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Spoiler-ridden interview with director Mamoru Oshii:
From the trailer it looks like a lot of CGI machinery awkwardly mixed in with character drawing. The story idea seems lifted straight from Armitage III, only with more of that heavy out-of-body stuff (and melancholy) that is Oshii's specialty. I mean, the man didn't look the interviewer in the eye once! (Thanks to del.icio.us/moth23 for the link).
The original Ghost in the Shell, adapted from a manga (Japanese novel in comic-book form) by Shirow Masamune, inspired Andy and Larry Wachowski to make The Matrix [what didn't? --TM] and topped stateside video sales in 1996. Innocence, which premiered at Cannes last spring, catches up with Batou, a cyborg detective who journeys through a futuristic cityscape to crack the case of the killer gynoids (a term coined by Oshii). The prostitute ring of robotic Geisha-like sex-toys turns out to be masterminded by Kim, a crafty doll who fends off the investigation by implanting false experiences into Batou's "e-brain."
The sleuth eventually reunites with the Major, who exited her "shell" to become pure soul -- a ghost -- at the end of the first installment. Together they rescue hapless gynoids who become animated by having the ghosts of real girls "dubbed" into their bisque-coated physiques. In between his battles with Yakuza thugs, toxic firewalls and homicidally programmed assassins, Batou, Oshii's self-proclaimed alter ego, discusses Descartes, quotes Shelley and cites biblical passages.
UPDATE: Saw this on Sept. 21. It's beautiful to look at, like Peter Greenaway's Prospero's Books, which I also fell asleep in. Really don't like the combination of CGI (with obvious photoshop textures) and cartoon anime.