Ghost in the Shell (film)
From Wikipedia, the free
encyclopediaGhost in the Shell (Japanese: 攻殻機動隊, Kōkaku Kidōtai, i.e. Mobile Armoured Riot Police) is an anime film adaptation of the manga comic Ghost in the Shell by Masamune Shirow, directed by Mamoru Oshii. A sequel, Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, was released in 2004. Another sequel is expected in Summer 2006.
1 Adaptation and responses
5 External links
Adaptation and responses
The film adaptation presents the story's themes in a more serious, atmospheric and slow-paced manner than the manga. In addition, in order to condense the manga into 82 minutes of screen time, the movie excludes the subplots in order to focus exclusively on the "Puppet Master" plot.
The movie is set in "New Port City", a fictional metropolis modeled upon Hong Kong (the Asian words seen in the background are Mandarin, not Japanese).
Motoko Kusanagi.Some found the distillation of eight manga issues into a short movie superficial, confusing, and dull. Others argued that it removed much of Shirow's obsessive detail, added focus to the story, and made for a more artistically pleasing and mature effort than the
manga. Furthermore, many science fiction fans unfamiliar with manga consider it a pinnacle of speculative fiction in film, and it was one of the first anime features to cross over to non-anime fans.
The movie was lauded as one of the first animes to seamlessly blend computer and cel animation. The soundtrack is of a classical Japanese style.
Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.
Kusanagi activating her therm-optic camouflage.
De-hacking a victim of the Puppet Master.Set in 2029, the movie begins with the main character, Major Motoko Kusanagi (a police officer with Public Security Section 9) spying on a building in the city. A foreign power is conspiring to recruit a domestic engineer to fix the Project 2501 "bug." Her Section 9 team moves in while she activates her therm-optic camouflage.The foreign official refuses to return the engineer so Kusanagi moves in and kills him, and slips away
without her identity being revealed.
The opening credits then roll, interspersed with images of Kusanagi's cybernetic body being constructed, while Kenji Kawai's theme music plays in the background.
In the next scene, the chief of Section 9, Daisuke Aramaki, is introduced conversing with an official about engineers who are attempting to gain political asylum. The story then moves into
the main plotline when Aramaki describes one of the minister's interpreters having had her brain hacked into by the mysterious "Puppet Master". They track the Puppet Master's signal and follow it. On the way, Kusanagi and her partner Togusa have a discussion about why he, the least cyberized human in Section 9, was chosen to be a part of the team. Kusanagi replies that Togusa is a cop—and a largely uncyberized one at that—while the rest are military; she wanted
variety among the team. "If we all reacted the same way, we'd be predictable, and there's always more than one way to view a situation. Overspecialize, and you breed in weakness," she tells him.
The ghost hacker turns out to be a garbageman who believes that he is making some money in order to support his family. He reveals to his partner that another agent had taught him how to hack. Batou and Ishikawa (two members of Section 9) gets to the terminal a little too late, but
then realizes that the hacker is the garbageman they passed on the way to the terminal. Kusanagi traces the location of the garbage truck and follows it. However, when the garbageman finds out that the police are looking for them, he attempts to warn the agent who taught him how to hack. Both the garbageman and Kusanagi catch up with the unnamed agent at the same time, and he starts shooting at the Major's truck with extremely powerful ammunition. Batou gets there just a
little too late as the man activates his therm-optic camouflage. He leads them on a chase through a crowded market into the banks of a canal where Kusanagi shoots the man and destroys his camouflage.
Ghost-hacked agent of the Puppet Master.
BatouKusanagi beats him up with the help of her own therm-optic camouflage.
It turns out that the man has been ghost hacked himself and has no idea of his identity. He thinks
he is a high-ranking member of a criminal organization, but is in fact a low-level thug, another puppet being controlled by the Puppet Master. The interrogation of the garbageman reveals that he too has had a simulated experience, or a false memory implanted into his brain. It turns out that he does not really have a family at all. No matter how far the members of Section 9 go, they cannot find a lead, because all the clues they receive lead back to unimportant puppets.
