March 2, 2008

Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence

Ghost in the Shell 2: InnocenceGhost in the Shell 2: Innocence continues the story line that began in the original Ghost in the Shell and was also directed by Mamoru Oshii. You do need to have watched the first movie to fully appreciate the second, as it provides background into the characters and establishes the backstory. There are a lot of parallels in the presentation between the two films as well.

This time the story's primary character is Batou, as Motoko is unavailable after the events of the first movie (trying to avoid a spoiler). He and his partner Togusa are investigating a case of gynoids, or human-like robots with AI, that are murdering their owners. Their investigation leads them to a criminal operation or horrific proportions.

If you liked the first film, you should like this one. However there is a heavier requirement on thinking and deductive reasoning this time. In the first film, a lot of the ideas and questions were discussed outright. In Innocence, the ideas are presented through the plot, like in the first film, but not as much time is spent actually speaking out the implications of those ideas. And for some of them you'll really need to try and figure it out on your own; waiting for the explanation will cause you to miss the significance of what you just saw.

The visual capabilities have greatly improved in the past several years, giving Innocence a more polished look. The animation itself is also more fluid and animated than before, as it was done using cel shaded models rather than hand drawings. I think the same composer came back to do the score, and the sound is very similar to the first film although this time 5.1 was the original production goal. I don't like it as much as Yoko Kanno's work, but it's still good.

Unfortunately, it seems like the disc copy I picked up is of an older release that contains closed-captions style English subtitles.

Posted by josuah at March 2, 2008 6:57 AM UTC+00:00

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