Cover of the manga
|Genre||Cyberpunk, Mecha, Horror, Drama|
|Written by||Tony Takezaki|
|Published by||Byakuya Shobo|
|English publisher||Viz Media|
|Original run||1993 – 1994|
|Original video animation|
|Directed by||Koichi Ohata|
|Produced by||Masashi Abe
|Written by||Koichi Ohata
|Music by||Hiroaki Kagoshima
|Licensed by||Central Park Media|
|Released||May 24, 1994 – July 21, 1994|
|Runtime||45 minutes (episode 1)
25 minutes (episode 2-3)
30 minutes (episode 4-5)
Genocyber (ジェノサイバー Jenosaibā?) is a 1993 Japanese Cyberpunk manga series by Tony Takezaki. One volume of the manga was published and the story remains unfinished. It was adapted into a 5-part Original video animation series in 1994. The plot of the anime differs significantly from the manga. Both are notable for their extreme graphic violence.
The OVA was produced by Bandai Visual and released in North America by U.S. Manga Corps. Genocyber was also released by Manga Entertainment's UK and Australian Divisions in The Cyberpunk Collection but only episodes 1-3 were released in these regions; this collection also included two other cyberpunk OVA's Cyber City Oedo 808 and A.D. Police.
Episode 1: A New Life Form
Set in the near future when the world's nations are beginning to form a new global government, the first OVA is centred around a young girl named Elaine and details the development and creation of a "Genocyber", an ultimate biological weapon created by combining the powers and consciousness of two psychic sisters. Funding for the project, which is under the direction of a mad scientist, is provided by the Kuryu Group, a huge Japanese corporation that is a world leader in military research. Starting off in Hong Kong, the story follows Elaine, a young mute girl who is unwittingly dragged into the ambitions of the scientist who wants to combine the powers of the Elaine and her crippled sister, Diana, to activate the Genocyber.
In its physical form, Genocyber is an extremely large humanoid monster, which the scientist calls a Vajra. In addition to having almost unlimited strength and regenerative abilities, Genocyber also possess incredible telekinetic and pyrokinetic powers.
After a brutal search by the scientist and his masked henchmen for Elaine that leaves dozens of corpses in its wake, Elaine is apparently captured by agents of a shadowy government organisation and the scientist is arrested. However, Elaine then uses her psychic power to merge with Diana and become Genocyber. In the ensuing battle, in which the scientist and government agents are killed, huge fires are started and numerous buildings are heavily damaged. The next morning, Elaine finds that her only friend, a young homeless boy she met before she was captured, has died after falling from a construction site. Elaine becomes filled with anger and screams, turning into Genocyber, and initiating a massive explosion which completely destroys Hong Kong, leaving only a barren wasteland in its place.
Episodes 2-3: Vajranoid Attack & Global War
The second OVA apparently occurs shortly after this first one ended. A country called Karain  has withdrawn from the United Nations in protest of the new World government and launched an invasion of a neighboring country. In response, the United States agrees to deploy a Carrier Strike Group to support offensive operations against Karain; this fleet will be led by the Alexandria, a massive futuristic Supercarrier, which is currently stationed off the coast of Japan.
However, satellite photographs have identified an unknown superweapon believed to have been deployed by Karain (in fact, the image is of Genocyber, which destroyed several helicopters after they attacked and killed Elaine's friends). Concerned about the power of this new weapon, the United States military requests assistance from the Kuryu Group. Realizing that the image is in fact of Genocyber (although this is kept secret), the Kuryu Group agrees to send a team of its top scientists to the Alexandria. The Kuryu scientists, including the mentally unstable Sakomizu, bring on board their own secret weapon, a newly created Vajra, out of anticipation that the fleet will encounter Genocyber.
Unlike Genocyber, this new Vajra has a completely robotic body that enables it to almost literally fuse with any machine or weapon it operates. This is demonstrated when the Vajra fuses with a fighter aircraft, enhancing the fighter's capabilities far beyond anything that would be possible for a human pilot.
As the fleet travels from Japan to Karain, the Vajra is conducting a test flight in a fighter when a UN scout plane operating near Karain radios in and requests to make an emergency landing. The pilot also has aboard a civilian he rescued near Karain: Elaine. As the scout plane approaches the carrier, Elaine senses the Vajra, which in turn senses Elaine. Alarmed, the Vajra's fighter veers wildly off-course in pursuit of the scout plane, entering into a steep dive and narrowly avoids crashing into the carrier. The scout plane is forced to make a crash landing on carrier deck, although Elaine survives unscathed.
