Monday, 30 September 2013

APPLESEED XIII

  
Appleseed XIII Complete Series Collection
Released By: Manga Entertainment
Rating: 12
Running Time: 282 Mins
Audio: English & Japanese DD 5.1
Release Date: 7/10/2013
Reviewed By: Sandra Scholes

What would you do after a Global War has almost destroyed everything you came to know and love? Would you want to get back to the way it was, or make some form of change?

The meaning of this story concentrates on two distinct eras in its history, the past and the present. In the past, their world had been established as had a new world order of perfection, while the other is the post apocalyptic result of said perfection. It is dark and hopeless, with most of the desert plains being desolate where no life grows. The people struggle to survive, but it wasn't always this way.

After the twelve labours of Hercules swing onto the screen one after the other in the intro, the characters of Briarios and Deunan Knute are two of the survivors of the Global War. Deunan is a soldier while Briarios is a cyborg, and he helps her cope with the realization that the world will never be the same again. This realization horrifies and disturbs her as she has fond memories of what life was like before the Global War struck. She has to be told that the war is over and that they are in a place called Olympus where half of the population is made up of half clones and half humans called Bioroids.  Deunan was a part of the E.S.W.A.T team who protected the public from attack by a troublesome faction called the Human Liberation Front. The Human Liberation Front oppose modified humans in every way based on religious belief systems that see it as an abomination.

At one point in the series Deunan and Briarios are on a mission to stop the Human Liberation Front's terrorists from taking over a building and taking hostages. They want the release of their own people who have been held captive by the police authorities. The world they are in might be seen as a utopia, but it is far from it. Almost everyone is devastated by the change in society, and the way everything is policed by surveillance and the E.S.W.A.T teams who seem to tear around the city wrecking buildings even though they are supposed to be protecting them. Deunan is one who tends to go out on her own and doesn't accept the status quo or the orders of her superiors. She likes to think she is right in her assumptions and goes on her gut instinct more than her partner, Briarios. He is the sane one of the couple, who are also having a sexual relationship underneath all the professional chat around others. Like many of the survivors of the war, Deunan and her lover know the new world isn't perfect even though it is supposed to be, and they search for the Eden in the wasteland.

Based on the graphic novel by Masamune Shirow, Appleseed's episode list uses the twelve labours of Hercules of Greek myth plus a thirteenth episode title to good effect.  "The Nemean Lion" "Rakuen no owari" (楽園の終わり)     2 "The Augean Stables" "Toraware no Yurika go" (囚われのゆりか ご)     3 "The Ceryneian Hind" "Itsuwari no omokage" (偽りの面影)    4 "The Cattle of Geryon" "Tanpopo to shōjo" (タンポポと少女)     5 "The Cretan Bull" "Senketsu no bōrei" (潜血の亡霊)  
6 "The Erymanthian Boar" "Sabiiro no rakuen" (錆色の楽園)     7 "The Stymphalean Birds" "Seidō no tori" (青銅の鳥)     8 "The Mares of Diomedes" "Dīpu daibu" (ディープダイブ)     9 "The Girdle of Hippolyta" "Joō no takara" (女王の宝)     10 "The Lernaean Hydra" "Sekizō no in de" (石像の陰で)     11 "The Apples of Hesperides" "Saigo no hitori" (最後の一人)     12 "The Capture of Cerberus" "Fukushū no kanata ni" (復讐の彼方に)     13 "Paradeisos" "Rakuen" (楽園)

Deunan is voiced by Luci Christian who has voiced for several anime series including Wrath from Full Metal Alchemist, and Havok from Darker than Black, while David Matranga voices Briarios and is famous for voicing the Chevalier D'Eon de Beaumont from Le Chevalier D'Eon and Genjyo Sanzo from Saiyuki Reload.With these veteran voices alone the series goes into the inner workings of Gaia, the political factions and the Human Liberation Front's reasons for opposing the succesful Arc Project. The anime is visually appealing, yet the animation looks older than most anime series around, and this gives the series a nostalgic appeal for those who like anime less polished.  

Bonus Material: Episode 007 Commentary, Episode 012 Commentary, English Language Trailer, Text less Opening Theme, Text less Closing Theme.

Verdict: The story is involving while the action is unstoppable.