On July 12th and 13th, Genocidal Organ by Geno Studios will be in US theaters by Funimation Films for a limited time. It is based on the 2007 novel of the same name, written by the late Satoshi Itoh, who went by the name Project Itoh. This will be the third and final film adapted from Itoh’s novels and released in the US.
This man’s work is incredibly special to me and his story is one I believe should be shared. In preparation for the release of Genocidal Organ, I wanted to do my part to spread the word about the film as it is one of my most anticipated movies of the year. Simultaneously, I want to tell you all a bit more about Itoh and his other works. I hope you all fall in love with his works like I have.
Satoshi Itoh was great friends with Hideo Kojima, the creator of the Metal Gear Solid series. Kojima has even gone on record saying that Itoh was the only one he felt truly understood his works. In fact, Kojima even said that if anyone were to replace him as the director of the Metal Gear Solid series, it would have to be Itoh. Sadly, this would not come to pass.
Ever since the early 2000’s, Itoh had been struggling with cancer. Kojima actually broke Konami company policy several times by showing Itoh never before seen footage of the Metal Gear Solid games during his visits to him in the hospital.
Before his death in March of 2009, he wrote two science fiction novels and began a third before his death. Genocidal Organ, published in 2007, Harmony, published in 2008, and a 30 page draft for a story called Empire of Corpses, which was finished by Itoh’s cowriter Toe Enjoe before being published in 2012.
For more on Itoh’s past, I refer you to this video by YouTuber, TheCanipaEffect
In 2014, it was announced that all three of these stories would be adapted into animation and released in Japan in the fall of 2015. However, this was subject to change. Studio Manglobe, who made Samurai Champloo and Ergo Proxy, was working on Genocidal Organ but then went bankrupt in the fall of 2015.
As such, only the other two films were released that fall. Genocidal Organ was delayed and production was handed off to Geno Studios, a new studio maintaining much of the original staff. Genocidal Organ was released in Japanese cinemas on February 3rd, 2017.
Below are brief descriptions of the three films and trailers. All three films have been licensed for distribution by Funimation. Both Empire of Corpses and Harmony had their theatrical runs in the Spring of 2016 and are both available on Blu-Ray.
Empire of Corpses
The Empire of Corpses is produced by Studio WIT, the studio behind Attack on Titan. It takes place in an alternate history Victorian London in which the dead walk the earth through advancements in corpse reanimation technology called Necroware.
This movie combines popular literary and even historical icons together into a dark, gothic but also a beautiful animated feature that I hold very close to my heart. The story follows John Watson years before he met Sherlock Holmes. He revives his recently deceased friend Friday only to be busted by MI6 for illegal corpse reanimation.
But instead of arresting Watson, the head of MI6, M, employs him and Friday on a mission to recover the research notes of Victor Frankenstein. Watson believes it will hide the secrets of the human soul so that people’s souls can be brought back from the dead as well as their bodies.
I love films with steampunk, Victorian or gothic aesthetics so this film was already a win for me, but something about it just makes me fall in love with it more every time I see it. Probably because I love adventure movies that go around the world. Highly recommended.
Harmony takes place in a future where medical technology has cured all disease and has now set its sights on curing mental illness as well. This leads to a society of censorship and dedication to perfect health. Three high school girls led, by Miach Mihie make a suicide pact as rebellion. Tuan Kirie survives, however.
Years later, Tuan is a member of the World Health Organization and begins an investigation after a mass suicides occur, with a group claiming to be responsible. Tuan believes that Miach may be alive and still be trying to destroy this perfect society.
I’ll be honest, I wasn’t a huge fan of this movie in particular, but the circumstances behind me watching it and the English dub may have had something to do with it. I would recommend trying this movie out and seeing what you think, or at least reading the novel it is based on.
Genocidal Organ is centered around an Orwellian future where major democracies are now surveillance states in the wake of a nuclear attack in Sarajevo.
Years after the attack, a series of foreign nations are experiencing genocides, and they all occur months after a visit from an American MIT graduate named John Paul. Now, American assassin Clavis Shepard must track down John Paul and put an end to the string of genocides.
Having read the original novel, I can say it is my favorite story of the three and I’ve been anxiously awaiting the theatrical release for a long time.
I’m hoping that if you hadn’t heard of these films before that you will check them out now. I’m planning to hopefully review some if not all three of these films in the future. If I’ve peaked your interest, leave a comment and tell me which one interests you the most and as always, see you next time.