Appleseed Ex Machina

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Appleseed: Ex Machina
Appleseed Ex Machina poster.jpg
Japanese promotional poster
Directed by Shinji Aramaki
Produced by John Woo
Joseph Chou
Terence Chang
Written by Kiyoto Takeuchi
Todd W. Russell
Based on Appleseed 
by Masamune Shirow
Starring Ai Kobayashi
Kōichi Yamadera
Gara Takashima
Yūji Kishi
Miyuki Sawashiro
Music by Haruomi Hosono
Tetsuya Takahashi
Production
company
Micott & Basara
Digital Frontier
Distributed by Toei Company
Release dates
  • October 19, 2007 (2007-10-19)
Running time 105 minutes
Country Japan
Language Japanese
Budget $20 million

Appleseed Ex Machina, also known as E.X. Machina (エクスマキナ Ekusu Makina?) in the original version, is a 2007 Japanese animated CG science fiction film and is the sequel to the 2004 Appleseed film, similarly directed by Shinji Aramaki, and was produced by Hong Kong director and producer John Woo.[1] It was released on October 20, 2007 in Japan and made its American premiere at the Jules Verne Adventures Film Festival in Los Angeles on December 15, 2007.[2] The MPAA has Appleseed Ex Machina rated PG-13 for action violence and brief strong language,[3] though the first film was rated R for some violence. It was released in North America by Warner Bros. Pictures on March 11, 2008, for DVD and Blu-Ray, and released for HD DVD on April 1, 2008. It was released in Europe on May 30, 2008 on DVD, with HMV releasing a 2-disc DVD special edition box set in Ireland and the UK, while Blu-Ray edition was released on June 2, 2008. In July 2008, the film was released theatrically in Australia as part of an anime film festival screening known as REEL ANIME hosted by Madman Entertainment, however it was the Japanese version. The film was shown theatrically along with other films such as Vexille and The Girl Who Leapt Through Time in various selected cinemas throughout the country. The film was released on DVD in Australia in September 2008.

Plot[edit]

Following the events of Appleseed, ESWAT members Deunan Knute and Briareos Hecatonchires infiltrate a cathedral somewhere outside of Olympus and find European Union officials taken hostages. After rescuing the EU officials and destroying the cyborgs, ESWAT return to Olympus, where Briareos is confined to hospital until he recovers, while Deunan continues ESWAT work. When Deunan's commanding officer Lance introduces her to her new partner, Tereus, she is shocked as her partner resembles Briareos' human form.

Deunan confronts Lance for an explanation, and is given the tour of the new Bioroid production facility. During the tour, Hitomi, a bioroid that Deunan befriended during those events, is mentioned to now be a minister of political affairs. Here it is shown that Tereus is actually a Bioroid; a prototype for a whole new production line of Bioroids to be soldiers without negative emotions to impact their judgment in fighting. As his physical and mental strength was found to be most desirable in ESWAT, Briareos' DNA was used mostly in Tereus' design. Reluctantly, Deunan is partnered up with Tereus to evaluate his performance. While departing, Deunan encounters Hitomi and Hitomi gives her a ride home. Deunan notices that many Olympus citizens are wearing Connexus; a device on their ears which projects holographic data over the eyes.

Deunan, Lance and Hitomi visit Briareos, still recovering in hospital. Here, Lance states that out of the last five terrorist incidents, four of them have been by groups composed solely of cyborgs, with transmitted signals from surrounding locations, thus suggesting that digitally vulnerable cyborgs are actually being manipulated to perform these acts. Because many of these cyborgs consist of parts made by Poseidon, a multinational industrial conglomerate, an emissary is sent to Prime Minister Athena. The emissary denies Poseidon blame, but Olympus still boycotts them, which Poseidon finds undesirable as other world powers may follow suit.

Meanwhile, Hitomi hosts a birthday party, in which Deunan is happy to find Briareos attending now that he's fully recovered. Briareos meets Tereus for the first time - which makes him uncomfortable - but the two accept each other. Briareos also accepts Deunan's new partnership with Tereus, and has found someone other than Deunan to partner with, which upsets her. She storms off, but is eventually joined by Tereus, who displays many of Briareos' personality traits, which by Deunan's own admission makes her feel "confused."

The next day, Athena and an assemblage of world leaders discuss making a global security network by merging all the satellites worldwide to prevent terrorist attacks before they happen. ESWAT and the Olympus police forces set up barricades around the conference hall. ESWAT personnel pick up the broadcast of an unknown signal. Soon enough, a variety of vehicles and non-cybernetic humans begin to assault the conference, much to the confusion of ESWAT and the regular police. Even more strangely, at the same time, Aeacus kills an engineer on board an ESWAT transport, declaring, "We will all be one. I am Halcon" and destroys it to escape wearing his Land-Mate. Briareos rushes to the explosion, and initially tries to stop Aeacus but ends up killing him. As Deunan and Tereus arrive, Tereus uncovers the mysterious signal coming from robotic doves. Simultaneously, the unknown signal disappears, and the attackers collapse. A funeral is held sometime later for Aeacus.

