Anime/PSP: Appleseed (UMD)
This is a review for Appleseed for the PSP and focuses mainly on watching the movie on a PSP. For a more in-depth look at the plot, check out our regular DVD review here.
By now, if you haven’t seen Appleseed, you should. Too busy to plop your butt on the couch and dedicate two hours to one of the best animated movies ever? Fine, then. That’s what UMDs are for.
If you’re unfamiliar with the movie, Appleseed is a look at a post-apocalyptic world that rebuilds itself with the help of a genetically engineered pseudo-slave race of people unable to reproduce because their creators were afraid they would overtake “normal” humanity in some sort of Nietchzean uber-mensch revolt. There’s a very militarized undercurrent of humans who wish to destroy the Great City where everyone lives, and our heroes battle them in a bunch of seemingly random locales, but it’s terribly awesome because they’re all wearing personal mech suits. Appleseed is cyberpunk without the punk.
Standard anime, right? Pretty much. Appleseed’s hook isn’t the basic tale it weaves, but the stellar animation. A weird mix of CG and cel-shading paints a beautiful Eastern portrait of what a futuristic world returning from cataclysmic war could look like, and does it in a fashion previously undreamed. The motions are so damn lifelike, everything comes alive. Just watching a character’s head turn is startling; nothing from our side of the ocean has even come close. Watching it on a normal (read: non-HD) TV was spellbinding, and it’s nearly impossible to explain how amazing it looks on the PSP. The visuals on a screen this pristine can only be described as religious. Some god nestled in my right brain screamed, brought to life by the combination of animation and RGB magnificence.
From a more technical perspective, the PSP is more intimate, but completely pointless for anything other than late night or commuter viewing. Until USB 2.0 allows you to connect to a higher-resolution monitor, any bit of utility for UMD goes right out the window. Unless you’re like me and enjoy watching flicks before you go to sleep, home use is downright silly and pointless. That doesn’t detract from what the device can do, though; you have to respect anything that can make an already beautiful experience even more mesmerizing. If you’re a features junky, prepare for disappointment. As it’s a feature length film, cramming extra data beyond subtitles onto the UMD’s small capacity just isn’t happening. You’ll have to look for a standard DVD if you want to hear about the director’s extraneous nose hairs during filming.
Pro: Absolutely stunning visuals and sound (with the headphones). Subtitles were surprisingly readable.
Con: No extras.
Pro: Great movie, awesome power mechs, and just amazing to watch it motion. And this is coming from someone who hates anime.
There’s just no disliking Appleseed. The experience alone is something your creative brain will thank you for.