There’s a lot to like about Genocyber. It’s edgy, it’s violent, and it has a great atmosphere. But like so many OVAs, the weight is all in the packaging. Attempt any dissection or analysis of this anime and you find nothing there.
The plot looks deep and engaging at first, but almost immediately you realise it’s a ripoff of a ripoff of a ripoff. Blah blah siblings with a psychic link blah blah huge robot mechas blah blah shadowy government agents blah blah climactic transformation scene blah blah city blows up THE END. The characters are mostly just stock, including the usual assortment of evil scientists and masked henchmen and a gang of street thugs lifted right out of Akira. There’s exactly three people who aren’t insane psychopaths in this anime, and one of them is obviously just there to be a token good guy who gets killed.
But suppose you don’t care about a story…Genocyber works. It certainly evokes a nasty and brutal atmosphere, and even if all the parts a recycled…hey, at least they chose good stuff to recycle. The animation is punchy and colourful, with a few CGI moments mixed in here and there. On the whole it’s hard not to be impressed by Genocyber’s aesthetics and style, even if the content side of the anime comes up a little short.
As with Ohata Koichi’s previous work MD Geist, the gore factor is permanently stuck on high. One scene in the middle gets so outrageous and excessive that it borders on being comedic. The most WTF moment of Genocyber, however, is that part where a street thug feels down the front of a pre-teen boy’s pants to see if he has an erection. That, uh, makes sense in context. Or, I think it does.
Yeah, things get hard to follow. Genocyber is confusing, bombastic, and over-the-top. In a way, it’s almost like its own characters, in that it’s cataclysmically fucked in the head and deserves in a room with padded walls. This is a definitive example of 90s anime, both the good and bad.
The English dubbing sucks ass, by the way.