At the same time all the satellites are joined, Briareos is nearly run down by an unmanned vehicle. He stops it but suddenly goes berserk and hacks into a public terminal, crashing the main satellite control, forcing Olympus to switch to a backup. Briareos is hospitalized, with the unknown signal ruled out as the cause of his outburst. Briareos gets suspicious of his cyborg doctor, Richard Kestner, who operated on him after his accident. He has Hitomi look up Kestner's files, learning that he once worked with Poseidon's Halcon Laboratories - but all records of his project are mysteriously erased. Briaereos breaks out and tracks down Kestner, who confesses that he is part of a plan to "unify" humanity through erasing individuality, to which he attributes the source of human conflict. He then reveals that he secretly injected Briareos with nanites designed to take control of his body when his adrenaline heats up. Kestner then commits suicide before the police arrive, making them think that Briareos killed him. Briareos escapes, but is cornered by Tereus. Deunan arrives just on scene with an antidote designed to suppress the nanites.

The virus Kestner placed in the backup network takes control of the satellites and, through these satellites, all people linked to the Connexus, compelling them to riot against Olympus. Believing that Poseidon knows something about all this, Briareos, Tereus and Deunan track down a Poseidon convoy to learn about Halcon. As they discover, Halcon was once the leading scientific laboratory until they started mind control experiments, which Poseidon was forced to end when the project lead Elizabeth Xander was killed in an accident. Poseidon assists the ESWAT officers in infiltrating the fortress where the Halcon signal is transmitting. Once they are in the control center, they discover that Xander was resurrected as a cyborg to control all those linked to the Connexus. Deunan manages to briefly free her from Halcon control with the last syringe of antidote. With little time before the virus retakes control, Xander frees all the enthralled before pleading Deunan to kill her, which she does so with great reluctance. The heroes then escape the collapsing fortress and return to Olympus.

Cast[edit]

The English version dub was produced at Amusement Park Media in Houston, Texas. The cast were made up of actors from ADV Films.

Role Japanese voice actor English voice actor
Deunan Knute Ai Kobayashi Luci Christian
Briareos Hecatonchires Kōichi Yamadera David Matranga
Tereus Yūji Kishi Illich Guardiola
Athena Gara Takashima Allison L. Sumrall
Nike Rei Igarashi Shelley Calene-Black
Hitomi Miyuki Sawashiro Hilary Haag
Commander Lance Shinpachi Tsuji Chris Hutchison
Manuel Aeacus Kong Kuwata Mike MacRae
Dr. Riharuto Kestner Takaya Hashi John Gremillion
Yoshino Rika Fukami Melissa Davis
Arges Takaya Kuroda Quentin Haag
Dr. Xander Naoko Kouda Alice Fulks
Yoshitsune Yasuyuki Kase Chris Patton

Motion capture actors[edit]

Role Mocap actor
Deunan Knute Toyoe Sekita
Briareos Hecatonchires Moki Ogawa
Tereus Yoshiyuki Kamata
Manuel Aeacus Taisuke Nishimura
Commander Lance Michihiko Kuwagaki
Athena Miyoko Hanai
Nike Hideka Suzuki
Yoshino Junko Hiratsuka
Dr. Riharuto Kestner Inaho Miyazaki
Hitomi Naoko Ito
Yoshitsune PEPE
Aeacus' son Tomoki Mure

Production[edit]

Costume design[edit]

Deunan in one of her Prada-designed costumes

In this film, two of Deunan's costumes were designed by Italian fashion designer Miuccia Prada.[4][5] Prada was apparently already a fan of the first Appleseed movie, and she jumped at the chance to work on the second installment. At a press conference for the film, she said:

Marketing[edit]

Warner Home Video created a trailer remix contest[6] in December 2007 to promote the release of the film. The contest's aim was to have fans remix the Appleseed Ex Machina trailer into new short videos, using clips from the film and songs from the soundtrack. Fans could put these assets together into new short videos within an editing program on the contest site. Visitors to the site then voted on their favorite video, with the creator of the winning video winning a trip to WonderCon 2008. The contest ended February 7, 2008.

Following the release of the film, Hot Toys released 1/6 scale poseable action figures of Deunan Knute and Briareos Hecatonchires.[7]

Reception[edit]

The movie received a mostly positive response.[8][9][10]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]