Critic’s Log - Earthdate: October 21, 2013. Review #61: Appleseed (1988 OVA)
I don’t even know what to say before going over this one… Here’s an OVA of Appleseed.
After World War III, the General Management Control Office construct an experimental city known as Olympus inhabited by humans, cyborgs and bioroids. Bioroids are a genetically engineered being created to serve mankind. They run all administration of Olympus. Olympus was meant to be a utopian society. But for some it is less of a utopia and more of a cage. Calon Mautholos, an Olympus city police officer, is one of these people. Things run amok when a terrorist, A. J. Sebastian, plans to destroy Gaia, a super computer that runs Olympus. Out to stop him are Olympus city police SWAT team members Deunan Knute and Briareos Hecatonchires. Deunan and Briareos are determined to stop the terrorist plot at all costs.
To be technical, this is a production of 5 studios. which are AIC, Bandai Visual, MOVIC, Tohokushinsha Film Corporation, and even Gainax. Does this movie hold up now that it has 5 studios. Not exactly. Even though this was made in 1988, the animation does have some problems in this OVA. It’s interesting to note that regarding the Appleseed franchise. I discovered that this is the only entry that has the traditional hand-painted cels. All the other entries in Appleseed after this is CG animated. The animation in this OVA is okay is not very good though,. But I will say this fun fact. Hideaki Anno was the mechanical supervisor for this OVA.
The music by Norimasa Yamanaka is one big problem. There are not many themes in this movie and there is one specific tune you will be hearing quite often. Don’t ask me what the song title is because I don’t know. The soundtrack is not even all that great and the fact that the movie uses a specific tune like 4 or 5 times within an hour. That’s not a good sign. Yamanaka-san’s other compositions are on other shows that some people probably don’t know either and there’s not much to be said on the music here. It overplays a tune and it’s a disappointment.
The Japanese cast is pretty decent, Masako Katsuki is good as Deunan. Yoshisada Sakaguchi is decent as Briareos. Mayumi Shou is also decent as Hitomi. Toshiko Sawada is also decent as Athena. Toshio Furukawa is surprisingly really good as Calon, and this OVA somehow got Norio Wakamoto to play A.J. Sebastian. So that’s pretty cool. When it comes to the dub. The pronunciations are pretty different, The dub is a little hit and miss. Larissa Murray is ok as Deunan. Bill Roberts is a bit hit and miss as Briareos (Bularios in the dub). Alan Marriot is ok as Calon (Karon in the dub) Julia Brahms is ok as Hitomi, Lorelei King is ok as Athena. Vincent Marzello is hit and miss as A.J. Sebastian. The dub is listenable if you don’t mind hearing cheesy voices. It’s an ok dub and I expected the dub to be not all that great because it was old. The ADR direction by Jill Wilmot is hit and miss as the end result. But both casts aren’t that impressive.
If you’re gonna expect much out of the characters, you are sadly out of luck. This OVA lasted 65 minutes and every single character in this OVA is not developed all that well. Deunan is okay I guess. Briareos looks like a Bio-Android with robotic bunny ears. Athena is alright I guess. Hitomi (even though there’s a little secret) isn’t developed that much either, Calon is ok, and A.J. Sebastian is just a stock villian. All of this in 65 minutes.
It gets worse. The story is not even interesting and it is not written well because the OVA doesn’t give enough time for the viewer to get adjusted to the settings. It is a bit rushed too. The story is also really forgettable and it really feels like a commercial for Masamune Shirow’s manga of the same name. That’s what it feels like to me. At the time I am making this review, I have not read the manga… But I hope I get a better experience than this waste of time OVA.
The Appleseed OVA was available by Manga Entertainment and it is out of print.
With all that said, the Appleseed OVA is mostly a waste of time with it’s shallow plot, characters, and music. The animation isn’t as shallow, but it’s still not good. Take my advice and skip this one unless you are a completionist while viewing certain franchises.
I give the Appleseed OVA a 2.6 out of 10. it is BAD!
Feel free to leave a comment.