Cyborg Heaven
Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence
Review by Ross Anthony

This is the sequel to "Ghost in the Shell" (1995), which I did not see. Both of which are Japanese animations, this one is translated with subtitles to English.

Most strikingly, some of these visuals are absolutely hands-down, chillingly gorgeous. This film absolutely displays moments of audiovisual artistic genius. In fact, I so wanted the entire film to wade in its own peak brilliance. While, in fact, much of the non-peak footage is still quite compelling, it's really a less than magnificent climax/conclusion that robs this film of being an un-missable masterpiece.

Additionally, since the visuals are so carefully, delicately and sincerely assembled, painted to the screen, it seems quite disrespectful to force non-Japanese speakers to take their eyes off of them in order to read the English subtitles. This is animation -- why not re-dub the audio in English? The subtitles seriously detract from this film's elegance in visual and dialogue.

In general, this is a mix of hand drawn and computer animations playing out a buddy cop drama that takes place in the future. Add to that a rather steady stream of philosophic waxing. (IE: Where do humans end and cyborgs begin, is the line fine? And just what does this say about life and death especially with the invention of external memory?) While these musings dominate, there is still some hard action a la "Pulp Fiction" or "Matrix."

But, in my opinion, what really harms the overall appeal is a climax that indulges in a sort of pseudo-sexual/violence.

Although the film opens with A+ momentum and compels as it confuses, a B- climax (and that's just my opinion) drops the overall grade to a strong B+. Probably release-country specific dubbing would knock it up to an A-.

  • Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence. Copyright © 2004. 100mins.
  • Directed by Mamoru Oshii.
  • Screenplay by Mamoru Oshii.
  • Produced by Mitsuhisa Ishikawa at Go Fish/ DreamWorks.

Grade..........................B+ (2.5/4)

Copyright © 1998-2023 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:09:56 PDT