Deunan Knute[]

  • BLOOPER: During the opening portion of the 2004 episode, when Deunan is in hospital following her abduction from the badlands, Hitomi checks on her medical condition using a holographic clipboard. While all the text appears in English, Deunan's name appears erroneously as "D. Nut."

  • The "Deunan Nut" phenomenon commonly appears in print, with series author Shirow Masamune misspelling it in his original sketches. Even today on Japanese Appleseed websites that at least attempt to host a do-it-yourself English translation, the mistake continues to be made; it seems to stem from the mistaken belief by non-English speaking individuals that all Roman vowels are monopthongs, or letters with just one intonation, not two,[1] rendering the pronunciation of nut more similar to noot.

  • Interestingly, almost on the same topic, at various points in the manga, particularly when Deunan's name is featured on nametags or uniform ID patches, it appears written as "Dɐnan," with an inverse A. This is typically used in encyclopedias for specifying exact phonetic intonation, and belongs to the International Phonetic Alphabet.[2] If this is intentional, it would render her name pronounced more like "Dahnan" as opposed to "Dewnan." These instances are limited to Shirow Masamune's sketches however, and never appear in the translated dialogue balloons.

  • Deunan, however you choose to pronounce it, is indeed a legitimate real world name. Although extremely rare, it originates in Scotland as a feminized version of Adam.[3]

  • The cast of English voice actors has been completely different for each episode of the anime, Deunan being voiced by Jennifer Proud in 2004, and then Luci Christian in 2007. Regardless, most viewers prefer watching the films in Japanese with subtitles, for lip-sync accuracy (the CG models are always designed to mouth Japanese words first), but also to avoid the trumped-up melodrama of Briareos' name being shouted out loud by his lover any time he stands to get a few dents in combat. The dialogues, which are already criticized at times, can also become even more hollow and Shakespearean in English, though the Ex Machina dub was significantly improved in prose.

  • The widely panned original dub of the 2004 movie has since been corrected by Sentai Filmworks, which hired the cast of Ex Machina to redo the earlier episode, and the acclaimed voice actress Luci Christian returns to voice Deunan's character with faithful grit and determination. However, since this reissue is only available in high-definition, you'll need a Blu-ray player to enjoy it.
Read more in the Voice Dubs article.

  • Ex Machina is unique among animated movies in that two of Deunan Knute's costumes were designed by Miuccia Prada. The clothes were never actually produced and remain exclusive to Appleseed.[4]
Read more in the Prada Nightwear article.

  • Among other things, she also owns a Moto-GP style motorbike by a fictional brand called "Coscom," which in real life, is the name of a Japanese language institute.[5] The name Coscom also appears on the ear-protectors worn by ES.W.A.T. operatives during target practice.
Read more in the Coscom article.

  • Like most Masamune Shirow cyberpunk stories, the Appleseed manga features the frequent use of advanced, fictional weapons. All are supposedly made by Seburo, a fictional arms company Shirow invented for most of his stories.
Read more in the Seburo article and series.

  • BLOOPER: After successfully fighting off a construction Landmate in Ex Machina, Deunan turns to casually leave the scene, even though her motorbike has just been destroyed in the scuffle.

Briareos Hecatonchires[]

  • Briareos has a tattoo on his upper left arm that contains the Latin phrase Cogito Ergo Sum, which translates as I Think, Therefore I Am, though the alphabet used for the inscription is Greek. Also, it contains his date of birth and death as a human, from 2096 to 2122, which would have made him twenty-six when he was mortally injured on the North African front of World War III, and then made into a cyborg. Curiously, when asked by Deunan in the year 2135 how long it's been since the accident, he incorrectly says "a year." Ex Machina also further confuses the timeframe, by definitively dating the start of the conflict as 2133.


Briareos as a human, during one of Deunan's flashbacks.

  • Although Briareos' actual face is never seen during Deunan's flashbacks in Appleseed (2004), he appears to be American in build and with short, grey hair. In Ex Machina, as the duplicate named Tereus, he is slimmer, has longer black hair, and is depicted as being Latin or Spanish in descent. In the manga, however, he was originally supposed to be Afro-American.[6]

  • In his life as a human, Briareos worked for various intelligence agencies, even serving the KGB for a period.[7]

  • Briareos' body comprises both real and artificial skin, which explains why he is mostly gray on the outside. In Ex Machina, when in hospital, the remaining human skin is restricted to his abdomen and torso.

