Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence is the sequel to the anime film|movie Ghost in the Shell.
Innocence is a movie that explores inanimate objects and representative forms as artificial life.
Released in Japan on March 6, 2004, with a United States|U.S. release on September 17, 2004, Innocence had a production budget of approximately United States dollar|$20 million (approx. 2 billion yen). In order to raise such a large amount of money, Production I.G's president Mitsuhisa Ishikawa asked Studio Ghibli's president Toshio Suzuki to work on the project with him as a co-producer. The movie is film director|directed by Mamoru Oshii, with a story loosely connected to the manga by Shirow Masamune. The movie was produced by Production I.G, which also produced the original movie and the spinoff TV series Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex.
Alongside the movie, there was a book published that served as a prequel to Innocence called After the Long Goodbye.
Much of the storyline is taken from the original Ghost in the Shell manga, from a chapter called Robot Rondo, albeit heavily modified from the original tale. The story of Innocence begins in 2032, when cities are inhabited by the dwindling races of humans, purely mechanical androids, and cyborgs like Batou who still have a ghost (the in-universe term for the human spirit), but are vulnerable to ghost hacking.
The movie features several characters from the preceding movie, like Togusa, the most organic member of the team, Chief Aramaki and Batou, as the protagonists. Batou was usually partnered with Major Kusanagi, who disappeared at the end of the first film. He's now teamed with a reluctant Togusa, who says he never asked for the assignment and that he knows he could never compare to the Major.
The special officers of Public Security Section 9 are investigating a cyborg corporation called LOCUS SOLUS (from the novel of the same name by French author Raymond Roussel) and its gynoids—androids made in the form of young women and used as sex dolls—that have killed eight people, having deliberately been tampered with in order to trigger a police investigation. The dolls possessed a "ghost" (which made them so desirable) that was created by using a "ghost-dubbing" machine, an illegal procedure which produces "information-degraded, high-volume copies", but results in the death of the originals. Young girls were kidnapped by the Yakuza and sold to LOCUS SOLUS for this process. Two of the girls conspire with a LOCUS SOLUS shipping inspector named Volkerson to cause the malfunctions and thus draw official attention to their plight.
Batou's body is fully artificial. As the movie's trailer dramatically posits, "the only remnants left of his humanity, encased inside a titanium skull shell, are traces of his brain, and the memories of a woman called Motoko Kusanagi." Major Motoko Kusanagi, the protagonist of Ghost in the Shell, is listed as missing, although government agents are still looking for her as she has confidential knowledge on Project 2501. In the film, Batou explains to Togusa that he helped the Major escape because the government only cared about what she knew and not her as a person.
In the climax of the film, when Batou is being overwhelmed by rampant gynoids, all activated with their combat modes enabled, Kusanagi and Batou get reunited in the middle of a firefight when she downloads a part of her consciousness into an empty gynoid and assists Batou in disabling the lethal gynoids. After "Kusanagi" has fulfilled her task, she reassures Batou that "[She'll] always be with [him] online"; then the gynoid deactivates.
Mamoru Oshii on InnocenceEdit
- Innocence is Life
- "...untested, but virtue is innocence tested and triumphant." (William Henry Griffith Thomas, 1962)
On the origins of the movie, director Mamoru Oshii says:
"When Production I.G first proposed the project to me, I thought about it for two weeks. I didn't make Innocence as a sequel to Ghost in the Shell. In fact I had a dozen ideas, linked to my views on life, my philosophy, that I wanted to include in this film. [...] I attacked Innocence as a technical challenge; I wanted to go beyond typical animation limits, answer personal questions and at the same time appeal to filmgoers."
"If our Gods and our hopes are nothing but scientific phenomena, then let us admit it must be said that our love is scientific as well."