The carrier's senior officers sharply rebuke Sakomizu for the Vajra's strange behavior, yelling at him that his Vajra is not only dangerous, but is also uncontrollable. Later, Sakomizu yells at the Vajra for embarrassing him.
Unlike in the previous OVA, Elaine now has a largely cybernetic body from the neck down. Although it is unclear why and how this change occurred, it is possible that Elaine and Diana (whose body was cybernetic) have merged.
A young female doctor, Myra, takes Elaine under her protection and gives her the name Laura. To Myra, Laura/Elaine reminds her of her own daughter (also named Laura) who died in a plane crash several years earlier. Although Elaine is still mute, she is able to communicate telepathically with Myra, with whom she forms a special bond. Almost immediately, Myra comes to think of Elaine as her own child.
Neither Myra nor the crew are aware of the girl's psychic abilities and her presence on board is briefly uneventful. However, numerous members of the crew begin having nightmarish visions and several suffer mental breakdowns. Soon after, the Vajra again senses Elaine, and interprets her presence (i.e. Genocyber's presence) as a threat to itself and the ship. Elaine also senses the new Vajra, and after seeking it out, transforms into Genocyber and destroys it, but Genocyber's arm is hacked off during the fight. The ship's crew, unaware of what actually happened, simply conclude that Sakomizu's Vajra has malfunctioned again, and blame him for the incident (once again, Elaine survives without injury). However, Sakomizu, upon seeing his Vajra destroyed, is insulted and wrongly concludes that the crew sabotaged his work, although he now clearly suspects that Elaine is more than she appears to be. He eventually creates a new Vajra after acquiring Genocyber's severed arm but is unable to control it; the Vajra then expands throughout the carrier, engulfing and consuming the entire crew, except for Myra, whom Genocyber saves. Sakomizu also appears to survive initially, before he too is consumed by the Vajra.
Genocyber then flies into the carrier and reaches the core of the Vajra. The Vajra attempts to fuse itself with Genocyber but Genocyber's psychic powers prove to be stronger and the Vajra loses control of its body and the consumed carrier, which detonates in a massive explosion.
Later, Myra is rescued by two Karain helicopter pilots as they investigate the remains of the American fleet. Deciding that Myra is delirious, they fly back to Karain, but are horrified to discover that the entire country has been devastated and that the capital city is in flames. Genocyber then rises above the country and spreads its wings, confirming that Karain has suffered a similar fate as Hong Kong. The episode ends with Genocyber flying away, as Myra, who has been driven to near-madness by the events, yells "It's my daughter, Laura! She's become an angel! Take me Laura! Take me away from this hell!"
Episodes 4-5: Legend of the City of the Grand Ark, Part I and Part II
The third OVA is much different from its previous ones, taking place in a post-apocalyptic earth, in a region called the City of the Grand Ark.
The young girl, Elaine (who is actually Genocyber), does not appear much in this episode, only a transparent image in the story. In this story, Genocyber eventually realizes that "there was no place in the world for its power" and is dormant until he reawakens at the end.
In a brief opening scene, the now-extremely elderly leader of the Kuryu Group is seen looking at a wall of computer screens that show Genocyber on a rampage of destruction. It is revealed that for 100 years, humanity has been waging a desperate and hopeless war against Genocyber, which has decimated the Earth. He vows to find someway to stop Genocyber, even if it takes centuries. However, Genocyber then attacks his location, and a massive explosion is seen to rise into the Earth's atmosphere. The next scene, apparently set further into the future, shows a massive spacestation, possibly a colony ship, orbiting Earth. Aboard the station, a computer monitor indicates that it is now the year 2400 AD.
The story starts out in Ark de Grande City (City of the Grand Ark), one of the last remaining cities on earth, which is controlled by an evil mayor who claims that he is restoring the civilization that was destroyed by Genocyber, but only does this to gain trust from the civilians. The Mayor is ruthless, killing anyone who opposes him, and most of the city's population lives as an exploited labour class with few rights, while the mayor and an upper class live in luxury.
The story shifts to a couple, Ryu and Mel, whom Ryu is trying to find a doctor good enough to cure Mel's blindness. They arrive in Ark de Grande City but, as members of the lower class, are unable to get the medical help necessary to allow Mel to see again. Ryu and Mel attempt to earn money as performers, as Mel possesses an extraordinary ability to determine appearances, colours and numbers, even though she is blind. She describes her power as an ability to "see the person's form floating in my mind." She also has remarkable hearing and can often sense the environment around her. Ryu has an ability to throw knives while blindfolded, and hit targets with pinpoint accuracy. After Ryu and Mel make love that night, Ryu says that he hopes to earn enough money so that they can leave the city as soon as possible.
