Appleseed Appurushīdo (2004)
Okay, so it’s going to sound like I’ve got an axe to grind when it comes to early CGI… and maybe I do, I guess?
I do remember being thrilled with the visuals when Appleseed (2004) was brand new but the work of such early innovators is sometimes sorta ‘punished’ when the industry develops and we look back, which is a bit of a shame because it’s still put together so well – the opening sequence is a nice example of this I reckon.
However, when I look back on this particular version of Shirow’s magna I still find myself preferring the 1988 OVA. But in 2004, you still get great fight sequences and a fair amount of time devoted to the problem of the bioroids.
There’s also some conspiracy elements and backstory-surprises in there, along with the other classic cyberpunk tropes, but the big finish with the tank attack allows the filmmakers a chance to evoke some powerful Godzilla-like moments and really amp up the sense of doom.
To get an idea of what I mean by Appleseed’s ‘dated’ look (if you’ve never seen this film) the whole thing used to be on youtube, so you can certainly see the early/cel-shaded (and still pretty smooth overall) CGI animation in action if you like.