SDCC 2014: Meeting up with Appleseed Alpha’s Shinji Aramaki

appleseed alpha

Shinji Aramaki is known for directing the CG-animated Appleseed and its sequel, Appleseed Ex Machina. Appleseed Alpha released on Blu-ray and DVD last week (Check out our review here.), and the story follows Deunan and Briareos as they go about their days surviving a post-apocalyptic New York City. They rescue a young girl and her escort and are now tasked with stopping a bad cyborg from activating a secret weapon of doom. During San Diego Comic-Con, we had the chance to meet up with director Shinji Aramaki and producer Joseph Chou to talk about all things Appleseed. It was a very casual conversation inside the Westin Gaslamp suite.

I immediately asked Aramaki about whether or not we’ll be seeing another Appleseed movie. He laughs and replied that it all depends on sales of Appleseed Alpha. I suggested to him that maybe we can see Deunan and Briareos before and during the Third World War (all the films have taken place after the war). He commented that it would be a good idea, so here’s hoping that I have some kind of influence for future Appleseed films 😉

We then talked about the movie having English-speaking actors for the original dialogue. (The previous films had original Japanese dialogue.) Aramaki says that because the setting is in New York City with American characters, he wanted American mannerisms and voices to reflect that.

I asked about Deunan’s outfit, since I noticed a few people said that the outfit was too sexy or revealing for a soldier. Arakami replied that it’s a fictional movie and that he didn’t want a generic-looking outfit. He wanted to have an outfit that would be unique while also looking good enough to cosplay. As for Briareos, he already looks cool enough to cosplay.

I commented on how cool Two Horns looked, especially the animation. Aramaki said that originally his face wasn’t going to be that expressive. The animator working on his face opted to recreate it so that it can include more moving parts, and the result is a very expressive character.

The style of Appleseed gets more realistic with each new film. The first Appleseed was cel-shaded, with the second one looking more like a CG-animated movie. With Alpha, we’re entering photo-realistic characters and environments. Aramaki says that since the movie is kind of like a new beginning, he wanted to use that as a way to show off the new dystopian world. If you’ve watched Alpha, then you can see that the movie looks impressive.

If you want to see more Appleseed films, be sure to check Appleseed Alpha on Bly-ray, DVD or Digital HD.

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John 'Spartan' Nguyen
John 'Spartan' Nguyen 9799 posts

Assassin, scoundrel, head honcho.

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