The movie is filled with references to fantasy, philosophy and Zen and addresses aesthetic and moral questions. The numerous quotations come from Buddha, Confucius, Descartes, the Old Testament, Saito Ryokuu, Max Weber, Jacob Grimm, Plato, John Milton, Zeami, Villiers de L'Isle-Adam and La Mettrie, author of "Man a Machine" (1748).
The characters and character names contain many allusions to earlier works. For example, the "Hadaly" model robots refer to Tomorrow's Eve, the first book to use the word android, and which features a human-like robot named Hadaly. The police forensic specialist, Haraway, is most likely named for Donna Haraway, author of the Cyborg Manifesto.
Dolls are an important motif in Innocence; many beings have a "spirit" of some sort, but at the same time are not quite human. The female dolls are based on the art of Hans Bellmer, which is the pioneer of ball-jointed dolls. Bellmer's name briefly appears in one scene on a book cover. As Oshii comments, "They want to become fully human — but they can't. That dilemma becomes unbearable for them. The humans who made them are to blame. They try to make a doll that is as human as possible — but they don't think of the consequences." Even the human or partly-human characters move in doll-like ways, grants Oshii. Oshii also planned an exhibition to commemorate the film. The exhibition showcased several Japanese artists' work of ball jointed dolls.
It could prefigure a new century with people facing "towards a humanity of hard disks and memories"  when animate and inanimate start to merge in new forms like "interconnected 'living dolls'".
While pursuing the truth behind the crime incident that happened in the course of the movie, Batou and Togusa, flying to Etorofu, a special economic development zone, make the following observation: 
"If the substance of life is information, transmitted through genes, then society and culture are essentially immense information transmission systems, and the city, a huge external memory storage device."
On his narrative intentions Oshii comments:
"For Innocence, I had a bigger budget than for Ghost in the Shell. I also had more time to prepare it. Yet despite the economic leeway, abundant details and orientations, it was still important to tell an intimate story. [...] Personally, I adore the quotes in the film. It was a real pleasure for me. The budget and work that went into it contributed to the high quality of imagery. The images had to be up to par, as rich as the visuals." "This desire to include quotes by other authors came from Godard. The text is very important for a film, that I learned from him. It gives a certain richness to cinema because the visual is not all there is. Thanks to Godard, the spectator can concoct his own interpretation. [...] The image associated to the text corresponds to a unifying act that aims at renewing cinema, that lets it take on new dimensions."
Kenji Kawai's technologic music greatly contributes to the film's futuristic atmosphere, and reinforces its link to Ghost in the Shell: for example, the opening theme echoes the ubiquitous "Making of a Cyborg" piece from the first movie.
Some others turn to more modern jazz fusion and romance like the song "Follow Me", which is used in the trailer and became popular among fans of the movie (although with a significant lyrical re-write, the ending song "Follow Me" greatly resembles the song "En Aranjuez Con Tu Amor." The theme in both is taken from the second movement of Joaquin Rodrigo's "Concierto de Aranjuez").
Mamoru Oshii's concept follows in the tradition of the romantic myth of the manufacture of a creature, which is at the same time human and artificial, such as Frankenstein's monster or the Golem from Jewish Folklore. There is a substantial amount of religious and philosophical musing on this general topic, which arguably gives it a more mystical tone than most cyberpunk.
Oshii said the film was first inspired by bleak thoughts of economic recession and violent crime. He imagines a world where humans have been replaced by their virtual selves.
"Distinguishing the virtual from the real is a major error on the part of human beings. To me, the birth and death of a human being is already a virtual event," the 52-year-old director told a news conference at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival. "I think that accepting that what we are seeing is not real will open the doors of truth for mankind," he added.
Innocence achieves a unique spatial atmosphere which is also worthy of mention. Panoramic views are enveloped in orange light and deep haze. Sunlight seldom falls on Batou, who wanders in solitude at ground level, bathed in yellow light, red neon, and blue electric light, effects which enhance the movie's atmosphere of film noir beyond its obvious reference to Blade Runner.
