Japanese Anime: Appleseed

Appleseed is an anime film, directed by Shinji Aramaki and originally released in Japan on May 17, 2004. It is based on the characters created by Masamune Shirow in the original Appleseed manga series that was published in 1985. Although it shares some characters with the original series, this film's storyline is not connected to it.

Set in 2131 AD, Deunan Knute, a young legendary female soldier is a survivor of the Third World War which has brought Earth to the brink of destruction. Alongside her former lover and comrade Briareos, who is now a cyborg, Deunan is brought to a Utopian city called Olympus, also inhabited by a genetically-engineered species called Bioroids. There, she integrates into the prestigious ESWAT organization to serve as the city's guardian. But what she discovers is not the promised land of peace, but rather a deadlier, more elusive battlefield than before.

Bioroids have a lifespan much shorter than those of humans, due to the suppression of their reproductive capabilities. When the fluid that is used in Bioroid life extension processes is destroyed by the Olympus Regular Army in a terrorist attack as part of its demonstration of fear and hatred for the Bioroids, a crisis which requires immediate resolution is formed, and the Appleseed data is revealed to still exist, even though most thought it destroyed.

Under the surface, as we can see, Olympus is plagued by conflicting factions. Some believe that Bioroids are a threat to the future advancement of mankind, whilst others believe that humans themselves are the threat. The ultimate question is over everyone's right to life, and whether or not one group deserves life more than the other. At the centre of this battle is Appleseed, the data that is able to extend Bioroid life, by restoring reproductive functions.

Director Shinji Aramaki will also be directing the sequel to the 2004 movie, titled Appleseed Saga Ex Machina, which is set to be released in fall 2007 in Japan. The movie will once again feature animated computer-generated imagery and John Woo is fully involved in the production.

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