Appleseed Ex Machina (2007)
Directed by Shinji Aramaki, this film is the sequel to Appleseed back in 2004.
The style is clearly a 3d toon shading as you can see from the screenshots. Not many has ventured into this style, because it is quite hard to pull off something in between 3d and 2d. While watching the film, I do feel the uncanniness of the characters when such a style is employed. But nevertheless, the impressive environmental design captures my attention.
The film also has an excellent fight scene worth mentioning!
The crowds were also done well. I believe crowd simulation was something very new at that time. The most enjoyable parts were still the action scenes. Mecha lovers would also like this film.
What I believe is that toon shading is excellent for backgrounds and architecture in a CG film, because the abstraction serves to bring our attention to the character in front of them, making the frame more painterly. This is also achievable with good post editing. I’m not sure how much I like such a style to be developed further though, because the pitfall is something too ‘plastic’, a huge pain in the world of CG.