Appleseed Ex Machina

This Japanese anime feature is likely part of a series with similar storylines or animation, but that’s irrelevant because this superb film stands apart from the mass of recently released full-length anime movies in terms of story, character and animation. The ending does feel a little rushed, but that seems a problem common to many anime features, and apart from that small flaw, this film takes an inspired idea and cleverly realises it.

Set in a future where many humans are part machine, it analyses the separation between biotechnology and the soul. There are concerns that robots could turn on humans at any moment, but then an unknown force manages to turn pure humans into zombies that attack other humans, creating a situation where everyone is terrified. The action sequences are also silky, and associated subplots make for a feature that is gripping from beginning to end.