Review
Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence Music Video Anthology
Emru Townsend · August 21, 2005 | Anime is made for music videos. Many productions use imagery that is either contemporary—more so than just about any other kind of animation—or fantastic, which is perfect for the MTV aesthetic (not that MTV actually plays music videos anymore, but still). Matthew Sweet, Michael Jackson, Front 242, and countless fans understand this and have worked with that appeal.

On the surface, then, Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence Music Video Anthology is a natural, using imagery from Mamoru Oshii's visually sumptuous movie in tandem with its atmospheric and often eerie soundtrack. In practice, the results are something of a disappointment.

While the title sequence is identical to the movie's, much of the DVD's running time is made up of cameras moving through CGI sets, more or less set to the same music that accompanied them in the movie. Imagine, for example, Batou and the Major's assault on the underwater complex, only with the foreground animated elements removed. There's plenty of beautiful artwork, and as it's unobscured it's probably the first time you'll be able to see some of it clearly. But it's flimsy material to hang such great music on.

Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence Music Video Anthology
Directed by Mizuho Nishikubo
Production IG/Bandai Entertainment, 2005
Originally Japanese release in 2004
42 minutes

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If anything, Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence Music Video Anthology works best when its components are separate. The music is as good as any soundtrack, but the visuals would work well projected above a dance floor or at a concert. If you're a DJ, then you're in luck. Otherwise, you might be better off waiting a few weeks for Bandai's release of the movie's soundtrack on CD.

DVD Features: 1.78:1 aspect ratio; English, Japanese and karaoke subtitles; Region 1.
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