Kusanagi surfaces after scuba diving, much to Batou's amusement. Cybernetic bodies are heavy and aren't bouyant and any form of underwater activity such as diving isn't advisable. She points out he's drinking beer even though he's a full cyborg and can't get "drunk." The two have a conversation about what it means to be human after one has had cybernetic parts installed. She also talks about the nature of experience within the self, which is unique to that individual. In
sociological terms, she gains knowledge and experience which in turn helps to define her self, and her beliefs and dispositions (habitus) help to interpret the experience in her own way (which she feels confined to).
The Puppet MasterOne night, a female cybernetic body is suddenly assembled at Megatech (the origin of Kusanagi's body) without approval, and the cyborg runs off naked into the pouring rain,
where it gets run over by a truck. Section 9 gets the body to try and determine why it came to life. Batou relates a strange fact: the body has not even one brain cell as it is completely robotic, yet there are indications that there is a ghost (a human mental entity) within it. The ghost line resembles one that has been copied, but without the normal degradations that go along with the process. Kusanagi expresses a wish to "dive in" to the body and contact the ghost. However,
her self-doubt is growing; she's unnerved by the cyborg, which looks just like her, facially. She also expresses her doubts about the existence of her own self: she is unsure whether or not her thoughts and experiences are actually human in nature. She says that being treated as a human doesn't prove that she is essentially human inside. Aramaki notices something is wrong with her, and Batou tersely says she's been acting odd for a while and Aramaki would know this if he read Batou's reports.
Dr. Willis analyzing the Puppet Master's shell.Nakamura of Section 6 (Ministry of Foreign Affairs), accompanied by an official named Willis, comes to claim the escaped female body. As Willis works with the program from within the body, Aramaki and Nakamura discuss the bureaucracy of the retrieval of the body, Willis confirms that the ghost line within it is the "creation" of the Puppet Master. Nakamura claims that Section 6 had worked for some time in
tracking the Puppet Master and ultimately lured and trapped the ghost line within the female body and destroyed the original.
However, the body suddenly takes control over the building and starts to speak. "There will be no body, because there never was a body." It claims that it had never possessed a body beause it is a computer program that achieved sentience, and that desires political asylum from Section
9, since Japan has no death penalty. Nakamura thinks that this is ridiculous and that the ghost in the body was programmed for self-preservation. The body argues that in a way, human DNA is a set of programs to preserve itself as well. DNA is what spreads "memory" from one generation to the next, and memory is what defines mankind. It also argues that computers are the creation of mankind, but the accumulation of data and the flow of information has given rise
to another form of consciousness. Nakamura (who is visibly shaken), angrily protests that the body cannot prove its existence as a sentient life form. The body retorts that Nakamura himself cannot offer any proof as well, when modern science and philosophy cannot define what life really is. The body then states that it is not an AI but rather, it is Project 2501, a sentient entity that was created through the accumulation of data and the flow of information.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Nakamura.As Nakamura and Aramaki are talking to the body, Togusa notices something strange about the entrance of Nakamura and Willis and realizes that two people with therm-optic camouflage have entered the building along with the officials. These two set off a smoke grenade, blinding everyone, and snatch the ruined cyborg containing the Puppet Master. As they attempt to escape, Togusa shoots a tracking device into the back of the
getaway car. Batou starts to follow them by car as Kusanagi takes a helicopter. As Kusanagi and Aramaki talk about the Puppet Master, they realize that Section 6 is involved in some sort of conspiracy around Project 2501. This is confirmed when Nakamura talks to Willis about securing the body: Nakamura does not understand why the Puppet Master would want to go to Section 9, but Willis jokes that perhaps it was chasing after a "girlfriend" there, which Nakamura
rejects as "utter nonsense."
Ishikawa in the next scene talks to Aramaki after investigating further into Project 2501 and it turns out that the project was initiated before the Puppet Master showed up, even though it was claimed by some officials that the project was created in order to capture the Puppet Master. Ishikawa hints that perhaps the Puppet Master was a tool of Section 6 for the bureacracy to do
its dirty work. The escape of the Puppet Master would be a threat to Section 6 and the ministry would risk having secrets leaked out to the public.
Kusanagi takes on a walking battle tank in the movie's climax.Soon, the getaway car meets up with another and they split off in different directions. Batou follows the second car and Kusanagi chooses to follow the original. The second car turns out to be a dummy and Batou rushes to
support Kusanagi. Before he goes, he tells Togusa to get backup for her. Togusa is dumbfounded because he does not know why the Major would ever need backup.
