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Genocyber was a five-episode cyberpunk OVA series animated by Artmic Studios and Bandai Visual and released in Japan from May 24 to July 21 of 1994. The series is based on an unfinished manga series written by Tony Takezaki and illustrated by Byakuya Shobo. The series was licensed for American video release in the late 1990s by Central Park Media, who released it on VHS and later on DVD. Both releases of the series are now out of print.

Genocyber is notable for having a couple notable figures in anime involved in its creation. Koichi Ohata, whom some of you may know as the director of another infamous anime dud called M.D. Geist, was responsible for directing and writing on the series. Shou Aikawa, a screenwriter notable for his future involvement in writing Twelve Kingdoms and the first Fullmetal Alchemist anime, was also involved in Genocyber’s writing.

The Plot

This wasn't how I wanted to be left after surgery.
This wasn't how I wanted to be left after surgery.

In a near-future setting, the world’s nations are beginning to make moves in establishing a global government and corrupt corporations are trying to take control of them through their private armies. One such corporation known as the Kuryu Group is in development of a powerful weapon called Genocyber that combines cybernetics with powerful psychic abilities. To complete its creation, the corporation seeks out a psychic girl named Elaine who escaped the Kuryu Group’s confines and befriends a homeless boy.

Notable Characters (from left to right)

  • Elaine- A young mute girl with powerful psychic abilities who escapes from the Kiryu Group’s laboratories. Her consciousness is needed by Kiryu in order to complete their creation of Genocyber.
  • Diana- Elaine’s older sister who has nearly her entire body covered in cybernetics. She is very jealous of Elaine’s powerful abilities and tries to kill her at points in the first episode of the series.
  • Genocyber- The powerful cybernetic monster that Kiryu Group wishes to complete its creation of, having powerful physical attributes and psychic abilities.
  • Myra- A doctor aboard a military ship in the second arc of the series who believes Elaine to be her missing daughter Laura, unaware that her daughter was actually killed in a plane crash during one of Genocyber’s attacks.
  • Mel- A blind woman with powerful psychic abilities in the title’s third arc who travels with her boyfriend Ryu into Ark de Grande City to get money to cure her blindness. She comes upon the stone form of Genocyber in some ruins of the city, worshipped by a religious cult who believe it to be an angel brought down to punish the city populace.

Why It Sucks

Genocyber is quite infamous among older anime fans for its ultra-violent content and nihilist direction it takes to exploring the futuristic society it takes place in.

One of Genocyber's few heartwarming moments.
One of Genocyber's few heartwarming moments.

Sporting worst violent content at points than even M.D. Geist, Genocyber features a good number of gory scenes such as disembowelment, dismemberment and exploding heads. Two notable graphic scenes that stick out in the series include a detective whose skin on much of his body is completely torn off to expose all his internal organs while still alive and some kids getting mowed down by helicopter gunfire in graphic detail.

The series also comes to increasingly glorify its nihilist direction in later episodes, best shown through the degrading quality of the series as episodes progress, which are divided into three arcs and take place in differing settings and time periods. While the first episode is somewhat decent focusing on Elaine’s bond with a homeless boy and the evils of genetic engineering, the series quality increasingly tanks in later episodes with greater focus on the depravity of many in the show’s cast, limiting depth on characters and some confusing elements in the show’s narrative involving timeskips and Genocyber that don’t get much focus thanks to the title’s rushed pacing.

Because of the limited depth of characters in this series and a good number of them being depraved scumbags, you are likely to care less for them as many of them will inevitably be killed in a bloody or graphic matter from either the depraved characters within an arc of the series or Genocyber destroying everything within the setting of the arc towards its end.

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