marionettes on a table. Once their strings are cut, they easily crumble.” Some sequels do, too, it seems.

Competing / Japan

  • Production: A Toho Co. (in Japan)/DreamWorks (in U.S.) release of a Production I.G. production. (International sales: DreamWorks, Los Angeles.) Produced by Mitsuhisa Ishikawa, Toshio Suzuki. Directed, written by Mamoru Oshii, from the story "Ghost in the Shell" by Shirow Masamune. Animation directors, Toshihiko Nishikubo, Naoko Kusumi.
  • Crew: Camera (color), Miki Sakuma; music, Kenji Kawai; theme song ("Follow Me"), Kimiko Itoh; production designer, Yohei Taneda; art director, Shuichi Hirata; sound (Dolby Digital, DTS Digital), Kazuhiro Wakabayashi, Shuji Inoue; sound designer, Randy Thom; character designer, Hiroyuki Okiura; Mecha and vehicle designer, Atsushi Takeuchi; digital effects supervisor, Hiroyuki Hayashi; visual effects, Hisashi Ezura. Reviewed at Cannes Film Festival (competing), May 19, 2004. Running time: 98 MIN. (Japanese dialogue version)

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Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence

<i>review:</i> a worthy follow-up to the original..

where can i see ghost in the shell 2 innocence

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Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence

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The Trippiest Thing Ghost in the Shell Has Ever Done

  • Ghost in the Shell: Innocence delves into psychedelic horror, making it a standout in the franchise.
  • The film's rich atmosphere and slow pacing create a creepy and gritty experience.
  • The weirdest scene in the film, set in a haunted mansion, is a disturbing payoff to the theme of manipulation using dolls.

Warning: The following contains spoilers for Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, available on Blu-ray/DVD on the Crunchyroll Store .

Mamoru Oshii's Ghost in the Shell from 1995 is deservedly praised for its captivating realization of the post-singularity world that series author Shirow Masamune created. However, Oshii's eventual sequel, Innocence , would go even further than the original, delving into psychedelic horror the likes of which even this storied franchise has rarely tread since.

Innocence premiered in 2004 and was less conceived as a sequel and more of a standalone entity, hence why Oshii wanted to exclude Ghost in the Shell from the title. It follows Batou and Togusa working as partners following the disappearance of Major Motoko Kusanagi, as they investigate a series of murders committed by gynoids who were designed for pleasure.

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Ghost in the shell's history of mind games.

This franchise is no stranger to exploring complex ideas in ways best expressed through leveraging horror tropes. 1995's classic was built upon a fear of the unknown presented by the emergence of the internet and the hypothetical advances that might connect humanity further to it. The Puppet Master embodies that fear ; a living thinking entity born from the sea of information.

Much earlier in that same film, the story explores a more universal fear: the threat of one's perception of reality being altered. After a police chase, a man is revealed to have had his memories altered such that he believed he was married and had children. His realization that such a life was a lie is easily the most unsettling part of the film, playing into the same anxiety that would inspire stories like The Matrix .

Ghost in the Shell has played around with the idea of memories and perceptions being altered in just about every iteration. Stand Alone Complex explored this idea in various shades , from grounded socio-political commentary on manipulating information to more literal hacking that messes with people's minds.

This concept is so ubiquitous that, absent of some nuanced or inspired spin on the formula, it can make new iterations feel somewhat tired. For instance, the entire centerpiece of Ghost in the Shell: Arise was Firestarter, a false memory virus that only fulfills its horror potential in Border 1 when the Major is constantly questioning what's real.

SAC_2045 , while perhaps not beloved by the fanbase, puts appreciable effort into injecting variety into this concept . Allusions to 1984 are nothing new, but this series put a creepy spin on the concept of Double-think, making it more literal than ever, leading to one of the most bizarre and bold endings in the franchise's history. With all that said, none of the other parts of this franchise do it quite like Innocence .

What Makes Innocence Different?