  • Accordingly to the manga (specifically Appleseed ID), approximately five humans had been made into Hecatonchires-class cyborgs (the trademark four-eyed model with two external antenna) but other than Briareos, none of the other subjects successfully survived the transformation, eventually going insane after the cyberization process. While the reason this happened isn't explained, Nike later compliments his remarkable mental strength during the movie Ex Machina, perhaps alluding that the other patients fell victim due to an inability to cope with their new bodies.

  • Although in numerous cases Briareos appears to possess telepathic or psychic capabilities, great care is taken to explain that his talents for sensing impending danger, or accurately detecting lies, is due to his Hecatonchires body. More specifically, a combination of his cybernetic memory, which allows him to never forget anything, along with highly accurate sensors embedded in his body and "rabbit ears." He also seems to possess a partial connection to the internet, allowing the real-time download of pertinent data whenever necessary.


Yoshitune's handheld scanner.

  • Fans have always debated how much of Briareos is human. Geneon, the now vanished distributor for the 2004 CGI release, answered the question and placed the body mass ratio at 25% biological human to 75% machine; unsatisfied, the viewers then wanted to know what exactly that 25% consisted of, or mores specifically, whether or he keeps his "male parts." Yoshitsune Miyamoto subtly seems to reveal the answer during a full body scan of him following his gunbattle with Colonel Hades; although he retains his male personality and his mechanical body is modelled after a muscleman, the scanner's imagery hints that he is completely asexual. Apparently, nobody noticed, for the debate heated up even more during the love triangle of 2007's Ex Machina and remains unanswered to this day.

  • Briareos, despite being three quarter machine, can still eat and drink. In the 1988 OVA anime, he and Deunan are seen drinking during a refreshment break at a security checkpoint, and in 2007's Ex Machina, a full body scan reveals he still has a digestive tract. During the manga series, he and Deunan also drink alcoholic beverages, and Briareos still has an ability to become inebriated.[8]

Other characters[]

  • Despite being named after Greek deities, most of the characters act counter to their classical likenesses. Athena Areios, for example, is generally officious and aloof even though her name is that of the goddess of love, and Nike, the bringer of luck, is merely a civil servant. Briareos Hecatonchires, named after a hundred-armed giant, scoffs at the name and disregards it as "mythology." Unlike some other anime franchises which exist in parillel universes that give credence to myths and legends as reality (case in part, Full Metal Alchemist), Appleseed frequently denounces it as ancient fiction, and portrays it merely as a societal naming trend in the future.

  • Yoshitsune Miyamoto, the recurrent ESWAT Landmate technician, seems to describe himself as being a Bioroid, but is officially identified as human by an official Appleseed companion booklet. Along with Hitomi, he is one of the few characters in Olympus that are actually supposed to be Japanese. Hinted at being her admirer in both the manga and movies, he reveals in Ex Machina that he's known her closely for about ten years, in other words, since 2128, prior to the outbreak of the Third World War.

  • Like it's name, Olympus is primarily Classical Greek, nevertheless futuristic, in theme. Nearly every main character shares the name of a mythical Greek deity, notable examples being Athena, her assistant Nike, as well as Briareos Hecatonchires. General Edward Uranus, Colonel Hades, and the Gaia supercomputer, three story elements that existed in the Appleseed timeframe before the creation of Olympus, share names with mythological characters that also supposedly exist before the other deities in classical order.

  • In the manga and 1988 film adaption of the series, Bioroids are sometimes referred to as half-human/half-robot. In the later episodes produced during the 2000s, they appear to be distinctly human in biology, and are referred to strictly as genetically engineered humans, reliant very much on human DNA and susceptible to viruses and illness.
Read more in the Bioroid article.

The films[]

  • Curiously, Appleseed is one of the few Japanese animes that features a subtle Christian undertone and moral. The 2004 episode begins prominently with a passage from Revelation depicting in parable form the end of the world, and Hitomi refers to Olympus as mankind's last attempt at recreating Eden. However, nobody really knows what parallel in the story the Bible quote is trying to infer, and most have since passed it off as a vain attempt at making the film overtly epic, along with other similar franchises like The Matrix.

