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Oshii Produces First New Movie in Nine Years (April 5, 2004)

As Japanese anime sweeps the world (think of Pokemon and Spirited Away), the latest movie by one of the country's most talented creators, Oshii Mamoru, was released in Japan on March 6. The anime, Innocence, is Oshii's first movie in nine years, following the highly acclaimed Ghost in the Shell in 1995, and has been much awaited by fans both in Japan and overseas.

Anime Well-Received Overseas
Oshii made his name in the world of anime with Ghost in the Shell, a sharp work of science fiction set in the near future that was immensely popular, especially overseas. It soared to the top of the video chart of the US magazine Billboard. The Wachowski brothers, who directed the hit movie Matrix, said that they were influenced by this work, and Titanic director James Cameron also praised it.

Born in 1951, Oshii worked in anime production after graduating from Tokyo Gakugei University before going independent. Innocence is a sequel to his major hit, Ghost in the Shell. Set in Japan in 2032, it depicts a world in which people have become like cyborgs, with brains linked to a network and mechanical organs. It is in this world that a toy robot resembling a little girl goes on the rampage and kills its owner. A cyborg detective launches an investigation of the case and, wading into the darkness of the incident, comes up with the questions a la Oshii of what human beings are and what our bodies are.

As well as the dynamic action scenes, achieved through advanced digital processing, Oshii also displays his originality in the fine background imagery. For example, Oshii apparently spent 10 months on the production of one three-minute scene in a food store in order to draw the goods that are stocked throughout the store.

Innocence is scheduled to be shown in 10 cities in the United States in the fall, and critics are already speculating about awards.

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Related Web Sites
Spirited Away in Kids Web Japan
Pokemon in Kids Web Japan
Innocence (site is Japanese only)

Copyright (c) 2004 Web Japan. Edited by Japan Echo Inc. based on domestic Japanese news sources. Articles presented here are offered for reference purposes and do not necessarily represent the policy or views of the Japanese Government.

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