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Ghost in the Shell 2:  Innocence
Violence: High
Sex/Nudity: Some
Music: A -
Runtime Episodes: 96 min
Overall Rating: A+
Artwork: A+
Story: A+
Comments: Cutting Edge
Voice Acting English: A+
Voice Acting Japanese: None Yet
Genre: Cyberpunk
Extras: A 2 disc set with interview with Mamoru Oshii, comentary with Mamoru Oshii and Toshihiko Nishikubo, English dub and Japanese language tracks available on both discs.  5.1, 2.0, and DTS sound systems available for all tracks, sneak peak at Ghost in the Shell second season episode 5, original trailer.  Previews for Karas, an ad for the manga studio, Millenium Actress, the second season of GITS (Ghost in the Shell), and Street Fighter Alpha.



Date Reviewed: 12/11/07 Last Updated: 10/28/09

Basic Premise: In this sequel Police detectives Togusa, who is mostly cybernetic, and his partner who is mostly human investigate sex droids that have killed their clients.  As they dig deeper they discover a far reaching conspiracy.
Review: When I first heard about this anime I was rather excited, but held off for a time when the reviews that I read were so abysmal.  There have been reviews in the past that were terrible, but the movie itself, was actually quite enjoyable like Wolverine and the X - Men.  With this version of Innocence I learned that there was no English dub and that the subtitles were atrocious.  The reviews were so bad that Dreamworks even offered to exchange the DVD version for their new fixed version.  Unfortunately later versions done by Manga Entertainment turned out to be just as bad if not worse than the first version that Dreamworks released with segments of audio that were distorted.  On January 13, 2009 a US blu-ray version was released that claims to have an all new English dub seperate from the UK version.  I am eager at some point to purchase this if only for the visual quality even if the English is the same as the UK version.  The UK audio track uses the same actors as the GITS: SAC seasons.  This is the version that I am reviewing and have had for a few years now.  It is a region 2 version that I play on my computer using vlc player, which can play any region DVD.  Sorry that that was a bit of a long winded explanation, but I felt that it was very important to discuss where I was coming from so that people do not waste their money.

That being said, the English voice actors were superb in this movie.  There was no over acting and it felt more like a real movie as opposed to an anime tv show or (shudder) cartoon.  Batou's character is very solemn and contemplative and Batou's partner is voiced by Crispin Freeman, who seems to be in every anime ever made, is a very good choice for a partner.  It is good to see Crispin in a role other than the starring role.  I think that he is ideal in this movie as a supporting actor.  None of the voice actors seem out of place.  I have not listened to the Japanese audio yet.  This is mostly due to the fact that the English dub is so well done and the subtitles do not match up with the audio at all.  Well, they match up a little, but only a little.  I am not sure which is more accurate.

The music gives a rather quiet, haunting feel giving it more of a spooky feel.  The music is not really exceptional, but it is not supposed to be.  It is more of a supporting role.  The haunting music is rather appropriate considering that there are numerous grisly scenes that actually do make me feel a bit squeamish.  The movie feels a lot like Bladrunner in that sense.

Innocence is the sequel to Ghost in the Shell and takes place a few years after the first movie.  This movie is distinct enough from the first one that you can watch both movies in either order.  This movie centers around Batou as he investigates why several sexoids have started killing their clients.  It is believed that this is more than a simple malfunction and as the investigation proceeds it is discovered that there is a much better conspiracy at work.  As the story progresses there are numerous philosophical discussions revolving around the differences between cyborgs, androids, and humans and whether there is any real difference at all; much like the difference between androids and humans in Blade Runner.  I think that it is a very relevant discussion as well considering the continual blurring between man and machine that continues today.  For those who like cyberpunk this is a great story and well loved by many.  It is a great story in its own right even if you don't always understand all of the technical conversations that take place.  You should at least like science fiction though.  I don't know as I would call it a technological dystopia or utopia either.  The setting feels more like the present day big city, but it does feel like it could all go very wrong at any moment.

Everyone wants to talk about the visuals in this movie and I'll briefly touch upon it as well.  The visuals are incredible.  They are bright, vibrant, very realistic and done in CG, yet it blends almost perfectly with the animated characters, much as was done in Blood: the Last Vampire when it first came out.  It really is eye candy, which is certainly one reason i am eager to purchase it in Blu ray, hopefully soon.  The thing is that it is more important to have a good storyline and plot than extraordinary visuals.  The visuals are some of the very very best in anime though.

Conclusion: A cyberpunk and purely science fiction anime with visuals that is among the best in anime.  It feels much like Blade Runner in theme and philosophical tone.



Publisher: Manga, Bandai, Production I.G.
Related Website:
Where Found: You will need to order this one from the UK.
Copyright: 2004
Author: Mamoru Oshii
If you enjoyed this anime try: Texhnolyze, Ghost in the Shell, Paprika


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