Unlike with a filmed movie, the creators of an animated movie must envision and create all the detailed elements that make up a scene, and the movie comes to life. Innocence approaches this challenge with some weird 3D scenes softly integrated to 2D characters; but it is said that "in some scenes there was intentional direction from Oshii to make 3D environment look unreal to describe ghost-hack and such complicated concepts."
"I enjoy making the world [of the film] as detailed as possible. I get absorbed in the finer points -- like what the back of a bottle label looks like when you see it through the glass [demonstrates with a bottle of mineral water]. That's very Japanese, I suppose. I want people to go back to the film again and again to pick up things they missed the first time."
The dog Gabriel, looking one more time like the only real being, makes a key appearance, like in many of Oshii's movies. A scene of Batou feeding his dog is echoing Ash in Avalon and Mamoru Oshii in his real life, as the director himself admits: "Batou is a reflection of my own thoughts and feelings. Innocence is a kind of autobiographical film in that way."
He also explained the reason why all his films feature a basset hound—his faithful companion in real life.
"This body you see before you is an empty shell. The dog represents my body. Humans can be free only if they free themselves from their body. When I am playing around with my dog, I forget that I am a human being and it's only then that I feel free."
Even if some of the characters from Ghost in the Shell are present, Innocence goes far beyond the themes of electronic networks and human-machine technologies. The usual downbeat story line of Oshii's movies could perhaps restrict the audience to technology and anime fans.
"I think that Hollywood is relying more and more on 3D imaging like that of Shrek. The strength behind Japanese animation is based in the designer's pencil. Even if he mixes 2D, 3D, and computer graphics, the foundation is still 2D. Only doing 3D does not interest me."
The animation features a motif of figurative deformation of scenery — especially the massive cathedral-like Locus Solus building in the Northern Territories (Kurile Islands) and the Chinese parade, which will stay as one of the most amazing scenes in recent memory. Although the style is quite realistic and detailed, it mixes in startling distortions.
"The film is set in the future, but it's looking at present-day society. And as I said, there's an autobiographical element as well. I'm looking back at some of the things I liked as a child — the 1950s cars and so on. Basically, I wanted to create a different world — not a future world."
Cannes Film FestivalEdit
Innocence was one of the feature films in competition at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival. It was only the 6th animated film to be featured at Cannes and along with the Persepolis (film) were the only two animated films to be finalists for the Palme D'Or award. The eventual winner that year was Fahrenheit 9/11.
On December 28, 2004, DreamWorks (parent company of theatrical distributor Go Fish Pictures) released Innocence on DVD in the United States. Reviews immediately began appearing on Amazon and other websites criticizing the movie's subtitle track. Instead of including the overlay subtitles from the theatrical release, DreamWorks produced the DVD subtitles using closed captioning. The result was a script that intruded on the movie's visual effects; and in addition to reading dialogue, audiences saw unnecessary alerts like "Footsteps..." or "Helicopter approaches..." After receiving numerous complaints, DreamWorks released a statement saying that unsatisfied customers could exchange their DVDs for properly subtitled ones, postage paid; and that version 4 already had the proper subtitling.
Another complaint many people have with the release is the fact that the movie has no English dub. People argue that this ruins continuity, seeing as how the original movie and the TV series both have English audio versions. This is not new for DreamWorks, as the other feature films they have released that were not originally made in English (such as Millennium Actress and Ringu) do not have English dubs either.
Manga Entertainment, which released the first movie and collaborated with Bandai Entertainment to release the TV series, released the movie with an English dub featuring the same cast as used in Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex in the UK on February 27, 2006.
This Film is Rated PG-13 for Violence, Disturbing Images and Brief Language.
