MD Geist is a one-shot OVA
that was virtually ignored during its original Japanese release in 1986, but acquired a cult following among American anime fans when it was dubbed in English by Central Park Media
during the early 1990s. It still has a small following of fans who enjoy the anime's pervasive nihilism. And a few other fans enjoy it for being So Bad, It's Good
MD Geist was an experimental Super Soldier
known as an MDS (Most Dangerous Soldier) locked away in suspended animation on a satellite hovering over the planet Jerra. After making his escape, Geist is involved in a few violent skirmishes in which he slaughters everyone who has attacked him in a spectacular, over-the-top fashion, before being recruited by a group of Commandos and asked to go with those commandos to Brain Palace to prevent the Death from being released. Once the mission has been completed, Geist decides that he will release the Death Force himself upon the hapless citizens of Jerra.
MD Geist was followed by a sequel, MD Geist II: Death Force, in which creator Koichi Ohata (credited in the original as co-director due to his inexperience, despite having actually directed the OVA) takes full directorial control. It picks up some time after the conclusion of the first OVA
, in which most of the people of Jerra have been wiped out, with the few remaining survivors holed up in a sanctuary, protected by the warlord MD Krauser. MD Geist and MD Krauser do not like each other, so naturally they have a Final Battle
There were also two OEL Mangas
written partly by Koichi Ohata himself. The first one was a vastly expanded
adaptation of the first OVA while Ground Zero
was a Prequel
, showing Geist's very first assignement and why he was locked away on a satellite.
MD Geist contains examples of the following tropes:
- The Abridged Series: MDA Geist: Most Dangerous Abridged
- After the End: During a conversation between the Nexrum Commander and Krauser, it is revealed that the Earth is waiting to reclaim and repopulate the planet. In other words - the humans on the planet are left to their own devices.
- A God Am I: This happens in the sequel where the antagonist/Villain Protagonist MD Krauser displays extraordinary combat abilities when fighting the Death Force wearing angel-like armor. He is looked up to as a savior of humanity and is thus worshiped like a god. In his own words: "In their eyes it is certainly true. I have become a god incarnate..."
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Applies to Vaiya, until he leaves her to die in the end.
- All Love Is Unrequited: Vaiya tries to seduce Geist in bed during the first OVA, but he pushes her out of bed, rejecting her under no uncertain terms. "Get out of here; I'm done with you now". She still continues to follow him during the OVA trying to spark up conversations with him, until he releases the Death Force and indifferently tells her that "the game is not over yet".
- Anti-Hero: Geist either fits into Type IV or Type V (or he might just be a villain). MD Krauser in the sequel.
- Apocalypse How: Type 3a. Occurs as Geist activates the Regular Army's doomsday weapon, Death Force, then proceeds to dismantle it. However, this was done strategically in order to successfully kill off all Nexrum/Corporate forces left and destroy their last stronghold.
- Armor Is Useless: While the powered armor Geist wears is obviously useful, other characters seem to not benefit that much from them, like the Fightech Commandos. All powered armors have strange helmets which mostly leave the character's eyes or part of the face in the open, too. Powered Armor soldiers do not have any sort of visors or targeting indicators as well.
- Art Evolution: The art style in MD Geist is completely different from the art style of MD Geist II, which is not surprising considering the sequel came 10 years after the original. The Director's Cut of the first OVA also fixes a lot of the animation errors.
- Artistic License – Biology: MD Geist "had the supermundane fighting ability by virtue of specific biological 'clonning' technology."
- Artistic License – Physics: In the world of MD Geist, blood is overly affected by gravity.
- Author Appeal: Writer Riku Sanjo admitted that he based Geist on lots of 80s American action movies that he loved watching, thrown together in a blender.
- Awesome Personnel Carrier/Base on Wheels: Colonel Krutz has one.
- Awesome McCoolname: MD Geist. Most Dangerous Geist.
- Bad Ass: Like it or not, Geist and Krauser are huge badasses, as is Colonel Krutz from the first OVA.
