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Jason Thompson's House of 1000 Manga - Appleseed


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TokyoGetter



Joined: 28 Nov 2006
Posts: 408
Location: CA. You can tell by the low moral standards.

PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 12:56 am Reply with quote
Awesome job, Jason. Hit the nail on the head. The only thing you "missed" were the years of fan letters we all sat through, during which thousands of fanboys asked "when will he finish volume 5?!?!"

Appleseed represented what was a huge step forward for me as a fan; for better or worse (it most certainly does have its drawbacks), I've never read another manga like it, and the art is just jaw-dropping. Anybody who is into hard science fiction or speculative fiction needs to give it a read.

The mecha design alone makes it worth the price of admission.
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hakojo



Joined: 18 Sep 2009
Posts: 208
Location: NE Ohio.

PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 1:56 am Reply with quote
Yes, yes, and more yes. Appleseed will always stand head and shoulders above the GitS manga to me, because the characters are actual freakin' people instead of....I don't even know. Political and philosophical rumination can only take one so far, even when conveyed via many, many drawings of muscley, naked women; sometimes you just need some good old fashioned couple-y adorableness.

Now if only ANY of the animated adaptations could figure that out >.>

I have to say, though, I've always been amused by the fact that Uncle Shirow can only draw two women at best; the manga!Major is basically Deunan with slightly different hair and more PMS and psychosis, and I know I saw a few Hitomi clones in there too. Also, Batou and Briareos are pretty much the same person.
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TokyoGetter



Joined: 28 Nov 2006
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Location: CA. You can tell by the low moral standards.

PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 2:14 am Reply with quote
hakojo wrote:
Yes, yes, and more yes. Appleseed will always stand head and shoulders above the GitS manga to me, because the characters are actual freakin' people instead of....I don't even know. Political and philosophical rumination can only take one so far, even when conveyed via many, many drawings of muscley, naked women; sometimes you just need some good old fashioned couple-y adorableness.

Now if only ANY of the animated adaptations could figure that out >.>

I have to say, though, I've always been amused by the fact that Uncle Shirow can only draw two women at best; the manga!Major is basically Deunan with slightly different hair and more PMS and psychosis, and I know I saw a few Hitomi clones in there too. Also, Batou and Briareos are pretty much the same person.


I know it may be "non-canon" as far as GITS goes, but don't they hint in SAC that the Major may not be a woman, and instead just chose a woman's body for the sake of speed, etc?

I have no problems with the original Appleseed OVA; it's of its time but it's fast, well-paced, and has good direction. It's just an hour of fun as opposed to a drawn-out treatise on the nature of neuro-semiosis, etc.
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Fronzel



Joined: 11 Sep 2003
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 2:50 am Reply with quote
TokyoGetter wrote:
I know it may be "non-canon" as far as GITS goes, but don't they hint in SAC that the Major may not be a woman, and instead just chose a woman's body for the sake of speed, etc?

They did that flashback episode to when she got her first cyber-body at age 7 or so (due to massive injuries) and she had a female body then, too.
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hakojo



Joined: 18 Sep 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 2:51 am Reply with quote
TokyoGetter wrote:
I know it may be "non-canon" as far as GITS goes, but don't they hint in SAC that the Major may not be a woman, and instead just chose a woman's body for the sake of speed, etc?


Well, Batou kind of jokes about it in the first season, and then there's that weird line in episode 24 that doesn't really go anywhere, but by 2nd GIG it's pretty much a solid fact that she's all chick. Most of the meandering is about whether she sticks with female bodies for practical or sentimental reasons, and even then, they don't really dwell on it too much.

And I forgot about the OAV! Yeah, that was actually like, the closest one to getting it right. It was mostly fluff, but it was the good kind of fluff, and it was still highly enjoyable.
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GATSU



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 4:05 am Reply with quote
Quote:
Ghost in the Shell is more popular, but I went back to reread Appleseed because I like Appleseed better.


Well, I do admit those effing endless footnotes in GITS keep it from being one of my favorites. But I feel like Appleseed's a bit more emblemic of the cliches of that era of entertainment.

Quote:
It makes a good contrast with Dominion, another Shirow manga, a over-the-top parody of the whole bad-cops-in-a-dystopian-future thing. I think Shirow is being completely sincere when he praises the Olympus S.W.A.T. team members, and that he really is in favor of a more big-government (some would say totalitarian) society with far-reaching police powers, but it's nice to know he can also make fun of himself.


Yeah, his fascist, gun-porn fetishes are a real turn-off for me, but fit right in with the Frank Miller crowd back then.

Quote:
The problem with Shirow's manga for me is that it's not driven by the characters, it's driven by ideas: ideas about science, politics, whatever.


Yeah, I remember Toren Smith saying on one of his blogs there was stuff he translated of Shirow's ideology which he totally disagreed with.

Quote:
But the core of Appleseed is the relationship between Deunan and Briareos, whose love for one another makes them more likeable than the Ghost in the Shell characters whose only bond is police comraderie.


Yeah, but at least the GITS characters interact with their respective settings. Deunan and Briareos come off like place-holders most of the time. Still, Dominion's my favorite of his stuff, which is why I'd rather see more of it than anything else-and not through weak anime sequels.

Quote:
I'd like it if Shirow went back to drawing manga, although I don't think he'd ever have it in him to tell a very emotional story,


While I don't know if he drew anything, I think he provided some of the concepts for Ex Machina. I'm hoping that's wrong, because if he's gotten as lazy as that anime film, then I don't want him to go back to manga.
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Gilles Poitras



Joined: 05 Apr 2008
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Location: Oakland California

PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 8:02 am Reply with quote
Thanks for covering Appleseed.

