Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence (Innocence) had me and lost me 4 different times over its runtime. It’s so weird and contradictory to say, that for a series praised for its philosophical themes, this movie exhausted me with its philosophical themes. I feel like I just sat through a 101 Philosophy class, and let’s just say that’s not my forte.
I’m going to have to watch the movie again, because I just can’t help but feel I missed SOMETHING.
I have to ask myself, what separates this movie from the first one? I watched GITS for the second time only an hour after my first viewing. It immediately drew me back in. After Innocence, I want a nap. It doesn’t help that this 93-minute movie could have easily been 83 minutes without losing anything important (And no, I’m not talking about Batou’s dog. He was a saving grace and a good boy).
Innocence spends an incredibly small portion of its runtime on the plot, easily less than its predecessor. That’s saying something considering in my GITS review, I wrote, “If I’m being totally honest, I don’t think the plot matters.”
GITS2 drops us into 2032, the same year as the 2nd Gig TV series. We follow Batou and Togusa as they investigate a string of murder-suicides/self-destructions by a particular beta-version model of gynoid (AKA Sex-Robot).
During the autopsy, a voice message that defied deletion is discovered in one gynoid’s brain leads Section 9 to believe the corporation, LOCUS SOLUS, may be putting actual souls into these robots to make them more “life-like.”
Did you catch where I said, “We follow Batou and Togusa”? That wasn’t a mistake. The Major is gone. She wandered off upon learning the government wanted access to her cyberbrain, and no one knows where she is. That is as much explanation as we receive. Like I said before, this is AFTER the end of 2nd Gig, and the Major is still with Section 9.
Quick tangent. From 2002-2004, Production I.G. released two phenomenal, 26-episode Ghost in the Shell TV seasons and this movie. The quality in the animation, voice acting, and music never took a dip. The animation is particularly beautiful in Innocence, but I swear the movie FORCES you to acknowledge how beautiful it is by practically pausing itself on nothing.
I will watch this movie again mostly out of stubbornness. But I don’t think I can recommend this one.
Ghost in the Shell opens this Friday, March 31 (But we all know it’s really Thursday).