The original Ghost in the Shell movie was used by the Watchowski brothers to help sell their vision of The Matrix to movie executives. It dove into the same subject matter they wanted to explore. A world built to explore humanity using machines as a tool in that exploration.
The second in this series leaves behind the central theme of the original, mainly to explain human existence, to the central theme of why we create. In neither is there enough case building to be a thesis, but more an exploration of a theme.
A central difference between Japanese animation and more western forms of it, is that there are many subtle points woven into the eye candy. Where a massive fight might be simply visually stunning in a western animation, the Japanese would imbue it with many subtleties and messages.
This is much of what I enjoyed in the first Matrix movie. The subtle messages of the exploration into human existence were quite well woven throughout the impressive visuals. This was missing from the second and third matrix movies, but is alive in the sequel to the Ghost and the Shell.
If you enjoyed either the first Ghost in the Shell or The Matrix, you will be given another view into this niche of cyberlore with Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence.
Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence - English trailer
By Colin Dowell
9th October, 2004
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