Home

Anime Masterworks

image by Veronica V. Jones

Ghost in the Shell: Innocence

A disassembled gynoid and a basset hound. Batou is surrounded by the images of flapping birds. A closeup of one pale gynoid -- a female robot -- with others in the distance. A robotic geisha with an open chest cavity.

Mamoru Oshii has easily outdone himself with Ghost in the Shell: Innocence, a powerful sequel rooted in the dystopian future envisioned by Masamune Shirow. That’s saying something, as the original reintroduced the world to anime as high art almost a decade ago.

Nearly every frame of this new movie is jaw-droppingly beautiful, and the integration of traditionally animated characters and complex 3D environments is nearly perfect. But this movie isn’t just a pretty face: the philosophical quandaries and psychological acrobatics come in a constant stream of words and symbols. The root of all this moral confusion will be familiar to anyone familiar with master Shirow or the cyberpunk genre: the blurred line between humanity and artificial life.

Simply put, if you ever want to call yourself a fan of anime, science fiction, or film noir, you must repeatedly watch this film, and praise it to anyone that will listen.

Written by in September of 2004. Last edited February 2015.

Related Features

Michelle D. Hoefener

A blond woman wearing white and gold armor. A black-haired man in red biomechanical armor holds a smoldering gauntlet. A green and yellow mermaid sits on a rock, holding a purple butterfly.

Thanos Tsilis

A group of angry warrior women overrun armored men. A woman with red hair and a long black coat rests a katana on her shoulder. A man stands before a large bubble-enclosed futuristic bust of a large woman.

Kickin’ It Old School with Samurai Champloo

Jin, Fuu, and Mugen Jin, the cold fish. Fuu, the delicate flower. Mugen, the proud rooster.

Six Answers from Chris Pritchard

Chris Pritchard

Jeff Carlisle

A helmetless Darth Vader is tormented by visions of his slain Jedi brethren. A rodent-headed Rokugan nobleman sits with his paper fan unfurled. Nick Fury in iconic two-tone style. An original image, not taken from an AP photograph.

Comments

Be the first to comment!