Genocidal Organ was the first book by Japanese science fiction author Project Itoh (real name Satoshi Itō). Written in 2007, two years before his very early death at 34 in 2009.

The anime is a complicated story of covert operations, big-brother state surveillance, terrorism and war. It starts with a homemade nuclear attack on Sarajevo, that forces the nations of the world to ramp up their counterterrorism operations, entailing mass surveillance of populations, in the west.

The developing nations however are ever warring to the point of genocide and one name continues to be linked to them an American called John Paul. Clavis Shepherd is US special agent who is tasked with an expedition to find Paul and to bring him down.

Not having read the book I can’t comment on the how close director and screenwriter Shūkō Murase has stuck to it. What is abundantly clear is that there are ideas aplenty here from the nature of surveillance and warfare to the more philosophical notes when the main protagonists finally meet. It’s well thought out, though not necessarily that thought provoking.

It’s relentlessly downbeat with high levels of graphic violence though with some very effective action sequences. The main problem is that the subject matter engenders a certain remoteness, not helped by so so animation. And as it is so plot and ideas driven the characters are not well developed; there’s not a lot of depth to them and certainly no sympathy, whichever side they are on.

Having said all that it is an interesting film, and while its not one to go out of the way for, worth watching.