You are right about Shirow having been a school teacher, he taught art.

He also started out with doing dojinshi, his Black Magic was one which was later picked up by a regular publisher. Takeda Yasuhiro in his Notenki Memoirs (published by ADV Manga in 2005) mentions that the old General Products store in Osaka sold Shirow's dojinshi. Shirow is unique in that most of his manga work has been straight to book and not serialized.

Years ago Frederik Schodt, who worked on some of the Appleseed translations, published an interview with him in Manga Max in 1998. The longer form of the interview is on Fred's web site:

http://www.jai2.com/​MSivu.​htm
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FaytLein
Collector ExtraordinaireCollector Extraordinaire


Joined: 21 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 9:34 am Reply with quote
This column has opened my eyes to a lot of different manga and this one is no exception. I've never read any of Shirow's stories but between seeing a small blurb on the GitS manga and this column, I think I know what my next purchase will be. I wasn't aware Appleseed was still in print so I can buy this right away!
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TokyoGetter



Joined: 28 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 10:57 am Reply with quote
hakojo wrote:
TokyoGetter wrote:
I know it may be "non-canon" as far as GITS goes, but don't they hint in SAC that the Major may not be a woman, and instead just chose a woman's body for the sake of speed, etc?


Well, Batou kind of jokes about it in the first season, and then there's that weird line in episode 24 that doesn't really go anywhere, but by 2nd GIG it's pretty much a solid fact that she's all chick. Most of the meandering is about whether she sticks with female bodies for practical or sentimental reasons, and even then, they don't really dwell on it too much.


Ah, it's been awhile. Thanks for going in-depth. Smile

In addition to working from Kobe (a rarity in the land of Tokyo-based manga companies), he also chose an interesting pen name; it's a sword-making reference, correct?
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Tenebrae



Joined: 26 Apr 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 11:42 am Reply with quote
Appleseed... one of the first manga I bought in fact. I re-read it a few years back, and it was a very different experience, as I understood much better the science-political ramblings of various characters. The first reading had mostly been for the action. Still liked it a lot though, and I can see how many eighties manga artists have been influenced by his style, like Kia Asamiya (already mentioned) and Kazushi Hagiwara of Bastard!! fame (and others, but I seem to forget the names).

If you want more of Shirow going off the tangent, look into Orion where he gives some notes how he fuses buddhism and quantum physics to make the manga's theory of magic go.

Is he still hiding his face and identity btw?
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Moonsaber



Joined: 16 Jan 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 11:46 am Reply with quote
Thank you for doing Appleseed it is one of my all time favorite manga, and I am always enthusiastic to read or talk about it again. I tend to reread it at least once every two years, I first read it over a decade ago, if I remember correctly.

I never got or read Appleseed Hypernotes though, so it appears I really am missing something?

hakojo wrote:
<snip> sometimes you just need some good old fashioned couple-y adorableness.

Now if only ANY of the animated adaptations could figure that out >.>


I watched Applessed III last night. I am a bit mixed on how the animation is done, it's a bit jarring, but I was impressed by some of the more 'human' elements in it. It seems that the creators of this anime really grokked the relationship as being the core of the story. There is a very memorable line spoiler[After a battle that is fairly canon in the manga, Briaros is shot up, when Deunan goes back to his side after doing her job (2nd time, 1st time he has to send her off, it takes a few tries) she asks him "Is this really our Eden?" Which is built off earlier plot. Also, there is a personality element I don't recall in this version of Deunan, at least one not as obvious before. She absolutely refuses to trust anyone other than Briaros, excluding the other ESWAT members from her trust.]

I guess I am saying... animation style not held out (and it is VERY different from what I am used to style wise) I think this might be what the manga fans of Appleseed have been wanting. I wasn't exactly overwhelmed by the first episode, but it may have more re-watch-a-bility, depending on how it pans out with more episodes.
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ptolemy18
Manga Reviewer/Creator/Taster


Joined: 07 May 2005
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Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 12:05 pm Reply with quote
Tenebrae wrote:
If you want more of Shirow going off the tangent, look into Orion where he gives some notes how he fuses buddhism and quantum physics to make the manga's theory of magic go.


I like Orion a lot! Like Dominion, it shows how fun Shirow can be when he's not taking himself seriously. And the art is great. The main character's personality reminds me a little of Bastard!!, actually...
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GATSU



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
Posts: 12044

PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 4:36 pm Reply with quote
Fayt:
Quote:
I wasn't aware Appleseed was still in print so I can buy this right away!


It's technically not. These are re-releases which are done to comply with the JP editions. You want the original editions, you'll have to go through a lot of comic bins.
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TJ_Kat



Joined: 11 Jan 2007
Posts: 239
Location: Saskatoon, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 9:41 pm Reply with quote
Tenebrae wrote:
Is he still hiding his face and identity btw?


...and still living with his parents too as of the last interview i saw involving him. but i supposed that's not quite as big a deal in japan as it would be in the west.

also, just to be nit-picky, briareos does not have 5 eyes on his face. that big lense in the middle is actually his nose. plus he also has 2 eyes in the back of his head, and 2 more in his "ears". it's all burried in shirow's notes somewhere Wink

one of these days i'm going to have to read through all of appleseed (and most of his other books too) while i'm awake and alert. right before bed when i'm already half asleep i just can't process it all.
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GATSU



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
Posts: 12044

PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 10:15 pm Reply with quote
TJ_Kat:
Quote:
...and still living with his parents too as of the last interview i saw involving him. but i supposed that's not quite as big a deal in japan as it would be in the west.


No, they clearly hate hikikomori, too, but at least Shirow's getting paid.
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