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Anime / Geneshaft

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It's the 23rd century. Humanity has had a series of devastating wars behind it, putting it on the brink of extinction. In an attempt to deal with this problem, human population has been put under control through genetic engineering. Everyone has a set destiny from birth and the ratio between woman and men has been brought to 9:1, since most of the problems seem to stem from male aggression. People are categorized according to their genetic profile, which leads to certain Skills. Love and passion are largely eliminated—but not fully.

Mika Seido is a 16 year old girl born into this world with a "white" genetic make-up, which means that her role has not been completely filled in at birth. Because of this, she often is treated as inferior, especially by Mir Lotus, whose Skills are far beyond those of most other people. Mika likes to write e-mails to her sentient dog on earth and is devastated when her "mama" dies because of an alien attack.

Humanity faces its largest threat yet when gigantic rings appear in the space around earth, one of which promptly destroys several large cities—one with Mika's mama in it. The rings are controlled by the advanced AI Oberon, who has forged an alliance with an unknown leader of an anti-government terrorist group in order to wipe out humanity. To fight the rings, a special space ship has been constructed: the Bilkis. On board it carries a special weapon in the form of one of the weirdest-looking Humongous Mecha ever devised in anime: the Shaft. Mika is put onboard of the Bilkis and has to challenge both the alien and human threat and convince the crew—and herself—of her "white" potential.

Geneshaft was released in 2001 by Bandai Entertainment in America. It is an interesting take on the "humongous mecha in space" theme in that it maintains a curious and intense dynamic between the characters. The men still appear to be very macho, despite having grown up in a society ruled by women. People who are very sensitive to the abuse of scientific themes might best steer clear off this series. For all the other viewers, Geneshaft can be a nice ride along all of the tropes that come with the genre—and they can enjoy the wonderful animation and the heart-warming ending.

Provides Examples Of:

  • The Ace: Mir Lotus, thanks to her DNA, has perfect skills that she will not hesitate to brag about.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Oberus, one of the two main villains, is an AI of unknown alien origin who determines that humans are disrupting the order of the universe and plots to destroy human society.
  • Amazon Brigade: Thanks to 23rd Century's gender ratio favoring females over males, the crew of the Bilki.
  • Anyone Can Die: By the end of the story, Remmy, Mario, Oberus, Sneak, and even Sophia all die.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Oberus, an AI disguised as Jupiter’s moon Europa that is the source of the giant rings attacking the Bilkis ship, and Lord Sergei the 4th Sneak, the leader of the human anti-humanity terrorists and the commander of the ship using the terrorists for his own benefit, are working together to annihilate humanity, seeing it as a “bug” in the universe that must be deleted.
  • Big Brother Mentor: Mario, who manages to actually be someone's brother, something rare in a world of Designer Babies, and comes across as a proto-Kamina.
  • Body Surf: In one episode, a ring keeps copying crew members appearances.
  • Brand X: Karlboro cigarettes.
  • Bridge Bunnies: Many of the crew members, some of whom are even "programmed" to operate it.
  • Broken Pedestal: Mir practically worshiped Lord Sneak and was obviously in love with him, looking up to him as a brilliant commander and even calling him Sergei. Then she learns that Sergei is working with Oberus to Kill All Humans, and she goes into deep denial and does a brief Face–Heel Turn before eventually snapping out of it, abandoning him, and cutting her hair to symbolize letting go of him.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: People are expected to put up with raving maniacs like Jean, loonies like Dolce, and haughty divas like Mir, because they are literally born to be the best at their jobs, and that's the only thing that matters.
  • Clones Are Expendable: A tenet of the future society.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Dolce, who only communicates through her puppet.
  • Cooldown Hug: Between Humongous Mechas.
  • Creepy Monotone: Beatrice.
    Beatrice: If you are unable to obey rules regarding personal behavior on the bridge, by my authority as ship's Register... I will execute you.
  • Dramatic Space Drifting: One such scene occured when Ryoko's lifeless body floating in zero gravity along with droplets of blood after she shot herself to allow more air for Hiroto.
  • Elegant Gothic Lolita: Dolce.
  • Emotionless Girl: Beatrice, who suppresses her emotions artificially, being a Register.
  • Fantastic Caste System: Entire humanity in 23rd Century is divided into genetic types named after colors that marked their professions. The known castes are: "white"—which Mika possesses—is considered inferior due to their lack of overt skills and traits, "Purple" enhanced physiques also complemented with beauty,
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: The American space shuttle crew in one episode, whose appearance are connected to the rings. To contrast them with the Bilkis' crew, they are depicted as older and more realistic-looking but also brash and unrefined. And they were projections made by the rings all along.
  • Genius Loci: Jupiter’s moon Europa turns out to be Oberus itself.
  • Gratuitous Italian: The various scripts which control the Bilkis are all actually pieces of Italian football (soccer) jargon.
  • Hate Sink:
    • Lord Sergei the 4th Sneak is the terrorist leader allied with the AI Oberon. A misogynist and misanthrope, Sneak hates the woman-run society and plays both the government and the terrorists to destroy it. Sneak is also abusive to his subordinates, most of whom are women, and is uncaring if they die, getting many of them killed in suicide missions and personally killing one. Utterly obsessed with perfection, Sneak is a narcissist who orchestrates every death in the plot to Kill All Humans and replace them with a perfect new race.
    • Captain Jean Gedoo/Gedoux is a Psychopathic Manchild who represents the corruption within the government. Ordered to capture the Strain crew heroines, Jean hounds them, abuses his subordinate, and disobeys orders by trying to kill the Strain crew to get at his rival Mario. When his subordinate accidentally wipes out nearly their whole fleet, Jean blames her for his own recklessness and takes the opportunity to make himself the new commander. He then gloats about killing General Natalie, a dear friend of Mario's, and ultimately gets them both killed.
  • Humans Are Flawed: The point of the show. The new system of shaping humanity’s future with DNA is doomed to fail because humans are imperfect, and constraints like that will only make things worse. Yet, despite humans having nearly destroyed the world in the past, there is still hope that humanity can thrive on its own, and Lord Sneak wanting to flat-out Kill All Humans and replace them with his own perfect race is equally wrong and twisted.
  • Humongous Mecha: The Shaft, a very weird mecha, which looks more like a set of cranes welded together to vaguely resemble a human outline. It is also unclear why it should look remotely human anyway, given its function in the story.
  • Improbably Female Cast: The show features a society openly declared to be 90% female. Justified in that the entire society is genetically engineered to have a 1:9 female-male ratio because men are seen as too aggressive (and also because it allows the few male characters to have a Supporting Harem; and, in the case of villains like Jean and Big Bad Lord Sneak, to easily prove how evil they are since they Would Hit a Girl).
