Earth's last city Olympus arose from the ashes of a global war on the backs of Bioroids, artificial clones who make up half the city's population. Under the strict guidance of a supercomputer, humanity's last survivors en... more »joy an idyllic peace, but only on the surface. Human terrorists w/in the military seek a return to power and clash with the government's ESWAT forces led by the legendary soldier, Deunan Knute, and her boyfriend who is 75% machine. Retrieving the Appleseed will end the conflict, and Deunan alone holds its secret.« less
"Based on the comic book series by Masamune Shirow, APPLESEED takes place on a future Earth following a massive world war. A small zone of peace and civilization exists in Olympus, a city overseen by the supercomputer Gaia. Balance is kept via the coexistence of humans and bioroids, artificial beings with suppressed emotions (who are thus less likely to lead to dissent and more war.) But as it is human nature to fear other races, many fear a time when bioroids will control humans. It is up to skilled warrior Deunan Knute to unlock the secret from her past that will prevent a new conflict from breaking out.
This version of APPLESEED is entirely computer generated, to varying degrees of success. The outdoor night scenes look spectacular, while day and indoor scenes look rather artificial. At first I thought the human characters were hand drawn, but they too are rendered, though not as fully as those in 2001's FINAL FANTASY movie. They appear flat and doll-like next to the scenery and mechanical constructs, with their hair curiously molded. It might have been better if they had been done the old-fashioned way after all.
The film is presented on DVD in three 5.1 soundtracks: English Dolby Digital, Japanese Dolby Digital, and Japanese DTS. I'm not set up for DTS yet so I watched it with the second option, and it sounded fantastic. This is a movie you'll want to show off your surround sound system with.
Extras on the standard DVD edition include a director and producer commentary, previews for other Geneon releases, and staff biographies. You can also jump directly to the musical sequences within the film; featured artists (with biographies) include Boom Boom Satellites, Paul Oakenfold, Ryuichi Sakamoto and others. There is also an advert for the CD soundtrack, and DVD credits, but it's reaching a bit to call these extras.
This film has been rated R by the MPAA which I think is harsh. Except for a little bloody violence in the opening sequence, there's nothing in APPLESEED that wouldn't be appropriate for younger viewers, although the story may fly over their heads. If you're going to watch it around kids, you might want to just jump past the first chapter. Or not.
Despite the ambitious nature of the production, I found it left me a bit cold overall. This may be stating the obvious, since most of the characters we meet are artificial, but there is very little emotion or humanity in the story. I didn't care much about any of them. The story isn't very involving, and Deunan's ties with Olympus' origins felt contrived. It's worth renting if you're a CG enthusiast, but I can't give this a strong recommendation otherwise."
Give this Appleseed a chance!
john fallen | native Virginian | 04/11/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is my first review for Amazon. I've always felt that the reviews that I read were adequate to represent the movies and anime that I liked. Not this time. I have an extensive collection of anime. Everything from the really silly stuff, filled with fan service, to the very serious classics that so many fans rave about. I'm not really into the mecha thing, though I do have a lot of it. It's the animation first that drives my interest, then its the story and the character development are close seconds. Appleseed has all that I'm looking for in an anime, and in Spades. Great characters, a well crafted plot, and some of the best animation I have ever see. To say, as some reviewers have, that the movement in this version are unnatural,is more than unfair, it's just not true. All action is extremely lifelike, and the action scenes are the best I've ever seen. I actually found myself reversing the disc to rewatch some action repeatedly, something I never do. I've owned this version of Appleseed a few weeks now, and I have watched it at least five times, and am looking forward to another veiwing soon. I have relied on Amazon reveiws to decide whether or not to buy anime in the past, so I hope that this reveiw is helpful. There is a lot of good anime worth investing in, and this one is near the top of my list."
"Boiroids don't kill other bioroids."
Marc Ruby? | Warren, MI USA | 11/12/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Close to the beginnings of my anime reviewing here I saw the 2001 Final Fantasy release. This set a standard for CGI that may very well never be equaled without a significant technology breakthrough. Another notable film of the period was the original Ghost in the Shell, had outstanding animation. Appleseed has much in common with both films. It shares the heavy use of CGI, and some interesting bits of underlying philosophy with Final Fantasy. And, like Ghost, it was created from a manga series from Masamune Shirow. If you're familiar with Ghost in the Shell you may very well see the world of Appleseed as that post-apocalyptic version of Ghost's, which was already unraveling.
Here the world is mostly ruined, other than a small colony composed of humans and bioroids - androids whose primary function seems to be to balance humanity's tendency to self-destruct. They are indistinguishable from humans other than that they lack the ability to breed, and cannot feel anger. Yet all this is apparently to no avail. With no outer war to distract them mankind has opted for inner violence, and Olympus is torn by human fear of the bioroids.
