As the nations of the world begin to merge, world peace is threatened by the private armies of individual corporations. The Kuryu Group has just discovered a weapon that will tip world power in their favor. The Genocyber: a nightmarish combination of cybernetics and psychic potential. Many desire to control this monstrosity, but can its hatred be contained... Battle erupts, and the cyberpunk world of the future is about to explode with violence.
Genocyber is famous among hardcore otaku as being one of the goriest anime ever made! Does that make it good? Unfortunately...not really. Genocyber had decent art, a cliche but workable premise, and a writer that was completely insane, but had some good ideas rattling around somewhere deep in the back of his brain. Unfortunately, this 3 part OVA is one giant train wreck where each portion is progressively worse than the last. The first part was bad, but you can almost see what the writer wanted to do and you can tell he IS trying. The second part is much sloppier, abandons all effort or even pretension of trying to be decent, and the 3rd is just...WOW did that suck!
The star of today's review is writer Sho Aikawa. Today he is fondly remembered for Martian Successor Nadesico and the 2003 Full Metal Alchemist. However, in the 1980s he was one of the absolute worst writers working in comics/anime. He penned turd after turd including the Violence Jack trilogy, Legend of the Overfiend, Angel Cop, and finally Genocyber. His stories mixed absurd melodrama, terrible writing, overt racism, obnoxious angst, and an absolute RAGING hatred for all mankind. He was in his 20s though, so maybe he was just a decade delayed and going through his 15 year old Holden Caulfield stage. Either that or Sho Aikawa learned the "body swap" technique of Captain Ginyu in DBZ and around the year 2000 he went to the United States and swapped bodies with Frank Miller, who inversely was beloved in the 1980s and became a joke around the exact same time Aikawa mysteriously started writing 10,000 times better. With Genocyber we see Sho at perhaps his worst, or at least his least consistent. His other 1980s works are fucking terrible, but they are at least consistently bad and keep the same tone throughout. Genocyber on the other hand is not only frustratingly bad, it isn't even entertaining to watch
Plot: 3/10 for part 1, 2/10 for part 2, and 1/10 for part 3
The plot honestly starts out more generic than uniquely terrible. Scientists are performing horrible tests on a young girl to make her into the ultimate weapon, but she breaks free from the lab and now the scientists must get her back. See also: Akira, Baoh, Elfen Lied, Gokukoku, and 10,000 other anime! The powerful psychic girl befriends a homeless child after a long and uncomfortable sequence of said homeless child getting raped by generic bullies because...Sho Aikawa. The bullies are brutally massacred and Aikawa actually tries to write a touching friendship between the deadly psychic girl and the homeless kid. Considering how critically acclaimed the movie "Let the Right One In" is, this part actually COULD have worked if Aikawa knew what the fuck he was doing. Unfortunately he doesn't and we just get bloodbath after bloodbath, China getting completely destroyed by psychic girl, and a pointless time skip. The narrative in the next 2 portions becomes far less coherent and you can really see Aikawa struggling to even fill out the run time. At this point he has completely given up and just doesn't give a fuck! Just through in some explosions, some pointless religious symbolism for no reason, and call it a wrap.
The art is actually decent for most of it. The soundtrack isn't good, but it isn't notably horrible. The English dub is SHIT, but it does add a bit of nostalgia for the early bad days of English dubbing. On a technical level, this isn't a great anime, but it isn't THAT bad. The gore is at least disturbing and if you are a gorehound that simply wants to see blood and guts, this DOES deliver the goods in that department.
Genocyber is oldschool, Ultra-violent, and has the production values and voice acting of other anime of its time period like Mad Bull 34 and Otokojuku. However, Genocyber is NOT the unintentionally hilarious title that you want to watch with your buddies over and over again. Genocyber takes turns being: boring, frustrating, downright unpleasant and hard to watch, infuriatingly stupid, and plain WTF?! Genocyber is an absolute CHORE to watch, but isn't that movie that is "hard to watch, but really worth watching". Something that is profound or emotionally moving and actually really good like: Barefoot Gen, Schindler's List, Come and See. Those movies are really hard to watch, but everyone should watch them at least once! Genocyber is both unwatchable and extremely terrible with really no value whatsoever. It does have plenty of gore though, so if you REALLY want to see old school gore, just watch one of the many Genocyber gore compilation videos on youtube.read more
Although most viewers who have seen this anime, Genocyber, either degrade it as poor quality or average, I would personally say that this anime can be seen as a masterpiece. It tells of a story of a young girl who forcefully is manipulated by science and her life changes forever. She must face her own internal memories, as well as those who could plunge the world into destruction. Eventually, man is too greedy and in the end, the world is nearly destroyed because of his arrogance and his miscalculation of his own intellect, and that he brought Genocyber into the world. This humanoid would virtually vanquish everything because of the young girl's misunderstanding of the world's misfortune. The ending is quite confusing and the main characters' fates are ambiguous, and deems a mysterious atmosphere. Despite that, Genocyber is a great anime. Similar to many of the cyberpunk animes, they consider technology's hegemony as prominent and mankind as extremely dilapidated. Otherwise, this great work of art can be seen to be admired by the sci-fi loving audience.read more
Released in 1993, Genocyber is a heavily reworked adaption of a short lived and abruptly cancelled manga of the same name.
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
I’m going to avoid arbitrary numbers since that doesn’t help you understand what I watched or what I’m trying to say. Genocyber is a series I picked up from a list of anime (I don’t remember where) and usually when I go digging for obscure series I’m met with mixed feelings. Often times this digging will lead to hidden gems that I get a chance to appreciate now that I’m an adult. Genocyber isn’t really a hidden gem so much as it’s a fossilized turd. And by that I mean it aged poorly and I’m not too sure if there was any meaning buried in the tremendous amount of gutting and violence. It can get bloody at times.
I found that there were moments that were legitimately uncomfortable for me to sit through, due to filming, audio engineering, etc. That’s something I will add to its credit, is that it still has the capacity to make me uneasy at times, despite it aging like a bottle of coke in my dresser drawer. Perhaps you might find a deeper meaning in it than I did, but it honestly confused me. No character survives from beginning to end of the series, most characters are unceremoniously killed offscreen (and shown to you later), the plot feels weighed down by the attempted shock value (which is still there at times) and it’s hard to get attached to something with such a broad idea and/or lore surrounding it when I never get that chance to immerse myself. Take it for what it is and watch it to form your own opinion. read more
Nothing makes an anime scarier (or more thrilling) than those that feature grotesque beings terrorizing everything -- including us viewers. This in-depth look at these utter monstrosities will reveal why these horrific beasts are, in fact, so frightening.