Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence

Alt title: Koukaku Kidoutai 2: Innocence

Movie (1 ep x 101 min)
4.115 out of 5 from 13,931 votes
Rank #980

In a dystopic city of the future, there has been a rash of killings at the hands of prototype robots. These anomalies from the company Locus Solus are making headlines, and have caught the attention of the cyborg Batou and the crew of the Section 9 special forces. Yet beneath the random violence, a sinister plot is unfolding -- a situation so dangerous that it threatens not only Batou, but innocent humans and cyborgs alike. Can the team of Section 9 unravel the mystery of these murders before they suffer the same fate as the victims?

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StoryStory? What story? Although there is a thinly veiled plot that admittedly does have a bit of a twist, Innocence is essentially devoid of ANY sort of plot at all. Let’s face it folks, this movie wasn’t made to challenge your mind or open your horizons to anything. It wasn’t supposed to make you ooh and aah at the character development, or get involved in the storyline; it was made for the visuals, signed, sealed, and delivered. Period. To be honest, I was fairly disappointed with how completely lacking the plot was. In the beginning, you have a faint glimmer of hope that a plot exists – the robots are killing people, and Section 9 needs to find out why. Until the last 5 minutes of the movie, we see almost zero in the way of plot, at all. And I swear to god, if I have to read one more goddamn quote from a poem or famous philosopher, I am going to shoot myself in the head. That’s part of the problem with this movie... besides being a complete fanboy film, it tries to insert 8 million quotes from poems in a row, in an attempt to make you guess at some sort of philosophical theme going on. I’m sorry, I don’t buy it, and it made me incredibly bored and weary. Honestly, if you watch this, probably the best way would be without any sort of subtitles, since they are essentially useless and do nothing except make you want to smash your TV/Monitor/Movie screen in with a hammer, shove ham sandwiches inside the broken vessel and then pee on it out of sheer "OH MY GOD NOT ANOTHER QUOTE" spasms. Quite frankly, I could have picked up a poetry book and read random pages and it would have been as applicable as all the quoting nonsense in this film. The concept of beating a dead horse must not exist for Mamoro Oshii, that’s my only guess. Anyways, zero plot. Zip. Zilch. Except the one brief interjection of something frail and weak (poor excuse for a story), nothing to see here. What sucks is that cyborgs are my favorite topic of all time, just ask anyone who has seen my tattoos... heh. I am fascinated with the idea of human minds being put into machine bodies, or people hacking others’ minds, etc. That’s one reason why I was so excited to see the original Ghost in the Shell movie. Alas, that movie was also disappointing, but hell, it still had more of a plot than this! And of course, it didn’t have the grab bag of quotations to try to fool the audience into thinking there was a deeper meaning. *Sigh*. I really did have high hopes for this, and I wish with the subject material, that it would have been used better and had a more engaging feel to it. AnimationIf anyone was to watch this movie and not give a perfect score for the visuals, I would call them a liar and then throw them in a pit of giant squid. Seriously, the visuals were flawless and deserve nothing less than a 10. And hey, the visuals HAD to be good, since there was virtually no story, right? CG was seamlessly blended with cel shaded animation, producing some of the most beautiful scenes I’ve ever seen in an anime. The straight CG looked so real I thought I was watching a movie, and I could have been. Many times I was reminded of playing the Resident Evil 1 remake on the gamecube, with how dark the moody the scenes were. Other times, I felt like I was watching an FMV from a Final Fantasy game. Birds entertwined with buildings with ease, figures danced fluidly, doors opened realistically. It’s virtually impossible to name all the fascinating visual treats in the film, you just have to see it to know for sure. Colors used were radiant and fitting, usually darker tones for the cyberpunk feel. This was contrasted with the aseptic white of the rooms where the cyborg bodies were. The cyborg designs themselves were beautiful and my favorite part, since I’m such a big fan of cyborgs. The inhuman cold expressions were chilling, and helped you to understand one of the points of the film: what is human, and what is robot? Where is the line drawn? I could talk for another few paragraphs about the animation, but I shouldn’t have to. Flawless. SoundI truly believe this movie was made only for the visuals and the audio, hence the high score here as well. Any fans of the previous movie will recognize the nasal whines in the audio. I really expected it to break out any second with the title track of the first movie, and that would have been cool, but didn’t happen. The songs that were played instead were just as good, and haunting. Lots of Japanese sounding instruments, keyboard synths, and overall goodness. Beautiful music all the way around. Voice acting was very appropriate (I watched the Japanese version). CharactersI don’t even know why I’m giving this a 1, I must be in a generous mood. Characters? What characters? Batou is the only focal character, and he is not developed at all. We know a little about him from the first movie (or TV series), but nothing else is explained at all. All the secondary characters are shallow and flat, and we don’t even necessarily remember who is who because they are all generic. Zero character development, and also no set roles for the characters, which means I can’t even score it decently for that. The dog is the most interesting character of all, but he’s just a dog, and is barely on screen! This movie did such a poor job with the characters, and I can’t see how anyone could argue with that. OverallThis was a really hard score to give, because there are two such different factors to take into consideration. The audio and visuals were a masterpiece, there’s no denying that. On the other hand, I can’t in good conscience give something a high rating if I thought it was so terrible otherwise. This was one of the hardest movies I’ve had to make myself finish, because it was SO boring and so empty besides the visuals, and the quotes were driving me insane! I’m fine with watching an eye candy piece, but not if it’s two hours long. Either shorten it, or give it something of substance. So, I’ll give GITS Innocence a reluctant 6, because you probably should watch this for the visuals. Seriously though, if you want a good plot, watch Paranoia Agent, Interlude, or another intelligent series. If you want eye candy, watch this. Just don’t expect it to be fantastic, or anything other than a fanboy film for those who blindly like GITS, or people who for some reason like to hear 95,000 quotes in a row and pretend like it was a plot. One word: overrated. I hope if there’s a Ghost in the Shell 3, it finally does something the others haven’t: succeeded in being something other than pretty scenes.


