Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence [Blu-ray/DVD combo]
Ghost in the Shell is back in the headlines, and I’m not sure whether that’s a good thing. It seems like the upcoming live-action remake of a classic like Ghost in the Shell is doomed to fail, not only because fan expectation is going to be so high, but also because Ghost in the Shell might not survive a Western translation. The original movie is so deep and I dread thinking about all the ways it can be butchered. As if having Scarlett Johansen starring in it wasn’t bad enough…
But the good thing about all this attention is that publishers and distributors are cashing in, so to strike while the iron is hot we’re getting releases and rereleases of Ghost in the Shell movies, TV shows, and mangas. And honestly, the sequel to the original Ghost in the Shell movie deserves to be revisited.
The thought of Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence brings back memories for me of sitting in a small independent theatre in San Diego when the movie premiered, awestruck by what I was seeing on screen, accompanied by an ex-girlfriend who absolutely hated every minute of it. I guess there’s no accounting for taste.
Revisiting this movie after so many years has only gone to prove how well it has aged. I have no clue if I was able to take in the depth of Innocence when I first saw it (and I still can’t), but now that I’m revisiting it I am absolutely shocked by just how deep this movie goes. It’s definitely a very adult anime loaded with themes of love, evolution, existentialism, futurism, and to top it all off, it’s all weirdly foreign looking (to western eyes at least). The pacing, look, and animation in Innocence is also truly remarkable as the plot slowly unravels and comes to a surprising and impressive conclusion. I guess you have to trust this movie from the very beginning to take you on an interesting journey and show you things you were not expecting.
Fortunately, Funimation has the rights to Innocence and that can only mean they’re going to get this release right. Innocence has suffered from a long history of unsatisfactory home movie releases, with terrible subtitles and missing audio tracks, which Funimation has fixed this time. This version of Innocence looks gorgeous and comes with quality audio and subtitle options. Also included are a short making-of feature and a commentary track (in Japanese so get ready for more subtitles).
Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence is quite simply another masterpiece and a proper sequel to such a beloved anime. It builds and adds to the foundation it already created and if you pay attention, you’ll come away from it a different person.
Get it here.