Parental Guidance Recommended
2001 Kazuki Akane (director) Nao Tokimura/Miya Asa
|Geneshaft DVDs |
23rd Century - 200 years after the near annihilation of mankind, humans have been forced to evolve to a level no longer near their true nature. Genetically governed society with superior DNA lives only to establish the permanence of the human race. Each being lives with this purpose that has become distorted over the passage of time.
This near perfection breeds chaos. The Senate, headed by the "Immortals", seeks to maintain this audacious balance. The terrorists pursue the return of humanity to nature. And others just have something else altogether in their twisted minds.
If you like Vandread... >>> by skysenshi
Imagine a world where blood relationships are eliminated because these connections destroy the ability to make calm decisions. Or a society where the ratio of men to women is 1:9, and the males' sole purpose is to be decision makers while the women do most of the action. Or a government that represses destructive genes in every person's genetic make-up. Or having a life span that lasts for 45 years. Words such as love, desire, family, siblings are concepts that only the ancients are familiar with.
In this near perfect environment, a team is forged by a group of people with the best DNA, the only oddity of which is Mika Seido. Mika is a "white", a member of a lowly gene pool, who, for some strange reason landed on this special mission with the rest of the superior DNA holders. Mika makes for an interesting protagonist, being at the bottom of the gene pool hierarchy without coming off as another rags-to-riches story. With her are formidable teammates Sofia the Teddy Bear, also known as the Gray Bear of Lunar Surface, Remmy Levistrauss a.k.a Medusa of the Desert, Hiroto Amagiwa the ultimate decision-making captain, Mario Musicanova the back-up captain, and Mir Lotus, the woman with the most outstanding DNA in existence.
Gene Shaft has the feel of Vandread and Pilot Candidates. With mechs rendered beautifully in 3D CG and tension charged battle sequences, the only element that makes a big difference is that Gene Shaft can be grim and bloody. Amidst all the light-hearted fun, usually originating from Mika's "unusual" attitude (unusual in Gene Shaft standards) lay dark and depressing overtones. Characterization is minimal, but heartrending in its subtlety. Inner conflict arises with the dawning of the realization that human race is losing the true essence of humanity... and that they have been reduced to mere creations with no true will of their own. The most poignant of experiences is by Maaya Sakamoto's (Hitomi of Escaflowne) portrayal of Beatrice Ratio, the Register. Registers are born for their intuition and logic, which are supposed to be unfailing. They never rest. They never love. Their emotions are turned off because these "bugs" will go against their flow of logic. A breach in the system means disaster, and this event happening to Mika, Captain Hiroto, and especially Beatrice, triggers a series of consequences that pulls them into an emotional roller coaster that crosses over space and time.
The artwork is exquisite and the animation flows smoothly. The sounds? The only adjective I can actually use for this is "kick-ass", especially the opening theme and the battle BGM. I swear, if it weren't for the Kurt Kobain wannabe who sang the ending theme, I would have given Gene Shaft's music a grade of 10.
Skysenshi's Note : If you notice, I have a soft spot for Beatrice partly because she is my namesake. C'mon, how many anime babes do you know that has the name Beatrice...and one played by Maaya Sakamoto to boot!
Individual Rating: Art/Animation 10; Story 8; Characters 8; Sounds 9