Later, Ryu is recruited by a member of the upper class to perform at his establishment, promising a large sum of money. However, the man tricks Ryu (who in blindfolded) into throwing knives at a real person who is tied to a wall, killing him, much to the delight of the spectators. Realizing that he has been tricked, Ryu manages to escape but is now pursued by the city's guards. While Ryu and Mel try to hide in the ruins beneth the city, Mel hears Elaine's voice calling to her, and she and Mel find themselves in a ritual chamber with a seemingly fossilized head and torso of Genocyber at the centre of an altar.
A flashback then shows Genocyber on its rampage of destruction. An image of Diana appears, and her voice then calls to Elaine, telling her that "It has to end. We can't stay in this world. We can't use our power" The two sisters then join hands and disappear, while Genocyber is seen lying on the ground, having seemingly been turned to stone. The scene shifts back to the present and to a shot of the massive spacestation orbiting the earth.
In a series of images, Mel is seen walking with Diana towards Genocyber's broken body. An image of Elaine appears in front of Genocyber, and Diana screams. In a subsequent dream, Diana refers to Mel as "big sister."
The scene shifts back to Mel, who is taken in by the religious sect which opposes the Mayor. The sect believes that the destruction brought by Genocyber was a punishment from God, and believe that Mel is God's messenger, who will prevent such destruction from happening again. Meanwhile, Ryu makes his way up to the surface, where he is detained and subject to brutal interrogation by the police, after which he is apparently declared brain-dead. As Mel worries about Ryu, it is revealed that she is pregnant with his child.
Under orders to destroy anyone opposing the mayor, the city's troops then attack the sect's church, killing everyone, including (apparently) Mel, whose bullet-riddled body lies on the ground with the bodies of children surrounding her.
In an apparent dream, Diana begs Elaine not to turn into Genocyber again, stating that "Our power has no place in this world." Mel, who appears to be in some sort of cocoon, asks Diana for help, stating that if she dies, the child she is carrying will never be born. She also states that she wants the city destroyed. Diana warns that asking for such power will unleash Genocyber, but it is too late: Genocyber awakens as Elaine, Diana, and Mel amalgamate into a red version of Genocyber, one which is much larger than its previous form. As Genocyber emerges, monitors aboard the orbiting space station switch on and begin recording the event. Genocyber then attacks the city, killing the mayor, and then all of its citizens. Soldiers attempt to stop Genocyber, but their weapons prove useless, and they too are killed. By the time Genocyber's rampage is over, the entire city has been left in ruins.
As Genocyber rises into the sky, whole pieces of the city's remains begin to tear away from the ground and rise into the air. Genocyber resurrects Mel and Ryu, and Mel is then torn from Genocyber; she and Ryu begin to slowly fall into the burning city. Genocyber then reverts to its earlier smaller form, and images of Elaine and Diana are seen superimposed against Genocyber as it ascends into the sky. Genocyber then flies into space and attacks the orbiting space station, whose defenses open fire on Genocyber, but with no effect. Genocyber breaks into the station and watches a repeating broadcast of Genichiro Kuryu, the former leader of the Kuryu group, ordering its forces to destroy Genocyber. Diana's voice then calls to Elaine, and images of the girls superimposed against Genocyber are briefly seen before Genocyber begins to freeze himself and the entire space station. The station then falls out of orbit, and explodes as it enters the atmosphere.
The last scene shows Mel, who is no longer blind, and Ryu, lying unconscious in the ruins of the city. As Mel opens her eyes, she hears Diana's voice calling, "Big sister...", and the scene turns to the ruined body of Genocyber, and a baby is heard crying in the background. The screen the goes black, and several black and white images of Elaine and Diana as small children are seen as the closing credits begin.
Elaine: A young mute girl who seems to be innocent in appearance, but when merged with her less powerful counterpart, she becomes Genocyber, capable of mass destruction as seen in all three OVAs. Her friend was a young boy who devoted himself to protect her, but was unable to when the government agents killed him. This causes Elaine to completely wipe out Hong Kong. In the second OVA, Elaine is named "Laura" by a young doctor, Myra, who once had a daughter about that age but died in a plane accident (ironically, the real Laura was killed by Elaine in the form of Genocyber, who crashed one of the government agents into the plane that Laura was on. This was first shown in the rising action of the second OVA) . Elaine is also proved to be superior to any Vajura in combat, including the one on the American carrier. Most of Genocyber's attacks include fire and flames that are used as weapons. In the third OVA, Elaine appears much as in a dormant state, confined to her dream-like world with her older sister, Diana. It is not fully explained in the beginning, but is later revealed that both Elaine and Diana realized that their "power wasn't meant to be for this world" and they decided to go into a state of "seclusion", only to be reawakened when Genocyber decides to destroy the City of the Grand Ark, killing everyone except for Mel and Ryu. Genocyber then flies into space and destroys an orbiting space station with Kyuru's former leader on a screen, talking about the destruction of Genocyber. It is not known what happens to Genocyber afterward. It is implied through subsequent imagery that Elaine and Diana's consciousnesses still exist within Genocyber, although it is unknown if Genocyber is still alive or if Elaine (or Diana) can ever remanifest herself as the girl seen in the first two OVAs.
