Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence

Dir.Mamoru Oshii
2004
As far as I know, this isn’t based on a manga by Masamune Shirow,
but a film-only sequel to one of the best post-Akira sci-fi anime on the last decade.
With “The Major,” the female cyborg hero of the first film, living inside the ‘net/Matrix/computerverse, the sequel focuses on her partner, Bateau, a cyborg with a human brain, and his rookie partner, Togusa, a human with a synthetic brain.
The plot is police-procedural–investigate the homi- and suicidal impulses of pleasurebots (called gynorgs here), who have taken out their wealthy industrial johns. What is causing this breaking of one of the three robotic laws?
As GITS2 (great acronym!) progresses, it becomes apparent that the suicides, as well as Bateau’s outre responses to them (taking on an entire yakuza den with clever holography and a bloody great fun) are chess moves to draw protag and antag together. The solution to the mystery is a nice inverse on the idea that prostitution–in particular child prostitution–destroys the soul.
In between GITS2 delivers some of the most beautiful set pieces and animation so far in animation. Blending 2D and 3D animation, a painter’s eye for light, an otaku’s attention to techie detail, the film demands repeat viewing. Certain sequences deserve a mention: Bateau’s paranoid attack in a convenience store brings us fully into the subjective view of its cyborg brain; Kosuga’s brain-viral attack that leads into a Moebius loop of a nightmare narrative sends the film off into a Borgesian dimension.
It’s a very restrained film, and chilly in its diagnosis. Yes, the “soul” might be what separates the humans from the borgs (even when that line is blurry), but when soul becomes rare it turns into, in a capitalist system, a commodity

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