Also written by Ghost in the Shell writer and artist Shirow Masamune, Appleseed is a dystopian cyberpunk saga set in a timeframe far later in the GITS universe (the 2130s as opposed to the 2020s),  that features a few common plot elements but is largely unrelated. Criticized by some as being too similar but yet less grand than the Ghost in the Shell that followed it,  the Appleseed manga penned in the mid eighties won Masamune his first professional accolade in the form of the Japanese Seiun Award for 1986,  while the two contemporary movies released in 2004 and 2007 received much acclaim for their innovated animation, featuring the extensive use of CGI and advanced motion-capture. The final movie is also notable for direction by John Woo.
A new, multipart series entitled Appleseed XIII debuted in Japan June 1st, 2011.
Like Motoko Kusanagi from GITS, Appleseed also has a female lead character, Deunan Knute, while the wingman role is handled by cyborg Briareos Hecatonchires, perhaps a heavier mechanized counterpart to Kusanagi's Batou. Seburo weapons are commonly featured, as are Landmate powered armour suits, mecha vaguely similar to the armed suits, tachikomas and fuchikomas seen in GITS.
The plot differs greatly between the original mangas and the new movies, but the themes generally revolve around politics, cybernetics, genetic alteration, cloning, warfare, and public security.
- Wikipedia - Appleseed (manga), Appleseed (2004 movie), Ex Machina (2007 movie)
- The Appleseed Wikia
- YouTube - the official trailer (available in HD)