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Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, known in Japan as just Innocence (イノセンス, Inosensu), is a 2004 Japanese animated cyberpunk film written and directed by Mamoru Oshii. The film serves as a standalone sequel to Oshii's 1995 film Ghost in the Shell and is loosely based on the manga by Masamune Shirow.

The film was co-produced by Production I.G and Studio Ghibli for Tokuma Shoten, Nippon Television Network, Dentsu, Buena Vista Home Entertainment, Toho and D-Rights, 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. The film's US box office performance had exceeded Go Fish Pictures' expectation.

Innocence received the 2004 Nihon SF Taisho Award. It was also in competition at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival, making it the first and only anime in history to compete for the Palme d'Or. 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.

Plot[]

The story is loosely based on Ghost in the Shell manga chapter "Robot Rondo" (with elements of "Phantom Fund"). Opening in 2032, Public Security Section 9 cybernetic operative Batou is teamed with Togusa, an agent with very few cybernetic upgrades, following the events of Ghost in the Shell.

After a series of deaths due to malfunctioning gynoids—doll-like sex robots—Section 9 is asked to investigate. As the gynoids all malfunctioned without clear cause, the deaths are believed to be premeditated murders; Batou and Togusa are sent to investigate possible terrorist or political motives. Additionally, the most recent gynoid's remains show they all contained an illegal "ghost". Section 9 concludes human sentience is being artificially duplicated onto the dolls illegally, making the robots more lifelike, and possibly acting as a motive in the murders.

Called to a homicide scene, information warfare/technology specialist Ishikawa explains the victim is Jack Walkson, a consignment officer at gynoid company LOCUS SOLUS, who may have been killed by the Yakuza. A previous Yakuza boss was recently killed by a gynoid, so Ishikawa concludes Walkson was held responsible and killed in an act of revenge. Batou and Togusa enter a Yakuza bar to question the current boss, only to be threatened by the bar occupants. Batou opens fire, killing and wounding numerous gang members, including the cyborg that murdered Walkson. The current boss then admits his predecessor was somehow involved in LOCUS SOLUS, but insists he doesn't know how.

Entering a store on his way home, Batou is then seemingly warned by the Major and shot in the arm by an unseen assailant. Caught in a firefight, Batou nearly kills the store owner in confusion, but is subdued when Ishikawa appears. While having his damaged arm replaced, Batou is informed by Ishikawa that his e-brain was hacked, causing him to shoot himself and attack the store occupants. Ishikawa explains that Batou was hacked in order to cause further scandal following his Yakuza assault in an attempt to stop the Section 9 investigation.

Batou and Togusa then head for the mansion of Kim, a soldier-turned-hacker with an obsession with dolls. Seemingly dead, Kim soon reveals he "lives" inside the shell of a human-sized marionette, and discusses philosophy with his visitors. Kim admits ties to LOCUS SOLUS, divulging that the company has secret headquarters in international waters. Warned again by the Major, Batou realizes that Kim has secretly hacked into his and Togusa's e-brains, and is currently trapping them in a false reality. Resetting Togusa's brain, Batou subdues Kim, stating he knows Kim hacked his brain in the store.

Resolved to gather material evidence, Batou infiltrates the LOCUS SOLUS headquarters ship while Togusa remotely hacks its security systems using an unaware Kim as a proxy. The ship's security becomes aware of the hacking and retaliates with a virus that fries Kim's cyberbrain. Simultaneously, a hidden virus loads a combat program into the production-line gynoids, causing them to attack everyone aboard, which the poorly armed and panic security force are easily slaughtered. As Batou fights to the ship's center, the Major then appears by controlling a gynoid remotely, helping Batou fight the gynoids and hack the ship's security.

Taking control of the ship, the Major reveals to Batou the truth about the gynoids. Hiring the Yakuza to traffic young girls, LOCUS SOLUS duplicated their consciousnesses into the gynoids, giving them human "ghosts" to make them more realistic. Batou rescues a young girl from a "ghost dubbing" machine, and she explains that Jack Walkson, having learned the truth about LOCUS SOLUS, promised to save the girls by tampering with the ghosting process. This caused the gynoids to murder their owners, allowing Walkson to attract police attention and indirectly kill the Yakuza boss. Despite Walkson's actions saving the girls, Batou objects that he also victimized the gynoids as well, causing them severe distress by giving them damaged ghosts. Having solved the case, Batou asks the Major if she's happy now. She responds that she'll always be beside him on the network, then disconnects from the gynoid.

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