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Retro Movie of the Month: Ghost in the Shell 2 (2004)

I am back!!!!! Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, known in Japan as just Innocence (イノセンス, Inosensu), is a 2004 anime/computer-animated cyberpunk film that serves as a sequel to 1995's Ghost in the Shell. It was co-produced by Production I.G and Studio Ghibli for Tokuma Shoten,

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I am back!!!!!

Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, known in Japan as just Innocence (イノセンス, Inosensu), is a 2004 anime/computer-animated cyberpunk film that serves as a sequel to 1995’s Ghost in the Shell. It was co-produced by Production I.G and Studio Ghibli for Tokuma Shoten, Nippon Television Network, Dentsu, Disney, Toho and the Mitsubishi Corporation, and distributed by Toho. It was released in Japan on March 6, 2004, and was later released in the US on September 17, 2004 by Go Fish Pictures, Innocence had a production budget of approximately $20 million (approximately 2 billion yen). To raise the sum, Production I.G studio’s president, Mitsuhisa Ishikawa, asked Studio Ghibli‘s president, Toshio Suzuki, to co-produce.

With a story loosely connected to the manga by Masamune Shirow, the film was written and directed by Ghost in the Shell director Mamoru Oshii. The film was honored best sci-fi film at the 2004 Nihon SF Taisho Awards and was in competition at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival. The soundtrack for the film was released under the name Innocence O.S.T. and a related novel called Ghost in the Shell: Innocence – After the Long Goodbye was released on February 29, 2004. This film makes many allusions and references to other famous works, such as The Future Eve. The foreign DVD release of the film faced many issues ranging from licensing to audio.

 

Well 2020 has been a friggin’ interesting, exciting and terrifying year of pandemics, duplicitous mainstream media, a bubbling independent media, fractured racial relations, racists unmasking themselves, militarized police departments infiltrated by hate groups and corrupt globalists pulling the strings on the bird of democracy. A new cold war with China, child trafficking and child pedophile rings being swept under the rug by lobbyists, entertainers, bankers and world leaders. Natural resources being plundered at every turn and world maps being redefined and drawn; the food isn’t fit to eat and clean water is a luxury; everyone is suspect and corporations are taking control; reality has been replaced by social media and eventually A.I. will be a real life thing and not just something from the movies. Step by step we are entering a cyber-future – that may or may not work for you but, in all disclosure was never meant to work for you. Cyberpunk is here and the real hack is you mind.

 

Ghost in the Shell has become one of the quintessential cyberpunk anime of all time with equal parts – William Gibson, AKIRA and Blade Runner, extrapolating those ingredients and delivering on questions and ideas of personal identity, cyberspace, political espionage and yes – memes.

The sequel to the original anime that was based on the manga continues the storyline from the first and not from any of the alternate timelines from the series.

We follow Batou as he is assigned to investigate a crime that leads him down a digital rabbit hole of conspiracy.

The film once again merges the mediums of digital animation and 2d illustrations. Seamless and beautiful in majority of the scenes. The mood is darker and more noir than the original, leaning towards cyber-noir and hard boiled elements that go hand in hand with the existential themes that the franchise is known for. The music is amazing with a score written by Kenji Kawai.

If you love the slow cyberthriller pace of MR.ROBOT or Genocidal Organ then this is your treat to distract yourself during our current times in turmoil, kicking and screaming down a razorblade slope of cocaine and redbull into our cyberpunk present.

It’s the future now, Stay sweet, disconnect, decompress and do what you gotta do. But above all else – Keep your damn finger on that REWIND button.

sam.haine@newretrowave.com

A misanthropic fiction writer and pop culture killer, originally from NYC as well loiterer of the Philadelphia area. The author of a handful of spoken word albums. Member of the Jade Palace Guard; a collective of underground lo-fi artists. Creator and author of HAINESVILLE. Currently residing in Tucson, AZ.

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