Review: Appleseed

Appleseed is a film about a world trying to bring itself together after multiple, ravaging wars. Hope is out there though. In fact in this world there is an highly successful community, known as Olympus, which is thought by many to be a utopia. The main character Deunan, a young woman who’s highly-skilled with weaponry, is skeptical, especially because the police force of Olympus, known as E.S.W.A.T., kidnap her early on in the film so that she joins them.

However, Deunan does melodramatically reunite in Olympus with her lost comrade, and past romantic interest Briareos this way only to discover to her shock that his body is now 100% mechanical. Likewise, she gains a new friend Hitomi, whom she finds out is a bioroid, a name which more or less speaks for itself. Of course, life couldn’t be this easy, and very early on we see that people are after Deunan, and additionally there appears to be an ongoing battle over the existence of bioroids. Will Deunan be able to find herself a new life in Olympus, or will lost memories bring her and her entire world down with her? And what is Appleseed?

Well, that’s my plot summary, and if I didn’t give the plot enough of a going over, then I apologize but this does let me get fairly quickly to my complaints. See, in general I find the plot to be fairly interesting; however, I don’t feel I ever am close enough to understanding the character’s feelings to really care as much as I’m supposed to. This plays out more in the relationship between Deunand and Briareos than any other part of the film, since nothing really happens at first, and then by the time we come to some sort of conclusion, positive, negative or otherwise, I just felt I didn’t know their history enough to care one way or the other. Of course, a couple cheesy lines thrown in don’t help either, but that’s not that rare.

Actually, and this is my primary complaint personally, I disliked the graphics of the characters themselves. First, let me describe how these characters look though, because it’s CGI, but there’s more to it. I’d say it’s a combination of the Dead or Alive games, the Mii options on the Wii, and the early CGI Final Fantasy charcters. Now to some of you this may actually be a positive and one of the reasons you like the film. However, for me I just couldn’t quit being distracted by the character’s graphics. Indeed, I do believe that the background graphics look really cool, and CGI works well there, but otherwise not so much.

In summary, if you’re looking for just an decently entertaining anime film with action, then Appleseed fits. Especially for the cyberpunk fans out there this will be of interest, but just go in expecting a lesser-quality Ghost in the Shell and I think you’ll still enjoy the film.

Score: 3 out of 5


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