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 July 20, 2015
Steve Haywood of WAUK-AM 540 ESPN knew how to stir the pot, and his passion for Milwaukee and its teams was well-known in sports circles. Haywood passed away from heart failure early Sunday morning. He was 49.
Published July 13, 2015
The picture we've come to know from movies no longer reflect the vulnerability that film has. And as technology has advanced, so too have Marcus Theatres.
Published July 10, 2015
The Silver Circle was created by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (the same academy that people thank when they get an Emmy award) to have special recognition for people in the media who have had an impact on a community. In Wisconsin, six people will be inducted this year into the circle.
Published July 6, 2015
If you watched any of the coverage leading up to the U.S. women's team victory over Japan on Sunday night, then you watched some of the finest TV journalism in the sports world courtesy of Fox Sports. A part of that team, analyst Kyndra de St. Aubin, has a Milwaukee connection.
Published July 3, 2015
On Monday, Carole Caine of "Dave and Carole" on WKLH-FM 96.5, had her last day on the air. The newly branded "Hometown Rock" station wanted to take the morning show in a new direction.
Published July 1, 2015
Kidd O'Shea knows where his roots are. And that is why he got a bit teary this morning. On the "Kidd and Elizabeth Show" on WMYX-FM, O'Shea announced that he was leaving the station.
Published June 29, 2015
A frantic day for Karen Dalessandro ended in a career milestone for the morning co-host on WMIL-FM 106.1.
Published June 26, 2015
When the best who work in broadcast are recognized for their efforts, the pinnacle of achievement is the Edward R. Murrow Award. WTMJ-TV and WITI-TV both won Murrows in the latest round of awards.
Published June 22, 2015
WMIL-FM 106.1's Karen Dalessandro is among the best county music on-air radio personalities in the nation, and she will be inducted into the Country Radio Hall of Fame this week.
Published June 19, 2015
Milwaukee Public Television is encouraging kids to continue learning by participating in the PBS KIDS "Summer Safari."