Deunan and Briareous return in CG form.
Here's a good way to start the year in anime.
Appleseed (2004) is an update based on the original manga and anime by Masamune Shirow (Ghost in the Shell). The movie is set in a future where a world war almost sent man into extinction. Years after, mankind now lives alongside Bioroids- artificial humans who many see as a superior race. The world is now governed from Olympus, with Bioroids serving to protect and lead man to a brighter future.
Human female soldier Deunan Knute is saved/captured from a battle-ravaged wasteland by Olympus' ESWAT squad and recruited to become part of the new world government's special forces. She is assisted and protected by her former partner Briareous, who has now become a cyborg working for Olympus. Unknown to Deunan, she is about to become a tool to carry out the secret agendas of various groups seeking to eradicate either Bioroids or normal humans from the face of the earth. Which future life takes lies in Deunan's hands... and that of a mysterious object known as Appleseed.
Instead of regular cel animation, the new Appleseed movie is done completely in cel-shaded CG animation (which has been seen before in videogames such as XIII). This gives the feature a pretty slick and impressive visual style, and the motion-captured animations allow for some pretty cool action scenes, from the starting battle between Deunan and some enemy mecha troops, to the final battle against some mammoth walking war machines. Along with the action, the characters also convey emotions well, so this seems to be a pretty cool direction for anime to take.
Fans of the original will surely love seeing Deunan and Briareos in fine CG fighting form. The movie is a spectacular work and anyone who loves mecha and high octane sci-fi action adventure anime would do well to grab a dvd copy of this film from the better-stocked anime or movie sources.