I’ve always had a soft spot for Masamune Shirow’s cyberpunk title Appleseed — or rather, the animé titles that it inspired. The 1988 OVA was one of the very first animé titles that I ever watched, thought it was not without its flaws. Then, in 2004, Shinji Aramaki directed a solid Appleseed animé that utilized CGI and motion capture to generate some truly impressive visuals; thankfully, it also had a solid storyline backing them up. Then, in 2007, Aramaki directed Appleseed Ex Machina, a film that failed to deliver on the promise of Aramaki’s previous film, and instead, got bogged down in multiple plotlines and poor character arcs.
So, when I learned of Appleseed XIII, a completely new re-telling of Shirow’s manga in the form of 13-episode animé series (and two full-length movie compilations of the series), I had some high hopes that, if nothing else, the new series would make up for the underwhelming Appleseed Ex Machina. Twitch has just posted a copy of the first trailer, and honestly, I’m not impressed. Visually speaking, it looks rather sketchy and half-finished, especially when compared to the first Aramaki film, which really was quite something.
This, of course, says nothing about the quality of Appleseed XIII’s storyline — which deals with a series of terrorist attacks on Olympus, the last refuge of humanity following a massive war — but it doesn’t engender a lot of confidence in the final product.