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Worlds Without End Blog

SF Manga 101: Appleseed Posted at 8:06 AM by Glenn Hough


Glenn Hough (gallyangel) is a nonpracticing futurist, an anime and manga otaku, and is almost obsessive about finishing several of the lists tracked on WWEnd. In this series on SF Manga Glenn will provide an overview of the medium and the place of science fiction within it.

AppleseedWhen I was charting out the mangas I’d be blogging about, my best of the best list, and why those mangas should matter to us, the SF reading public, Masumune Shirow found his way onto the list three times. Conversely, nobody else even got a second series. That’s the level of difference we’re talking about with Shirow.

I find it highly ironic that the ideas for Ghost in the Shell (GITS) came out of Appleseed. And in my opinion, knocked Appleseed out of a top three slot for SF Manga. Not out of the top five, but out of the top three.

This is what the publisher says about the first volume of Appleseed.

World War III is over, and nomad soldier Duenan Knute and her cyborg partner Briareos struggle to survive in the abandoned cities and demilitarized zones of the post-war wasteland, the “Badside.” Matters appear on the upswing, however, when they are found and brought to Olympus, an urban utopia and centerpiece for the reconstruction of civilization. Duenan and Bri join the Olympus police, a force that seems hardly necessary in such a paradise. But, like in most pretty pictures, perfection is an illusion, and Olympus’s peaceful facade hides a dark secret, a violent struggle between human and cyborg that could once again plunge the world into war… and genocide.

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