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Anime / MD Geist

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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, sentenced there because of his murderous instability. 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 Force from being released.

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 assignment and why he was locked away on a satellite.

MD Geist contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Abandoned Area: Nearly every scene falls under this category. Considering Jerra has been ravaged by war, this makes way too much sense.
  • 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.
  • All There in the Manual: Promotional material like the Sokihei M.D. Geist: Complete Collection Record go a bit further into the first OVA's backstory and world building. Such as revealing Geist's time in the military academy involved a hushed up incident of him slaughtering his comrades as they had reckoned with him, and the type of hair gel Geist uses.
  • 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: Vaiya is clearly interested in the psychopathic Geist, 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".
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: MD Krauser's body is completely blue. The anime gives no explanation for that aside that he is genetically engineered.
  • Anti-Hero: Geist is a major Nominal Hero. However he later becomes a Villain Protagonist in the sequel.
    • MD Krauser also counts. He has good intentions and wants to protect his people. However, he has a huge ego problem and a messiah complex, and reacts very badly to being questioned in any way.
  • Ambiguously Evil: Krauser. Even though he rescued all those people and kept them safe from the Death Force, the plot implies he's just a narcissistic tyrant who only rescued them so he could be worshipped like a messiah. It's also implied his people work under hard labour. All the same, he takes it very personally when Geist goes on a murderous rampage among his adoring populace, implying he cares about them on some level.
  • Apocalypse How: Planetary-scale species extinction. 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 much from them, like the Fightech Commandos. Also, all powered armors have strange helmets which mostly leave the character's eyes or part of the face in the open, and do not have any sort of visors or targeting indicators.
  • 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.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: The first OVA.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Vaiya, Eagle, and other survivors managed to escape the massacre, with the Death Force defeated and Krauser dead. Still, their world remains a ruined crapsack, and Geist is probably out there somewhere.
  • Black-and-Gray Morality: It's not really made clear whether or not Geist releases the Death Force due to the the way he was programmed or because it would offer him a more "exciting" battlefield.
  • Blood Knight: Geist, to the point he would rather unleash the Death Force just to have something to fight.
  • Expy: While wearing shades Geist really looks like Quattro Bajeena from Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam. Without them, he looks more like Rutger Hauer, or Billy Idol.
  • Crapsack World: The opening text to the first OVA states that "there is no peace and wars rage" across the human settlements in space. The planet Jerra, where the story takes place, is no exception, being locked in civil war between the Regular Army and the rebelling Nexrum (Corporate forces). A very large part of the population has already died in the fighting, and yet the Regular Army and the Nexrum are still going at it. In the sequel the Death Force rampages through the planet, leaving only one human stronghold left.
  • Cruel Twist Ending: End of OVA 1. "The game's not over yet. It's just beginning."
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Geist routinely deals these out in both episodes. The only opponents who give him any trouble are the Brain Palace's Final Terminator, MD Krauser, and Eagle.
  • Cyborg: Eagle, who manages to be the only non-MDS to actually win a fight with Geist.
  • Death of a Child: In the second OVA. This causes a Heroic BSoD from Krauser.
  • Death of a Thousand Cuts: Averted with the Death Force robots' small beam weapons, as the tiny holes they cause are instantly fatal.
  • Decoy Protagonist: The first scene after the opening credits involves a character wearing Geist's iconic armor before he gets ambushed and killed by Golem's gang - it turns out this isn't Geist himself but the original soldier who owned the suit. The real Geist then shows up and usurps Golem's leadership, claiming the dead soldier's gear for himself.
  • 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.
  • Didn't Think This Through: The Earth military builds a secret army of unstoppable robots programmed to kill every living being indiscriminately (including Earth loyalists) as a doomsday weapon. At the same time, they create a class of nigh-invulnerable super soldiers who are all homicidally (or megalomaniacally) insane. In the end, these two things combine to doom all life on Jerra.
  • Die Laughing: Colonel Krutz. Altough he acts surprised once Geist proceeds to crush his skull
