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Ghost in the Shell II

The sequel to the first Ghost in the Shell movie (the landmark piece of cinema that many think directly inspired the Matrix movies) Goes thematically well beyond where the first on left off, and for that matter it goes in a more esoteric direction than even the Matrix could manage.

Notwithstanding, the movie is by no means perfect, there are several plot developments that leave the viewer scratching their head, and either something is lost in the translation, or there is some cultural difference between Japan and America that I don’t know about…and I used to live there.

The Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence has an inventive combination of traditional and computer generated animation sequences is both amazing and refreshing. It stays within the tradition of more recent anime where the storyline is meant to be imaginative as well as adult in nature yet arguably goes a few steps further. This movie is not meant for children.

Writer/Director Mamoru Oshii in this piece tells the story of life in 2032, when the line between humans and machines has been blurred almost beyond distinction. A cyborg police officer for a covert agency has been assigned the task of finding out why certain female robots have turned on their owners and slain them.

The comparisons to ’I, Robot’ are glaring on a surface level, but undeserved after closer inspection. This movie is far more interesting, introspective and philosophical in its profundity. It delivers its message on the nature of being human and our desire to subsequently understand it with refreshing accuracy.

Its visual imagery and premise are reminiscent of ’Blade Runner.’ The language is akin to ’The Matrix.’ In fact, there are many familiar, classic SCI-FI elements; but what is most unfamiliar is the depth of its delivery.

This film is smarter than both of the aforementioned, no hyperbole. In fact, it might even be ’too-smart’ for some people only looking for the elements of excessive violence and gore sometimes found within the genre. If you’re in the mood for a thought-provoking movie (that happens to be anime), this is a must see.

I’m not totally sure people will see it though, there still seems to be a superstition surrounding Anime that it is for slightly pervert people, who either get off on extreme violence or graphic exploitation of women.  You must shuck this stereotype and realize that the violence you watch on CSI everyday is just as creepy to audiences in other countries around the world.