Kusanagi severely damages her shell trying to stop the tank.Kusanagi follows the car to an abandoned building. There, she runs into a large version of a Fuchikoma (walking tank) guarding the Puppet Master. Kusanagi's weaponry is utterly useless and she spends most of the fight
running, trying to get the tank to use up its ammo. Once it runs out, she turns on her therm-optic camouflage and gets on top of it, trying to rip its cover off. However, she is unsuccessful, and destroys her body due to the tension stress exerted on it. The tank grabs her and is about to crush her skull when Batou shows up and destroys the tank with some heavy weaponry.
It turns out that the Puppet Master's body is still intact, and Kusanagi decides to dive in and
contact its ghost line immediately. Batou hooks the two together, with himself monitoring the dive in order to disconnect them if it gets too risky. As they connect, the Puppet Master and Kusanagi's ghosts contact each other and the Puppet Master introduces himself to Kusanagi and Batou. It confirms that it is Project 2501, an intelligence-gathering project that has installed various programs into numerous ghosts for the interests of the various agencies that owned it.
During its installation into various ghosts, it has become self-aware and has become an intelligent entity. The creators of Project 2501 thought that this self-awareness was a bug and attempted to contain the program into its current body. It tells them that it had been looking for Kusanagi for a long time, knowing of her through the many networks that it had hacked into. It is a sentient being because it can recognize its own existence but lacks two experiences that are granted to
all living organisms: reproduction and death. Kusanagi suggests that it can copy itself, but it replies that a copy is static, only reproducing the mirror image of itself. It then states that a virus targeted to specific traits can destroy the whole system of its copies. It states that life perpetuates itself through diversity and originality while sacrificing old parts of the system in order to protect it from the weakness of a static system. The Puppet Master finally expresses its
wish to merge its ghost with Kusanagi's in order to give birth to a new single entity. Batou attempts to disconnect the dive, but the Puppet Master hacks into him, preventing the disconnection.
Kusanagi communicating directly with the Puppet Master's ghost line.Meanwhile, as Kusanagi and the Puppet Master are conversing about the merge, helicopters from Section 6 approach the abandoned building with orders to destroy the Puppet Master as a primary target along with
Kusanagi, presumably to cover up the conspiracy. Batou sees lasers pointing to both the bodies, but the snipers are unable to shoot because of the Puppet Master's hacking.
Kusanagi and the Puppet Master continue to talk about the merge, with Kusanagi expressing concern over the fact that both of them will change and no longer retain their current identities. She wants a guarantee that she will retain her identity, but the Puppet Master argues that there is
no reason to keep with it, because her desire to stay unchanging within a dynamic environment is what limits her. She asks it why it chose her as a mate and it responds by stating that the two of them are very similar, mirror images of each other's psyche. It says that it is connected to a vast network, containing large amounts of information, and that the merge would create a higher consciousness. Kusanagi finally decides to merge with it just as the snipers from the helicopters
fire. Batou regains control over his body and puts out his arm to protect Kusanagi. The snipers destroy the Puppet Master's body and Batou's arm gets hit as well. Kusanagi's head gets shot off, and she loses consciousness.
"The net is vast and infinite."A while later, Kusanagi regains consciousness once again, finding herself at Batou's safe house, and in a little girl's body. Batou comes in and finds her awake and
tells her that the body was the only one he could get and that the foreign minister resigned as a result of the conspiracy. She decides to leave and explains to Batou that she is no longer Kusanagi nor the Puppet Master. Batou offers her a car and they agree on a personal password, which is of course, 2501. They leave on good terms and she looks out to the city, saying "The net is vast and infinite."
Spoilers end here.
Ghost In The Shell: Original Soundtrack
(1995 Anime Film) [SOUNDTRACK][IMPORT]-Kenji Kawai
M01 I - Making of Cyborg
M04 Virtual Crime
M05 II - Ghost City
M08 Floating Museum
M10 III - Reincarnation
See You Everyday (Bonus track)
See you Everyday is very different from the rest of the soundtrack, being a pop song sung in
Cantonese by Fang Ka Wing. It can be faintly heard playing in the marketplace scene, when Batou is hunting the ghost-hacked puppet.
