(13 episodes, distributed on streaming and as OVAs)
What’s it about ?
The adventures of a SWAT squad in the future, fighting terrorists and conspiracies.
Deunan, our protagonist. Trained to survived in the wilderness by her father since her early childhood, she’s the gung-ho rookie of the squad. I’ll give this to Maaya Sakamoto : she’s got enough charisma to pull off her character whining non-stop for the full duration of the episode and still not have her be too annoying. Although she comes very close here.
Briareos, her BFF since forever (or maybe more ?). After a bad accident, he had to be turned into a cyborg to survive. He’s still following her devotedly to protect her (especially from her own reckless behavior).
Dia, an innocent bystander who turns out to be a special cyborg or something, and will presumably be important to the plot later on.
The plot of the week involves a bunch of terrorists (“the Argonauts”) storming the
Russian Poseidon embassy to retrieve one of their agents. (Did I mention there’s a heavy Greek Mythology theme permeating everything ?)
This is a full CGI series, with some degree of cell-shading when people are involved. To be frank, it looks terrible. The character designs for people don’t quite work, and most importantly the body language looks awfully off. It’s not a problem when everyone on screen is in power suits, but the humans move like creepy ragdolls, pushing them deep into the uncanny valley. It looks like cheap videogame cutscenes (you know, the ones that aren’t pre-rendered), which is all kinds of disappointing.
The backgrounds and the scenes without humans look much more impressive, but that’s only a fraction of the overall screentime.
Ouch. I don’t know anything about the Appleseed franchise, but this is a decidedly underwhelming offering. The artstyle is a complete failure, and Deunan is obnoxious beyond belief. I think there may a decent story beyond those roadblocks… and then I realize I’ve seen this kind of story done much better with Ghost in the Shell – Stand Alone Complex. Which had the advantage of not making my eyes bleed.
I’ll give it another episode to check whether the heroine gets less annoying and I can enjoy it for the plot, but I’m not optimistic.