The Gene of AI Review

The Gene of AI Review

The Gene of AI anime series logo
The Gene of AI

Humans, Humanoids, Robots, and AI

The Gene of AI (AI no Idenshi / AIの遺電子) is a psychological, sci-fi drama that aired during the summer of 2023. However, even though that season recently ended, I didn’t watch this series while it aired. Patron JasonHK requested I review The Gene of AI this month.

Going into it, I wasn’t expecting The Gene of AI to be very good. It doesn’t have a good rating on MyAnimeList. And, that’s usually a good indicator since ratings tend to skew high on that site. But, I actually ended up liking this series more than I expected.

One of the more interesting aspects of the series is how it builds its world. This is a sci-fi series set in the “near” future with AI, robots, humanoids (more on them soon), and humans all coexisting. And yet, it doesn’t feel that far-fetched.

Risa Higuchi from the anime series The Gene of Ai
Risa Higuchi

Often, sci-fi series focus on things like flying cars, space travel, and teleportation. That stuff’s exciting and flashy, sure. But, it’s not likely to happen any time soon. Flying cars are a terrible idea considering how many people crash normal cars. And while space travel is real, I mean deep space travel isn’t going to be practical in my lifetime.

AI is real, though. You can experience it yourself in the DoubleSama Discord server. And The Gene of AI takes the concept of AI to the next level with robots and humanoids. And in this series, they’re both almost indistinguishable from humans.

You can tell a robot apart from humans and humanoids because of the choker around their neck. But, humans and humanoids are far harder to tell apart. The only visible difference is that humanoids have horizontal pupils. They have unique personalities and even artificially age at the same rate as humans.

Interesting Episode Premises

Now, you still have to suspend your disbelief for this series. Obviously, the humanoids are way more advanced than what we have today. But, my point is that they don’t feel as out of place as flying cars do. It’s easier to envision a world with them in it.

However, there were still some things that broke my immersion. For example, one episode featured a kid or young adult in a wheelchair. If we can make humanoids, why can’t we make that kid walk again with prosthetics? It seems like it should be simple enough at that point.

Anyway, while there is an overarching story to the series, each episode is a mini-arc. They all set up a moral question about technology and then explore it. For example, should humanoids be able to copy their “neural networks?” The answer to that one is an easy no.

A robot from the anime series The Gene of AI
A robot

But, even for questions with settled answers, there’s still a discussion to be had. Copying a neural network to a new body could prolong the lifespan of a humanoid. That can be good because you could back up their “brain” in case of an accident. But, is it ethical? And, is the backup the same person as the original?

What about relationships between humans, humanoids, and robots? How does one navigate romantic relationships in this world? What about interpersonal relationships? Should humans, humanoids, and robots be treated the same in all instances? Is a school that employs human teachers more desirable than one with humanoids?

There are episodes that go into these questions and more. In one, a woman has a relationship with a robot. In another, kids become friends with a robot who surpasses them academically. And in a third, a humanoid laments how his “stats” were set at “birth.”

An Unfortunate Direction

I guess now that we’re this far into the review I should mention the main plot of the series. It follows Dr. Sudou, who runs a clinic for humanoids. Sudou himself is a human. But, he was raised by a humanoid mother and works alongside a humanoid (Risa) and AI (Jay).

Sudou became a humanoid doctor because of a crime his mother was involved in. When he was younger, he was a frail child. And in exchange for money needed to treat him, his mother allowed someone to copy her neural network. That’s illegal and she went to prison for it.

Now, Sudou treats humanoids in the hope that he’ll be able to find his mother’s copy. He doesn’t know what he’ll do when he finds her. But, it’s his main motivation for everything he does. And, that’s what brings us to the big complaint I have about the series.

Dr. Hikaru Sudou from the anime series The Gene of AI
Dr. Hikaru Sudou

What happened to the copy of Sudou’s mother doesn’t matter to me. Personally, I was way more invested in all the little stories in each episode. But, at the end of the season, he gets a tip that she’s in a warzone in another country. And so, he leaves Japan to find her.

We never learn if Sudou found her or not. Maybe the manga explains it. And maybe there will be a second season. But, to me, continuing the series would be a mistake. I can’t see it being as good as I thought this season was.

Would it focus on Sudou’s search for the copy of his mother? That doesn’t seem very interesting. Would it focus on how humanoids, robots, and AI are used in war? That feels overdone already. What made this series good was how it focused on the morality of everyday life.

Final Thoughts

The Gene of AI gets a 7/10 from me. Until the very end of the series, I thought it was good. And the ending isn’t bad enough that I’m going to deduct points for it. If you’re interested in the morality and ethical uses of AI and robots you’ll like this series.

If you enjoyed this review, remember to share it with everyone you know. Also, follow me on your social media of choice so you don’t miss out on any future articles — links are in the footer.

Finally, I’d like to thank Roman and JasonHK for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about supporting this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

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