To begin with, I watched the English dubbed version of the 2004 Appleseed movie, how this may affect my ratings I am not sure. I am not going to lie my anime tastes may not be as totally refined as many others but this is the first time I have come across such a highly rated piece of anime that I felt did not nearly live up to the hype.
I gave the story such a low score because I honestly feel that the story lacks a whole lot of interest. This video is definitely character(Deunan mainly) driven. This would be fine if she was interesting... like at all. We find out a little bit about Mrs. Knute and at nearly the end of the story the memory of Deunan's mother becomes one of her two only motivators. As far as back story goes we barely have any idea why Deunan is out killing people in the awesome Matrix style manner than she is or what the whole war is really about. Though on a nicer note the idea of the bioroids fits the sci-fi genre theme that Appleseed is going for incredibly. Unfortunately this all boils down to a terrible case of vaguness. No attachments are ever made between the viewer and the pace of the story or any type of interest.
The backgrounds and battles in Appleseed are spectacular. Particularly the effects of the mobile platforms and the LandMates doing battle. All in all incredible battle and urban utopian CG. The bad part you may ask? The characters themselves look terrible. Movements outside of battle look horribly awkward as do their interactions with the environment or eachother. Personally this is half of the animation score in my eyes.
The music was not memorable and actually the english vocalist was grating on my ears closer to the end. The most brutal part was the horrible stereotypes(if you can call them that) in the choices of voice actors for particular characters like Hades. He sounds like Rae from the first Vampire Hunter D movie to me and the voice only brings back memories of shallow villains. Deunan's shrill cry of Briareos' name on way too many occasions made me want to put my foot through my monitor at times. Besides this the voice acting was average with great emotion felt from some of the leading males.
Now to one of my least favourite bits. The freaking character development. Its like Deunan was a character the writers had a dream about one night and wanted to make a movie involving her back story, maybe to set up the next movie? It would have been preferable had her backstory been totally blanked like in many other animes and her badassery level would have remained pretty high. And her name is terrible to say in english. "Dunannoot" is what I would have thought her name was had I not read a review beforehand. The fact no other character is developed besides being able to label them as a bioroid, bioroid hater, genocidal douche, and as a human soldier is brutal.
I was incredibly disappointed after watching this video through the first and last time ever. The action was cool to begin with but later just became redundant like they were trying to just put some filler in between a heartfelt talk that never makes any sense and the conclusion of the movie. I make no attempt to tell you to avoid this movie, watch it and I can only hope others feel the way I do.
overall score: 5/10