If about a quarter of the way through you forget you're watching an animated feature, the film did one of two things very well. Either the story pulled you in with well-developed characters in exciting situations, or the animation is just that good.
Both are true of "Appleseed Alpha."
It is as stunning in its animated detail as it is an entertaining story.
"Appleseed Alpha" is the third full-length animated film, following "Appleseed" and "Appleseed Ex Machina." The "Alpha XIII" broadcast series was re-edited into two films as well.
What is different here, in this prequel, is that it tells the story of the main characters -- soldier Deunan and bioroid Briareos, who used to be her boyfriend – in a time after the war ended. All too often stories about soldiers of fortune end when the final battle is won. We never get to see what happens to the winners and losers after the fighting is ended. In "Appleseed Alpha," we realize that both sides never won the battle of World War III.
In the other two films, we find our couple in Olympus, working in the structured military command. In this film, they are mercenaries only living in the moment, doing what they need to survive. By the end of the film they have purpose … they’ve found a reason to keep going, just to see if Olympus even exists.
The detail spent on the lighting, the renditions of the backgrounds, the textiles of clothing and the camera perspectives are breathtaking. There has been decades of technological development in the world of CGI crammed in these last few years. In this animated film, first available on DVD, digital and Blu-ray today, we get to see these animation skills at its best.
I had the opportunity to review the Sony Home Entertainment Blu-ray over the weekend.
As with Japanese anime, the films developed for the western world have a pace or feel that we’ve come to expect out of most of the average movies we like … think of the common summer blockbuster. But the Appleseed world is a story from Japanese author Masamune Shirow and it is meant for a Japanese audience. The story is more about the journey, than it is about the outcome in the end.
Those who enjoy CG-animated films will enjoy "Appleseed Alpha" as well. But those who have an appreciation and cultural sensibility for magna tales like Shirow’s "Ghost In The Shell" will truly enjoy the journey Deunan and Briareos take to get to the Olympus they know from the previous films.
No Talkbacks for this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Steve Kabelowsky
Published Oct. 31, 2014
Across the country, a number of the higher-profile races - including the run for Wisconsin governor between Scott Walker and Mark Burke - will be part of the larger election coverage on Tuesday night on the national cable news outlets.
Published Oct. 29, 2014
Welcome to "Stadium of Mind," a crowdfunded effort to make a feature film in Wisconsin. "What we'd like to do is tell the next `Rudy' or `Miracle' in Wisconsin," said Jeremy Richter, CEO of Richter Studios and graduate of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.
Published Oct. 27, 2014
Chad Rook, who plays the "Weather Wizard" on CW's "The Flash," was one of the special guests at Fantasticon, Milwaukee's first comic con that took place last weekend at the Ramada and Crowne Plaza near Mitchell Field. On Sunday, he shared a story about visiting conventions.
Published Oct. 27, 2014
Part and parcel of a convention is the programs - panel discussions, lectures, question and answer sessions and other various presentations people sit though. This is true for business conferences as much as it is for comic cons. That held true at Fantasticon, the three-day event at the Crowne Plaza and the Ramada off of College Avenue.
Published Oct. 25, 2014
When Fantasticon opened its doors officially at noon on Friday, it marked the first official comic-con in Milwaukee. And the first day of the con reminded me of what everything this city really is - cozy.
Published Oct. 24, 2014
Neil deGrasse Tyson will make a pair of appearances at The Riverside in December. His "Science as a Way of Knowing" set for Dec. 11 is already sold out. However, tickets are still available for "This Just in: Latest Discoveries in the Universe" on Dec. 10. The long-time executive editor of "Nova ScienceNow" will host a discussion of current discoveries in the universe.
Published Oct. 22, 2014
Dennis Krause, a veteran of the sports landscape in Milwaukee - and Wisconsin for that matter - hit a milestone on his sports studio show "The Roundtable." The mainstay on Time Warner Cable SportsChannel aired its 2,000th episode on Tuesday night.
Published Oct. 20, 2014
When fans of different flavors converge on Milwaukee this weekend to attend Fantasicon, the first comic con in the area, it will be interesting to take in the die-hard support for a multitude of different things -- including professional wrestling.
Published Oct. 17, 2014
Jay Leno will return to television hosting a new primetime show for CNBC. Based on his ongoing web series, the tentatively titled "Jay Leno's Garage" will start sometime early next year.
Published Oct. 15, 2014
The documentary "Wisconsin Remembers John F. Kennedy," commemorating the 50th anniversary of Kennedy's assassination, has been given the 2014 Governor's Archives Award for Archival Innovation by the Wisconsin Historical Society.