In the Japanese version, both Elaine and Diana are voiced by Akiko Hiramatsu.
Diana: Elaine's older sister. She seems to have great power as well, but is almost nothing compared to her younger sister, as shown in part one of the OVA. Diana is quite jealous of her sister's skills and abilities, which causes her to try to kill her sister several times, yet proves to be futile. She merges with Elaine in the first OVA after being dismembered, with Elaine consciously controlling the body, and does not appear again until the third OVA. Diana appears physically older than her twin sister, because her body is almost completely cybernetic, due to the fact she was born without use of her arms or legs.
Genocyber: The complete hybrid of the two sisters, Genocyber is the ultimate biological humanoid weapon (what its creator dubs a Vajra) who is seemingly immortal and is nearly omnipotent. He is considered a god by the underground sect. He fought with the Earth's forces for 100 years, but after the two sisters realized their mistake in existing in the world, they lay dormant underground. his original appearance is a 7-foot (2.1 m) green monster with two horns protruding from his head. He also has angel-like wings that appear to glow when he flies. His second form is much larger, taller than a skyscraper, causing mass destruction within the City of the Grand Ark. His full form is a dragon-like creature. Exactly how Genocyber was created from the bodies and souls of the two sisters remains a mystery. Although the two sisters possess strong psychic abilities, the story vaguely depicts Morgan Nguyen in the beginning trying to create a mandala to fortify his embryonic child.
In addition to possessing incredible strength and resilience, Genocyber displays extremely powerful telekinetic and pyrokinetic abilities. Given its appearance and nature, Genocyber is most likely intended to be an man-made analogy to the Angel Of Death; and possibly a warning of the terrible consequences that can occur when humans attempt to use Synthetic biology to create weapons that are beyond their control.
Kenneth Reed: Claiming to be Elaine's and Diana's father, he both supports them to become a hybrid strong enough to prove the power of Vajura. He is near succession when Elaine suddenly escapes. He eventually dies after being taken custody of the two government agents, smiling as he watches his creation bloom out in the world.
Myra: A female doctor who only appears in the second OVA, who takes care of Elaine after she is rescued by a civilian plane. She calls Elaine "Laura" because of the girl's resemblance to her daughter, who died in a plane crash (which was caused by Genocyber). Myra is very protective of Elaine, especially when people push her around for her unusual animal-like behavior. Myra eventually survives the carrier's destruction thanks to Genocyber's protection, and is later rescued by two Karain soldiers though her sanity is well and truly lost by that time.
Mel: A beautiful and mysterious young woman who is blind and needs money for the operation to cure her, and obtains money by fortune telling with her amazing psychic abilities. She is very calm and timid, and deeply in love with her boyfriend, Ryu. When she takes refuge in the underground sect, they believe her to be the Messiah. She is depressed at the moment because of Ryu's disappearance and her pregnant state. She eventually dies at one point in the third OVA, along with the entire underground sect, but then is brought back to life by Genocyber when she and the two sisters fuse together as she states in the hyperdimensional mandala scene, "I want this city destroyed." She is cured of her blindness at the end. There seems to be some connection between her and Diana, since they constantly communicate in Mel's dreams, whom Diana also calls, "Big sister."
Ryu: A handsome young man who is Mel's boyfriend. He aids with helping Mel cure her blindness, but does not have enough money to do so. One day, he is to throw knives at a target to gain money. He accidentally kills a man and is pursued by the city's government. He is eventually caught and put into custody. He is later shown unconscious at the end of the third OVA with Mel, who wakes up to find her dearest asleep.
Genichiro Kuryu: The chairman of Kuryu, he was first introduced in the series as a young boy controlling a giant company. In the second OVA, he sends an attack on the country Karain by making the overall decision. In the third OVA, Genichiro has become an old man, fighting for over 100 years with Genocyber, which was all to no avail. He himself states, "Who created you to give you so much power?" He later appears in a screen in an outer-space object, repeating a phrase, "destroy the target (Genocyber)" over and over again. The mysterious object was frozen by Genocyber itself and perhaps destroyed.
