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Appleseed Movie To Hit The US!

Date: 2005 January 04 18:06

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The folks at Geneon have sent us the details of their Theatrical release of the new Appleseed Movie. Based on the manga by Shirow Masamune (Ghost In the Shell, Dominon Tank Police to name a few). They're marketing it as "3D Live Anime", an usual title for a CG movie. It's certainlly in the anime style, but many fans are divided and a few think it looks like a long cut scene from a PlayStation 2 game, others think it's superb. The Otaku News Crew can't comment yet, since we haven't seen it.

US fans can catch it from January 14th a full list of cinemas screening the movie can be found on the Offical Appleseed Movie Website.

Full Story

Press release as follows:

Life-like, Yet Animated: Full 3D-CG Technology Using Traditional Anime Character Design

A futuristic "Beauty and the Beast" done in a revolutionary "3D Live Anime" style for today's techno-savvy audiences,
asking the question, "Are humans doomed to destroy themselves because of their inherently violent nature?"

  • High octane and sophisticated sci-fi action adventure based on the classic APPLESEED manga (comic book) by creator Shirow Masamune (THE GHOST IN THE SHELL)

  • Existing worldwide fan base

  • Use of advanced technology to create a visually stunning new style of animation. The film features a groundbreaking style known as "3D Live Anime," a blend of motion-capture technology and 3D computer animation, which is further enhanced by the new generation of "toon-shading" programs, which renders 3D CGI into 2D cel-style images. The film is a huge leap forward in technical and visual terms, far exceeding the previous benchmark for computer animation from Japan, set by FINAL FANTASY: THE SPIRITS WITHIN.

  • A pounding, rock-hard soundtrack featuring such top selling musicians as Paul Oakenfold, Basement Jaxx, Boom Boom Satellites and Academy Award winner Ryuichi Sakamoto.

U.S. Release: January 14, 2005
Rating: R (for some violence); Running Time: 103 Minutes

Appleseed Movie

After an apocalyptic war, hope for the future of mankind seems to rest with the utopian city Olympus. However, behind its idealism, lies a darker undertone. Thus, the question is posed, "Will humanity ever be able to overcome its violent nature to create a truly peaceful future?"

In the year 2131, the world has been left decimated and barren by an apocalyptic war. Not realizing the war is over, a beautiful blond soldier named Deunan Knute, with police and SWAT experience, is wandering the wastelands cut off from the rest of the world.

Ambushed and surrounded by dangerous mechanical predators in the ruins of an old city, Deunan is about to make her last stand, until a heavily armed helicopter and a mysterious assault team suddenly appears and quickly wipes out the enemy. Deunan tries to escape during the ensuing confusion, however, she's quickly captured. On board the craft is a cyborg named Briareos and a beautiful woman named Hitomi, both of whom have been on a mission to find Deunan and bring her is back to Olympus, a futuristic utopian city.

Deunan later wakes up in Olympus, hearing the voice of Briareos, her former military comrade and lover, but she's taken aback by his cold demeanor and how different he looks now. After being horribly injured during a battle in North Africa, Briareos was only able to survive by having over 75% of his body replaced by mechanical parts, thus becoming a cyborg.

Deunan also discovers that Olympus is now the seat of a new world government. As no country emerged as a post-war victor, Olympus through its superior power filled the political vacuum. As a result, the remaining "unsupervised countries" must now rely on Olympus for their very existence.

The next day, Hitomi shows Deunan the sights of the Olympus, while on their way to the city legislature. The residents of Olympus seem peaceful and serene, however, Deunan is alarmed when Hitomi informs her that over half of its "model citizens" are "Bioroids" - including Hitomi herself. Given birth through a process of genetic engineering, these clones were created to help and serve humanity. As the Bioroids lack some of humans' destructive emotions, they are key to bringing harmony and peace to Olympus. Deunan, though, is uncertain with the situation, but hides her feelings from Hitomi.

At the legislature, Deunan is introduced to the Council, composed of seven wise elders who, through a process of constant "conversation" with a supercomputer named Gaia, form the "will" that controls Olympus. And overseeing the protection of Gaia is the high-ranking Bioroid, Athena, who must contend with covert military factions of human rebels that resent and fear Bioroids. Before she knows it, Deunan gets caught up in a deadly power struggle over the delicate balance of existence between humans and Bioroids. Now she will have to decide and face up to her demons if she is to help determine the outcome of humanity's future.

Shirow Masamune is the author of the best-selling manga The Ghost in the Shell, which inspired two internationally acclaimed animated film of the same name, that influenced the Wachowski Brothers and their Matrix Trilogy. However, among all his manga creations, his cyberpunk epic Appleseed remains Shirow's personal favorite.

Known worldwide for eye-catching illustrations of breathless female beauties and incredibly detailed and intricate artwork of vehicles, ships, weapons and other machinery, Shirow Masamune has been praised for his fascinating and intelligently written storylines that explores the dual nature of man and machine, with the underlying question of "What does it mean to be human?" Shirow Masamune's gorgeous, full-color art can be seen in the highly popular "Intro Depot" art book series from Japan.

