- For other uses, see Appleseed.
is an anime
film, directed by Shinji Aramaki
and originally released in Japan
on May 17
. 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. It is not to be confused with the 1988 OVA
also based on the manga.
Set in 2131 AD, Appleseed stars Deunan Knute, a young, legendary female soldier and a survivor of the Third World War, which brought Earth to the brink of destruction. While fighting a number of unknown figures, a platoon of tall, white-armoured soldiers comes up and shoots them. As she tries to run away, they tranquilize her. Deunan later wakes up attached to a scanning device. Alarmed, she breaks free and takes a woman hostage while she attempts to escape, only to be stopped by the voice of her former lover and comrade Briareos, who is now a cyborg. Deunan soon learns that the war had ended months before while she continued fighting unknowing of this, and she is now in a Utopian city called Olympus. Its population is half human and half clone, a genetically-engineered species called Bioroids
made from the best technical components. Olympus is governed by three factions: Prime Minister Athena (whom Deunan seems to know), General Edward Uranus III, head of the Olympus
Regular Army; and the Council of Elders -- seven old men hooked up to life support and anti-gravity chairs. Yet everything in the city is observed by an artificial intelligence named Gaia, which resides in a building called Tartarus. Here, Deunan integrates into the prestigious ESWAT organization to serve as the city's guardian and befriends a Second Generation Bioroid named Hitomi.
The Original Bioroids were created from the DNA of Deunan's father, Carl, making the Second Generation Bioroids her brothers and sisters, genetically speaking. Unfortunately, they have a lifespan much shorter than those of humans due to the suppression of their reproductive capabilities. When the facilities that were used in the Bioroid's life extension processes are destroyed by a secret faction of 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, 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 center of this battle is Appleseed, the data that is able to restore the Bioroids' reproductive abilities, along with extending Bioroid life.
Along with a top secret strike force, Deunan and Briareos head for the building where the Bioroids were originally created. With a disk given to her from Athena, she activates a holographic recording, in which the location of Appleseed is revealed. Dr. Gilliam, who created the Bioroids, entrusted the Appleseed to her daughter, Deunan. But she was killed by the military. And then coincidentally, the military had also arrived, thanks to a spy on their team. Colonel Hades, the anti-Bioroid activist who destroyed the Bioroid care facilities, reveals to Deunan that Briareos had intentionally allowed his Landmate to escape. They run to the rooftop with their team killed and get cornered by the Regular Army. Worse, Uranus had also come. He tries to convince Deunan that Bioroids seek to control humans, so he plans to blow up the D-Tank on Tartarus. Briareos tries to plea to the General that the Elders were the ones who planned this; the D-tank, which controls a virus that was originally meant to keep Bioroids in line, was reworked to sterilize humanity. Hades convinces Uranus that trying to negotiate is pointless. He reveals to Deunan that he blames her father for all that has happened. "If there's any one to blame, blame your father" and starts shooting. Briareos acts as a shield and Deunan shoots Hades directly in the brow and was barely able to escape. They then wash up on a beach, where Briareos confesses all that he had done was to see her again and seemingly dies. When morning breaks, Yoshitsune, an ESWAT mechanic, flies over in his landmate, having received Briareos' SOS and begins repairing him. Deunan takes his Landmate back to Olympus.
When she returned to Olympus, the Council of Elders were able to save the Bioroids. However, she confronts them that they killed her mother. The Elders confessed and reveal that they intend to unleash the deadly D-tank virus onto Olympus, sterilizing the human race, leaving the Bioroids the new rulers of Earth, claiming it is the will of Gaia and that humanity had lost its chance at paradise. They required the Appleseed in order to keep the Bioroids alive, but Gilliam found out and hid the data so their plan could never come to fruition. However, both the military and Bioroids catch on and disable the button that'll unleash the virus. Athena tells Deunan that the Elders had been acting on their own and shut down Gaia once it realized humanity has lessened its hatred towards Bioroids. As a result, the Elders will soon die because Gaia regulates their life support systems. Unfortunately, the elders had a contingency plan; several mobile fortresses activate and began marching towards their location, to destroy Tartarus at point-blank range. Hitomi reveals to everyone assembled that her name can shut down the fortresses on the number 7. ESWAT begins mobilizing their forces to try to slow down the towers, with heavy casualties. Deunan and Briareos reach number 7 and the former begins to input the password. However, a malfunction prevents her from entering the 'M' and the 'I'. A nearby fortress shoots at them, Briareos uses his Landmate as a shield, throwing him back. Deunan manages to grab his arm; He pleads her to let him go and finish the password. Deunan tries to finish the password but is short one letter when she slips. Desperately reaching, Deunan says, "Mother, help me", which strangely finishes it. She then hits the shut off button, stopping the fortresses at the last second. Her voice then ends the movie by saying that the sins of humanity might get worse, but the next generation may learn from mistakes, so she'll keeping fighting for their children, the true new race of man.
(as Jennifer Proud)
The daughter of Carl Knute and Dr. Gilliam, Deunan, a beautiful young woman and a highly skilled warrior, has spent almost her entire life fighting in a war that is, for the most part, over. It was not until she was rescued by an E.S.W.A.T. (Especial Weapons And Tactics) team led by Hitomi and her former lover Briareos in the middle of a ruined city, just after Deunan had a short but fierce battle with unidentified enemies, that she was finally evacuated from the Badlands. When she arrived in Olympus, the change of environment was severe, but it was a greater shock to her when she found that Briareos had lost over 75% of his original body during the last Global War and was now a cyborg.
