Customer Review

25 of 32 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Boiroids don't kill other bioroids.", November 12, 2005
This review is from: Appleseed (Widescreen) (2004) (DVD)
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.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 10, 2007 3:25:45 AM PDT
B. Rivera says:
I have always been fascinated by the imagery of Deunan and Briareos, but I never delved into this story until the past two weeks. Having seen the first movie (from the 80's), I was very disappointed. It basically felt like a big episode in the series, just picking up and leaving things open-ended. Then I began reading the manga, and respectfully enjoyed the humor and playfulness mixed with a deeper philosphy. While I am still picking up speed on the manga, I couldn't wait to watch THIS film, especially after being disappointed by another effects-filled film, Ghost in the Shell 2. Knowing that some people felt the darker tone of this version of Appleseed, especially in the portrayal of Briareos, was a disrespectful deviation from the original characters, I basically, thoroughly LOVE this film. It took the concept and world of the manga and became a new, strong stand alone piece that moved and was moving.
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