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Appleseed (アップルシード Appurushīdo?) is a science fiction manga authored by Masamune Shirow. The series follows the adventures of ESWAT members Deunan Knute and Briareos Hecatonchires in Olympus. Like much of Masamune's work, Appleseed merges elements of the cyberpunk and mecha genres with a heavy dosage of politics, philosophy, and sociology. The series spans four volumes, released between 1985 and 1989.[2] It has been adapted to direct-to-video movie, two feature films, and a series of video games.


Appleseed takes place in the 22nd Century, after the non-nuclear Third World War decimates the Earth. While states like Great Britain, France and China have difficulty maintaining order and power, international organisations like the "Sacred Republic of Munma" and "Poseidon" have been established in the aftermath.

The main characters are Deunan Knute and Briareos Hecatonchires, former SWAT members of the LAPD. They are found in the desolated city and invited to join the prestigious ESWAT (Extra Special Weapons And Tactics) organisation in the utopian city of Olympus, the new world's most powerful state. Roughly one half of Olympus's population are bioroids.

The series follows Deunan and Briareos as they protect their new home from enemies, both foreign and domestic.


Originally published in Japan in 1985, Book One Appleseed: The Promethean Challenge was published directly to paperback instead of being serialized, a rarity in the Japanese manga market.[3] This was soon followed by the publication of Book Two, Appleseed: Prometheus Unbound, Book Three Appleseed: The Scales of Prometheus in 1987, and Book Four Appleseed: The Promethean Balance in 1989.

In 1990, Shirow produced the Appleseed Databook, a detailed look into the history, the people, and the technology found in the world of Appleseed. The book includes the short story, called "Game".

Appleseed Hypernotes was serialised in Comic Gaia, followed by a collected volume in 1996. The Hypernotes consist of a four chapter story followed by technical information about the world, mechs, and equipment much like Appleseed Databook.

Rumors of a possible Volume 5 still persist today, though Shirow had mentioned that he has no plans of pursuing it for the meantime.[3]

English language releases

From 1988 to 1992, Appleseed was published in English by Eclipse Comics, packaged by Studio Proteus. The manga is currently published by Dark Horse Comics.

An English language version of Appleseed Hypernotes was serialised in Dark Horse Comics' Super Manga Blast (issues 25–36). One of the terms for Hypernotes publication stated that Appleseed Hypernotes could not be released in English in collected format.[4][5] The reason for this is because Shirow was unsatisfied with the work and wanted to fix it before releasing it as a complete book for English readers.[4] Dark Horse released an English TPB of Hypernotes in October 2007.

Appleseed ID (short for "Illustration & Data") was released October 10, 2007 by Dark Horse Comics.[6] As a replacement for the discontinued Appleseed Databook, the book includes the short story called "Game".[7] The trade paperback collection came out in December, 2007.



In 1988, the manga was adapted into an OVA with the same name. Appleseed (OVA) was directed by Kazuyoshi Katayama.It was produced by Bandai Visual and licensed by Manga Entertainment

A new CGI feature film was released in 2004 entitled Appleseed and directed by Shinji Aramaki. The sequel to this film, Appleseed Ex Machina, was released on October 20, 2007 in Japan with Aramaki again directing and John Woo producing.

Video Games

Appleseed is a video game for the Super Famicom, based on the manga of the same name by Masamune Shirow, was released in August 26, 1994 and was published by Visit.

Appleseed EX is a video game by Sega for the PlayStation 2 based on the 2004 film of the same name based on the manga Appleseed by Masamune Shirow. The game was released in February 2007, as well as the Limited Box set.


Appleseed won the 1986 Seiun Award for Best Manga.[8]

Reviews on the manga series have been seen as positive. Manga Review noted that Shirow's works on Appleseed are both cool and functional.[9] points out that the manga's storyline does not detract despite the combination of both action and humor.[10]


  1. 1.0 1.1 MANGA & BOOK INFORMATIONS. Retrieved on May 13, 2008.
  2. Appleseed Information Page. Retrieved on May 13, 2008. (Japanese)
  3. 3.0 3.1 Appleseed. Retrieved on May 13, 2008. Archived 2009-10-25.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Manga News from Studio Proteus". Anime Tourist. May 24, 2002. 
  5. Super Manga Blast article. Retrieved on May 13, 2008.
  6. Official Appleseed Hypernotes TPB. Retrieved on May 13, 2008.
  7. Official Appleseed ID TPB Page. Retrieved on May 13, 2008.
  8. Japanese Science Fiction Con Award Nominees Announced. Retrieved on May 13, 2008.
  9. Manga Review's Appleseed, Vol. 1: The Promethean Challenge. Retrieved on May 13, 2008.
  10.'s Appleseed manga review. Retrieved on May 13, 2008.

External links

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