In the early 21st century, the emergence of an incurable condition known as B-cell growth led some of the affected to become "Sleepers" - people put under stasis until a cure could be found. Yuji Kaido is one such Sleeper who awakens, several decades later, to a horrifying new reality. Giant bugs known as Blue have invaded the Earth, eating everything - and everyone - in sight. Now, all Yuji can do is escape from the city with the ones who saved him from his inevitable death, and make their way towards Second Earth: mankind's new home in space.
This is a case of a good idea overdoing itself. The main themes and story in Blue Gender are very mature and grim enough to deserve praise on their own. Unfortunately the pacing was very slow to the most part and the whole thing was too depressing to be liked by most, so this anime didn’t get the credit it deserved.The art quality ain’t bad at all. The animators went for realism instead of showing off, in the form of making the weaponry looking rather plausible. The mecha and the machineguns all look like they use real life physics (if we just stretch the fact mecha and space colonies don’t exist yet). That had as result most battles to feel slow or simple, to the point where the action was not part of the main story at all. Not bad but then again it kinda takes the fun away in a series that is supposed to be about war for survival. I’m not saying it would be better if the action was more Hollywood-like, just more… exciting. There is excitement in this series by the way but not during action. It has to do with the overall atmosphere of the series. And it’s not the happy one but the scary type. The setting is post-apocalyptic, with most of mankind having been killed by grotesque monsters and their corpses turned into big meatballs, sort of food storages for the monsters. Most cities now look like giant bee hives and the streets are filled with meatballs, full of faces in agony on them. Boy, did that give me the chills. That expands to the surviving humans as well, whose mentality is really affected by all this. Have you noticed how in most anime the characters act happy-go-lucky no matter how grim their world looks like? Like they have no touch with reality all around them, making them distant and hard to see how the hell they fit in all that. Well Blue Gender is not one of those anime because all its characters are cynical, pessimistic and lack real ideals. Their faces are to the most part expressionless and they even have sex in random moments with random people just to feel they are alive.Yes, there are erotic scenes in this series, as are gruesome deaths. That adds to the already grim atmosphere and in theory creates a feeling quite uncommon in anime. All that in theory…In practice, as I said the anime outdid itself. The action is already not the central focus and even the atmosphere I described so far is done in a pace that tires the viewer. The characters are so cynical, their actions feel like they are done in boredom or by force of their superiors. It is kind of hard to bond with people who look like they don’t care about anything. They even talk in a dry way, which although fitting to their personalities is still making you wonder where the heck is their motivation for fighting.Adding to that the rather run-down budget on animation which at moments makes the action to feel boring or mostly made of frozen panels and you got yourself a cake that was left too long baking in the oven. And I don’t imply the looks in this series are bad. In the contrary they are quite good for the most part. It’s just that any series should magnetize the viewer no matter what it is all about and this anime was like telling you to be uncaring. A bit lost in translation but it is otherwise a solid winner in inflicting you with emotions. Even the wrong ones.The story as I said is quite interesting. The Earth is overrun by mutated beasts and the last remnants of humanity struggle to destroy their breading points in hopes of taking back their planet. The “hopes” part is a bit hard to emphasize as they are all cynical and expressionless and this is what makes the anime hard to like.The story does not remain on this rather typical premise. It is also about the gradual maturity of the protagonist, who was put to cryostasis in hopes of finding a cure to his illness in the future and awakening in a world made of nightmares. It is also about his co-fighter, a female soldier, finding the will to feel alive and human again next to him. And it is also about solving the mystery behind his illness which seems to have the same roots as the appearance of the monsters. Its themes are very mature and interesting, albeit still corny if you have watched many post-apocalyptic stories. And I’m not going to lie that all its good points have been done before, in other anime, in a usually better way. I mean, bugs invading Earth is not original at all. The Rodan from Tekkaman Blade come to mind, where the action there was far less realistic and yet far more exiting. And the secret behind the monsters’ origin is quite typical in such scenarios too.The appeal of the characters is another issue. Being so cynical makes them hard to empathize or remember. Most of them are killed by the end of the series, none of which in a heroic way. It is very realistic this way but at the same time they are forgotten almost immediately, as everyone else is too cynical to care about it. Yet if you think of “that certain death” in Tengen Toppa, you immediately have all the reason to remember that one for being over the top idealistic. Thus the cast is forgotten under the feeling of their own personality: Cynicism. In fact, the most distinctive character in the cast is the scheming leader of the space colony, who acts and looks exactly like Gendo Ikari from Neon Genesis, making even him an imitation of someone in a much more controversial series. Bottom line, Blue Gender is a good anime that is buried under its own attempt at being different. More dynamic action or more lively characters or maybe less episodes could have saved it from the cynical stance most have towards it today. I still recommend it as a nice watch but not with too many high expectations.
