Ghost in the Shell Innocence
Ghost in the Shell Innocence takes place right after the first movie with Major Kusanagi, the lead female android from the first film, being AWOL and Batou, Kusanagi's former cybernetic partner, taking center stage at Section 9 with his partner Togusa, another cop with the fewest cybernetic implants in Public Security Section 9 who still carries a revolver. Batou and Togusa begin investigating a series of murders in which all the victims were killed by doll-like androids known as gynoids, which are mechanical servants devoid of ghosts (a term used in this society to define a soul). However, it seems that these murderous gynoids are the newest models from Locus Sulos called sexaroids (yes, they really are called that). The two cops begin snooping around for reasons why the ghost-less androids would kill of their own freewill. After delving deeper into Locus Solus, confronting some bureaucrats and battling some cybernetic yakuza, they are lead to a towering Hong Kong city in search of a cybernetic hacker known as Kim. During this time, Batou begins questioning his own humanity and begins throwing quotes of Milton and the Bible back and forth with Togusa. All this leads up to an epic battle on a vessel containing tons of berserk gynoids and the reasons why they act on their own. Image 1 of 10. Click to enlarge
Image 1 of 10. Click to enlarge
Techno babble and complicated plot aside, Ghost in the Shell Innocence has a lot more to offer. Words cannot describe how beautiful and luscious the animation was in this film. While the last film used cool colors like greens and blues, Innocence uses more warm colors like oranges and yellows. The sight of the Hong Kong city in the evening is just so amazing. In the last Ghost in the Shell movie, there is a five-minute sequence in which nothing significant happens and we just get to see day-to-day activities in the city while haunting choir and drum music covers the background. Ghost in the Shell Innocence uses this sequence as well, but we are treated to a Chinese parade with mammoth sized elephants and Chinese warriors. I would have to say the best part of the animation was seeing the massive amounts of birds in the aerial shots. I just can't get over how much detail there are to these birds and that the animators took all this time to put so much detail on them. There is one shot in which there is a close-up of one of the birds and you can see the detail of its eyes and its feathers. To go along with the excellent imagery, Mamoru Oshii's directing and cinematography complete this work of visual poetry. There are many high quality scenes in which the camera will move around every angle. The most memorable scene of Oshii's directing was when Batou and Togusa confront the hacker Kim at his mansion. This scene is replayed three times with new changes each time we see the two cops confront Kim while he rambles on about human life and Darwinism. There is an explanation given on why this sequence occurs, but I would have loved if it wasn't explained and left Image 2 of 10. Click to enlarge
Image 2 of 10. Click to enlarge
Of course, for a sequel to Ghost in the Shell, you just have to have Kenji Kawai do the music. Kenji Kawai's music has continued to enhance every Mamoru Oshii movie to come out of Production I.G. and Ghost in the Shell Innocence is no exception. For this film, Kawai still uses the haunting choir and drums from the first movie, but has some different beats to the soundtrack. Even though the music seems a little epic, it is actually quite relaxing during scenes such as the Chinese parade. The main theme 'Follow Me' sung by Kimiko Itoh is one of the most downbeat and soothing songs I've ever heard in any anime film. There is, however, some very thrilling music in the movie used in scenes such as the sequence when Batou and Togusa are entering the mansion.
The characters in the film are extremely likable. While Batou was more of tough guy cop in the last movie and still is in this sequel, he has learned a great deal about life and what it means to be human from his former partner Major Kusanagi. Batou also owns a basset hound to remind him of how precious humanity is in this day and age. In case you weren't aware, Mamoru Oshii is a big dog lover and it is made evident in this film as Batou's hound is modeled after Oshii's own dog. Togusa hasn't changed much as he still carries his revolver, but since he is a rather rookie cop with almost no cybernetic components, he is thrown head first into the complexities of how scary it is for a cyborg to question his humanity. Of course, the regular characters Ishikawa and Aramaki show up, but their roles are significantly reduced after the first act. Batou refers to the AWOL Major Kusanagi as his guardian Image 3 of 10. Click to enlarge
Image 3 of 10. Click to enlarge
In a cinema world where science fiction films have become heavy on eye-candy and light on story, it's nice to finally have an equal balance of both. Instead of spending all the computer graphics on an army of robots trying to kill humans, most of the computer graphics are used to enhance the scenery such as the large number of birds in the skies. Even if you haven't seen the first Ghost in the Shell movie, I still recommend viewing this film. In my opinion, this is one of the best sci-fi films since Blade Runner. Mamoru Oshii has created this surreal, almost dream-like world that you just want to melt into. Overall, Ghost in the Shell Innocence is a rare breed of gorgeous science fiction and a thought provoking story.
Studio - ADVMangaAge - 15+By Yu AidaADV Manga StaffTranslator - Eiko McGregorLead Translator/Translator Supervisor - Javier LopezADV Manga Translation Staff - Javier Lopez, Amy Forsyth ...
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