  • Informed Ability: Tiki is supposed to be a Cute Bruiser, but she mostly plays the role of Bridge Bunny.
  • Insufferable Genius: Dolce, who is unmatched at computer programming. And lets everybody know. Through her puppet. Loudly. Even her poor fellow programmers are annoyed by her constant shouting and refusal to let them rest.
  • Important Haircut: Mir cuts her hair after learning of Lord Sneak's betrayal.
  • Lens Flare
  • Meaningful Name:
  • Meganekko: Remmy, although she doesn't really need her glasses.
  • Memento MacGuffin: Remmy's glasses.
  • Mildly Military: Even Mika trying to shoot her own captain for personal issues, like the death of her friend Ryoko in the past, doesn't raise any eyebrows.
  • Misanthrope Supreme: The terrorists led by Lord Sneak, despite being humans, hate humanity and believe they are a plague on the universe that disrupt the natural order. Lord Sneak in particular gives a whole speech on how humanity is a “bug” messing up the universe that must be deleted to protect the system.
  • The Mole: Remy and Lord Sneak are working with the terrorists and aliens to destroy humanity. Sneak is also a Mole in Charge, since he is a high-ranking commander who more-or-less runs the ship.
  • Mundane Utility: A Wave-Motion Gun doubling as a terraforming tool.
  • Not So Stoic: Beatrice tends to crack up if she failed to take prescriptions that hold back her emotions. Captain Hiroto is programmed to show no emotions but he is still haunted by Ryoko's Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Omniscient Council of Vagueness: Lord Sneak’s superiors, a group of five old men who discuss the events of the story and their plans back on Earth. They end up having little to do with the story in the long run, as Sneak betrays them in favor of the aliens.
  • One World Order: The Earth of the 23rd Century has become this, ostensibly preventing conflict and having rewritten society under more "stable, efficient" lines. Unfortunately, not everyone's on board with the whole idea.
  • Path of Inspiration: The society believes that it is logical to be hardcoded to die at 45 because one is no longer at 100% efficiency, justifies it as individuals being a mere expression of their genetic code and thus replaceable by brand new clones, and that the best male-female ratio is supposed to be 1:9 because of males being excessively Hot-Blooded, yet their rulers and founders of your way of life are a bunch of 200-year-old men, who are not in a hurry to be replaced by their younger selves.
  • Phlebotinum Breakdown: The constant crashes of the Shaft's computer systems.
  • Plucky Girl: Mika.
  • Posthumous Character: Ryoko, Mika’s childhood friend whom she thought Captain Hiroto was responsible for killing to save himself when their ship lacks enough air for both of them. Unfortunately, Ryoko's death was considered "expendable" by the society because she had an identical "sister" and lower genetic strata than her captain—who Mika hate him for these reasons initially—or it was the fact that Ryoko killed herself in a Heroic Sacrifice for her superior Hiroto's survival.
  • Precursors: The Giants.
  • Punny Name: Remmy Levistrauss. Levi Strauss is a jean company (gene/jean pun).
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Jean, a government official who casually abuses his (female) Register, expresses joy when said register accidentally vaporizes nearly their whole fleet (including his commander) because it gives him more freedom, refers to himself in the third person like a child, and laughs gleefully as he chases down the heroines’ ship to destroy it and kill them all.
  • Rapid-Fire Typing: Which somehow works against computer viruses.
  • Shout-Out: The titles of all episodes are variations on the titles of famous SF stories or straight references. "The Moon is a Hard Master", "The Sentinel", "Childhood's Beginning", "The Ship Who Sang"...
  • Statuesque Stunner: Sofia Galgalim is the tallest and strongest member of the crew, which her genetic type (Purple) that provided her with enhanced physiques also complemented with her beauty.
  • Stock Footage: The deployment of the Shaft.
  • Stripperific: In the future there are some... interesting ideas about women's military attire.
  • Taking You with Me: Mario and Sofia do this to Jean and Oberus, respectively; Mario detonates a bomb in his suit, while Sofia rams her part of the Shaft into the giant AI moon.
  • Techno Babble: To the point of becoming ridiculous.
  • Third-Person Person: Jean.
  • Thrown Out the Airlock: Two examples occurred when the energy from activated ring struck the station in first two episodes. One had an unfortunate person (and possibly others) vented from shattered viewing port of the lounge and other had two crews vented out into space before the bulkhead was sealed.
  • Token Mini-Moe: Tiki is 12, but wears even more Stripperiffic clothes than the rest of the crew.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: Humanity seems to have achieved something of a utopian society, but at a heavy cost to its...well, humanity. In fact, Lord Sneak decided to push it up with the support of the Rings by transforming the entirety of humanity into a single consciousness.
  • Viewer-Friendly Interface: Widely shown to see the crew's works.
  • We Have Reserves: Half of the cast's job is being a replacement for the other half.
  • What Is This Thing You Call "Love"?: No Sex Allowed, romantic love is apparently dead, and friendships are expected to be shallow. But The Power of Love is stubborn. Like with Mika and Captain Hiroto.
  • You Are in Command Now: Beatrice, who's genetically engineered to be an eternal Number Two.