- Mary Elizabeth McGlynn - Motoko Kusanagi
- Richard Epcar - Batou
- Crispin Freeman - Togusa
- Erik Davies - Azuma
- Michael McCarty - Ishikawa
- William Frederick Knight - Daisuke Aramaki
- Barbara Goodson - Haraway (Animaze/Bandai)
- Fred Sanders - Koga (Animaze/Bandai)
- Doug Stone - Lin (Animaze/Bandai)
- Travis Willingham - Kim (Animaze/Bandai)
- Steve Kramer - Katsunari Wakabayashi (Animaze/Bandai)
- Karen Huie - Locus Solus PA System #1 (Speaking Cantonese) (Animaze/Bandai)
- Jim Lau - Locus Solus PA System #2 (Speaking Cantonese) (Animaze/Bandai)
- Joe Romersa - Crab Man / Undersea Cyborg (Animaze/Bandai)
- John Snyder - Cyborg Arm Doctor (Animaze/Bandai)
- David Earnest - SWAT Commander / Yakuza 1 (Animaze/Bandai)
- Kyle Hebert - Detective (Animaze/Bandai)
- Loy Edge - Forensics Chief (Animaze/Bandai)
- Roger Craig Smith - Briefing Voice / Yamadori Transport Pilot (Animaze/Bandai)
- Sandy Fox - Togusa's Daughter (Animaze/Bandai)
- Laura Bailey - Rescued Girl (Animaze/Bandai)
- Ellyn Stern - Haraway (Manga UK)
- Robert Axelrod - Koga / Lin (Manga UK)
- Joey D'Auria - Kim (Manga UK)
- Richard Cansino - Katsunari Wakabayashi / SWAT Commander / Yakuza 1 (Manga UK)
- Bob Papenbrook - Crab Man / Cyborg Arm Doctor / Undersea Cyborg / Yakuza 2 (Manga UK)
- Steve Kramer - Detective (Manga UK)
- Terrence Stone - Forensics Chief / Yamadori Transport Pilot / Yakuza 3 (Manga UK)
- Michael McConnohie - Briefing Voice / Forensics Staff
- Sherry Lynn - Rescued Girl (Manga UK)
- Stephanie Sheh - Dispatcher / Togusa's Daughter (Manga UK)
- The setting in Innocence is in the same city as the first movie i.e. New Port City. The words in the background are all Chinese and not Japanese kanji.
- Batou's access code for his car is 2501, the project number of the Puppet Master in the first Ghost in the Shell movie; this is the recognition code agreed on between Motoko and Batou after her fusion with the Puppet Master and before she disappears. In Innocence, this is how Batou recognizes that the infinite loop he and Togusa are experiencing in the Doll House is a trap – Motoko slips him clues in the hallway, one of which is ‘2501’.
- In a stylistic twist, all of the cars in the film have a 1940s design while everything else is ultra-modern.
- Almost every picture of a dog in the anime (on dog food boxes, billboards, etc.) depicts a Basset hound – the same breed of dog as Batou's pet Gabriel and director Mamoru Oshii's pet dog. In fact, as noted in the main article above, the Basset is Mamoru Oshii's signature hound and is found in all his films.
- Locus Solus seems to be a Cantonese outfit – the control robots of the factory ship's systems all communicate in Cantonese, and presumably so do the staff (the announcer over the ship's PA system, instructing the security teams to arm after the gynoids start activating themselves, speaks in Cantonese).
- A real music box was used to create the music for the Doll House, using an 80-note disc-playing (as opposed to drum-playing on typical music boxes) machine called “Orpheus”, manufactured by Sankyo Seiki of Japan. The music box was played and recorded in the studio; the recording was then taken to the Oya Stone Museum (a former subterranean stone quarry) where it was played back over a 5.1-speaker setup and re-recorded. The reverberation thus introduced was to mimic the vast expanse of the Doll House in the anime.
- While Batou is in the Grocery Shop, as a hooded character walks past Batou, a voice tells him "You have entered the killzone"; many speculate the character is Motoko Kusanagi. In fact, in the 'special features' on the DVD, which documents the making of Innocence, Atsuko Tanaka (the voice actor for Motoko) is shown during one scene to be recording precisely that line in the studio. It therefore seems that the voice was indeed Motoko, Batou's guardian angel, warning him of Kim's impending hack of Batou's brain right there and then.
