Genocyber Anime Review
ジェノサイバー - 虚界の魔獣
Genocyber - Kyokai no Majuu
Demon Monster of the Hollow World
US Release By
Ultraviolent Sci-fi Action-Horror
5 episodes: 46 minutes (ep 1), 28 minutes (ep 2, 3), 30 minutes (ep 4, 5)
1994-05-23 - 1994-07-20
Genocyber: A super-powerful monster created from two psychic sisters by a government experiment though the Kyuryu Group. When it's creators lose control of it, it proceeds to run amok, destroying anything and everything in its path. Later, when the project has been moved to an immense battleship, the ships doctor--who lost her own daughter in the first Genocyber incident--takes in a mysterious girl with a connection to the Genocyber
In parts 4 and 5, The Legend of Ark de Grande, the story jumps forward a few hundred years to after the Genocyber-induced apocalypse. We meet Mel, a blind psychic girl, and Rin, her boyfriend. They're visiting one of the last bastions of civilization, the city of Ark De Grande, to try and have Mel's eyesight restored, but when they run into some cultists who worship the remains of the Genocyber, they may end up part of the final confrontation.
Genocyber is one crazy piece of anime--strange, extremely violent, and almost impossible to follow. Based on the Tony Takezaki (AD Police Files) manga, the plot starts out with all the right elements: A psychic, a Mega-Corporation, a little girl, and strange military experiments. How the god-like Genocyber manages to pop out of the mix, I have no idea. That the series manages to skip a few hundred years of history to tack on a post-apocalyptic story that has almost nothing to do with the first half is even more impressive... -ly convoluted.
One thing's for sure: There's no shortage of the Genocyber destroying stuff. It gets a bit tiring watching everything from armored soldiers to tanks to city-sized hovering battleships take on the (man sized) Genocyber, and promptly get utterly annihilated. Heck, it also wipes out Tokyo (of course), and eventually the rest of civilization for good measure. On the bright side, these sequences of mass destruction (with a capital M, A, S, S, and D) are impressively well-drawn and animated. The rest of the art is also quite stylish, and the character designs are nice, as would be expected from Tony Takezaki. The animation is also generally good, though the action gets a bit sloppy at times. The end theme, incidentally, is a sweet classic chunk of J-rock, "Fairy Dreaming" (that has zip to do with the plot).
Genocyber's selling points are spectacular sequences of anything and everything getting blown up, a truly bizarre plot, and some of the most detailed and graphic gore imaginable. Not for the faint of heart, but there are probably a few deranged individuals out there who will really enjoy it. Heck, the plot might even make sense if you watch it a few times.
Notes and Trivia
Character designs by Tony Takezaki, the man responsible for the AD Police Files anime and manga.
Available in North America from US Manga Corps on bilingual DVD, most recently an "Anime 102" edition. There was a previous DVD release that also included the entire series. Prior to that, it was available on 3 volumes (episode 1, 2+3, and 4+5), in your choice of subtitled or dubbed VHS or subtitled LaserDisc.