Monday, August 10, 2015

To Ascend Olympus: Appleseed by Masamune Shirow


In the future, the earth will have been nearly destroyed by war and constant struggles.  A small place calling itself Olympus has found perfection.  But is it? 

Two warriors, one human and the other cybernetic and formerly human, track down the answers to finding a way to restore the world.

The series is called Appleseed the metaphor for spreading the seed of life across the planet is somewhat ironic for all the combat found here, but it is nonetheless accurate, and I like the story.

One of the best aspects of collecting anything in the modern era is the horizontal and vertical proliferation of a franchise.  Not only are there many choices of books, for instance, where the subject is considered by different writers or artists, alternative takes are offered, or the setting is shown in the future or past, there is more than just the main book.  In this era of saturation of every possible area of interest there are usually books, comics, games, and movies, with toys or figures to match each individual release.  There are people who prefer the original version to the alternative version, and each can collect their favorite characters, stories, films and games with those versions of the story.

My son and I have enjoyed Appleseed this summer.  I initially read it back in 1988, and watched the videos for it.  I was not as enthused as I am in the present.  Part of that is quality of production, some of that is sharing my enjoyment with my son, and some of it is that the work and quality of it has matured.  That is, not just in terms of making things look real, or sound right, quality of production, but the writing and action look so good they don't need to be given a forgiving eye, and the guilty pleasure thumbs up of "Good for what it is" or "if you this sort of thing, then you'll enjoy this".  I think that the work is worthy of my son and my time watching, and reading, and I don't feel the least bit silly saying that as a 51 year old man.

I should say, however, that the work of Masamune Shirow is known for being erotic, and somewhat focused upon nudity.  Ghost In the Shell by Shirow is very much more adult in terms of nudity and eroticism, so if you are worried, and simply look at covers of the books or games or movies, you should be aware that APPLESEED is not the same as his other works.  It is violent, but to a PG-13 level.  There is very little swearing, and no nudity that I've seen.  (I've looked and inspected it all for your concerns.)  I am neither complaining nor suggesting the lack of nudity is something to worry over, but other people do so, so this is a heads up in that regard.

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