Saturday, January 15, 2005

Masamune Shirow's Appleseed in Theatres


By the maker of Ghost in the Shell (the manga), Appleseed is a new cyborg anime set in the future, post WWIII. Masamune Shirow--or his web design team--shows an intelligence about web publishing, distributing, and sharing way beyond North American film studios (which have preferred to threaten adoring fans with lawsuits). The official website includes a "fan site kit" with exclusive screenshots from the movie and elements from the site for fans to use.

From the official website:
"Story: The year is 2131. A non-nuclear war has left the earth barren. Deunan Knute roams the badlands, one of the many soldiers who, with lines of communication cut, continue to fight, unaware that the war has ended.

Deunan is never one to take things lying down: a highly trained soldier with police and SWAT experience, she is prepared for nearly anything--but not for the heavily armed helicopter that assaults her without warning. Before she realizes what's going on, Deunan is losing consciousness: her last thought is a hazy realization that she's been hit by a tranquilizer. Not only that, but one of the perpetrators is her old love Briareos. He has arrived with the beautiful Hitomi to intercept Deunan and take her back with them to the enigmatic utopia, Olympus.

Deunan, now safe in the futuristic city, is awakened by the comforting voice of her ex-lover. But Briareos is not as she remembers him: indeed, he is now hardly human. He tells her the sobering events that occurred in her absence: after suffering a grave injury on the front lines in North Africa, his only chance for survival involved a dramatic surgical process - or more accurately, a full overhaul that involved a replacement of all his broken parts. In other words, he became a cyborg--in his case over 75% mechanical. And the city of Olympus--Deunan soon finds out--is now the head of a new world order. When the non-nuclear war ended, and no single superpower came out on top, the orderly, utopian city filled the role of leadership in the ensuing political vacuum. Globally, the status of Olympus is now such that the 'unsupervised countries' actually depend on its assistance to survive."


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