Based on the homonymous, multi awarded novel by Project Itoh (nickname for the now deceased Satoshi Ito), “Genocidal Organ” was one of the most anticipated anime movies of the latest years, with its release being delayed for a couple of years, after the initial production company, Manglobe, declared bankruptcy.
The story takes place in 2022, a few years after Sarajevo was destroyed by a homemade nuclear bomb set up by terrorists, in a series of events that led the wealthy nations to up their security and surveillance measures to the highest degree, while the poorer countries have fallen victims to a series of genocidal civil wars. These latter events, however, seems to have an instigator behind them, a mysterious American named John Paul, since after each time he appears as a representative of his company for a consultation with a government, the corresponding country is plunged into terror and violence.
The US government tasks Captain Clavis, a soldier who is part of a program designed to create soldiers that are “optimized” not to feel fear. Eventually, the search leads him to Prague and Lucie, a woman who works as a language teacher and is suspected of having a professional and romantic relationship with Paul. Clavis poses as a man willing to learn Czech in order to investigate her, while at the same time, along with his military group, try to stop Paul’s plans in a number of military zones.
Shuko Murase adapts a novel with an intricate story and a number of sociopolitical messages, most of which are quite complex to be presented thoroughly in the film, although Murase does an adequate job in the aspect. The concepts of terrorism, war, and the various forms of justification the ones who instigate them use is a central one and is quite well examined, although the scifi element, particularly regarding the titular theme, eventually takes over.
Although the context is not the film’s strongest suit, the production thrives on the action scenes, which are impressive as they are bloody, and include a number of different aspects, from hand to hand combat to urban and jungle warfare. Furthermore, the attention to detail, particularly in the depiction of Prague is astonishing as it includes anutterly realistic recreation of the area around the astronomical clock, the subway, the Charles Bridge and a number of other areas. Overall, the animation team has done a great job in both the characters and the vehicles’ movement. Regarding the character’s drawing though, I felt that the design lacked the detail usually associated with Japanese animation.
“Genocidal Organ” is an impressive anime film that manages to capture some part of the novel’s complexity, thus rising above the average of the plethora of action titles.