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Geneshaft #2: Halo PDF Print E-mail
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R4 DVD Reviews
Monday, 14 June 2004 00:00
Geneshaft - Volume 2After nearly two weeks without anime (the sacrifices you have to make on honeymoon), time to get back into the swing with some good SF eyecandy - in other words, Geneshaft.

5 - Angels and Spaceships
Work on debugging the Shaft's systems continues, so the Bilkis crew seize the opportunity afforded by their trip through deep space to properly test the updated software. Things don't stay quiet for long, though - a Ring manages to infiltrate the Bilkis. It has the ability to mimic the appearance of the Bilkis' crew, and infects the ship's computer systems with a virus. Meanwhile, Mika gets some answers from Amigawa about the death of her friend Ryoko...

6 - Hotline from the Past
Bilkis encounters a 20th-century space shuttle - seems they've been pulled from their own time into the present by a Ring. A lot has changed from the time the shuttle crew are from, and they're hopelessly out of their depth in this new world, so Amigawa quarantines them to avoid any incidents - not that Tiki, Sofia and Mika pay any attention to the quarantine order. Their attempt to seize control of the Bilkis is interrupted by the appearance of another Ring...

7 - Ring World
With the Ancients gone, the Bilkis crew has to deal with the Ring - but natch, the Shaft's systems crash when Mika attempts to load an attack script. She eventually manages to purge the system and make a successful attack on the Ring (although not before Mir manages to seize control of the Shaft with some unauthorised hacking), but no sooner has one Ring been destroyed than a multitude arrive to take their place, giving the Bilkis little choice but to retreat to Ganymede, where they find out they've been charged with treason. Meanwhile, Mika's trying to figure out just what she did to destroy a Ring with just the Shaft's weaponry, while the rest of the Driver candidates are convinced she's been doing some anauthorised hacking...

Pretty much filler episodes, barring one of two scenes from episode 7, with very little information given about the Giants of Ganymede, the Rings, and not much progression in the main plot, either. Not that I really minded - Geneshaft's plot is wafer-thin anyway, with its main strength being the science-fiction concepts that underpin the show, and they get plenty of airing here.

Best episode on the disc is Hotline from the Past, which does a good job of comparing our real world to the genetically-controlled 'paradise' the show is set in. Larry & the rest of the shuttle crew provide good counterpoints to the Bilkis crew, and help the show get as close the thought-provoking as it's every likely to get.

On the downside, animation quality takes a noticeable drop in several places through the disc, which is not a good thing for a show where its look & feel are part of the selling point. It's a noticeable enough drop to be jarring.

Overall, though, still well worth watching. Geneshaft will never win awards for originality, but if you enjoy SF stories it's very easy to get into, particularly when you want something that won't make you think too hard. Recommended.


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