Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence

Alt title: Koukaku Kidoutai 2: Innocence

Movie (1 ep x 101 min)
2004
3.915 out of 5 from 14,504 votes
Rank #1,275

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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Reviews

sothis
6

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.

Merryberry
8.7

Intro... 3 years after the disappearance of Motoko, Batou is assigned with Togusa to investigate a string of murders by sexaroids, female androids created for sex. What they find is a series of events delving deeper into the world of man-machine interface than ever before. Story: 5 To put it simply, Innocence is nowhere near the same level of storytelling as the first Ghost in the Shell film and to some people, this may come as a massive disappointment.  However, I felt that although the film was somewhat lacking in the plot department, there was enough of it that the same quality of depth in the story was still felt.  It manages to portray the interesting effect of, what could happen should humans become too attached to machines.  It is this basis, which underlie the entire Ghost in the Shell franchise, that makes Innocence still of an acceptable level for viewing.  Don’t go expecting to fully understand everything in one viewing, as despite a well written plot, it’s still hidden behind the animation.Animation: 10 I’m not going to hold back in this section.  Innocence is by far, one of the best animated films ever to be released.  No arguing there, as it lets rip with some stunning 3D graphics that literally is a visual orgasm.  Feast your eyes upon how they seamlessly blend you standard anime format with the computer graphics.  It’s a film made to stun and take your breath away, with more movement than I’ve ever seen before in the background scenes.  To not give Innocence anything other than a 10 for this would be criminal as it delivers the best of animation. Sound: 10 Kenji Kawai stunning score for Ghost in the Shell is reprised here, with the composer producing some incredible music themes.  The opening is stunning and the simple, yet effective score perfectly accompanies this.  It is rare to see a film where the music is so carefully blended into the scenes with untold precision.  But this is not the only place where the sounds should be noted.  Having watched the extras that came with the film, it is extraordinary to find out the sheer lengths they went to produce the sound.  The music box theme was written and then made into an actual music box system to produce the authentic feel.  Just these small bits help make a massive difference and when you throw in slower speaking Japanese cast, the effect is inspirational.  The same consistency with the quality of communication is maintained in the film.Characters: 8 Those who saw the original Ghost in the Shell film will see the reprisal of Section 9 again.  The focus though, is less with the Major who disappeared following the events of the first film, but on Batou.  While this transition may upset some people, I felt that it helped to keep freshness about the film.  After all, most of the franchise likes to focus on what the Major is doing and doesn’t expand as much as it could on the other members of the team.  With Innocence we get the opportunity to see this development and goes so far as to make each of the new characters an individual, with their own circumstances.Overall: 8.7 Without a shadow of a doubt, this film was made to be one of the best animated films ever made.  It was nominated, but failed to win at the 57th</sup> Cannes Film Festival and while it may be seen as a lesser status film than the original; it still manages to produce some brilliant animation, sound and character development.  The only qualm with it is that the storyline is somewhat confusing and hard to follow.  But despite this it should be regarded as one of the modern masterworks of anime.

tollie01
9

Right, it's confession time for me. If you have been reading my reviews than you may have noticed that I tend to rip the anime a new one. There is a reason for this though and it has to do with the fact that I can't turn my brain off when watching anime. I can't ignore the stupid shown in the anime and this is a problem as most anime are very stupid indeed. In this case I'm not talking about a 90 pound girl catching a multi-ton cruise missile and throwing it back. Yes, it is stupid but it is a stupid that I'll allow. It's anime. Things like this are normal here and I'm pretty much fine with it. It annoys me to be sure but I will not rant about it. So, having explained this lets rip into this anime shall we? Just a heads up: There will most probably be spoilers. The more I hate an anime the more spoilers there will be. ART: This movie should be used as a masterclass on how to use CGI in anime. The animation is simply amazing and completely blew me away. This is to date the best looking anime I've ever seen. SOUND: Like the art there has been put considerable effort into the music and sound effects. This isn't that odd though as this is a movie and movies generally have a bigger budget than series. Voice acting is excellent. CHARACTERS: With Motoko out of the picture after the first movie we now focus on Batou. He has taken her place as field commander of Section 9 and tries hard to replace her. STORY: It is some time after the Puppet Master event and Motoko is still missing. With her gone it is now Batou who commands the field operations. Current case is finding out why dolls suddenly start going berserk and killing people. The path leads to the darker side of humanity and it take all of his skills to make it out alive. RANT: When I said that this was the best looking anime I've ever seen I meant it. This anime looks amazing but at times I wonder if they went for looks instead of story. Yes it looks amazing but the story just grinds to a hold every now and then to show you this amazing scene that has nothing to do with anything. In this case I'm talking about the scene where Batou goes home and just hangs out with his dog. It looks gorgeous but has nothing to do with the rest of the story. At most it is a set up to an attack that happens a bit later when we follow Batou on his way home again. As a set up it works just fine but you could have easily cut 90% of the sequence and you would have lost nothing of importance. The dog never appears again in the anime so...yeah. I'm a fan of the GITS series so I would have bought this regardless but even if you hate the series I would suggest getting it simple for the visuals alone.

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