Killer sex robots. Brainy cyber-cops. A decade after manga hit Ghost In The Shell, Mamoru Oshii still has little time for people. “I imagine eliminating all human interaction,” he narrates – this time, surly detective Batou hunting down corporate criminals who have programmed sexbots to murder their owners. But nothing is simple in this futuristic Gothic metropolis – especially when mind-altering viruses are being planted in your e-brain.
Tangled realities, twisted plotlines and cod-philosophy threaten to spoil the ride, but the shoot-’em-up scenes compensate for Batou’s existential rambling. With fanatical attention to detail, CG whiz Toshihiko Nishikubo’s stunning visuals push back boundaries. Oshii’s brave new world may reduce humanity to a whisper, but it’s manmade animation that saves the day.