Since its first publication in 1985, Appleseed continues to be considered a milestone in both the history of manga and Japanese science fiction. Published to great critical fanfare, it was instantly recognized as a masterpiece of manga science fiction and Shirow Masamune was acclaimed as serious writer of science fiction in any form. And Shirow's topical themes, combined with his unique perspective on the world, continues to be the benchmark for a whole genre of sci-fi manga and movies, both animated and live action. The Appleseed manga has not only gained fans in Japan, but all over the world. To date, it has been published in 10 other countries including the United States, Canada, England, Spain, France, Italy, Germany and Hong Kong. It was also one of the first manga titles to be translated into English.

In order to do justice to Appleseed's incredible story, the movie uses cutting-edge digital animation technology. State-of-the-art motion capture technology allowed the filmmakers the freedom to use unlimited dynamic moves to enhance its action scenes. As Mark Schilling in The Japan Times exclaimed, "The action scenes, made using state-of-the-art motion-capture technology, have a fluidity and dynamism to equal anything out of Hollywood. … Appleseed is not just a futuristic fantasy but, as Studio Ghibli President Toshio Suzuki recently told me, the future of animation. And it's coming faster than anyone could have imagined."

The CG characters, using a process called "toonshading," retain the unmistakable 2D look of traditional anime. As a result, Appleseed's groundbreaking techniques is able to not only take full advantage of the best computer animation technologies, but also retain all the best elements of anime.

Born in Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan, Shinji Aramaki began his career doing animation planning and mechanical design, working on both traditional animated projects and video games. He was responsible for the mechanical design of such animated TV series as Mospeada (1983, known in the U.S. as Robotech-New Generation), Garasaki (1998), Scryed (2001), Astro Boy (2003) and Wolf's Rain (2003). He was responsible for the planning, direction and mechanical design for the original video animation Megazone 23 and also managed the planning, direction and production design of the Bubblegum Crisis series. On non-anime projects, he has worked on the modeling and CG special effects scene storyboards for Tatsuya Ishii's film Kappa (1994). He was the supervisor for the table tennis scene storyboards in Ping Pong (2002), where he teamed up for the first time with its director Fumihiko SORI, who would go on to become Appleseed's Creative Producer. Appleseed represents Mr. Aramaki's theatrical feature directorial debut.

Born in 1964 in Osaka Prefecture, Japan, Fumihiko SORI is best known for his work as a visual effects supervisor in film and television. And his knowledge and skill in the area of digital visuals certainly ranks among the best in the world. In 1996 he joined Digital Domain, James Cameron's legendary digital effects company, where he worked on the special effects for Titanic. He has acted as visual effects supervisor on such Japanese films as Andromedia (1998), Himitsu (1999), and Keizoku (2000), as well as on numerous popular Japanese TV dramas. In 2002, he made his directorial debut with Ping Pong, which was a big hit in Japan. With Appleseed, he was able to use his talents as a producer for the first time on a feature-length animated movie.

MUSIC CONTRIBUTION - Paul OAKENFOLD - Contributor of the track "Burns Attack"
Seminal House DJ Paul Oakenfold was one of the founding fathers of the Acid House scene that swept London in the late '80s and paved the way for the rise of Electronica in the '90s. Today, Oakenfold remains one of the most respected and sought-after DJs/remixers in the business. He has remixed songs for the likes of U2, the Rolling Stones, Snoop Dogg, Smashing Pumpkins and Bjork. Paul Oakenfold has also contributed tracks to movies such as Matrix Reloaded, Swordfish, and Planet of the Apes. He also established his own highly successful record label, Perfecto Records.

Based on the manga Appleseed by Shirow Masamune (Seishinsha Publishing)
Director: Shinji ARAMAKI
Creative Producer: SORI
Writers: Haruka HANDA, Tsutomu KAMISHIRO,
Executive Producer: Sumiji MIYAKE
Producers: Hidenori UEKI, Naoko WATANABE
Associate-Producer: Norio KONISHI
CG Producer: Yusaku TOYOSHIMA
CG Director: Yasuhiro OTSUKA
Character Designer: Masaki YAMADA
Music Producer: Shin YASUI
Music Score: Tetsuya TAKAHASHI
Production: Digital Frontier
Music by: Boom Boom Satellites
Contributing Music Artists: Paul Oakenfold, Basement Jaxx, Carl Craig Vs. Adult, Akufen, Atom, T.Raumschmiere, Ryuichi Sakamoto (APPLESEED Original Soundtrack by Sony Music Records Inc.)

2004/Japan/35mm/Color/103min/1:1.85/Dolby Surround

© 2004 Shirow Masamune/Seishinsha o Appleseed Film Partners
(Appleseed Film Partners are Micott & Basara, TBS, Geneon Entertainment, YAMATO, TOHO, TYO, Digital Frontier and MBS)

Source: Geneon\'s Offical Appleseed Movie Website
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