My first review will be about the new Appleseed movie I just purchased on Blu-Ray based on the popular Appleseed manga series by Shirow Masamune.  This is the sequel to the 2004 CG anime adaptation directed by Shinji Aramaki, a renowned mechanical designer and occasional director, and John Woo (the doves in the movie are a dead giveaway).  To not give away any of the plot this movie takes place some time after the events of the first, and Tartarus is still in the rebuilding phase.  It deals with Deunan and Briareos, full members of ESWAT, combatting a sudden inexplicable rise in android related terrorism and dealing with a new Bioroid combat model that resembles Briareos before his injuries in both body and mind.  The theme of indivdualism and free will take a backseat to the action and drama while still managing to remind viewers it’s still their every now and again.  Don’t expect any groundbreaking philisophy in those regards however, though I’d like to think that if id had been a full-length show the themes whould have gotten the exposure they needed.  The previous movie’s events aren’t referenced at all by the other characters except for a short dialogue between Nike and Athena that hints back to the last few lines of the first movie.  Other characters such as Hitomi and Yoshitsune also return for roles beyond simple cameos, wich was appreciated.  A few new and interesting characters add to the returning cast and manage to keep up with Shirow’s originals .  The original voice cast has been replaced by a brand new line-up including Chris Patton as Yoshi and Hillary Haag (my favorite voice actress) as Hitomi which came as a suprise, but the voices weren’t too dissimilar from the originals as to take away from the movie.  The CG has definately been amped up for this entry, managing to look absolutely gorgeous at times on 1080p.  The shadowing and shading of characters is much better realized here while the locations and mecha are better defined and more complex.  The music this time around is in the same vein as the first movie but serves as better background accopaniement, doing a good job of setting the mood for each scene.  One of the nice things about this movie is Briareos is much more fleshed out and you can now definately see the human underneath the chassis, and he even wears differnt attire throughout which nicely show the attachment to his humanity.  Acrobatic combat scenes filled with one-man-army gunplay kept my eyes glued to the screen while the drama and characterization kept me glued to my seat.  A little splash of humor here and their help to round off this terrific title for a sequel that goes above and beyond the call of duty.  Definately buy this movie, especially if you own a Blu-Ray Player.  Ill post some screenshots when I get the chance.  (9.5/10)