Briareos Hecatonchires 2

Briareos Hecatonchires
Human (cyborg)
ES.W.A.T. wingman and assist

Briareos Hecatonchires (ブリアレオス・ヘカトンケイレス, transliterated as Buriareosu Hekatonkeiresu) is one of the two protagonists of the Appleseed franchise, the other being Deunan Knute. Briareos is a trained ES.W.A.T. operative, his point man being Deunan, whose marksmanship and strategizing skills he is still unable to rival despite his cybernetic augmentations. They met in her father's LAPD SWAT unit before World War III broke out, later both serving in the same US Army platoon during the conflict.


He's named after Briareus, one of the Hecatonchires (hundred-armed giants) of ancient Greek mythology. Briareos used to be a human, but is now embodied as a cyborg, with only a quarter of his original biological body intact. He is forty-two years old during the events of Ex Machina.


Originally an African man from the Mediterranean, Briareos was used as a terrorist by the KGB while still a child. He sought political asylum in the former USA after killing the unit's commander of operations - for which he was put on the international "most wanted" list as an assassin. After meeting an agent from Special Security Forces, he began operating as a partner with the man's daughter, Deunan Knute. Caught in an explosion, the 31 year old survived only by undergoing a full cyborg body replacement - and has been making modifications ever since.

Contrary to popular belief, "Hecatonchires" is not really Briareos' last name, but rather the class of the machine body he's contained in. His original surname isn't known.


Meaning of Appleseed

Briareos as he appears in the manga, missing his forehead cover.

Three quarters machine, Briareos still maintains a cardiovascular and digestive system (revealed to us early in the original manga, where Briareos is pictured holing a cup with a straw, just before getting, er, "excited" about Deunan's cooking,) but appears to have lost his reproductive system, (revealed in Appleseed (2004), though he is physically affectionate with Deunan in the manga). He stills eats and drinks (frequently in the original manga), and has the ability to get inebriated to some extent. Having somehow escaped brain damage during the wartime injuries that forced him to be rebuilt as a cyborg, he maintains all of his original human memories and his personality. His voice has changed somewhat, though the polyphonic speech synthesizer he now uses produces an accent quite similar to his former self. Tereus, his clone, maintains his original voice.

His body mixes a combination of real and artificial skin, but relies upon what appears to be relatively unchanged human blood. When shot multiple times by high powered guns in volume one of the manga, he bleeds considerably, and has to enter a sleep mode in order to prevent damage to both his biological and artificial brains. Under his skin are multiple heat-transfer membranes, which allow him to sweat like a human.

Ultimately human, Briareos can still die of injury, illness, and age. Although highly resilient to gunshot wounds (he boasts in volume two of the manga, "it'll take more than a nine millimeter [handgun] to stop me"), repeatedly taking rounds in the back from assault rifles nearly killed him in the first of the trilogy films. In the second, a large explosion caused him to sustain significant, almost lethal, internal damage. He's been repaired twice, but seems to believe his overall composition is weakening, leading him to reluctantly think that his clone Tereus might be better suited to be Deunan's wingman.


Briareos human

Briareos, in the final months prior to his wartime injury.

Briareos is a prime example of cybernetic technology in Appleseed. Although his body is almost completely artificial, he suffers little loss in humanity. His outer skin is elastic, capable of feeling sensation, and the temperature can be adjusted to the cyborg's preferences. Fans of another Shirow Masamune franchise, Ghost in the Shell, will likely recall some similarities to the construction of that series' cyborg heroine, Motoko Kusanagi, in this regard.

He has eight eyes mounted on his head, four in his face (the large sensor in the middle is actually his nose) two at the bases of his "rabbit ear" sensors, facing backward, and two at the tips, which allow him to safely look around corners. His original brain has been relocated to somewhere in his chest, and is augmented by an auxiliary biological computer in his skull, which is capable of handling information in a conceptual format rather than hard binary data.

Briareos Hecatonchires

A glum looking Briareos. From Appleseed (2004).

His cybernetics controller, the Hecatonchires system, is named after the same hundred-handed giants from Greek mythology. It is capable of controlling dozens of limbs or other cyborg bodies independently from one another, with no additional strain on the user. In the manga, it is pointed out that a cyborg equipped with the Hecatonchires system is able to fully control an entire aircraft carrier on his own. This ability to process multiple limbs at once is seen in action several times in Ex Machina, when he accomplishes multiple killshots while firing up to three different weapons simultaneously, one in his own hand, the other two in the hands of the Landmate he's piloting.

Links and Trivia[]


As he appears in the first of the trilogy films.

  • Briareos' eyescope lenses were green/blue in the anime Appleseed (1988),red in Appleseed (2004) before then reverting back to green in Appleseed: Ex Machina (2007).This was perhaps to differentiate him from the many adverse cyborgs he engages, who typically sport red eyes regardless of origin, faction, or the class of their machine bodies. In the manga (volume two), it's revealed that Ray Ban survived three world wars, and is now in the business of manufacturing cyborg eyescope lenses, with Briareos equipped with eight of them. They do, however, have a tendency to scratch.
  • His eyescopes normally autofocus with a telescopic action, servos rotating each lens, but this system can be overridden and a wrench used instead. After suffering head damage following a fight with an errant Kotus robot in volume two of the manga, he asks Hitomi to manually focus his eyes while he modifies a bullet shell to accommodate the titular appleseed of the book series.
  • With regards to his voice dub, as heard in the three film releases over the years, he is voiced by Yoshisada Sakaguchi in the original Appleseed anime of 1988, Jūrōta Kosugi in the remade CGI Appleseed from 2004, and Kōichi Yamadera in its 2007 sequel Appleseed: Ex Machina. In English, he is voiced by Bill Roberts (1988), Jamieson Price (2004), and David Matranga (2007) in the English dubs of the respective productions. David Matranga, along with the rest of the Ex Machina cast, was recently brought back to redub their characters in the re-released Blu-ray issue of Appleseed (2004) by Sentai Filmworks, much to the relief of many fans and viewers, who had criticized the original Geneon dub for it's overall juvenile portrayal of the cast.
  • Although recently it's been clarified that Briareos had to become a cyborg following a near-fatal wartime injury, supposedly in the year 2122, in the original manga it isn't so simple. Sharp eyed readers of the first volume, The Promethean Challenge, will notice that, during a dream sequence where Deunan is reliving her initial LAPD SWAT training, Briareos and Carl Knute can be seen watching her performance from an elevated platform. Although hidden in the shadows, Briareos' silhouette depicts him in full Hecatonchires form, even though this scene technically took place during the early 2120s, prior to the outbreak of the world war.
  • In a throwback to the manga, Ex Machina once again has Briareos' forehead emblazoned with the name of his machine body class, almost like a car's manufacturer logo.
  • Briareos had a larger wardrobe in Ex Machina, sporting a wide variety of outfts including a tuxedo, and a leather jacket and jeans.
  • Briareos' face gets multiple makeovers in nearly every volume of the manga, ultimately ending up with only two front facing eyes in volume four, before reverting to his original look in the unfinished fifth volume (seen in Appleseed: Hypernotes).
  • His head-mounted antennae appear to be rigidly mounted in both the contemporary film installments, yet in the manga they were flexible and moved to help convey his emotion, drooping when depressed or confused, and upright when surprised. We also don't see the antenna-mounted cameras in operation in the movies, though a similar system is demonstrated on Deunan's prototype Guges-D Landmate in Appleseed (2004).
  • Although a machine, he can still gain weight through caloric consumption.