Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, known simply as Innocence (イノセンス Inosensu) in Japan, is a 2004 anime/computer-animated sci-fi sequel to the 1995 film Ghost in the Shell. Released in Japan on March 6, 2004, and in the US on September 17, 2004, Innocence had a production budget of approximately $20 million (approx. 2 billion yen). To raise the sum, Production I.Gstudio's president, Mitsuhisa Ishikawa, asked Studio Ghibli's president, Toshio Suzuki, to co-produce. It is the only Disney/Studio Ghibli film to be animated production by Production I.G.
With a story loosely connected to the manga by Shirow Masamune, the film was written and directed by Ghost in the Shell directorMamoru Oshii. The film was honored best sci-fi film at the 2004 Nihon SF Taisho Awards and was in competition at the 2004Cannes Film Festival. The soundtrack for the film was released under the name Innocence O.S.T. and a related novel called Innocence: After the Long Goodbye was released on February 29, 2004. This film makes many allusions and references to other famous works, such as The Future Eve. The foreign DVD release of the film faced many issue ranging from licensing to audio.
The story is loosely based on Ghost in the Shell manga chapter "Robot Rondo". Opening in 2032, Public Security Section 9cybernetic 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, 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 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. Having his damaged arm replaced, Ishikawa informs Batou his E-brain was hacked, causing him to shoot himself and attack the others. Ishikawa explains that Batou was hacked to try and 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, noting he knows Kim hacked his brain in the store.
Boarding the LOCUS SOLUS headquarters ship, Batou infiltrates it while Togusa hacks its security systems using an unaware Kim as a proxy. Becoming aware of Batou, the ship's security AIs retaliate by fail-deadly means; they cause gynoids to attack everyone aboard indiscriminately, and use counter-hacking to stop Togusa, only to kill Kim in the process. 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 security AIs.
Taking control of the ship, the Major then reveals to Batou the truth about the gynoids. Hiring the Yakuza to traffick young girls, LOCUS SOLUS duplicated their consciousnesses into the gynoids, giving them human "ghosts" to make them more realistic. Batou rescues a young girl being duplicated, and she explains Jack Walkson, learning 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. Having solved the case, Batou thanks the Major, and she notes that she'll always be with him, before disconnecting from the gynoid.