Down on the plot level though, a number of confusions exist. Appleseed has a story remarkably similar to Demolition Man (1993). Demolition Man was a Utopian satire that posited the comic idea of a society where current Californian attitudes and Political Correctness had been extended into the future. Appleseed similarly is an action film dealing with a terrorist who wants to tear down a society where everybody lives in socially engineered harmony. However, Appleseed comes out cautious and uncertain it seems confused about whether to regard its Utopia of genetically-engineered conformity as a good thing or not. One is never certain whether the films loyalties lie on the side of the heroine defending the cloyingly controlled Utopia or on the side of the terrorist trying to tear the system down. The end potently has the heroine, infected by anarchist polemics, just walking away although the film is unclear about where to, seeming to offer no alternative but a post-holocaust wasteland.
With similar sorts of conceptual confusions the utopia is said to be free of crime, yet it has a police force that is more heavily armed than most armies in the world today; the populace are supposed to be bio-engineered robots but then the film has the heroine trying to appeal to the Hitoshi characters humanity. Many of these confusions could just as easily be due to the English dubbing, which gracelessly dubs all the characters over with flat macho taunts and pointless profanity. Although in attempting to create an Anglicised background for the city, the animators dont do so well themselves the city is spelt Olumpus throughout.
Appleseed (2004) was a CGI-animated remake where director Shinji Aramaki substantially reworked the original Masamune Shirow manga and the background of the future society into an excellent work of considerable depth and is a classic of modern anime. In this version, the background of the society and character conflicts that we see here become much clearer. Aramaki went onto make an original sequel with Appleseed Ex Machina (2007), followed by the prequel Appleseed Alpha (2014).
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