The day after she is brought to the city of Olympus, Deunan learns that over half of the population of the city is composed of artificial humans called Bioroids and that her new friend, Hitomi, is one herself. Deunan also discovers that other people are looking for her, mostly because she possesses, without knowing it, the secret of "Appleseed". That interest will become extremely important when Hitomi's life will be at risk and the "Appleseed Data" will be needed to save her and the entire Bioroid population of Olympus. But, unknown to Deunan, the discovery of the "Appleseed Data" could condemn the human population to extinction. This situation threatens to put her into conflict with the powerful Olympus Regular Army (O.R.A.), composed entirely of humans, under the command of General Edward Uranus III and Colonel Hades.
Briareos is a trained SWAT officer, as well as the lover of Deunan (her point man
). He now works with Deunan in Olympus during the Appleseed crisis. He is now a cyborg
as his body was severely damaged in battle.
Prime Minister of Olympus, Athena Areios is a first-generation Bioroid created by Deunan's mother, Dr. Gilliam Knute, and served as her lab assistant until Dr. Knute's death. Because Athena is a first-generation Bioroid, she doesn't have the emotional limitations the second-generation has, so she has greater latitude to use "extraordinary" methods to try to find Deunan. Of course, she also runs the risk that either the Council of Elders or General Uranus would find out and take action against her, so she, along with her chief-of staff Nike, have to be very careful.
Nike is Athena Areios's chief-of-staff, as well as being commander-in-chief of ES.W.A.T. Although she is a second-generation Bioroid, and being such having her emotions controlled, she is fiercely loyal to Athena, not to mention the Bioroids' prime purpose: the salvation of humanity.
(as Mia Bradly)
A second-generation Bioroid, Hitomi is charged with recruiting new members of ES.W.A.T. She had led the rescue mission of Deunan Knute in the Badlands, as well as aiding her getting settled in Olympus. Although her emotions are regulated, she has interest in the emotion of love, and is disturbed by hate, as expressed by the human soldiers of the O.R.A, especially towards the Bioroids.
Also a second-generation Bioroid, Yoshitsune Miyamoto... or "Yoshi" as he is referred to, is ES.W.A.T.'s chief mechanic and Land Strider designer. He also would like to further examine Briareos' cybernetic armor more closely, if Briareos would allow it. His knowledge of mechanical workings would become useful later in the film. Yoshi seems to care for Hitomi.
It should be noted that in the bonus disc of the North American Director's Edition Yoshitsune Miyamoto is described as a human.
Edward Uranus III
Supreme commander of the O.R.A., General Edward Uranus III has a great distrust of the Bioroids, and wishes to either control them or totally eliminate them. But unlike his subordinate Hades, he is not given to irrationality. A friend of both Carl Knute and Dr, Gilliam, Uranus deeply regrets the death of Dr. Gilliam and wants to persuade Deunan to help him in his quest.
However, when General Uranus was made aware of the Council of Elder's plans to replace humans with Bioroids, then sterilize the humans using the "D-tank", he voluntarily surrendered, rather than be used as a pawn in the Council's plans.
Colonel Hades is Gen. Uranus's subordinate. Like Uranus, he has a great distrust of the Bioroids. However, his distrust has evolved into an irrational, all-consuming hatred, and wishes to see the Bioroids destroyed.
Originally, Hades served under Carl Knute, Deunan's father, in Los Angeles' S.W.A.T., but was thrown out by Carl because of his extreme methods. He held a grudge with Carl, and is furious that Carl's D.N.A. is in all the Bioroids.
In the end, he is killed by Deunan's pistol, which was her father's.
Kudoh is one of the top members of ES.W.A.T. He participates in some training sessions with Deunan and eventually earns her respect. When she and Briareos head to Dr. Gilliam Knute's old lab, Kudoh comes along. After they are betrayed by fellow ES.W.A.T. member Leyton, who is sympathetic towards the O.R.A., Kudoh stays behind, keeping his gun trained on Hades so that Deunan and Briareos can escape.
Shortly after this, Kudoh is gunned down by numerous O.R.A. soldiers and collapses dead against the wall of a hallway. Deunan expresses great distress over his death, but Briareos drags her away reluctantly, the O.R.A. hot on their trail.
Dr. Gilliam was the scientist that created the Bioroids, as well as the "D-tank" virus, which is capable to rendering normal humans sterile. It was during the creation of the first generation that she realized that the Council of Elders planned to use the Bioroids to replace normal humanity altogether, with normal humans rendered sterile by the "D-tank" virus. Therefore, she arranged that the Bioroids would not be able to reproduce but kept and encoded the formula to activate their reproductive systems - codenamed "Appleseed" - in a pendant, which after she had her assistant Athena evacuated, she had given to her young daughter Deunan, with the promise to give it to Athena if she asked. Dr. Gilliam was later captured by the military - and mistakenly killed by a soldier in front of Deunan.
The Council of Elders
The seven elders determine the final will of Olympus through a dialogue with the Gaia supercomputer. They are constantly hooked up to machines in a room deep within the legislature, engaged in scholarly discussions of grave importance. Sadly there wasn't any real way to tell which one of the elders is who. Their names are, even though we don't know who is who. Elder Deukalion, Cadmos, Elektrion, Glaukos, Hestia, Laios and Oionos.
The original soundtrack and music to the series features an electronic
theme, with the likes of Paul Oakenfold
, Basement Jaxx
, Boom Boom Satellites
, Carl Craig
, T. Raumschmiere
and Ryuichi Sakamoto
handling the music.
Director Shinji Aramaki
also directed the sequel to the 2004 movie, titled Appleseed Ex Machina
, which was released in fall 2007 in Japan. The movie once again featured animated computer-generated imagery
and John Woo
was fully involved in the production.