Appleseed

KichigaiSaru

imageAfter the world is all but destroyed by a global war, a new city rises to provide shelter and comfort to the survivors. The city, Olympus, was built largely by the work of Bioroids, human clones designed to protect the human population and maintain a harmonious balance. They are organized and loosely controlled by a supercomputer, Gaia, the center of the city, and the primary planner for the new integrated society. Their numbers are kept in nearly equal portions with the humans now, and though there is a very strange, almost utopian, peace in the city, the truth is that some humans will never accept these artifices as their neighbors. Enter Duenan, the fiercest fighting nymph you ever laid eyes on. Capable of single handedly wiping out entire platoons of highly trained soldiers, she is the new hope for the future of mankind. Some secrets of her past, hidden even from her, will ultimately decide the fate of the city and the human race.

imageNow to describe the qualities of this movie is like trying to explain how bright the sun is, if you’ll allow a little Elizabethan poetic license. But it’s worth the effort to at least try, so let’s start with sounds. The music was the first thing to capture my attention. Before I saw a single image, I knew I was going to be impressed. There was the faintest haunting beat on a black screen. Then there was light, and the beat gave way to pulsing electronic music. The sound effects were spot on, the first gun being cocked, the tanks grinding their way over rubble. The music picked up into a more intense beat, where the sounds of the battle were integrated into the music. I’ve never heard a head being crushed like a grape, but I would wager that they have captured it perfectly. The music picked up as the gunfight broke out, the rhythm of the gunshots matching the beat of the music. This was the opening scene, and it didn’t end here. For the remainder of the movie the sounds surpassed my expectations, keeping me pleasantly surprised for an hour and a half.

The voices were, though slightly less impressive than the music and sound effects, incredibly well done. The acting was virtually flawless. The voices of the Bioroids were definitely some of the best. Humans acting like android clones who are acting like humans. That’s impressive.

imageThe graphics surpassed even the sounds in my opinion. The environment was the single most beautiful display I’ve seen. It is a CG masterpiece, with every piece of rubble, and every crack in a statue detailed to perfection. It was like watching a cartoon that was set to a live set background, except, frankly, I’ve never seen a movie set that looked this good. The character models, again, were masterfully designed. 3D animation never looked quite so good. You could tell the Bioroids from the humans, not by their appearance, as they were clones, but rather by their expressions. The first time I saw a Bioroid, I actually thought ‘oh they seem a little off.’ Then it was revealed, and everything made sense. There was a little bit of shading that threw me off with the characters though. In situations where there was a lot of ambient light, it just seemed that the shading was embellished a little bit. Perhaps it was intentional, but it took some getting used to, and I can’t say I really liked it. The machinery, on the other hand, was absolutely stunning. In a highly technological world, where machinery is everywhere, including powered suits for soldiers, this is crucial. They managed to do it without error. Every mech, plane, helicopter, and tank was a pleasure to look at. I swear you could build some of these things just from the details you see in the movie.

imageThe extras with the DVD were pretty standard fare. There was the commentary, which I have never particularly liked in any context, but seems to be pretty popular amongst the rest of the world. There was, much to my delight, a “Music Cues with Scenes” section which was basically the best set of music videos you’ll ever see. Previews, credits, and profiles made up the rest of them, nothing to get too excited about, but interesting nonetheless.

Technical/Extras: 9.5
The sounds blew me away, the animation was nothing short of extraordinary, and the extras, well they didn’t hurt. The exaggerated shading was the only thing that really stood out against a perfect technical score.

Entertainment: 10
What can I say, I was impressed. It kept me engaged from beginning to end. There was plenty of action, even in the lulls. The story moved steadily, but not hastily. I’ve watched it twice now, and I’ll probably watch it again soon.

Overall: 9.Awesome!

What’s ‘9.Awesome’ you ask? Well it’s what happens when you can’t give it a 10 but you really really want to. If you like anything, you’ll like this. But I suppose I’ll warn you about some very graphic violence. Heads being squeezed like melons and what not.

Buy it, rent it, steal it, I don’t care, just see it. (Ok don’t steal it. But you get the idea.)

Don’t listen to his condoning stealing. Buy it from AnimeNation instead

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