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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
First of all, if you are not a big GITS fan, turn back now, this is not a movie for you!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.