I'm confused. Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Vexille or Appleseed Ex Machina? Was the former born from the latter's twin embryo, or was it the other way around? Because it only takes ten minutes of watching each of them, to see that they're the exact same goddamn thing. For ten minutes, anyway...
- futuristic setting involving cyborgs / androids / bioroids - check
- hot chick in the lead role - check
- random imposing building assaulted by the good guys - check
- the good guys making an airborne insertion - check
- idle chatter during the flight - check
- pew-pew - check
- the bad guys are cyborgs - check
- big bad guy with a big bad machine gun - check
- random imposing building goes boom - check
The pattern is there, it's clear as the day, and it's absolutely infuriating. Yes, I'm pissed off. I'm pissed off because somebody is clearly ripping off the other production team, and I have no idea who's who. I can only assume that, since Vexille was made by (some of) the creators of the original Appleseed CG movie, they may have borrowed (some of) the ideas for the sequel, and used them in Vexille. However, even if that's the case, I will still congratulate them for doing a much better job with Vexille, than the others did with Appleseed Ex Machina - which, I have to confess from head start, is certainly not my favorite between the two.
Things may have been completely different, had I seen the two films in another order, or had I bothered to re-watch the original Appleseed from which both of them are obviously drawing their inspiration - visually and thematically (I was too wasted at the time to remember much). But beyond the frustrating feeling that I have been watching the same thing again
, there's something
about Vexille... Well, there's something
For one thing, Vexille's story has a very cool twist halfway through the movie, whereas Ex Machina was so predictable that it made me sick; hell, if I could see "it" coming, anyone can. I also found Vexille to be more refined
in many ways, in contrast with Ex Machina's more commercial
style. Then there's the issue of a love
triangle with two hot chicks
in Vexille, versus just one
in Ex Machina - but that's more like a matter of taste, I guess (if you're into yaoi'sh
triangles, Ex Machina is for you). And not least of all, it also depends on whether you enjoy a fresh new start, or the continuation of something you're already familiar with; and maybe even attached to (me, I'm all for freshness
Perhaps the only aspect that everyone will agree on is that, visually, both of them look superb
boats cel-shaded characters
, intense action sequences
(Ex Machina wins in quantity here, but the quality is debatable), and overall they share a very, very similar look
. Some rough visual differences would be that Ex Machina sports plenty of mecha stuff and a more "plastic" look, while Vexille seems to focus on realism and more impressive animations. Ex Machina's high production value may have been expected from something produced by John Woo, but to see Vexille also rising up to that challenge - and surpassing it, I'd say - is quite the surprise.
If I were to delve deeper into this parallel, I would risk spoiling pretty much of their story. So it might be a good idea to wrap this up early. Rest assured, though, there's a lot more "sharing"
going on between the two movies, including their very ending scenes. Maybe not in essence, but in the surroundings which are... well, enough said. I can only advise you watch both Vexille and Appleseed Ex Machina, as they're both well worth it, and then choose to favour whichever suits you best. If not even my comrade agrees with my position, don't expect any unanimous decision from us in this ongoing debate...P.S.
I'm right. He's wrong.