- The ending of Innocence is similar to the end of Ghost in the Shell, where the Major returns to the vastness of the net.
- Batou is twice referred to as an elephant in the forest. This is an allusion to a Buddhist poem:
- "It is better to live alone;
- there is no companionship with a fool.
- Let a person walk alone with few wishes, committing no wrong,
- like an elephant in the forest."
- Batou twice refers to Major Kusanagi as his guardian angel.
- Before heading out to the Yakuza headquarters, Batou loads and cocks an FN Minimi machinegun stored in the boot of the car.
- Togusa uses a Mateba Autorevolver, which is his trademark pistol in the Ghost in the Shell universe. It is easily identified by its barrel, which is aligned with the bottom of the cylinder instead of the top (as in other revolvers). This brings the barrel closer to the grip of the handgun, reducing the upward recoil/muzzle jump of the gun and thus increasing accuracy. A similar handgun is used by Vash in the anime Trigun.
- Four special DVD boxed sets were released in Japan over a period of time. The first (Collector's box) included a 1/6 scale ball-jointed doll based on the gynoid in the beginning of the movie plus 2 books with art and 4 DVDs of extras, the second (Limited Edition, Volume 1 Dog Box) included a music box made with a sculpture of Batou's Basset hound, the third (Limited Edition, Volume 2 Staff Box) included 3 books with storyboards and information, and the fourth one (International Ver. type Motoko) released a year later along the International Version included a 1/6 scale ball-jointed doll based on a gynoid that Motoko hacked into at the end of the film (the doll itself is similar to the first release except with a different outfit and accessories). All four DVD boxed sets were made in extremely limited quantities and are quite rare today.
- A supplementary music video DVD showcasing prominent computer animation scenes used in the film coupled with the soundtrack by Kenji Kawai was available both separately and bundled in a boxed set with the feature film.
- One of the minor characters, forensic analyst Ms. Haraway, is a reference to the real-world professor of sociology and biology, Donna Haraway, who is a stern contributor to the whole transhumanism, post-cyberpunk movement. She has been quoted as saying that "I'd rather be a Cyborg, than a Goddess", in reference to her firm belief that in order for women to really liberate themselves from a "patriarchal society", they should devote themselves to technology and its applications and become cyborgs, as a means of separating themselves from men, and the common misconception of "what defines a woman and a female", including the stereotype that what defines a female as a woman is her decision to bear children. Ms. Haraway in the films has no children of her own, and does not facilitate or even comprehend the emotional content that comes with bearing a child; she thus has a rather harsh feminist outlook on child-rearing and childbirth.
- Auguste Villiers de l'Isle-Adam: Tomorrow's Eve (The Future Eve) (1886)
- John Milton: Paradise Lost (1667)
- Raymond Roussel: Locus Solus (1914)
- Julien Offray de La Mettrie : Man a Machine (l'homme machine) (1748)
- Isaac Asimov: Robot Series (The androids in the movie use a modified version of Asimov's Third Law of Robotics.)
- Thomas, W.H. Griffith : Hebrews: A Devotional Commentary, (1962) p. 64 ( see discussion page )
- Donna Haraway : Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: The Reinvention of Nature (1991)
- The English-language Web site for Ghost in the Shell 2 – Innocence
- Production I.G English website
- English transcript, based on the subtitles of the English DVD
- Review by midnight eye
- Beyond Anime – A Brief Guide to Experimental Japanese Animation
- Innocence-Anime's Vision of the Ultimate City of the Future (Japanese article with an English translation)
- Video effects screens from Adobe
- Videos from Cannes (Highlights May 20th 2004, Steps: Innocence, Interview / Photo Call, Press conference, Trailer)
- Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence at Anime-Planet