In the opening credits, the numbers that flow in the background are actually computer codes for the different names of the staff who worked on the movie. These flowing numbers inspired the now-famous Matrix source code.
The brand of beer Batou drinks is a real life brand of beer called San Miguel Beer which is the
dominant beer in the Philippines. Noteworthy is the anime's detailed and accurate recreation of the San Miguel beer can, including its gold label and corporate seal.
Kusanagi refers to her gun as a "Zastava", but this is incorrect. The Gun is a real model, a CZ 100 (minor differences aside), but it is made by Česká Zbrojovka of the Czech Republic. The arms manufacturer Crvena Zastava also exists, however, but is a Serbian firm and does not
make that model of gun. Some subtitles also fail to translate the maker of Togusa's revolver correctly, calling it a "Matever" instead of "Mateba". That gun is fictional, but Mateba make similar automatic revolvers.
The US rating for this movie is disputed. The Region 1 Manga Entertainment DVD box reads "Unrated: Suggested 17+". Some sources, e.g. the IMDb, say "Restricted". Still others think that
despite its content it deserves a "PG" rating.
As cult classic outside the country, the ticket sales of the movie were not all that great domestically. Hence the sequel to the movie lost the title "Ghost in the Shell 2" and the secondary title became the primary title "Innocence."
The original comic did not specify the location of the city, but rumor is rampant that it is set in
Kobe, where Shirow Masamune (the creator of the manga) lives. In the movie, the city was created to be complete mixture of Asian culture, Chinese being the primary one. To go with the art, the music created for the movie used whole assortment of Southeastern Asia origins, and even play methods were often ad-libbed to create mixed ethnicity (although, Mr. Kawai admits it also partly had to do with the fact that he had no idea how to play some of them). Some
drums were played by a female drummer to create a softer touch.
In ordinary anime, characters would at least blink to create the feeling of "being animated," but in this movie, Motoko's eyes intentionally stayed unblinking many times. Director Mamoru Oshii's intention was to portray her as a "doll."
After he struggled to convey the mood that the characters are supposed to emanate for English
version dub, Mr.Oshii's thought was to thank the Japanese cast for making his job a whole lot easier. It took two days to record the Japanese dub, whereas the English version took three weeks to get right ("they can speak the line, but they couldn't emote"). In the pamphlet for Innocence, he actually pokes fun at a certain internationally recognized anime director by saying "Unlike some directors, I do give due credit to voice actors" (After seeing some overacting in his
movie that was inspired from Gulliver's Travel, the man Mr. Oshii is referring to refuses to use any professional voice actors to this date)
The opening song is what Kenji Kawai and Mamoru Oshii perceived as a wedding song, to be rid of all evil influences that are about to follow. Originally, Mr. Kawai envisioned Bulgarian Folk Singers doing the opening song. However they found that there is not a single professional folk
singer in Bulgaria, so Mr. Kawai relied on a Japanese folk song choir he had dealt with in previous works (Ranma 1/2) which inspired him to use an ancient tongue, mixed with Bulgarian harmony, with traditional Japanese notes, confesses Mr. Kawai on the soundtrack liner notes.
The lyrics to the song and the meaning is as follows. The wording here are based on ancient Japanese
吾が舞えば麗し女酔いにけり a ga maeba kuhashime yoinikeri / If I were to dance, the beautiful lady shall be enchanted
吾が舞えば照る月響むなり a ga maeba terutsuki toyomunari / If I were to dance, the shining moon shall echo
結婚に神降りて yobahi ni kami amakudarite / Upon the wedding, the god shall descend
In ancient times, sneaking into the bedroom of a love interest constituted a proposal for marriage. Hence here rather than to say "kekkon/wedding," it is read as "yobai/nightly crawl into bedroom." Besides, living separately (excpet for reproductive activities) from a spouse was
common practice by nobles in ancient times, before the feudal age.
夜は明け鵺鳥鳴く yo wa ake nuenotori naku / The night clears away and the sterling bird will sing
The sterling bird singing (it sounds considerably less melodic than other birds) at night or dawn creates the feeling that the song is an omnious sign.
遠神恵賜 tohokamiemitame / The distant god has given us the blessing
When Shinto used to have more shamanic styles, there was a means of fortune telling by burning the shell of a turtle. These "god words" were the signal that fortune had been told. From that, the line came to be used for prayer to cleanse impurities.