  • Doomsday Device: The "Death Force", a self-replicating killer robot swarm that kills all organic life it encounters.
  • The Dreaded: The MD soldiers, as explained by Krutz. He describes them as Super Soldiers who are both unstoppable and psychopathically unstable, and he's not kidding on either count.
  • Driven to Madness: All the MDS (arguably with the exception of Krauser) went completely insane early in their deployment, 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. The prequel comics expand on this; he's developed a serious chip on his shoulder due to a really bad relationship with Kurtz, and did it out of spite, never having experienced anything else in his life.
  • Fanservice: Not only does Vaiya appear topless once, but Geist also appears naked. And then there's all the mecha designs.
  • 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 songs "Violence of the Flame" ("DENJARAS! MOST DENJARAS!", "IS DA ONLY CRAYZEE GAAAME, IS DA ONLY FOOLISH GAAAME") and "Merciless Soldier" ("CAN'T STOP! HE JUST A SOULJA!", "WHEL A YOU", "WHO A YOU"). Also Geist is usually addressed as "Misutaa" Geist by other characters.
  • Hero Antagonist: Colonel Krutz. He's demonstrated as a courageous soldier concerned about his subordinates. He wants to stop Earth government's secret planet-destroying doomsday weapon, and opposed the usage of MDS from the beginning. The only questionable action he does is to sic the Final Terminator on Geist, but that is also understandable as Geist is himself a monster who ends up dooming all life on Jerra after killing Krutz. Though the prequel comic reveals that Krutz really earned his death at Geist's hands, having driven Geist to utter misanthropy before having him sealed in the cryo-satellite.
  • Hong Kong Dub: The English dub. Also comes with overacting.
  • Human Popsicle: Geist's orbital prison in the beginning.
  • Humongous Mecha: Some of the Death Force robots fit into this category.
  • Jerkass: Geist is a sociopathic bastard.
  • Kill All Humans: The MO of the Death Force, who are programmed to exterminate everyone on Jerra.
  • Limited Animation: It's pretty obvious that only a small amount of the budget went into animation. In many places, characters walking are obviously the cel being moved up and down.
  • 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. It is suggested that he can 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".
  • Not Distracted by the Sexy: At one point, Vaiya attempts to bed Geist, unsurprisingly as she's an agent type and he's a Super-Soldier who could be her Meal Ticket on their war-torn planet. Just as unsurprisingly, Geist couldn't be less interested in her.
  • Nothing Personal: After Eagle captures Geist, the latter awakens briefly while being transported (in chains) back to Krauser's citadel. At that moment, Eagle and Geist exchange a respectful nod, suggesting that both of them see the other as a Worthy Opponent and aren't taking their recent fight personally.
  • Obviously Evil: The Death Force swarm robots look like demons, devils, gargoyles, robotic knights, and other evil creatures.
  • 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.
  • Protagonist Journey to Villain: An odd example in the prequel comic; after a just-decanted Geist single-handedly destroys a Nexrum base, he is placed in the conventional military so there can be witnesses to his true capabilities, as no-one save his creator believes a single man could be so dangerous. Said unit was lead by Colonel Kurtz on an operation against a Nexrum superweapon, who is at first dismissive of Geist being forced into his unit, then jealous of Geist's superior combat ability, and ultimately utterly terrified of that ability. He thus decides to smear Geist for the collateral damage of stopping the attack - a simple matter given that Geist refuses to defend his actions without a direct order to do so - and Kurtz inherited that authority from Geist's creator, who died in the operation. This leaves Geist cryogenically imprisoned in the satellite he was in at the start of the OVA - with a massive chip on his soldier against Kurtz.
  • Rocket Punch: The final boss's 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.
  • Sequential Boss: The Brain Palace's Final Terminator goes through three different forms as the fight progresses.
  • 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 vs. Seriousness: Very, very serious, despite the horrible acting and ludicrous violence.
  • 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.
    • It becomes somehow fitting if you consider it to represent Geist's point of view.
  • 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.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Krauser at the end has one so hammy that most actors wishes to have his level of overacting.
  • World of Ham: It's probably easier to name the characters who don't ham it up at least once in this OVA.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: MD Krauser may be keeping the surviving human population safe, but he's no less arrogant or merciless than MD Geist.
  • Worf Had the Flu: Lampshaded by Eagle after he captures Geist. The cyborg remarks to himself that he only won that fight because Geist was exhausted after a recent entanglement with the Death Force.
  • You Monster!: Golem, the leader of the first gang Geist encounters, says "You bastard!" after Geist stabs him in the head.