  • Both the 2004 and 2007 episodes begin in churches or cathedrals, and as such, some regulatory associations attribute Ex Machina's rating of PG-13 partially due to "religiously offensive scenes." During the hostage-rescue performed in the 2007's intro, a stained-glass cathedral window bearing religious icons is damaged by Briareos leaping through it, and the entire building is later destroyed by a self-destructing cyborg.

  • The cathedral is apparently an exact likeness to one which appears in real world Prague, suggesting that the movie's prelude occurs in Europe; the hostages held inside also belong to the EU, further confirming this possibility.

  • Continuing the inexplicable habit of placing Christian symbolism in the saga, the pilot episode of new 2011 series Appleseed XIII begins with Deunan Knute in a war-gutted building; she sits on the floor, illuminated by a shaft of light shaped like a cross.

  • While some fans applaud (and most decry) the Restricted rating given to the earlier 2004 episode, few realize that the movie could have easily been PG-13 like it's sequel, if only five seconds of footage was cut. The single scene that earns the 18+ rating is of course in the film's introduction, where a soldier's head is crushed by a cyborg's hands, and that was too much for the Motion Picture Association of America to overlook.

  • BLOOPER: In Ex Machina, during the scene where the construction foreman is under attack by an errant Landmate, an LED sign is mounted on an unfinished wall in the background. Strangely, it displays the phrase "WARNING: IT PROMPTRY SAVES IT," and is likely one of the rare instances of Engrish in the movie, along with the incorrectly pluralized warning message "NO DATAS," which later appears on a PC Hitomi is using. This purportedly annoyed co-director Shinji Aramaki, who only noticed it after the movie was in post-production.[9]

  • The Appleseed franchise, known for rarely ever featuring legitimate product placement, did include advertisements for production partners in Ex Machina. They appear as television ads on a giant levitating billboard, for Takara and Tomy (two Japanese toymakers who marketed the official Appleseed action figures), as well as Sega.

  • That said, the manga, in typical Japanese fashion, features many brands for familiarity, but alters the names slightly to avoid copyright infringement. Such examples include "Sekoi" stopwatches (instead of Seiko), "Shoeii" motorbike helmets (really Shoei), and "Toyoda" sportscars (which is ironically the original/correct pronunciation of Toyota, but misspelled nonetheless). The films rarely did this, save for a very obscure tribute in Ex Machina. Look on Deunan's Coscom motorbike suspension forks, and you'll notice the name "Honoa," spelled out in Honda's exact typeface.[10]
Read more in the Coscom article.

  • The names Leon and Nikita also randomly appear on some billboards in Olympus; some viewers have noted these are both names of famous fictional assassins, appearing in the unrelated movies "Leon, The Professional," and "Nikita." [11]

  • In the English dub of Ex Machina, Spider Man's name is mentioned briefly by an unseen reveler at Hitomi's birthday party.


Tomorrow's headlines aren't much different than today's.

  • The Taliban is still in operation in the 22nd century, as the terrorist organization appears in a news article on Hitomi's homepage. Other headlines include stories of shootouts in Virginia and bomb blasts in Baghdad. Obviously this isn't necessarily intended, as the text is likely cut-and-pasted real world headlines dating back to 2007.

  • Ex Machina is often mispronounced, even by serious anime fans. It is not said as Ex Machine-a, but rather Ex Mach-kina. It is derived from the Greek saying deus ex machina, which means god from the machine, a term sometimes used by ancient Greeks themselves to criticize the employment of machinery to solve problems when their gods never appeared to help them. A good example of deus ex machina is the case of the world's first automatic doors, invented by Greek scientist Heron to overcome the deities' apparent inability to open up the portal to their own temple. Beyond Appleseed, it is also the name of several other totally unrelated graphic novels and mangas.

  • In Appleseed, neckties are still in common use in the year 2131, unlike other futurist films (e.g. 2001: A Space Odyssey) which usually suggest the fashion accessory dies out in the first half of the 21st century. In Ex Machina, they are worn by nearly everyone in public office, men and women alike.

  • Tablet computers are seen in both the 2004 and 2007 episodes. When Yoshino from Poseideon is reviewing the post-mortem of several cyborgs involved in a terrorist act, the text on the tablet is mostly historical quotes from a dictionary, speaking of Greek poetry and history.

  • The Olympus government issues a consumer electronics recall in Ex Machina, with Athena ruefully admitting that likely less than ten percent of the city's population will comply with the order to immediately surrender their cellular telephones.
Read more in the Connexus article.


