Mania Grade: A-
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- Art Rating: B+
- Packaging Rating: B
- Text/Translatin Rating: A
- Age Rating: 13 & Up
- Released By: Dark Horse
- MSRP: 14.95
- Pages: 192
- ISBN: 978-1-59307-692-4
- Size: A5
- Orientation: Right to Left
- Series: Appleseed
Appleseed Vol. #02
Appleseed Vol. #02 Manga Review
By Mark Thomas
October 19, 2010
Release Date: June 04, 2008
What happens when one of the computer systems designed to protect your utopian society goes berserk and tries to destroy the other?
Translated by:Dana Lewis and Toren Smith
What They Say
You can't have a perfect society without perfect people, and the only perfect people are the ones you can manufacture. The governing body of Olympus, an urban utopia created from the ashes of World War III, is about to bring paradise crashing down around their ears as they seek to regulate the minds and bodies of the human race... or fully replace them with cyborg substitutes.
Deunan and Briareos, still new to the city, find themselves in the unlikely position of having to hold together this house of cards. Their strategy? Destroy the old foundation and pray everything stands while new underpinnings are forged!
With Deunan and Briarios now established in Olympus, life seems to settle down a little bit. Briarios is still in the hospital after the being wounded during the rebel uprising secretly spawned by Athena, but Deunan has been headhunted to join the special forces after a short stint with S.W.A.T. It is not the most ideal life, but it certainly is better than living in the outlands.
At the same time, the Elders—the humanistic representation of Gaia—have suggested a course of aggressive cybernetic therapy on humanity to prevent them from becoming too complacent during the extended peace and essentially willing themselves out of existence. But this theory is too controversial to put into action without extended debate, so the Elders are put into protective custody while Gaia studies the problem.
But it seems Gaia has been studying the problem for a while and has come to the decision that humanity needs changing, and launches a preemptive strike on the other system, Tartarus, by hijacking the newly completed Mobile Gun Platforms—highly equipped, massive walking battletanks—and sending them on a rampage through the city. The Elders anticipate this problem, so they send Hitomi to Gaia in the hopes that she can stop it. Deunan and a newly released Briarios tag along to help, but they might be called on to do more than protect her.
I’ve long been a fan of the original Appleseed OVA, a love that was renewed with the more recent remake from 2004. And as a longtime fan of everything Shirow Masamune, I jumped at the chance to check out the manga. And I’m glad I have. This volume (along with the last) essentially covers the storyline that is told during the first OVA and redone in the 2004 film, so as such, I was pretty familiar with how this volume would play out.
But it was fine, because that is a fun story. Much like Masamune’s magnum opus, Ghost in the Shell, Appleseed has a philosophical subplot—that is, essentially, what does it mean to be human and can bioroids logically be considered human? In this volume, this comes into play more because of the suggestion that humans should go through the process to become bioroid.
However, unlike Ghost in the Shell, this philosophy does not occupy a large part of the story, largely because protagonist Deunan Knute has no patience for any situation that cannot be boiled down to “shoot first, ask questions later.” She does not care about all the incidentals; she is perfectly happy to let other people figure out the difficult questions. What this gives us is a fun, fairly light action title that is a romp from start to finish.