Screened as part of NZIFF 2005
Vast and spectacular, this dazzling anime is also dense with speculation about the meaning of cyberlife. Not for lightweights!
“Four years in production, Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence is a new benchmark for Japanese animation both for its technical achievement and its provocative content. It was created by Production I.G., the company responsible for the original Ghost in the Shell and the visceral anime sequence in Kill Bill Vol.1… Drawn from such diverse sources as Blade Runner, Japanese myth and Gothic architecture, the look of Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence is unusually opulent and the action sequences are bold and wildly kinetic. Yet despite the occasional frenzy of explosions, Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence is ruminative by nature. In the movie’s vision of 2032, human, animal and machine have intermingled to such an extent, distinctions among forms of life are largely arbitrary. Most citizens keep humanoid dolls or cloned pets to satisfy their emotional needs. Introduced in the original film, the cyborg detective, Batou, investigates the murder of a human by a ‘gynoid’, a hyper-realistic sexbot. Evidence points to a nefarious conspiracy.” — Jason Anderson, Eye Weekly
“As gloriously impenetrable as its title, and even more visually spectacular than its precursor, Mamoru Oshii’s new anime – Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence – can be most simply described as an animated film noir populated by existential cyborgs… The ‘innocent’ pathos here is not that of cyborgs seeking to be human – it’s of animated beings striving for life. You can call me fanboy, but this is the best anime I’ve ever seen.” — J. Hoberman, Village Voice