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5 of 5 episodes seen
Although the series itself as a whole is a fairly unwieldy, inconsistent mishmash of episodes, the arcs split into their own selves result in some shades of genuine genius clashing with unfortunate mediocrity.
The first (and most well known) episode consists of two sisters, one that has artificial limbs and the other incapable of speech. Although there are elements of Akira and other grim dystopian works of fiction, this particular episode succeeds in creating a gritty, nightmarish vibe with easily the nastiest and most violent usage of on-screen splatter in an anime, something many have yet to trump. It also has a nihilistic yet well made soundtrack that echoes Brad Fiedel's soundtrack work in James Cameron's 1984 smash hit The Terminator at times and quite possibly the single greatest end theme ever seen in an anime. There's also an interesting use of live action and still paintings that while i'm not a big fan of, gives the episode a unique atmosphere. The English dub, which adds an absurd but acceptable amount of profanity, actually helps add to it unlike the dull original Japanese audio.
Unfortunately, this episode is marred by underdeveloped characters, quickly picked up and dropped plot lines and a somewhat overtly compressed story. However, the rest of it is so strong enough, it helps raise this very episode to a pretty good 8/10.
The second and third episodes, while a little bit of a regression from the claustrophobic urban decay of the first one, has it's own fair shares of strong points, mainly in a sympathetic lead heroine, the nurse that treats her like a daughter, decent antagonists and one of the most out of control, goriest opening sequences that kicks off Episode 2 (Episode 3 doesn't have such an opening though). Like episode 1, the English dub is an improvement to the original Japanese audio,
However, the decision to turn the eponymous character into a superhero figure is a bit silly, the rest of the characters aren't nearly as interesting as those in the first episode, the naval setting less interesting than the urban nightmare presented in the first episode and overall feels like a somewhat hamfisted, cashed in attempt to turn what seems to be intended to be a sole OVA into a series of sorts.
Despite those negative aspects, the music remains good, with a new, fairly good end theme and the overt violence is still as much of a highlight as it was before.
Had these only been the episodes in this so-called series, I, overall, would've given it a 7/10, but unfortunately, the final two episodes are where the series takes a massive, tragic nosedive into mediocrity.
Set decades after the last three episodes, the final two episodes attempt to return to the sights and sounds of urban decay, this time with a post-apocalyptic flavoring.
These final two episodes follow a young couple that arrive in a so-called paradise in a hellhole of a world that is actually bathed in corruption, poverty and religious fanatics that, oddly enough, worship the eponymous character in a Christ-like parable.
On paper, these last two episodes sound okay but the execution is incredibly awful, with the animation largely inferior to the previous three episodes, a very cashed in feel that makes these two episodes a bit unnecessary, a sense of tiredness to the pacing, largely uninteresting and at times unlikable characters, a severe lack of the series' famed on screen gore and a general unsatisfying sense of finality that really sinks the series hard with these last two turkeys included.
Even worse is the English dub, which is just flat out terrible. Before the English audio helped the mood, but here it simply makes things borderline unwatchable, so watching it subbed in this case is actually mandatory, though watching these last two episodes to begin with shouldn't be required but rather avoided.
These two episodes, forming a flat out terrible conclusion to a once promising series brings the rating down, for me at least, to a 6 out of 10 (mainly because of how strong the first episode is), with these episodes isolated a 3 out of 10.
Despite the last two episodes, I do recommend watching the disturbing but memorable debut episode and if you liked that, watch the second and third ones just in case you need more Genocyber, but whatever you do, stay away from the last two episodes. In fact, read the sadly unfinished manga, then hunt down the excellent soundtrack albums instead. read more