Appleseed XIII: Ouranos (Japan 2011)

Rating: **
Review Date: 8/11/12

"Ouranos" picks up where "Tartaros" left off, and is even more confusing. Apparently, the terrorist from the first film is still alive and continues her grudge match against Olympus and the entire Bioroid race. She assassinates a few more key players, and ESWAT seems completely unable to do anything about it. Only Briarios and Deunan are able to engage the enemy with any sort of success, but they always let her get away. The broken remains of Poseidon become the final battlefield, and the enemy completely loses her mind when she hears the cries of a Bioroid child that Hitomi is taking care of. Much philosophical weirdness ensues until the threat is finally neutralized.

Again, the character animation is rough and unsettling, but the mecha looks great and the chaotic action scenes are energetic (albeit confusing). The narrative is constantly interrupted by long and plodding flashbacks that help fill in the enemy's past and why she is so bitter, but they seriously derail the story. The story also attempts to build dramatic tension between the various players, but fails spectacularly. There's ninety minutes of absolutely nothing going on here, which is disappointing and a real chore to sit through. Only die-hard "Appleseed" fans will be able to get through it all, only to ask themselves why they bothered with it. Yes, it's pretty bad, but I'm still surprised that an American distributor hasn't picked it up yet.