Shirow Masamune is a name that reverberates around the Otaku world. He singlehandedly kept the industry alive with a cult classic in the form of Ghost In the Shell. This was followed closely by another classic, Appleseed which was faithfully brought to the anime world by director, Shinji Aramaki. Appleseed was a huge smash in 2004 and even more so when it was released onto home DVD which brings me to this review. Just a brief background about the story first in case you haven’t had a chance to experience it yet.
Deunan Knute is a feisty and highly trained operative who fought in the last Global War and is one of the last human survivors who is teamed up with a technologically advanced cyborg called Briareos as part of the ESWAT organisation. The Appleseed of the title refers to highly sensitive and critical information Deunan must track down and recover before the new world, Olympus, is destroyed. The movie used a new technique instead of traditional cel animation. It combined animation, CGI and motion captured actors to bring incredible movement and a sense of realism to the characters as never seen before in an anime. This really has to be seen to be believed as the fluidity conveyed on the screen is really beautiful and a sight to behold. The transfer to DVD is absolutely faultless and is breathtaking to watch no matter how many times you may have watched it before.
The DVD itself is a two disc presentation with the first disc being the movie with your choice of English or Japanese dub, a commentary track from the director (amazing), soundtrack chapters, Appleseed trailers and the now obligatory trailers promoting other releases. The second disc is where more magic comes alive as it’s jam packed with special features ranging from a special called, “Birth of 3D Live Anime”, which is the making of Appleseed which is a must view, an archive of extensive design galleries, a music video from the Boom Boom Satellites, a commercial for the Appleseed soundtrack (which is another review), characters and mecha image gallery, staff profiles and profiles of the Appleseed characters and mecha info. All in all, a sublime collection of anime goodness worth viewing more than once and compliments the movie and overall presentation beautifully. And of course everything is presented in an impressive 16:9 ratio preserving the original format of the movie.
I think it’s obvious that I’m a fan and it may be a biased review but this is one title that if you don’t own, you must own or at the very least have watched it in Japanese with English subtitles as a true Otaku. This is a title that stands head and shoulders above all else along with some other gems that have deservedly earnt a place in your collection. I can’t praise Appleseed enough, amazing story told at a cracking pace, amazing technology utilised, great soundtrack and characters in a race against time that you will love all bundled in a double disc Special Edition which will look great in any collection.
Enough said, buy this now, it’s that simple 🙂