6 March 2017 | Snootz
Poor presentation of the Appleseed saga
When is Appleseed not Appleseed? When the characters do not act according to their true natures.
First visuals, then plot. The only thing I find positive to say about this anime is that Deunan is as cute as ever. That may sound condescending and sexist, but it's not. In contrast-- they changed the face of Briarios and he looks like a robot rabbit. Not sure what happened there.
The animation is weak and looks rushed. Not the worst I've seen, but does not live up to Appleseed's reputation. Deunan and Briarios both look more cartoonish than fleshed out. The fight scenes and effects are weak and the movie is filled with repeated "stained glass" images that appear to be from Greek mythology. What they have to do with the plot or what makes it necessary to show those scenes over and over (and over and over) is anyone's guess.
Plot: slow moving. Stodgy. Often boring. At times irritating (the repeated stained glass scenes). A real yawner. But most offensive was the attack at the heart of Appleseed: the relationship between Deunan and Briarios. This has always been a relationship etched in marble, on both their parts. Neither one has doubted the other. They have both had full and constant faith on one another. They have always had each others backs.
In this presentation Deunan is portrayed as an emotional tantrum who has lost her sense of who Briarios is and what he has been to her. She accuses him of having eight eyes but still not seeing her (maybe because his other 6 aren't in this movie). Briarios on the other hand questions both her skills and ability to survive, objecting to her going on a dangerous mission. This is so unlike these characters it makes one wince-- and so counter to the core of Appleseed that it spoils the entire film.
If this were by any other name, it would be moderately tolerable anime, but still poor plot and directing (seriously... that Greek stained glass is just too much). But this is Appleseed, and the presentation dropped in our laps is unacceptably lame. I feel I'm being generous in giving it four stars, but it doesn't quite drop into the 3-star-and-under "bad movie" category. It's just disappointing,trite, and disloyal to the Appleseed franchise. The plot is slow and pondering, the relationships questionable. It misrepresents the heart of the series-- and Appleseed without heart isn't Appleseed.