In the international release of the series, the last line cannot be heard, since the third version of "The Song" has been overdubbed by "One Minute Warning", a piece by U2 and Brian Eno (for
some marketing purpose by Manga Entertaiment, one of the major financers of the film)
Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence (Japanese title: イノセンス (Innocence), is a followup to the anime movie Ghost in the Shell, but not primarily a sequel.
Innocence is a movie that explores inanimate objects and representative forms as artificial life.
Released in Japan on March 6, 2004, with a U.S. release on September 17, 2004, Innocence had a production budget of approximately $20 million (approx. 2 billion yen). In order to raise such a large amount of money, Production I.G's president asked Studio Ghibli's president Toshio Suzuki to work on the project as a producer. The movie is 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.
2 Mamoru Oshii on Innocence
3 Cannes Film Festival
4 DVD Controversy
8 See also
9 External links
9.1 Related links
Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.
Batou, the protagonist.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. In an interesting stylistic twist, all of the cars in the film have a 1950s design while everything else is ultra-modern.
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.
Locus Solus Robot.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 posessed 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 ovewhelmed by Locus Solus guards and gynoids killing each other, Kusanagi and Batou get reunited in the middle of a firefight when she
downloads a part of her consciousness into an empty gynoid. At the end Kusanagi leaves back for the net.
Mamoru Oshii on Innocence
Innocence is Life
"...untested, but virtue is innocence tested and triumphant." (W. H. 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.
Innocence begins with a quotation from Auguste Villiers de l'Isle-Adam's Tomorrow's Eve (1886):
"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 others.
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 "Birth 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.
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. 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 on 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.
Mamoru Oshii also adds his own reflections about art and animation:
"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 designers' 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 Festival
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 the only animated film to be a finalist for the Palme D'Or award. The eventual winner that year was the very controversial choice of Fahrenheit 9/11.
On December 28, 2004, DreamWorks 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 anime movies in their Go Fish line (such as Millennium Actress) 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.
Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence
"Life and death come and go like marionettes dancing on a table. Once their strings are cut, they easily crumble."
"Why are humans so obsessed with recreating themselves?"
"We weep for the bird's cry, but not for the blood of a fish. Blessed are those who have voice."
"Let one walk alone, committing no sin, with few wishes, like an elephant in the forest."
"One does not need to be Caesar to understand Caesar" (Aramaki) and later, Batou's own version: "One does not need to be Yakuza to pay a visit to Yakuza"
(When Togusa sees Batou taking out an M249 machine gun and loading it, before heading for a Yakuza headquarters on an investigation) "You planning on starting a war?"
Mamoru Oshii on his intentions:
"I'm happier if 10,000 people see the film 10 times each than if 1 million people see it once. I'm not making it for the general public, but for a core group of fans -- I hope it will make a big impression on them. If I can do that, I'm happy." (The Japan Times: March 17, 2004 full interview )
"This movie does not hold the view that the world revolves around the human race. Instead it
concludes that all forms of life – humans, animals and robots – are equal. In this day and age when everything is uncertain, we should all think about what to value in life and how to coexist with others."
Mamoru Oshii on Japanese concept of tamashi [spirit] and the Western concept of soul:
A soul is not something someone can just show you. But if you believe in it enough, want to see it enough, it will appear.
In the West, people don't believe animals have souls, do they? That's not true in Japan, though. I myself believe that dogs and cats have souls -- but that has nothing to do with a specific religion.
Children have similar feelings about dolls -- if they love a doll enough, they feel that it's alive. That feeling is universal. It's not something they're taught -- they just feel it somehow. It's not connected with any religious belief.
Batou's access code for his car is 2501, the same number of the Puppet Master and, also from the first Ghost in the Shell movie, was the recognition code agreed on between Motoko and Batou after her fusion with the Puppet Master and before she disappeared. In Innocence, this is how Batou recognised that the infinite loop he and Togusa were experiencing in the Doll House was a trap - Motoko had slipped him clues in the hallway, one of which was '2501'.
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 started activating themselves, spoke 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", and 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 reverbration 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're in 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 first film, where the Major returns to the vastness of the net.
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 3 books with art and 6 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.
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)