Ghost In The Shell 2 Ani-Manga: Innocence

    (Viz, 2005)
™ and © 2005 Viz

Masamune Shirow’s famous creation Major Motoko Kusanagi returns in the long-awaited anime sequel to Ghost In the Shell. This “ani-manga” boxed set of four graphic novels retells the film’s narrative by repositioning its frames and dialogue on paper. In GITS2: Innocence, Kusanagi has digitally departed into the vastness of the Internet, leaving her partner Batou to find the meaning of his life and ours.

First, however, the police detectives of the secret Section 9 must solve the case of gynoids (robots capable of sexual functions) who have been killing people and committing suicide. Teamed with the human Togusa, Batou combats a mysterious hacker, his past, and the problematic union of man and machine.

Sure, GITS2 impressively showcases even more lifelike CGI and videogame action, but, even though Oshii’s 1996 masterwork was also laden with a plethora of existential riffs and techno jargon, it had a compelling focus and climactic payoff that its successor lacks. Since the set is quadruple the price of a movie ticket, the Dreamworks DVD may prove a better value.

— Oliver Chin

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