- See it immediately. The plot is... well, kind of dumb, and loaded with holes and nonsense, but it's so very, very pretty. The giant robots, ray guns, and amphibian amazon fighter pilots left me not caring so much about the plot. It's dense: there's so much going on in the background that I felt like the scenery was going by too fast, I kept wanting to just stop and look around. The look of the movie reminded me of the kind of look that photo-comics often have (a good example is this classic Mister X cover and poster, of which I was constantly reminded.)
There were also hints at a very odd backstory; the world in which this movie is set differs from ours in a whole lot of ways that I kept wanting to know more about. I guess "wait, how did we get from A to B?" was kind of a running theme in my head while I was watching it; e.g., a number of the plot holes might not have been so gaping if there was more exposition about them.
It was emulating the style of the old serials, yet it felt like it should have been multiple episodes; like a 20 part series had been condensed into one movie, leaving out a whole lot.
- See it immediately. (But see it second.) I am a huge, huge fan of the first Ghost in the Shell; it's one of my favorite movies, and by far my favorite anime. (For the record, I think almost all anime is crap, but there are a dozen or so true gems in there.)
Well, now it's my second favorite. The sequel is just mind-blowingly good.
Again I have to use the word dense. Except this time not only visually, but plot-wise as well. The level of detail in every frame is just astounding; through the whole movie I kept wanting to pause and single-step it, because there's just so much going on. On the surface, the plot is a detective story ("why are robots going nuts and killing people?") but that's just an excuse for a pair of cops to spend the movie talking about the nature of humanity (oh, and also blowing things up. Blowing things up real good.) It covers a lot of the same ground as the first GITS as well as Blade Runner, but covers it very well.
I really hope that when the DVD comes out, they have good voice actors for the dubbed version, because I felt like I missed half the movie by having to read the subtitles. With a movie this dense, you need more bandwidth; I wanted to be looking and listening at the same time instead of having to split my visual attention between the dialog and the pictures.