Dr. Nguyen Morgan: Elaine and Diana's true father. He was the first to come up with an idea to create a Vajranoid whose power was limitless, and tries to achieve this by testing his wife Tanya by creating a mandala to carry out his work. He was assisted by Kenneth Reed, who later wanted the credit of producing such a weapon, and eventually kills Morgan. The time and place of the birth of Elaine and Diana are unknown, but they were born after the explosion of the research center, with a surviving Tanya. Nguyen Morgan appears only in the flashbacks of the first and second OVA's.
Sakomizu: A scientist who wishes to surpass Morgan's research and does this by also creating a vajranoid weapon. (This Vajura seems to be disobedient, like Elaine, and does things by its own free will) He succeeds in creating a powerful Vajura, but it proves to be no match for Genocyber in combat. He eventually creates a second Vajura that was made from Genocyber's severed arm when it was fighting his first Vajura. Sakomizu becomes insane, as the Vajura absorbs the entire crew of the carrier Alexandria and eventually the whole ship. Sakomizu is also by this time controlled by the Vajura, only to be first attacked by Myra, and then killed by Elaine. He, like all scientists who attempted to create an ideal Vajura, died ironically in the end.
Kuryu Agents 1, 2, & 3: These agents, two male, and one female, are sent by Headquarters in Tokyo to retrieve Elaine and Diana. These three agents are cyborgs who have no mercy, killing people on a subway train to keep their actions to capture Elaine secret. One is killed by Elaine's power after they capture her, and the other 2 go insane during Genocyber's rampage in Hong Kong, transforming into monstrous mechanical forms, mutilating corpses, before fighting Genocyber and being destroyed.
Captain: Captain of the Alexandria. He is also eventually fused with the ship's vajura, and dies in the end with the entire crew when Genocyber emits its great power.
Grimson Rockwell: An evil mayor of the Ark de Grande who is a hypocrite, and kills anyone who opposes the law. He dies near the end when Genocyber throws his parade car into a building.
Radnek: The head of Ark de Grande's Military police force, he is by tasked by Rockwell with eliminating any threats to his power. He carries out Rockwell's orders ruthlessly, though he is initially uncomfortable when ordered to wipe out the religious community. His fate is never revealed.
Genocyber was notable for its controversial content and its extremely graphic horror violence. The OVA "breaks the unwritten rule that you never show a child getting seriously injured or killed" and "takes sadistic glee in being as graphic as possible" as it features many victims being brutally dismembered and disemboweled throughout the OVA. In the first OVA, the masked assistants of Dr. Reed kill everyone in a hospital in an effort to find Elaine; they viciously murder patients, nurses, and doctors. The last victim is the detective that tries to protect Elaine, who has a brutally performed "surgery"; when he awakens, he discovers to his horror that all of the skin and muscle tissue has been removed from the front of his chest, abdomen, and pelvis, leaving all of his internal organs visible. The first OVA also featured some child molestation, as the boy Elaine becomes friends was sexually assaulted by two gang members and Elaine almost got raped by the gang's leader. In the second OVA, Elaine's young friends are killed by helicopter gunships, with their entire bodies being shredded by bullets. The whole anime has gore depicted in graphic detail and is infamous for the lack of remorse within most characters.
- Vajra is a Sanskrit word meaning both thunderbolt and diamond. In Buddhism, the Vajra is the symbol of Vajrayana, one of the three major branches of Buddhism, and can imply the thunderbolt experience of Buddhist enlightenment or bodhi as well as indestructibility (diamonds are the hardest natural material known).
- The fictional country of Karain depicted in the OVAs appears to have no relation to the fictional continent of the same name in Austin Tappan Wright's novel Islandia, or to Karain Cave, which is an Paleolithic archaeological site located in the Mediterranean region of Turkey.
- However, a map shown of Karain, combined with a statements that the country is surrounded by deserts on three sides (and an Ocean on the fourth) suggests that it is intended to be an analogy to the real-life country of Kuwait, which at the time, had been invaded by Iraq and was subject to an American-led UN offensive to against the Iraqi occupation forces in early 1991.
- In the original Japanese version, the American officers rebuking Sakomizu refer to him using the racist term "you goddamn Jap!". In the English dub, this was changed to "you stupid ignorant f#%@ing piece of s%#!."
- Buried Treasure: Genocyber by Justin Sevakis, October 4, 2007. (Review and critique of Genocyber at AnimeNewsNetwork).