Analog watch

Briareos' analog chronometer.

  • Analog watches still exist in 2138, but have been largely replaced by OLED watches. Both Briareos and Deunan still defiantly sport analog chronometers, made by a fictional brand thought to be named REX. In the new Appleseed XIII series debuting in 2011, a new set of watches are set to debut, and will this time be sold to the public, in the form of the Citizen Eco-Drive Satellite Wave.
Read more in the Timepieces and Citizen articles.

  • Holography is commonplace in Olympus, and vapor-like three-dimensional monitors are common on personal computers and the Connexus cellular phone. Traditional flat-panel LCD, LED, and OLED monitors, all two dimensional, are still in use for large-size billboards and television screens.

Cell phone

The end of Apple's 130-year production run of the iPhone?.

  • The basis of mind control, explored in Ex Machina, revolves around the willing universal adoption of a consumer electronic product, the Connexus, which is depicted to resemble a bluetooth earpiece with built in cellphone. The devices are later hacked into, and used to control the wearer's behavior and thoughts. Deunan still insists on using an iPhone-like touch screen telephone, which is suggested at being horribly out of date given the world's near universal adoption of the Connexus.

  • Nuclear weapons are never referenced to or used in the Appleseed film franchise. It appears they were abolished during the last part of the 2000s, and the narrative intro to Ex Machina tells us that none were ever deployed in the Third World War of 2133. Despite being a non-nuclear conflict, it still succeeded in killing off half the world's population, or more than three billion individuals.


Amongst the war-torn rubble of 2130s Europe, a Chevy Chevette?.

  • In the 2004 episode, three car wreckages feature real-world vehicle designs. During the intro, we see the burned out shell of a Chevrolet Chevette, and during one of Deunan's flashbacks, a bombed Dodge Raider SUV. Later on, when ES.W.A.T. is conducting war games in a simulated combat zone, the rusting back end of a Plymouth Shadow can be briefly seen.


  • Tartaros and Daidalos, the two large buildings that serve as the government and computational center for the city of Olympus, have appeared mostly the same in all three movies and the manga, but there are subtle differences. In the 1988 movie they are structures that feature arc-shaped solar panel facades, almost like a cored apple sliced in half and appear to be perhaps a mile or so apart, whereas in 2004, they are clustered together, separated only by a few city blocks. By the time of Ex Machina, Daidalos has all but disappeared, and Tartaros' solar panels extend to the ground. In the last installment, the solar panel facade is still being repaired after sustaining damage by the Mobile Fortresses in the prior episode, some three years earlier in the story timeline.

  • While Tartaros is described as containing the Olympian Legislature, the Gaia supercomputer, and the D-Tank, Daidalos' purpose is never explained.

  • In 2131, most highways are paved with a mirrored material, but by 2138 they use conventional asphalt once again. And, despite anti-gravity technology becoming much more common in the last film (every Landmate uses the device, and it evens lifts an entire Poseidon city off the ground), still only Hitomi's car levitates, just like in the 2004 episode.

  • In the 1985 manga volume The Promethean Challenge, a police officer proudly touts to Briareos how low the crime rate is in Olympus, unlike the former cities of New York, USA (which would see the world's largest terrorist attack sixteen years later) and Vancouver, Canada (a relatively quiet Pacific city in '85, which would later see significant drug problems).

See also[]


  1. See the corresponding page on Wikipedia: Monophthongs.
  2. See the corresponding page on Wikipedia: Open Back Rounded Vowel.
  3. Sourced at in 2010 -- unfortunately, the entire domain is now dead.
  4. "Not produced" means "not commercially produced." Whether cosplay examples exist is unknown.
  5. The CosCom Language Institute.
  6. See the book, Appleseed ID.
  7. See the book, Appleseed ID.
  8. Briareos' ability to get drunk counters Major Motoko Kusanagi's claim (from the film Ghost in the Shell 2.0) that all cyborgs can break down alcohol instantaneously to avoid inebriation.
  9. As per the official "Making of Appleseed: Ex Machina" featurette, on the official Warner Brothers DVD release.
  10. It's nearly impossible to spot the logo in the movie given the motorbike is always in motion; you'll have to check out still images to see it, if you really care about it that much.
  11. As per a user generated comment on