Appleseed is a 2004 Japanese computer animated anime science fiction action film directed by Shinji Aramaki and based on the Appleseed manga created by Masamune Shirow.
The film tells the story of Deunan Knute, a former soldier, who searches for data that can restore the reproductive capabilities of bioroids, a race of genetically engineered clones. Although it shares characters and settings with the original manga, this film’s storyline is a re-interpretation, not a true adaptation.
This Appleseed film should not be confused with the 1988 OVA which was also inspired by the manga. Appleseed received a theatrical release on April 17, 2004. Deunan Knute, a young soldier and one of the Global War’s last survivors, is rescued by Hitomi, a Second Generation Bioroid. Knute’s escape attempt is stopped by her former lover Briareos Hecatonchires, now a cyborg. She realizes that the war had ended and she is in a Utopian city called Olympus.
Its population is half-human and half-clone, a genetically-engineered species called Bioroids. Olympus is governed by three factions: Prime Minister Athena Areios; General Edward Uranus III, head of the Olympus Army; and a Council of Elders. Everything in the city is observed by an artificial intelligence named Gaia from a building called Tartaros.
While there, Deunan joins the counter-terrorism organization ESWAT. The Bioroids were created from the DNA of Deunan’s father, Carl, making the Second Generation Bioroids her brothers and sisters. However, they have a much shorter lifespan than humans due to suppressed reproductive capabilities.
The Bioroid’s life extension facilities are destroyed by a secret faction of the Regular Army in a terrorist attack against the Bioroids. However, the Appleseed data, which contains information on restoring the Bioroids reproduction capabilities, still exists. Olympus is plagued by conflicting factions.
Along with a strike force, Deunan and Briareos head to the building where the Bioroids were originally created. She activates a holographic recording showing the location of the Appleseed data.
Dr. Gilliam Knute, who created the Bioroids, entrusted Appleseed to Deunan, but was inadvertently killed by a soldier. They are betrayed and cornered by the Regular Army. Deunan discovers from anti-Bioroid terrorist Colonel Hades that Briareos had intentionally allowed his Landmate, a large exoskeleton-like battlesuit, to escape.
Kudoh allows Deunan and Briareos to escape to the rooftop before he is killed. Uranus attempts to convince Deunan that Bioroids seek to control humanity, and he wants to destroy Appleseed and the D-Tank containing the Bioroid reproductive activation mechanism. Briareos tells Uranus that the Elders manipulated the Army into wanting to destroy the D-Tank, but Athena is trying to prevent them from doing so and protect humanity.
Hades, who resents Carl, wounds Briareos only for Deunan to kill him as she and Briareos flee into the sea. Despite Deunan’s pleas not to leave Briareos behind, he persuades her to search for the Elders.
Mechanic Yoshitsune Miyamoto arrives in his Landmate and begins repairing Briareos after receiving an SOS from him. Deunan flies back to Olympus in Yoshitsune’s Landmate and uses the Appleseed data to fully restore Bioroid reproductive functions.