Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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The story was based on the original Ghost in the Shell manga chapter, Robot Rondo, albeit heavily modified from the original story. The story begins in the year 2032. Batou, originally partnered with Major Kusanagi, who disappeared at the end of the first film is now teamed with Togusa.
Mamoru Oshii's landmark Ghost in the Shell (1995) largely defined the cyberpunk genre and influenced the Matrix films in the U.S. The long-awaited sequel continues the adventures of Batou, Major Kusanagi's former assistant, who was left behind when she disappeared into the cyber-realm of the Net.
With his new human partner, Togusa, Batou investigates a series of bloody murders involving gynoids, robots with sexual functions. The case leads them to the headquarters of the Locus Solus company, where Batou uncovers the evil secret behind the creation of the gynoids. Innocence includes some staggeringly beautiful CG images, especially a parade depicting characters from Chinese mythology. Oshii contrasts this glittering beauty with a Blade Runner-esque dystopia. But even his skill as a director can't disguise the fact that the underdeveloped story and flat characters are far less interesting than the opulent visuals. --Charles Solomon --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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As for the story, although it seems like every other line is a proverb, it is very thought-provoking and will keep you thinking long after you have watched it. It deals with existence, humanity , animals, memories and artificial intelligence. Prior knowledge of the story isn't necessary - there is a brief recap at the beginning. Having since watched the first installment, I can safely say that, while the first film had great animation for its time, this version is infinitely better visually and, I might add, has no gratuitous breast shots or close-ups.
Ghost In The Shell Innocence is of a different style to the first film; it has fewer action scenes, focusing more on visuals and the numerous dilemmas thrown up by the question of artificial intelligence, human rights and the laws of robotics. That's not to say that there isn't tension or excitement. A gunfight with the yakuza and souless robot drones are also thrown into the mix. I'm not a fan of anime, but I loved this film - highly recommended.
My version came with a cardboard slip and the two films in their respective Blu-Ray cases, which appears to be different to what others have received.
Buying these two bundled together is cheaper than buying them separate, so it's a great buy. There seems to be some confusion, so just for the record: the original Ghost in the Shell film is included as well as the 2.0 edition.
As I've said, it's not much like the first film. Although the plot retains the same pacing and tension, and the visuals are in the same style, the star of the previous film (the Major) is mostly absent, and instead the plot focuses on Batou, her former police partner. There is still the odd fight scene, but mainly this film focuses on what happens between the violence. Some people may find this offputting, but many will appreciate this change of focus, particularly in an anime film.
However, the film is not worse because of this. Innocence gives insight into a very different mind; this is reflected in the more philosophical plot, and bleaker locales. It develops characters in a far more subtle way to the original, which was fairly subtle already, and gives a genuine insight into the viewer's own life- more so than any other film I have seen.
The imagery used in Innocence is definitely among the greatest that I have seen. The blend of 2D cel animation and 3D CG materials is seamless and they always complement one another to a very high degree. The music is also used to great effect, and the ending theme suits the film perfectly.
Although this is very different to its predecessor, it is still a breathtaking masterpiece, which will stay with you for a very long time. If you haven't seen the original, or if violence is all that it takes to satisfy you, there isn't much here to like. But for everyone else this is a essential purchase.
The first hour of subtitles were just filled with so many glaring errors it'd take me half a day to table them all. But for a few examples:
- When Togusa was introducing Batou to Haraway (and yes they got her name wrong too - Haraday in the subs, Haraway in the spoken version (Japanese and English dub), they posed Togusa's intro as a question to Haraway. Eg "Who is this scary character?", rather than an interrupted intro "And this scary chacter is..."
- When Batou got out of the car with Ishikawa when discussing dog food Ishikawa was talking, reiterating that the wet food is bad. They subtitled it as Batou saying "ok I will try the dry food". Batou was not even speaking.
- When they are called to the murder scene, they say "The victim was an inspector". An inspector of what? They left off "of Locus Solus", which was in the dub and original audio track, as well as the DVD subtitles.
The subtitles are unforgivable rubbish.
Image wise, it was a pretty good reproduction. I've heard others mention compression artefacts on backgrounds but I did not notice any. I did notice noicable banding on the gold haze around the Innocence opening title, which was not present on the DVD.
If you are a sub viewer, avoid this as all costs. If you like dubs, this is probably OK for you.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
beautiful graphics, enjoyably disassociative references, but the story is non-addictivePublished 4 months ago by bruce paton
Seller description was single disc, ex rental, but got both discs and both in very good condition, played perfectly, and inexpensive, very pleased.Published 4 months ago by A. Mac
The sequel to one of the best known animes in the west, ghost in the shell 2 can be a disappointment on first viewing. Read morePublished 8 months ago by John Drumm