Work Title: Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence Medium: Film Episode Title: Year: 2004 Writer(s): Mamarou Oshii (director) "Original" Writer: No
Own work?: No Summary:
Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence (2004) (film) "The story takes place in the year 2032 and the line between humans and machines has been blurred almost beyond distinction. Humans have forgotten that they are human and those that are left coexist with cyborgs (human spirits inhabiting entirely mechanized bodies) and dolls (robots with no human elements at all). / Batou, a cyborg and a detective for the government's covert anti-terrorist unit, Public Security Section 9, is investigating the case of a gynoid – a hyper-real female robot created specifically for sexual companionship – who malfunctions and slaughters her owner." (from http://filmforce.ign.com/articles/533/533495p1.html)
Era/Year of Portrayal: distant_future Distinctive characteristics of the world in portrayal:
Year 2032, people can become cyborgs, meshing organic material with cybernetic features, such as eyes, limbs, memories/brains, and even entire bodies. As Futuristic Noir, the automobiles and buildings have a distinctly early modern feel despite exhibiting futuristic capabilities. Animals can be cloned. Robots, usually differentiated from cyborgs by their lack of free will, are common.
Name of portrayed presence-evoking technology: e-brains, often connected to cybernetic eyes; fully automated robots
Description of the technology: The e-brain involves extended memory and access to computer technology without a direct link (although a direct link via wires seems to allow increased speed and influence). The e-brain allows virtual conferences among linked attendees through what appeared to be holographic imagery. Adept e-brain recipients can "hack" into other e-brains and create realistic illusions. The e-brain allows humans to divest themselves of most organic necessities (one character could remove her face to access a computer scanner), but total divestiture of the body is implied to be frowned upon. The story ends with the realization that the sexaroids (gynoids built for sexual pleasure) have been "ghost dubbed" with the spirits of brainwashed young girls. It is also discovered that the Major (who has been discussed as being "missing" throughout the entire movie) has been able to download a fraction of her consciousness to aid her cyborg colleague Batou. E-brains appear to be restricted mostly to their organic users, but the Major's ability to upload to the Net and then download into a gynoid indicates that the memory of the e-brain is transferable.
Nature of task or activity: The members of Public Safety Section 9 participate in a cyber-conference, at the conclusion of which 2/3 of the participants wink out of sight. Batou hacks into the ocular units of yakuza assassins and creates a false image of himself to fool their targeting. Batou himself is hacked, fooled into thinking he is the target of assasswination, shoots himself and nearly kills the owner of a grocery store due to the illusion. Togusa, Batou's partner, is hacked and experiences the same event three times, each with different, horrific outcomes, until Batou releases him from the hacker's influence. The Major downloads a fraction of her "ghost" into a gynoid to aid Batou in uncovering the secret to the "Hadaly" robot malfunctions.
Performance of the Technology: The technology performs as per programming throughout the story, with the caveat that it is susceptible to re-programming, often with deleterious effect for the unwilling participants of the reprogramming.
Description of creator(s): The true creators of the technology are never revealed, but most characters throughout the film in positions of influence of the technology are male. The only "female" shown in an equivalent position is the Major, who we only know might be female b
Major goal(s) of creator(s): The Hadaly gynoids were created to provide sexual please; all the people killed by them were shown as male. The reason e-brains were invented was not revealed.
Description of users of technology: Overwhelmingly, the users of these technologies are male. Upper class males seem to be prone to hacking, while the lower class males have been enhanced by the upper class males to provide "muscle" for their operations. Most of these have some sort of criminal background. The police also use these technologies, all of whom were shown as mature males, with only one being depicted as potentially "elderly." Only the Major appeared to be a female willingly using this technology. The gynoids' "dubbed ghosts" were unwilling female teenagers (most likely-they short and called "girls").
Type(s) of presence experience in the portrayal: both
Description of presence experience: The members of Public Safety Section 9 participate in a cyber-conference, at the conclusion of which 2/3 of the participants wink out of sight. Batou hacks into the ocular units of yakuza assassins and creates a false image of himself to fool their targeting. Batou himself is hacked, fooled into thinking he is the target of assasswination, shoots himself and nearly kills the owner of a grocery store due to the illusion. Togusa, Batou's partner, is hacked and experiences the same event three times, each with different, horrific outcomes, until Batou releases him from the hacker's influence. The Major downloads a fraction of her "ghost" into a gynoid to aid Batou in uncovering the secret to the "Hadaly" robot malfunctions.
User awareness of technology during experience: Most users know they are participating; the sole exception is when they are "hacked" by an attacker who deliberately sets out to fool them.
Valence of experience: Day-to-day use of this technology does not appear to be detrimental or unenjoyable. The hacking experience seems to leave a lingering discomfort.
Specific responses: Hacking appears to either cause the hacked person to become inert while their brain simulates for them all the activities associated with the illusion or allow them to continue interacting as if the illusion was real. The cyber-conferencing appears to virtually duplicate the experience of a real meeting. Although never shown, the gynoids are equipped with organic parts that are supposed to help with their sexual finctiions; it was also to this purpose the "ghost dubs" were attached to them. The process of dubbing from the live host appears to have been undesirable and uncomfortable. The e-brain and other cybernetic enhancements provide additional capabilities to their organic hosts. During the course of the film, Batou has his cybernetic arm replaced and notes it will take some time for him to adapt to the new attachment.
The story is a protracted discussion of whether the soul exists in organic form and whether inorganic material can be possessed of a human spirit. 2 characters have divulged themselves of their bodies: one was a master hacker who is implied to be sociopathic, and the other was the Major, who functions as Batou's guardian angel and offers a final query for the audience regarding the nature of the link between the soul and flesh before she disappears back into the Net.
There are many philosophical and folkloric references in this movie that would benefit further investigation, including references to the Golem, Descartes, several proverbs, and an allusion (uncredited) to Freud's essay "On the Uncanny" (which would be unrecognizable by anyone not familiar with that work) regarding fear of dolls because they mimic life despite being inanimate.
Coder name: Tom Polcari Coder email: firstname.lastname@example.org Coder affiliation: Temple University, MMC PhD program, Philadelphia, PA, USA