First of all, if you are not a big GITS fan, turn back now, this is not a movie for you!   Story: Innocence is bad. I watched it back to back with the original GITS movie, which is longer, but felt like it was over in an hour. Innocence however dragged on endlessly. It's pacing is the absolute worst, and as the mediocre story pans out we are forced to endure a needless torrent of quotes that in such quantity, eventually become redundant. The only points this gets is for the scene of Batou's home, which was done well, but can hardly be considered story. Discussing the plot further would be an insult to my own intelligence, as it ultimately gives up and after wasting time on a lengthy set up, never delivers on anything. Animation: Probably the best. And I mean the best I've seen, easily. It's a huge shame that this falls in the look-great-but-suck category, because the blend of cg and animation is perfect. Almost all this anime's score is thanks to this. Sound: Pretty average, but this is mainly opinion, I'm sure the score would be higher if I had more appreciation for the track this anime profusely pops up. Regardless, the audio if anything distracts from the atrocious excuse for a plot. Characters: The only points here are for the slight development of Batou, or at least the attention they give to his personal life are acceptable but short lived and serve absolutely no purpose. Other than that, few characters are mentioned and none developed. Overall: This is the hardest anime movie I have ever had to get through, and if you look at my other reviews I have seen some pretty slow stuff. It is boring, painfully so, the entire way through. I hate to say it but I felt a weight off my shoulders as the difficult ordeal of reaching the other side of the hour and forty minute long movie. Check out Batou's home scene, which really should have been in the tv series, and maybe skim through the film for the great visuals, but if you are seeking anything to the quality of the rest of GITS you will be sorely dissapointed.


Let’s get the most important question out of the way first: Is it as good as its predecessor? No, overall, GitS Innocence is worse than the original. It was memorable for completely different reasons though. The original Ghost in the Shell was, more than anything, a thought-provoking, philosophical, engaging cyberpunk movie. The beauty in the second movie however, wasn’t in its story. The beauty of Innocence lays in the details, its ambiance and above all, the absolutely gorgeous animation. There is almost no such thing as a storyline through Innocence. Batou is once again on a mission for Section 9, this time with a new, mostly human partner, Togusa. The story follows them around on this investigation, and that alone, the investigation, not the results of it, or thrilling chases, just the investigation itself. This is unmistakably also its one huge flaw. Yes, the first movie didn’t had much of a solid from-A-to-B story either, but the engaging storyline itself was there, and it was compensated with great dialogues, lots of thought-provoking themes and was generally very well executed, much less the case with this movie. However, there is more to this movie than the plot alone. The first and most apparent strong point is the animation. It’s enough to make anyone go speechless, GitS: Innocence accomplished what nearly (ye, I’m a Shinkai fanboy, shoot me) no other movie has done up to this level. I’m usually no big fan of CG in anime, it almost always feels out of place and drawings would’ve nearly always been better. In this movie however, the CG blends in perfectly with the other animation, and it’s sometimes actually difficult to tell the difference between what is drawn and what is rendered.  I’d almost recommend this movie just for the animation alone. There is still a bit more to Innocence other than the animation. Some small details in this movie made it stand out above being just a colorfest, and kept bringing a smile on my face time after time. This is often paired with a great ambiance and brought the anime to another level. For example, there is a certain dog-scene in this movie that was done with such an eye to detail that both the dog and Batou really came to life, and felt completely real; from that moment on, our favorite cyborg supercop came across as a real person to me, rather than a character. Another great example, in one of the final scenes, there is some shooting done, but the screen focuses on another character who is working on disabling the attackers. You can feel some tension building up when you hear Batou slowly decreasing his rate of fire in order to save the little ammunition he has left. It are small things like those scenes that made the movie worthwhile besides just being eyecandy for me. Are you one to watch anime for well thought-out plots only, or are you looking for a solid continuation of the original, then don’t bother with this movie; there's practically no plot, it doesn't resemble the first movie aside from its setting and some characters, and the dialogues are far from good. Instead, go into it for a 1h30 ride of stunning visuals, great ambiance mixed with some decent action and cyberpunk, you won’t be disappointed.

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