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Genesis Survivor Gaiarth

More often than not, anime is split into very specific realms. One noticeable fork in the road is going either the fantasy route or the science fiction one. Seeing the two intertwine is extremely rare, but not impossible to come across. One such example is Genesis Survivor Gaiarth, a post-apocalyptic anime that crosses robots and technology with magic. It’s a very enjoyable three episode OVA that creates a strong sense of mystery about what went wrong with the world. Meanwhile, the main character that captures viewers’ attention is a robot, as opposed to the humans, which are more window dressing than anything else. The show is interesting to watch because it tries to do new things with its sub genre that other anime (or other fiction genres in general) weren’t really trying at the time.

The show takes place in a world where 100 years earlier a massive war took place that brought civilization to its knees. A century on, humans are huddled in fortified city states and stuck defending themselves from roving bands of robots, remnants of that war. Viewers are introduced to a young man named Ital who, through a set of circumstances, meets an old warroid named Zaxon, and the two decide to join forces to fight the robots attacking humans. While there are plenty of humans that come and go in the OVAs, it’s actually Zaxon who is the main character. He has lost his memory, and as time progresses, it slowly comes back to him. Eventually, he learns that he was a prominent commander in the war. After this, he and Ital decide to hunt down the general of the rampaging robots in an effort to finally bring peace to the land so humans and AI can rebuild without constant threat of attack.

It’s a decently fun series to watch. The world is fairly mysterious with all of the different hints as to what things were like 100 years earlier. What makes the show unique is how it fuses science fiction with fantasy. While their are plenty of robots and gadgets to be seen, there are hints of fantasy that regularly appear. There are small things like everyone getting around on robotic, self-aware ostriches rather than using cars or bikes, at one point Zaxon and his crew have to fight a giant mechanical dragon, and often times when someone is performing a particularly powerful attack they begin uttering an incantation like they’re casting a spell.

With this there are some interesting designs that show up in the art. A lot of the enemies, while being robots, look more like creatures from a fantasy anime. Meanwhile a lot of the more conventional robots are also quite interesting to look at. This is largely thanks to Hiroyuki Kitazume being involved with Gaiarth. He’s did a fair bit of character design in other shows of the 80s and 90s such as the third Megazone 23, Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ, and Moldiver, and clearly has his own style that he brings to the table.

Meanwhile, looking at the voice actors involved with the show, there are plenty of big names here including Akio Ootsuka as Zaxon, who also played Rider in Fate/Zero and Nemo in Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water. Noriko Hidaka was the voice for Sahari and also a Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water alumni having played Jean in that show. Then Daiki Nakamura played Ital having also performed a variety of supporting roles throughout the 90s.

On the whole, Genesis Survivor Gaiarth is worth a watch. The art is quite nice, it has a decent story, and it’s pretty interesting how the show mixes science fiction and fantasy, something that we rarely see even today.

- IroIro
September 21, 2019

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Directed by: Shinji Aramaki
Studio: AIC
Released: 1992 / 1993
Episodes: 3

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