Geneshaft

There are a lot of mecha and space shows out there that nobody ever really hears about. A lot of the time, it’s because they’re not all that great or notable. Sometimes I think it was just an accident that nobody heard about them.

Sometimes, though, the first point is true and the anime in question also looks far too much like yet another harem/fanservice series but in fact contains little to none of this, attracting only a crowd that’s gonna be disappointed by where it decides to take its nearly all-female cast (it sure isn’t taking them to the shower or bed, that’s for sure). So even if it wasn’t all that great to begin with, nobody gave it a chance anyway.

Oh, I just spoiled my review.

Alright, let’s talk music. Geneshaft likes guitars so much, it actually did marry them. I don’t remember if there was a song that didn’t have a guitar, let alone a song that didn’t have guitar featured prominently. I’m not the biggest fan of guitars for the sake of guitars, but the music is actually pretty nice. Some of it sorta sounded like post-rock, which I’m also not a very big fan of (usually). Anyway, I promise it was pretty alright music.

The first episode tries pretty hard to fool you into thinking that Geneshaft actually has good visuals. I mean, it’s showing off the rather appealing character designs with fair consistency, vibrant colours, a handful of neater camera angles, and pretty decent animation. But that ends after the first episode.

Never again will the animation be good. Never again will the colours look so vibrant (instead they will look dull and washed out). Never again will the camera be exciting. Never again will you have any real art consistency. Not to say that everything’s always terribly off-model or anything, but that does happen and the same person’s hair is going to be a different shade from scene to scene even when the lighting should not have changed. The general appearance of faces will be different (again, not necessarily off-model, but certainly betraying the details of the designs). And yo, that reused footage. You will literally die if you play a drinking game with Geneshaft’s reused footage/shots.

The story’s not the best. In fact, I’m pretty sure they were just making stuff up near the end, because things were happening that had no reason to happen and never happened again in the same situation, and what is explained in the overarching plot seems like it was just taken from a book of common story types in fiction rather than being something they planned out from the beginning.

Somehow it works, though. One thing it tried to do was world-building, which sort of worked and sort of didn’t. On the one hand, the characters’ beliefs and actions, as well as what little we know about how their society works, goes really well with the established idea that in their world, everything’s about genetics. On the other hand, though, we barely have any idea of what normal society and life are like because it just never really goes there.

It’s a bit interesting how they explore the concept of a world that centers itself around superior genetics and clones and how people in their world even go so far as to say that memories are just experience and that it’s DNA that makes someone who they are. But they also don’t go very deep into this or anything, the direction they go with this is definitely the predictable route.

The characters are weird. I like how they started, since they all seemed very distinct and, like real people, pretty set in their beliefs, whether those beliefs are what the majority of their society shares or something contrary like those of the main character. The problem with the characters is that some of them totally change their personality, very drastically and very suddenly, later in the series. The changes don’t come without a catalyst, but they are far too fast to be believable so the new behaviour of some characters just comes across as creepy.

Probably the best thing about this series is, in all honesty, how everything goes wrong constantly, especially near the start. The Shaft is possibly the biggest piece of garbage mech ever created. It can’t even start up properly half the time, though it does gradually get better (with good reason, since they get people working on it constantly after a few episodes). There’s just something lovely about watching things go wrong constantly when the story makes it seem as though this would be a likely outcome rather than freak accident after freak accident.

Ultimately, Geneshaft is not very good and it is very understandable that nobody ever talks about it or watches it, and that everyone forgets about it. But I did actually find it entertaining most of the time. It sort of falls apart in the second half, though, and I think that combination of mediocrity and the decline of entertainment in the second half makes Geneshaft not really worth watching.

Then again, there is that gosh darned typing dog…

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