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Appleseed Movie Review

by: sothis
January 3, 2005

story 9.5/10

Appleseed Movie screenshot Having seen the original OVA for Appleseed, I was expecting this movie would be nothing more than glorified eye candy with a weak plot and nothing to show up the surely pretty graphics. The original OVA is basically a police show, handling one case. We know about the city and the bioroids, and the hostilities between the bioroids and the military, but not much more than that. We have no idea what Appleseed means or why it has anything to do with the OVA, and there isn't anything deep, per se.

Boy, was I surprised...

Appleseed the MOVIE was incredible. Simply incredible. And hands down one of the best sci fi plots I've seen in a film. Unlike the OVA, this movie goes into great detail about what Appleseed is, more history about the city and why it was created, who created it, and who is involved with the clashes between the military and the bioroids. Not to mention, the way it's shown to us is damn interesting, as opposed to how boring I felt the OVA was. We see Deunan's life briefly before she came to Olympus, how she was "recruited", and even her past relationship with Briareos. None of this is shown in the OVA, we just see her in the city happily doing various police duties.

Appleseed is an hour and a half, but flies by, and definitely feels like you are watching a movie. I didn't feel like there were any downtimes or slow times that I felt bored. There always was something going on, whether it was exploring the beautiful city, getting caught in a badass fight, or discovering terrible secrets about one's past. At first, the plot seems cool enough as it is: bioroids are 50% of the city, military wants to shut them down, bioroids want to take control because humanity is full of burdening emotions that will cause their destruction. Then, however, even more craziness occurs and we find out an insidious plot full of twists, turns, and betrayals, including one major twist at the end that shocked me, at least. We see relationships between the characters, character development, and overall, walk away at the end feeling great about having seen this masterpiece. Appleseed is fantastic, hands down, and the plot shined.

animation 9.6/10

Considering most people knew about Appleseed because of the kickass graphics, it shouldn't be a surprise that they did indeed kick ass. The backgrounds were BEAUTIFUL, and at times the surroundings and people (but only from afar) looked quite real. One scene in particular was when Deunan fell on a bed, and the blankets moved softly like a person had actually fallen on them. The training facility is another good example... the stone walls looked extremely real. Unfortunately the characters didn't look totally realistic, as this wasn't really trying to be another Final Fantasy: Spirits Within type CG movie. It almost looked animated in a way, or very, very well blended with CG. Appleseed is 100% CG though, so the style just happens to look that way. It sort of reminded me of Tales of Symphona, how it was layered and such. Colors were all dark and moody, as the entire film was very cyberpunk. The robots used to fight in were amazing, and all the movements in general were impressive and fluid. The fight scenes in general were extremely interesting, especially the fight between Deunan, Briareous, and these cyborg women who fought with razor thin cord that could slice right through a car. Seriously folks, the animation was stunning and the screenshots should prove it. I only knocked down a slight bit of points because I wish the characters would have looked a little more real and less animated.

sound 9/10

The audio was a strange mix of synthy electronic beats, and pop type songs. Not J-pop, which was strange... all the pop songs were sung in English. This was a fault, I think... the songs fit the scenes, but I wondered why English songs were chosen for an anime of sorts. Regardless, the music flowed PERFECTLY with the scenes, and mirrored the tension, action, or drama of the moment beautifully. Orchestral pieces tied up various scenes, making it feel even more like a movie, not a random episode. Fantastic music all the way around. Voice acting was great as well.

characters 9.5/10

Two characters dominated the movie: Deunan and Briareos. Briareos, as we find out extremely soon in the movie (hence I don't consider it a spoiler) was Deunan's lover, who has since had to get a cyborg body due to an incident in the war. Their relationship is the cornerstone of the movie, I felt. The dynamic between the two when they are reunited up until the end is tear jerking at times, and frustrating at other times. For some reason you feel empathetic towards them and their fate, which is something most movies usually can't do, in my opinion. Other characters are just as interesting, such as Athena, the makeshift leader of the bioroids and prime minister, and Hitomi, the young bioroid female who recruited Deunan. These characters have their pasts explored and we know some things about them, but Deunan and Briareos are definitely the heart and soul of the movie. Other characters include the military and those who want to destroy the bioroids, the seven old men who communicate with Gaia (the city's artificial intelligence), and more. I believe everyone in the movie contributes to the amazing feel you have once you finish, and thus the high score.

overall 9.5/10

Appleseed was much better than I expected, and was an amazing film to boot. Literally the only thing I'd complain about (and it's minor) is the fact that they could have gone 100% bang up CG and made the characters look real, and they definitely looked animated most of the time. Besides that, stunning visuals, great music, wonderful character development, and an all around thrilling and exciting sci fi plot that has several twists and turns makes for an absolutely amazing watch. You must check this out if you love sci fi.

Anime Info

  • Movie (1 ep x 105 min)
  • 2004

In a world where mankind is at the brink of destruction, one lone scientist has concocted the means to save it: bioroids. These artificial humans coexist with humans in the city of Olympus, under the watchful eye of the supercomputer Gaia -- to stabilize society. The military strongly opposes their use, however, and the elite soldier Deunan may hold the key to saving both the human race and the lives of the bioroids. Teamed up with an old friend, Briareos, Deunan must race against the clock to discover the secret of the Appleseed before countless lives are tragically lost...

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About the Author

sothis's avatar


My fav genres include sci fi and horror, but you'll find a lot of obscure reviews from me too, given I watch a ton to add to the database. My new reviews are written a lot better than my old ones, so when in doubt, sort by date! ^_^ Enjoy, and I welcome any and all feedback.

More Reviews


TakuraX avatar TakuraX
Jan 23, 2011

the songs were in English because that's Boom Boom Satellites style.  I'm pretty sure they did the music for the the sequel and Vexille.

FedExMachina avatar FedExMachina
Dec 30, 2010

i couldn't get over the animation for the characters. When the humans look just as much like robots because of the CG animation... it makes for a real disconnect. Otherwise a solid movie.

adric avatar adric
Aug 21, 2009

I really liked this movie, and agree with you that it would have been nice for the characters to look real and not so cel-animated. I was greatly disappointed by the sequel though; a good movie in its own right but it couldn't sustain the tension or the excitement from this one.

MaatiSan avatar MaatiSan
Aug 21, 2009

Over rated, but good.  I'd give it a solid 8/10, some of the fighting was just tossed in because the dialogue was getting dull more than its tie in with the plot.  Such as the 3 assassin bot attack while main char girl was in the car, also the training sequence.

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