- Badass Baritone: The late Jason Beck gives Geist a ridiculously deep voice in the dubbed version.
- The Bad Guy Wins: The first OVA.
- Bittersweet Ending: Vaiya, Eagle, and other survivors managed to escape the massacre, with the "MD"s dead or possibly missing.
- Black and Gray Morality: It's not really made clear whether or not Geist releases the Death Force because of the way he was programmed, or because it would offer him a more "exciting" battlefield.
- Blood Knight: Geist.
- Expy: Geist really looks like Quattro Bajeena from Zeta Gundam.
- Crapsack World: The planet is locked in civil war between the Regular Army, and the rebelling Nexrum (Corporate forces). A very large part of the population is already dead from all the fighting that has been going on. Taken Up to Eleven in the sequel where the Death Force rampages through the planet, leaving only one human stronghold left. The opening text to the first OVA also states that "there is no peace and wars rage" across the human settlements in space.
- Cruel Twist Ending: End of OVA 1. "The game's not over yet. It's just beginning."
- Cyborg: Eagle.
- Death of a Thousand Cuts: Averted with the Death Force robots' small beam weapons, as the tiny holes they cause are instantly fatal.
- Department of Redundancy Department: One of the intro texts informs us that MD Geist, i.e. Most Dangerous Soldier Geist, was regarded as dangerous by his superiors. Apparently, this wasn't what the Earth forces intended for the MDS to be, because they imprisoned him inside a satellite for that reason.
- Die Laughing: Colonel Krutz.
- Doomsday Device: The "Death Force", a self-replicating killer robot swarm that kills all organic life it encounters.
- The Dreaded: MD Geist stands for "Most Dangerous Geist" and he "fought so extraordinarily ferocious that he was regarded as dangerous and imprisoned on a satellite."
- Driven to Madness: All the MDS (arguably with the exception of Krauser) have gone completely insane very fast, as they were created to only kill and execute orders.
- Evil Is Visceral: The second form of the final boss in the sequel is introduced with a lot of strange fluids. It also pulsates and breathes in an organic manner.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The Most Dangerous Soldiers. They are dangerous.
- Exact Words: In the Ground Zero comic, an angry marine goads Geist into fighting him by saying "I also order you to rip off both my arms and make me spit blood!". Geist, being programmed to be Literal-Minded, proceeds to do exactly that.
- Eye Scream: People's eyes pop out of their sockets when their skulls are crushed by power armor soldiers.
- Face-Heel Turn: While he definitely never was a "good guy", Geist's decision to wipe out the entire organic life on Jerra by re-activating the Death Force swarm in order to create strong enemies to fight against definitely qualifies, especially since it seems like he randomly decides on doing it in the final minutes of the OVA.
- Final Battle: The sequel's climax.
- Gainax Ending: Maybe not totally nonsensical, but certainly bizarre, unless you watch the second OVA.
- Gorn: Plenty of it in both OVAs, though in the first one the gore is a washed out orange hue.
- Gratuitous English: In the tracks "Violence of the Flame" ("DENJARAS! MOST DENJARAS!", "IS DA ONLY CRAYZEE GAAAME, IS DA ONLY FOOLISH GAAAME") and "Merciless Soldier" ("CAN STOP! HE JUST A SOULJA!", "WHEL A YOU", "WHO A YOU"). Also Geist is always called "Misutaa" Geist by most characters.
- Hero Antagonist: Colonel Krutz. He's demonstrated as a courageous soldier concerned about his subordinates. He also isn't too fond of the Earth government's secret planet-destroying doomsday weapon, and opposes the usage of MDS from the beginning. The only questionable action he does is to sic the Final Terminator on Geist, and gets his skull crushed by Geist for his efforts.
- Hong Kong Dub: The English dub. Also comes with overacting.
- Human Popsicle
- Humongous Mecha
- Infant Immortality: Averted in the second OVA. This causes a Heroic BSOD from Krauser.
- Jerkass: Geist is a dick.
- Fanservice: Not only does Vaiya appear topless once, but Geist also appears naked. And then there's all the mecha designs.
