Review: Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence (2004)

Mamoru Oshii’s challenging follow-up to his breathtaking original film, Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence (2004)Ghost_in_the_Shell_2_Innocence.jpg is a post-cyberpunk, post-human foray into the vanishing line between humans and machines. Set some time after the conclusion of the first film, the sequel follows Batou and Togusa, newly partnered up, as they investigate a series of grisly murders involving gynoid sex dolls. Despite being overshadowed by its predecessor, Innocence remains one of my favourite anime film.

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Review: Blame! (2017)

Netflix delved into original anime filmmaking with Blame! (2017), adapted from Tsutomu Nihei’s manga of the same title. Set in a distant post-apocalyptic future where the last remnants of humanity cling on to survival in a vast, machine-controlled city, it’s a refreshing take on a number of familiar sci-fi and anime tropes. Directed by Hiroyuki Seshita (Knights of Sidonia, Ajin) and produced by Polygon Pictures, a Japanese CG animation studio best known to me for their work on Mamoru Oshii’s Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, Blame! is worth a look for any anime fan with a Netflix subscription.

blame-title
It’s pronounced ‘BLAM!’

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Review: Psycho-Pass: The Movie (2015)

It wasn’t really my intention to limit my anime reviews to Production I.G’s films, but I wound up watching Psycho-Pass: The Movie (2015) and here we are. Psycho-Pass PosterThe film follows Psycho-Pass (2012) and Psycho-Pass 2 (2014), both television anime series. Like Production I.G’s own, earlier Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex and the subsequent Solid State Society film, and not unlike what they’d later repeat with Ghost in the Shell ARISE project, this anime film follows an existing series and doesn’t truly stand alone – something to keep in mind before deciding to watch it. 

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Review: Ghost in the Shell: The New Movie (2015)

Ghost in the Shell: The New Movie (2015) is the feature-length follow-up to Ghost in the Shell ARISE, the third animated iteration of the Ghost in the Shell franchiseTheatrical roadshow poster (after the original films and the Stand Alone Complex era of the early 2000s). In Japanese, it’s called Shin Gekijōban’, which is akin to ‘the new movie based on an anime or television series’. This explains both the clumsy English language title and the reliance on characters and plot elements from ARISE that, enjoyable or not, prevents it from excelling as a standalone experience.

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Review: Ghost in the Shell (1995)

I first saw Ghost in the Shell (1995) in the late ‘90s, on a probably-rented VHS, with the American dub (which, to my recollection, actually held up as ghost-in-the-shell-posterone of the better dubs I’ve heard, though I haven’t tested that in years). Since then I’ve revisited it several times, with the original Japanese audio, both before and after I learned to speak the language. I recently had the opportunity to see it in a cinema for the first time, which presents a perfect moment to discuss the film here.

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