Appleseed, the original book series, was written by the well-known mangaka, Shirow Masamune. Although Masamune is much more famous for the larger saga he wrote starting in 1989, Ghost in the Shell (commonly abbreviated as GITS), it's interesting to note that many plot elements and backdrops found in GITS actually originated in Appleseed, which predated it by a few years.

The whole socio-political/post-war scene that underlies many of his works began here, as did many popular trademarks of his writings, such as the presence of fictional corporations like the Japanese gunmaker Seburo (whose guns are seen in many of his books), powered battle armour (seen in both Appleseed and GITS), and especially so, complicated, hierarchical law-enforcement and government organizations.


Appleseed Ghost in the Shell
Genre: Cyberpunk/Law Enforcement Cyberpunk/Law Enforcement
Mangas: Four Three [1]
TV Series: One (under production) Three
Movies: Three (five eventually) [2] Two

Era Produced:

1985-1991 (manga) [3]

1988, 2004-2007, 2011 (anime)

1989-1994 (manga) [3]

1995-2008 (anime) [3]

Era Depicted: 2120s-2130s 2030s
Heroine (Lead): Deunan Knute Motoko Kusanagi
Hero (Assistant): Briareos Hecatonchires Batou
Weapons By: Seburo Seburo
Mecha Types: Landmates/Mobile Gun Fortresses Fuchikomas/Tachikomas
Postwar: World War III and IV [4] World War III and IV [4]
Earth Setting: Olympus (south Atlantic) Japan, Newport City
Law Agency: ES.W.A.T. Section 9
Socio-ethical Backdrop: Cybernetic humans and genetically engineered Bioroid humans Cybernetic humans and digital consciousness


[1] Although GITS featured fewer manga volumes, each one was larger than average.

[2] Appleseed XIII, the new TV series under production, will eventually be compiled the thirteen episodes into two separate motion pictures, resulting in a total of five, when combined with the OVA anime from 1988, and the two CGI movies from 2004 and 2007. However, some may argue the original OVA does not technically constitute a movie, due to its short length and direct-to-home release.

[3] Dates are approximate.

[3] Although both series feature these conflicts, some argue they are not related.


Storyline Depth