a.k.a. Gene Shaft
In the latter half of the 21st century, man’s selfish desires pushed humanity to the edge of total annihilation. As a last ditch effort, mankind adopted a genetic engineering program, which controlled personality and inherent abilities, to be its savior. Under the protection of the Integrated Earth Organization, humans lost their desire to love and dominate, but it led to the stability of society. Now in the 23rd century, a giant gold ring has appeared in low earth orbit, and once again, mankind’s survival is at stake. Only the crew of the prototype vessel Shaft can solve the larger mystery behind the ring and what it spells for humanity’s fate.
summary by Eek
I’ll definitely give it this: with the historical background behind the story, the concept seems feasible and actually makes sense. While it may not be practical in the eyes of many, using eugenics and genetic engineering to create the foundation of a global socialist society does work in this situation as a means to ensure mankind’s continued survival. While the 9:1 female-male ratio part doesn’t quite make sense… heck, not much else makes sense if you actually put some thought into it.
Once Geneshaft begins to take off, it crashes. Let’s start off with a basic component: characters. For a 13-episode series, there are way too many characters to explore in the allotted time. Everyone from the main character, Miku, on down is a bland stereotype. Despite being “perfect” and ignorant of what love is, they’re lacking (except for Miku, of course) and display affection all the time. Story? I lost count how many times I rolled by eyes because of the clichéd and forced script, and plot holes kept popping up while plot threads weren’t wrapped up. For example, learning about the Immortals has no importance other than to waste camera time. Mechanical designs? Shaft looks like a heap of garbage glued together, and any other space-faring vessels appear like mundane scrap metal. Music? Listening to heavy metal while watching a sci-fi anime just doesn’t work; imagine watching Rose of Versailles while AC/DC jams in the background and you’ll begin to understand what I mean. The end theme song, in particular, was tasteless because it’s merely a whiny vocalist singing about his broken camera. I could go on, but you get the point.
In reality, Geneshaft had the makings to become the next Crest of the Stars, but there was no effort made. Perhaps as a testament to how I could not take this anime seriously, I almost kept saying “Ya damn right!” or “Can you dig it?” every time a character said “shaft.”
Geneshaft can be downloaded legally in the United States HERE.