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Geneshaft Volume 3 (DVD)


You’ve just got to love a futuristic world where the inherent ratio of women to men is 9:1… well I guess that sort of happens in lots of anime series, but in this one the girls aren’t in love with the men at all. This series blends a bright character animation with a darker background, which has the effect of drawing the watchers attention right to the people. All action sequences are computer generated with some really cool depth effects for the Shaft – as everything is either a ship or a mecha, they don’t have to CG the characters for cutout views. The soundtrack for the series is decidedly heavier than most, with a riff of metal and techno that give the show an industrial feel; that alone makes the show better in my opinion, because sometimes you just get sick of listening to arias.


For those unfamiliar with the series, Geneshaft is a futuristic anime where the human race is now genetically engineered both for gender efficiency as well as task efficiency (you don’t just want leader personalities, you want engineers, soldiers, tacticians… and so on and so forth). In this new world, males are leaders by their construct (which I’m sure would have P.O.’d my girlfriend if she saw the series) while women make up the bulk of the workforce. The theory for the gender inequality is that men make superior decision makers once their inherent drives (sexual, male competition which is why there are so few males – you can’t compete with another man if there aren’t any around) are suppressed.


The human race is currently under attack (an unknown alien species that sends massive golden rings), and has been for some time; but a new ship has been created the Bilkis which carries the Shaft (which I know how it sounds, and I’m not making a joke). The shaft is a new mecha weapon under the final test phase, but 



the program has been riddled with bugs and the system has a nasty habit of shutting down at the most inopportune time. The ship escaped earth during an attack while construction was finalizing – but failed to rejoin the fleet, as the Captain stated that he had different orders; and the ship heads out to engage the alien threat. During it movement, the Bilkis has attracted an unnatural amount of attention by the alien attackers and has been under frequent attacks from rings.



Episode 8: The Moon Is A Harsh Master

The Bilkis has just survived another battle with the alien rings and has tried to return to the Mars base for repairs, but the ship has been declared rogue by the Integrated Earth Space Army (I.E.S.A. - think Starfleet). At this point, the factions begin to appear – the Council of Elders works towards maintaining the status quo (their status quo) and has been manipulated by Lord Sneak into sending the fleet after the Bilkis. Remmy has now shown up with Lord Sneak and reveals that she is a member of a splinter group that wants to remove the genetic manipulation program by eliminating the power base of the Council of Elders. She reveals that the Bilkis is merely a distraction for their own plans on Earth, but the crew of the Bilkis must now decide a course of action; to make matters worse, the Captain is still incapacitated and the news of Lord Sneak’s betrayal has left Mir upset.


While working on the stolen Shaft files, Remmy discovers that Lord Sneak has been hiding some information on her, namely that he tampered with the files and that he had built another version of the Shaft on the Ganymede base. Upon making the discovery, Lord Sneak attacks Remmy and after shooting her, he explains that his plan is not just to destroy the current government but all of humanity. Remmy manages to escape only to send the Bilkis the new information on the Shaft and relay Lord Sneak’s plan but is then killed by him. The episode ends with the arrival of the I.E.S.A. fleet bearing down on the Bilkis.


Episode 9: Less Than Human

With the I.E.S.A. fleet bearing down, the Bilkis launches the Shaft to defend. Once the opening salvo is defended against by the Shaft, the fleet is now ready to negotiate. The fleet commander handling the discussion knows Mario from a shared vacation they had a few years ago, and becomes more amiable to the negotiation. Upon revealing Lord Sneak’s betrayal, the fleet stops engaging and gives the Bilkis some time.


Continuing the tradition of flawed men, the Major Jean Gedou is introduced as one of the fleet captains; another male leader, but one who has maintained a youthful persona (a teenager maybe) despite his true age. Annoyed with the order to standby, he orders his register to hack into one of the flagships and fire their main weapons at the Bilkis. The attack was skewed by the close proximity of Jupiter, and the attack inadvertently destroyed five ships including the fleet commander’s ship, making Major Jean the new fleet commander. Seizing the opportunity, he moves his ship of the line into attack position and begins to attack the Bilkis.


Episode 10: The Men Women Don’t See

Realizing that a direct attack against the fleet won’t go well, Mario orders a retreat but using the gravity well of Jupiter, but Jean follows right behind and attacks using a computer virus that reduces the effectiveness of the ship’s engines, preventing an escape. While the Bilkis tries to run away lamely, the Youki (Jean’s ship) attacks mercilessly causing the Bilkis to be pulled into the gravity of Jupiter.


Meanwhile, Mir has been assigned to help analyze the data that Remmy sent and she discovers a one-person transporter system on board the Shaft. After implementation, Mario decides to use the system to transport himself on board the Youki’s bridge and kill Jean. Despite his crew’s reservations about the plan, it is implemented, and Mario surprises Jean on board the Youki. Unfortunately, the transporter system was still flawed and the transporter damaged Mario’s nerves so that he was unable to pull the trigger on his pistol. Despite being shot three times, he was still able to overpower Jean and eventually activate an explosive that he carried on himself… killing both Majors.


So far, Geneshaft has been skirting the line between drama and action using both elements in tandem. Up to this point it has been effective, however, it will become interesting to see if this can be maintained effectively.


- Tazman

(November 16, 2003)


"What crawled up his ass and died?"

"I don't know guy, maybe he borrowed my gerbil?"


- Rocko and Cal (Undergrads)

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