- Knife Nut: Geist loves bladed weapons, as does one of Vaiya's henchmen.
- Large Ham: Krauser in M.D. Geist II is gloriously hammy.
- Made of Iron: Geist. He just looks like a regular human being, but can survive explosions, stabbings, and getting shot in the forehead, among other things. He also might be able to regenerate tissue damage.
- Made of Plasticine: A lot of people, especially in the Director's Cut version of the first OVA and in Death Force. Particularly visible in the original OVA when Geist or Crutes grab people's faces and then the faces turn into red jelly with the eyes popping out. That's some scary power.
- Naked on Arrival: Geist.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: "MD" stands for "Most Dangerous" and the self-replicating robot swarm is named Death Force.
- Never Found the Body: Done twice in the sequel - after Krauser throws Geist off a building, and after the credits, when only Geist's helmet is shown.
- No Plot? No Problem!: The original 1986 doesn't have any real story persay. 23 year old director Koichi Ohata and 22 year old writer Riku Sanjo (who supposedly wrote it for free) didn't so much want to tell a story as they wanted to string together a bunch of action scenes that they thought sounded really cool. The director's cut tries to repurpose the footage into a semblance of a story, with emphasis on tries.
- Obviously Evil: The Death Force swarm robots look like demons, devils, gargoyles, robotic knights, and other evil creatures.
- Off Model: The series is quite possibly the poster child of anime for this.
- A non-exhaustive list includes strange lighting, objects (or characters) teleporting or disappearing, limbs moving in strange ways, multiple coloring errors on one object, drawing errors, and Krutz's corpse levitating in the air for a second.
- The generally horrendous animation is one of the things that made MD Geist infamous. Even the animators who worked on it are said to have hated it.
- Overly Long Name: Colonel Crutes Ovild Folgain Shtrime.
- Powered Armor: Worn by Jerran soldiers, and a black one is donned by Geist after he acquires it from a dead soldier. In the sequel, they can fly and Krauser wears a white armor. It seems that all MDS initially had one.
- Rated M for Manly
- Rocket Punch: The final boss' third form does this.
- Rule of Cool: MD Geist isn't so much a "story" as more of a showcase of Humongous Mecha, Stuff Blowing Up, Geist being a Badass and cool music.
- The mecha designs.
- The random skulls and spikes adorned on vehicles.
- Slasher Smile: Geist has a tendency to do this.
- Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Extremely cynical to the point of being nihilistic.
- Sliding Scale of Silliness Versus Seriousness: Very, very serious, despite the horrible acting.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: In the Director's Cut of the first OVA most of the battle scenes have really unfitting music, especially in the final battle. And after that, "Merciless Soldier". While the lyrics thematically make sense, the music itself fits better for a victorious final battle, rather than for condemning an entire planet's biological life to death and mentally breaking a female character.
- Spell My Name with an "S": No one really knows what exactly should Crutes/Krutes/Krutz/Kurtz be called. Also Vaiya's name is actually Paiya. Nexrum has been written as Negstrom in the prequel comic. Geist's name, according to his dogtags, is "Most Dangerous Soldier-02 Geist", but the opening scene calls him "Most Dangerous Geist" as does the full title of the OVA ("Demon-garbed Soldier Most Dangerous Geist"), and then Crutes/Krutes/Krutz/Kurtz comes in and calls him just "MDS".
- Super Soldier: All the MDS fit the trope.
- There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Geist kills a mecha pilot stabbing him in the head with a knife that has a hand grenade attached to its handle while inverse hanging from the top of the cockpit.
- Trauma-Induced Amnesia: Vaiya experiences this during the sequel to some extent. She has horrific flashbacks of Geist and is incredibly frightened by them, but is unable to decipher coherently what they mean.
- Villain Protagonist: Geist is either this or a Sociopathic Hero. You can make a case for MD Krauser in the sequel too; he's the designated villain, but at least he's less evil when compared to Geist and there are points where the OVA suggests he's more of an Anti-Hero.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: MD Krauser may have good intentions (more or less), but he's still not much better than MD Geist.