Innocence is a very different kind of Ghost in the Shell in the same way that it is a very different kind of anime, period. So few anime films from the era look quite like this and far fewer are paced like this. This movie brings to mind The Garden of Sinners series from just three years later. Meaning, the film is unafraid to linger on pregnant pauses in the same way live-action dramas might. For a medium so focused on movement, Innocence takes things slow.

There is a rich atmosphere that feels more in line with Blade Runner than ever before, aided by how much of the film is set at night or within dark interiors. It feels creepier than its predecessor and instances of body horror so intrinsic to the entire franchise feel somehow grittier. All of this makes it that much funnier that the film is rated PG-13 in North America .

Because of these qualities, the film can fearlessly dive headfirst into one of the most confusing and psychedelic sequences in the franchise's history. It's a moment that, on a first watch, can leave one so perplexed that it might make it hard to stick with the film. However, if one pays close attention, it can also be one of the biggest payoffs in the franchise's history as well.

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Understanding innocence's weirdest scene.

Toward the end of the second act, Batou and Togusa are outside the mansion of Kim, a hacker who they suspect is working with Locus Solus, the company that manufactures the gynoids. Upon entering, it doesn't take long for things to get strange. It's like a haunted house where each room is designed to disorient through optical illusions, holograms, and posed dolls.

Strangely enough, in the center of the lobby rests a familiar doll that resembles the Major's younger body from the end of the 1995 film. It appears lifeless but is accompanied by a puppet of a dog that looks identical to Batou's own, and a series of letters assembled on the ground, forming the word "aemaeth."

When the pair finally discover Kim, he has replaced his body with that of a marionette, in line with his obsession with dolls. As they question him, Kim philosophizes about humans as compared to dolls . As this is occurring, Togusa observes the office and becomes transfixed by a model of the very mansion they're standing in. He looks closely and sees something inside.

Batou and Togusa are outside the mansion of Kim, a hacker who they suspect is working with Locus Solus, the company that manufactures the gynoids. Upon entering, it doesn't take long for things to get strange. In the center of the lobby rests a familiar doll that resembles the Major's younger body from the end of the 1995 film. A series of letters are assembled on the ground, forming the word "maeth"... Wait, something is off.

The film very abruptly begins to repeat itself , putting Batou and Togusa through the same scenario but with increasingly twisted changes. Kim's body is replaced with that of Togusa, the doll resembling the Major keeps leaving new messages, and eventually, the entire mansion starts being bombarded. That is, until Batou frees himself, and helps Togusa escape soon after.

This is not only one of the most disturbing scenes in the franchise, but the payoff to something the whole film has been building up to. A previous, almost equally unexpected scene showed Batou getting into a gunfight in a store, before realizing that he has been hacked into. In the aftermath of this prolonged acid trip, said hacker is revealed to be Kim. The man obsessed with dolls started to manipulate people like puppets to stop them from learning the truth.

Mamoru Oshii uses the theme of dolls to add nuance to the pre-established fear of manipulation at the core of Ghost in the Shell 's sci-fi premise. The device that Batou used to free Togusa was the same one Ishikawa used to stop him from shooting up the store, but it was also the same tool that Batou used to restrain a Yakuza cyborg earlier, like a puppet on strings.

In this future, the autonomy of these characters is more vulnerable than ever, with the above-described sequence making them nothing more than dolls in a twisted dollhouse. Scenes like this are just one of the reasons that Ghost in the Shell: Innocence deserves far more praise, not just within this franchise, but as an evocative and breathtaking work of science fiction.

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The Trippiest Thing Ghost in the Shell Has Ever Done

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    Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, known in Japan as just Innocence (イノセンス, Inosensu), is a 2004 Japanese animated cyberpunk film written and directed by Mamoru Oshii. The film serves as a standalone sequel to Oshii's 1995 film Ghost in the Shell and is loosely based on the manga by Masamune Shirow .

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