Archives for : Fumihiko Sori

Appleseed (anime review)

AppleseedTitle: Appleseed Blu-ray, DVD combo (Sentai Selects)

Based on: Appleseed by Masamune Shirow

Director: Shinji Aramaki

Written By: Haruka Handa, Tsutomu Kamishiro

Producer: Fumihiko Sori, Hidenori Ueki, Naoko Watanabe

Production Company: Micott & Basara, Digital Frontier

Music By: Boom Boom Satellites, Tetsuya Takahashi

U. S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23 Films

U. S. Re-Released Date: September 8th, 2015

Format: Blu-ray / DVD / Feature Film / 105 Minutes

Genre: Cyber Punk, Sci Fi

Age Rating: TV 14

Overall Personal Rating: B


Plucked from the last battlefields of the final war, mercenary Deunan Knute finds herself pressed into duty with the ESWAT, defenders of the Utopian city of Olympus. But serpents lurk beneath the peaceful surface of this apparent Garden of Eden, and new seeds of destruction have already been planted! Now it’s up to Deunan and her former lover, the now-cyborg Briareos, to unravel a deadly web of plots that threaten to bring down Olympus from within!


2015 just might become the year of the retread or revival of some long beloved films and  series. Appleseed is one of those films that was at the forefront of Computer Generated animation and one of the first anime that Sori got his hands on. In 2004 when this first came out it was hailed for its visual presence and the strength of the story itself.  It may not have gotten the same praise that Final Fantasy The Spirits Within, but it did find a special spot in the hearts of many a anime fan.

Looking back at the film today it is hard to find the same level of awe or the interest in the story line. It does bring back plenty of fond memories though and I have a feeling that is what Sentai is expecting. With the creation of the Sentai Selects I am interested to see how Sentai uses this new grouping. I have seen what they have planed for release later this year under that subset. I see it as being used much the way Anime Classics is used by one of their major competitors.

Either way it is great to see Appleseed regain some new life and possibly get seen by a new generation of anime fans. I for one love the film.


Alternate English Dub, Audio Commentary, The Birth of 3D Live Anime, Staff Profiles, Original Japanese Trailer, Special Japanese Trailer.

Overall Grade: B

When giving a new grade to a film that in the past you gave a high rating to is difficult. Based on how dated the CG looks I found it hard to stay focused and with my love of the film from 10 years ago I found myself becoming a little disappointed with the film.

This of course is a very personal aspect to the my viewing enjoyment and feel as though a new fan will find the film a lot more engaging. I still loved story and can see how much impact Appleseed had on many of the newer writers and film makers, I is a true classic I just wish I could have graded this version higher.

If you are new to the film then you should try to look past the dated CG and pay attention to the story. I know you will be hooked in no time.

TO: Film Collection S.A.V.E.

TO: Film Collection SAVETitle: TO: Film Collection S.A.V.E. edition
Director: Fumihiko Sori
Studio: Oxybot
U. S. Distributor: Funimation Entertainment
U. S. Release Date: June 7th, 2011
Format:  DVD / 90 minutes / 2 Feature Films
Genre: Sci Fi, Drama
Age Rating: TV 14
Overall Personal Rating: B+
Similar Titles: Appleseed, Vexille and Final Fantasy

In the future can humanity escape the need to war amongst itself? Are there lessons to be learned by the way space will affect us, or will we stay closer to the animal inside our nature.


TO is a collection of short films that explore humanity in the future and our potential in space.

Elliptical Orbit:

The first film Elliptical Orbit revolves around the return of a space freighter, The Flying Dutchman, and the terrorist plot to use its cargo to destroy the Moon. The real plot is the relationship between the captain of the Flying Dutchman and the head of the space base, Midnight Bazooka, that they have docked at. The struggle that is played out between the base personnel and the terrorist is nothing more than a the constant struggle that humanity never seems to get past and rehashing the political nightmares of our own doing. The hidden surprise is the connection between two main Fifteen years after its last contact with our world, a space freighter known as the Flying Dutchman requests permission to dock at a remote moon base. This mysterious ship carries liquid protons: a power source essential to the survival of Earth’s population. But before the precious cargo can be delivered, the base is ambushed by galactic terrorists who seek to destroy the new form of energy and issue a death sentence to all of humanity.

Symbiotic Planet:

In the second short film, Symbiotic Planet, has us further into the future and how we try to understand how life differs throughout the universe. Our limited understanding of life is only based on our experience and the what we know. Symbiotic Planet takes us to a new world where the American and Russians are both trying to see what they can learn about this new world. During this time they are both on the edge of war and there is a young couple who would like to change that. As a group of arbiters arrive to see what discoveries have been made a out break of a fungus infects the American base. This brings thing to a boiling point and also allow for the most important discovery of all.Against a backdrop of intergalactic colonization and bizarre alien life forms, Aon and Elena – star-crossed lovers from rival countries competing for valuable natural resources – struggle to build a life together despite the objections of their superiors. Their budding romance is thwarted by an outbreak of alien fungus and the interference of a cutthroat militaristic madman. To survive, the young couple must maintain their faith in each other and learn to trust the unique creatures which inhabit this strange and wondrous new world.


These two films by Sori are classic material and meet the high expectation of work comes from the creator of Appleseed and Vexille. The two stories are original story from the space manga 2001 Ya Monogatari / 2001 Nights by Yukinobu Hoshino. They are both very imaginative and also have a wonderful humanistic overtone. They both have the same overarching premiss of the inability for humanity to be able to live together and the stupidity that happens when we take these issues with us into space. There are also two very interesting scientific theories that are played out, the effect of speed of light travel on aging and what other life might be like.

The only real issue I have with either one of these two is that in Elliptical Orbit the main protagonist Maria just happens to look just like Maria from Vexille. I had a hard time getting past that along with other glimpse of others from Vexille throughout this fine film/

Of the two I found Symbiotic Planet to be the best with its power play between the stupid war mongering Americans and Russians and the interesting way in which the planet steps in to show the real power and mystery of life.

Overall Grade: B+

I can see why the Blu-ray / DVD combo of TO is offered and I would say the true enjoyment will come from the high definition of the Blu-ray, but in either format these two films deserve a spot right next to Appleseed, Vexille and even Ping Pong. Sori continues to proved a vision that is very entertaining.

As I have mentioned several time already the clear choices are Appleseed, Appleseed Ex-Mechania, Vexille and you should also check out the live action Ping Pong to see some of the similarities that Sori provides even in a little slice of life film.