Review of 'Appleseed (Appurushîdo)'

appleseed.jpg Following the devastation of the third world war, warrior Deunan Knute (voiced by Ai Kobayashi) fighting in the ruins is rescued by a heavily armoured “ESWAT” (Extra-Special Weapons and Advanced Tactics) team. Deunan is taken to a utopian city called “Olympus” whose population is made up of humans and “bioroids” - engineered clones. The city is ruled by Prime Minister Athena Areios (voiced by Mami Koyama) and a Council of Elders who commune with an artificial intelligence named Gaia. Deunan is startled to learn her former lover Briareos (voiced by Jûrôta Kosugi) is now a cyborg. She is convinced by the friendly face of Olympus, Hitomi (voiced by Yuki Matsuoka), to join ESWAT to battle anti-bioroid forces headed by Colonel Hades (voiced by Takehito Koyasu) attacking the city. They quickly learn that all is not as it seems, will they be able to save the day? Perhaps with the help of some big guns…

A computer-generated action anime continuing the much older “Appleseed” franchise. This is a film for newcomers to the series, explaining the origins of the key characters. The characters are well done though there is a lot of detail lost in this translation of the film and lacks the sense of fun and silliness found in previous instalment - This is a serious attempt at Science Fiction but it all feels a bit sterile. The character animation is all a bit wooden which distances them from the viewer. At the end of the day though I suppose people are watching this for the action – They will not be disappointed. Fans of the original series will likely be pleased also to see their characters given the modern, big-screen treatment but I can't help thinking they will miss some of the fun.

The plot is a bit convoluted and it is hard to keep track and absorb the details as they are thrown at you as fast as the action appears. Some of the action is frightfully person but blood is notably missing here allowing the viewer to quickly move onto the next magnificent visual. The style of animation is ultra-high-tech and ultra-realistic save for the characters who have a glass-like sheen to them that hearkens to a modern comic-book style.

Lots of action, big guns, and violence with an interesting, if slightly confusing, story. There is a large amount of incredible violence and terrific scenes of destruction put to the sounds of a high-octane soundtrack. Sound good? This is for you. For me, a tad too violent but it does look quite good…

Rating: “It is OK but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2020-03-28

Directed by: Shinji Aramaki and Steven Foster

Studio: Appleseed Film Partners

Year: 2004

Length: 101 minutes

Genre: Japanese Animation

Other reviewed films by Shinji Aramaki: