Appleseed (1988)

August 29, 2003 • Film, Reviews

Probably one of the worst adaptations possible of one of the best Mangas ever written, this hour-long animated suspense-thriller is just a dud. It forgoes all the astounding design Masamune Shirow covered his comic book with, as well as all of the high-flying action, opting instead for a pedestrian police thriller in which one of the characters just somehow happens to be a giant robot. The robot is, strangely, only just capable of what the normal humans can do (which goes completely against Shirow’s vision of the character–in the manga, the cyborg Briearos has enough strength, speed, and wits for about sixty humans). It doesn’t make sense; it doesn’t add up to much of anything, certainly not fun.

For accuracy’s sake, the story is liberally borrowed from Shirow’s second book, Prometheus Unbound. But the city-crunching comic-book finale with the giant spiders and the fateful apple seed that gives the books their surprising name is entirely jettisoned in favor of a quick run down a corridor staffed with a couple of robotic guns.

Jeez! One would think that with the animation being the medium, you could draw whatever you wanted, right? So why does this thing look like the absolute worst of low-budget, live-action, grade-B movies?

At least we never see a boom mike wander into one of the shots.


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