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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.

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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. To fight the rings, a special space ship has been constucted: 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 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.

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Provides Examples Of:

  • 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 the escape pod 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 who jettisoned herself off the escape pod 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 Outs: 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"...
  • 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.

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