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Genocidal Organ is a political thriller film focused on an American special forces officer named Kravitz Shephard who is tasked with trying to apprehend a terrorist named John Paul who is responsible for a series of conflicts and genocides being triggered throughout the world. As Kravitz digs further into the mysteries surrounding John, he finds that the world he assumed to be one where American actions seem just are in reality a fabrication due to mass psychological manipulation from the various world governments to have the populace conform to accepting a new world order where their thoughts and actions are monitored and manipulated.
Genocidal Organ serves as a criticism of post-9/11 times with a number of first world countries turning into surveillance states where citizen freedoms are no longer guaranteed as they are continually monitored, have their privacy compromised, and are continually manipulated by their government and corporate entities, America being quite the offender in this regard with their actions against foreign nations that are a threat to its global influence and passing laws like the Patriot Act that sacrifice citizen freedoms for the so-called War on Terrorism. This is explored through Kravitz's investigation into John Paul's activity as his search for John leads him into Bosnia, a third-world country effected by the recent string of terrorist attacks supposedly influenced by John. Within the world of Genocidal Organ, military soldiers are artificially enhanced into becoming super-soldiers to become more efficient at completing their missions yet at the expense of their humanity. This offers an interesting parallel to real-world events like the 2003 American invasion of Iraq where the American government manipulated its populace and military into believing military invasion of the country was justified due to the threat of nuclear weapons from the country, that were later discovered to have never existed.
The film offers a believable look at how the actions of a first world nation like America could negatively impact life for the citizens of a third world country like Bosnia. John comes to learn of terrorist cells forming in the country that are opposed to the presence and influence of foreign nations on their country's affairs, as well as being considered an unwelcome presence within the country. Again, this creates parallels to real-life events as Iraqi reception of American military presence in their country was largely opposed, a shocking reality for American soldiers who assumed that they would be welcomed in the country as heroes for their actions in overthrowing dictator Saddam Hussein.
Besides the global effect that surveillance states have on other countries, Genocidal Organ also offers a solid exploration of the psychological effects that they would have on its citizens. This can be explored in some of the movie's more casual scenes as Kravitz casually interacts with his fellow soldiers during downtime at places like a tavern that show how desensitized they have become to the violent acts committed in various countries throughout the world. The issue is also addressed during military missions when Kravitz and his comrades casually banter on how drugged child soldiers they gun down are no different from them in how they are mentally conditioned in their actions, showing the detachment they have toward the horrific acts that these children have experienced. Again, this runs parallel to real world circumstances with manipulative tactics like materialistic excesses, information manipulation, and media sensationalism used by corporate entities and government officials to distract American citizens from the reality of their actions effecting foreign nations and having the citizens become desensitized or developing indifference toward the suffering of others due to being more concerned about the needs of themselves or others around them.
While the film offers a solid exploration of its plot and themes, one major thing it struggles with is creating solid and relatable characterization. Characters come off not feeling like real people at many points and instead feel more like shells used by the developers of the film to reflect on its themes through long dialogues. The film appeared to attempt creating some sort of relationship between Kravitz and a Slav tutor named Lucia, though this came off as feeling unconvincing and feeling like a forced attempt at exploring the film's themes. Also, the motives that John Paul had for driving his terrorist acts came off feeling a bit absurd in their implementation and the film ends in a rather anti-climactic matter in resolving how things end up with both John and Kravitz.
In terms of presentation, Genocidal Organ is easily among the best animated of the three Project Itoh films thanks to its use of more lifelike and realistic settings and character designs. With the more realistic setting, scenery designs are believably depicted and characters are drawn with more realistic bodily details and proportions compared to many modern anime titles. There is a great deal of fluid movement depicted throughout the film, especially during action sequences when Kravitz and American soldiers are engaging terrorist hideouts during their missions. The soundtrack consists of typical orchestral scores that don't particularly stick out, but are effective at conveying the right mood during Genocidal Organ's more dramatic and poignant scenes.
In spite of its issues with characters and its ending, Genocidal Organ is still a mostly solid political thriller that strikes parallels to real world events in exploring the effects that surveillance states like America have on other countries in a post-9/11 world through Kravitz's mission to apprehend John Paul. In spite of its flaws, I would still recommend older audiences to at least check out the film once.
Last updated Saturday, February 10 2018. Created Saturday, February 10 2018.