Lisa Schwarzbaum
September 24, 2004 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG-13
runtime
99 minutes
Limited Release Date
09/17/04
performer
Atsuko Tanaka, Tamio Oki, Akio Otsuka, Koichi Yamadera
director
Mamoru Oshii
distributor
Go Fish
author
Mamoru Oshii
genre
Animation, ActionAdventure, Sci-fi and Fantasy

We gave it a B+

The title Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence is a brain banger. But as sci-fi nomenclature goes, it’s easy to read?no twistier, certainly, than Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. And really, Mamoru Oshii’s anime sequel to his 1995 Ghost in the Shell is not so far removed from Sky Captain‘s obsession with the shifting borders between humanity and machinery. We’re all wired, this lavishly drawn, pop-savvy specialty act suggests (Ghost‘s animation house, Production I.G, also worked on Kill Bill — Vol. 1). And we’re all liable to blow our circuits — as even a novice to animestyle philosophy can understand. Here it’s 2032, and the time has come when it’s not easy to distinguish 100 percent carbon-based life-forms from the androids and cyborgs who retain remnants — ghosts — of human selfhood in their systems. So the investigators sent to sort out the malfunctioning droids running amok are themselves hybrids: Batou is mostly cyborg, Togusa is mostly human. But since both are made with the DNA of the Tokyo-born Oshii, they’re both gogglingly original.

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