Set in the distant future, the city of Olympus in a near-perfect utopia. Run by a supercomputer known a "Gaia" there is almost no pollution, unemployment, or crime. Yet there are those which would try to bring the city to it's knees. As members of an elite police force, Deunan Knute and her cyborg partner Briarios must combat terrorism and preserve the city's integrity.
I'll confess that I am a Shirow fan and I've enjoyed reading Appleseed. I was looking forward to the anime, but I was a bit disappointed by it. This anime is based on Appleseed: Book 2, but to condense that lengthy volume into a one hour movie, some sacrifices had to be made.
One of the major things which suffered in the conversion was the characterization. The same familiar characters of Deunan, Briarios, and Hitomi are still there, but they are very watered-down when compared to the rich characters they were in the manga. They have very little character depth or personality in the anime.
The entire story line is also somewhat different. While the overall plot is the same, the complexities are toned-down. It essentially follows a typical "police versus terrorist" story line, with a little political intrigue from the manga thrown in. For those who find Shirow's works confusing, then this may be a blessing, but for those who enjoy the rich depth of his stories, then this will be a bitter disappointment.
The animation is of pretty average quality. The characters look the same as the manga, but it's generally not too flashy. While I haven't seen the dubbed version, I heard that excessive swearing was added in. The subtitled version has almost no profanity in it.
Appleseed does have some entertainment value. If you've never read the manga before then you'll probably get some enjoyment out of this. Fans of the manga should probably give it a pass, though.
The Verdict: * * * (average)
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