Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence
Oshii's long-awaited sequel to his 1995 classic made history as the first anime film ever accepted into competition for the Palme d'Or at Cannes.
Produced on a lavish $20-million budget, the long-awaited sequel to the 1995 classic — which made history as the first (and so far only) anime film ever accepted into competition for the Palme d'Or at Cannes — saw Oshii attaining his highest degree of both financial resources and creative freedom. The focus here shifts from Ghost in the Shell's protagonist Major Kusanagi to Batou, her second-in-command, as he investigates a series of deaths caused by "gynoids," robots created for sexual pleasure which have recently been slaughtering their unlucky owners. A jaw-droppingly gorgeous sci-fi mystery, Innocence turns its potentially trashy and/or exploitative premise into a complex meditation on the nature of the human soul — without, naturally, skimping on the thrills of high-calibre weaponry and android carnage. (And yes, major plot developments hinge upon Oshii's signature bassett hound.)