Into this comes Deunan Knute, a deadly woman warrior who is the daughter of a woman who helped create the first bioroids, and, in the company of Briarius, and old lover who has become more machine than human, Deunan is Olympus's hope for the future. Buried within her mind is the key that will complete the bioroids, and give them the capability to love and have children. The events trigger an Armageddon like confrontation.
The story is almost successful, despite it's somewhat simplistic characterization. Director Shinji Arimaki fails to provide some needed continuity, though. The result is that important things happen off-stage and there are too many unexplained switches in the plot. Arimaki has seized the primary theme of human anger, suspicion and xenophobia, thrown in a lost of admittedly spectacular scenery and fight scenes. But he only pays lip service to the deeper questions of human nature that Shirow often addresses. The result is an vary entertaining film that just misses the mark.
That being said, it's still worth watching. There is an earlier animation film of this story that enjoys a significant cult following. I would like to see that, and look at the manga as well. There is something to this that does capture the imagination, and there's more to be found than what this film focuses on."
J. A Hayes | Montgomery, AL United States | 05/12/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Appleseed recieved a ton of hype prior to its DVD release, and for good reason. Using a new technique called 3D live action CG, the original story has been given an amazing upgrade. The story involves Deunan Knute, a beautiful but deadly soldier, who after World War III is taken to the city of Olympus (which is supposed to be a Utopia). In this city, humans coexist with the Bioroids, an advanced human clone form whose purpose is to make human existence more peaceful. When the balance of this relationship is threatened, Deunan and Briareos are the only hope to save the city of Olympus (from what I wont say). I can say that this movie is action-packed throughout, and there was never a slow moment to me. Another reviewer said that this was not a deep philosophical anime like Akira or Ghost in the Shell, and that is true. But who needs that when you have something that is so visually impressive? One complaint is that the story is too rushed. I thought it was excellent, and it has been said that a sequel is in the works. But anyway, the bottom line is that this is the most impressive CG feature I have ever seen. The characters are very easy to relate to, the action will surely please any fan that wants action in an anime, and the soundtrack in the movie is awesome.
So I bought the two-disc version in the LE tin. If you have more money the Briareos figure is a very cool thing to have. As far as the tin goes, it is high quality featuring great artwork from the movie. It is not metal like some others I have bought, and it is hard to explain. Very nice though and a must for anime fans and collectors.
There are some great extras in this loaded set compared to other anime movie releases (most come with little or no insight into the making of the film). On disk 1 is the feature film in English or Japanese. There are also previews for other Geneon releases (Samurai Champloo, Paranoia Agent, Fafner and a couple of others). Disk 2 has some pretty great extras as well. There is a behind the scenes featurette with several of the people behind the movie to start out, and it gives their opinions on Appleseed and the pros of this new animated style. It is interesting if you like that sort of thing on DVDs. There is also a concept art gallery as well as image gallery with most of the characters from the movie. Next there are 2 Japanese trailers from the thearical release of Appleseed as well as 1 U.S. trailer. "Appleseed Info" fills you in on some of the names throughout the movie and what they are, such as "Gaia", as well as character bios. Add to this a commentary track from both the director and producer, and it makes for one excellent anime DVD.
Overall this is now my favorite anime feature film (and I have seen several). The story was great and easy to understand. The action sequences with Deunan and Briareos are awesome. The songs from the movie are perfectly suited to the scene which adds to its greatness. I believe a lot of people may share my opinion upon first viewing this, but it may not appeal to everybody. Best anime movie ever? That is for you to decide. At least give it a shot, and if you become a fan then this 2 disc version is the one to own."
Welcome to the Next Level
Richard Stoehr | Bremerton, WA USA | 04/28/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I just had the privilege of watching an advance promo copy of this new version of Appleseed, and I am deeply impressed.
Simply put, it is beautiful. Hands down, the animation in Appleseed is some of the best I've ever seen; a stunning combination of computer rendering and cell animation, with mind-blowing results. It puts pretty much every other animated movie I've seen recently -- from "Final Fantasy" to "The Incredibles" -- to absolute shame. Those movies wish they looked this good.
The soundtrack, featuring Paul Oakenfold and Ryuichi Sakamoto among others, is also excellent. The music provides counterpoint to key scenes, but is never over the top.
The story is a solid one, peopled by believable characters and a steadily-moving plotline. Action sequences are paced nicely, and the dialogue is simple but works. My one complaint (a minor one) is that I wish that they had gotten better voice actors for some of the parts. The actress for Deunan was fine, but better actors for Briareos and Hitomi I think would have carried it a little better. Nevertheless, this was but a minor distraction in an otherwise outstanding film.
If you're a fan of Japanese animation, or animated films in general, then you must see this movie. This could well be the first in the next generation of animated movies -- which would be quite fitting."