1. Gotta disagree re: GitS1. I've always seen it as one of the best animated examples of less-is-more storytelling. It's barely 80 minutes long, but honestly, it manages to impart so much information about its characters and setting in its short runtime just through subtle visual cues and framing. The example that sticks out in memory off the top of my head is the short scene with Aramaki and the diplomat in the elevator near the beginning. Framing, dialogue, colors, everything tells you exactly what you need to know about these two.
2. Innocence is good, has parts that are great, but I think is weakened by A. some datedly ambitious CG, and B. the second half honestly just feels "off" in terms of pacing and tone. We go to the big cyberpunk slum, we have the obligatory Oshii montage and then we enter corpse guy's magical mansion of practical jokes, and then all of a sudden it's the climax, which honestly feels overblown given the stakes. Then Motoko shows up, gets a sad "goodbye" moment after she decides to peace out back to go play minecraft with skynet and wintermute, and the scene's attempt at pathos falls flat - the audience at this point, in the time frame of both movies, hasn't spent enough time with the movie timeline's version of Motoko to really give any more than a shrug once you get to the shot of the deactivated fuckdoll with the folk choir belting out one last line. It feels like they just sort of banked on people watching SAC and going "OHHHH MMMMYYY GGGOOOODDD IT'S MAJOR TITS."
3. Interesting you bring up the point about Patlabor 2, because there's an interview on the old limited edition set in which Oshii explicitly states that he saw GitS and P2 as companion pieces