Blue Gender is another show I found via the [adult swim] block as well as through FUNimation advertisements. From Anime International Company, known for their work on Tenchi Muyo!, and the direction of Ryosuke Takahashi, who you may know of from works such as Samurai 7, Ronin Warriors, and Rurouni Kenshin. STORY: The story starts out with strong potential. Yuji Kaido is diagnosed with B-Cells, and is frozen until he can be cured. He is eventually awakened, only to find out that the world has been overtaken by the Blue, which are these monsters that feast on humans and turn them into balls of compost, practically. Yuji encounters Marlene, a soldier trained to kill the Blue. Together they must fight off the Blue and fight for their own survival. Of course, there is an entire army of soldiers trained to fight off the Blue. There are also people that live on Earth who are defenseless against the Blue. Now, this starts out as a very promising story and it could be great, however instead our writers decide to add in a multitude of idiotic and stupid plot points. The explanations used to describe how the Blue came about, and the changes made to the characters and storyline are beyond stupid and idiotic. I am not going to go into spoiler territory, but these explanations come out of nowhere, and just don't make sense. A lot of the time it just seems as if the main characters are wearing plot armor to get out of some of these situations. The Blue, as well, but at least it can be somewhat explained by there being all different kinds of Blue. ANIMATION: The animation is actually not too bad, though a bit dated by today's standards. The characters look fine, and the Blue come in multiple different forms and types. The designs of Earth do give a sense of helplessness in the face of the Blue, which works well. Other than that, though, the animation is rather standard. Not too off-putting, but not particularly exceptional. SOUND: The music is good, nothing particularly note-worthy besides the opening theme, but it does help make the action seem a bit more epic. That being said, the music isn't fantastic by any stretch, but it does fit the story and helps create the mood the show is trying to convey. Which is a sad and sort of helpless world. CHARACTER: This is really where the show is a disaster, the character changes are really inconsistent for the most part. Yuji starts out as an extremely whiny character, which is understandable due to his circumstances, but it is also all he ever seems to do at the beginning of the show. He then stops after awhile, and you do see him develop into a fine character who we care about and root for, but then they screw up and make him into a character more like that of Marlene early on the show. That is, cold and heartless. However, it comes out of nowhere, and is explained through his B-cells (his serious disease he gets at the beginning of the series). This makes no sense, either, as the B-cells have not been shown to change emotions until that point in the show. Marlene is actually a rather good character, her development is well-paced, as she goes from a cold character to that of one who considers the people helpless in the face of the Blue more than just already dead. The other characters, I have to say, are truly terrible. We are introduced to a couple characters, and then 5 minutes into the episode, they die, and the show acts like we are supposed to care. Then, you see a major character die, and then the show treats that character as if it was a red-shirt in the background by giving zero drama and Yuji never actually finds out this character dies. There was one particular character in the middle of the show, who you don't actually see die, but are supposed to assume this character died. This show is just terrible with character deaths, and since the series is a fight for survival, that really takes away from everything and makes the show a joke. I don't mind too terribly Yuji and Marlene's relationship, as it isn't poorly developed, and the sexual themes in the show are good at times, other times they just get in the way of the main premise of the show, and just come off as ridiculous. ENJOYMENT: Blue Gender can be summed up in one word "frustrating". I wanted to like it, but the show just really fails later on, and ruins what could have been a rather fascinating show. I did like many of the concepts, but the execution and direction was lacking. I mean, when characters you grow to care about are treated in the show as if they are nothing, it is a frustrating experience for the viewer. Then, when the show acts like you are supposed to care about characters you barely know, it's also really frustrating. Overall, I would say not to give Blue Gender a watch because it isn't worth your time when there are so many shows that get similar concepts right where this show has failed.
While the animation may be lacking due to budget and the year the anime was released, the overall story is quite amazing. It starts by immersing you into a dark world where the world is overrun with these monsters called blue. Its a world where the human population in order to survive set up living facility in space called 2nd Earth but left the majority of people to die as if they were already dead. For the most part the planet is abandoned and desolate. Where most of the only remains of humans left are basically these freaky green balls that blue make to feed on later. The soundtrack also helps to set the mood of the anime (except for the opening and ending). You'll also the main character lose his mind among other things, I'm trying not spoil it for anybody. My only gripe with the anime however is that only 2 characters in the anime really get development, I mean sure a lot of them die off, but it wouldn't have hurt to at least add a little background to some of them like Tony or Joey. Its definately worth watching and in my opinion a highly underrated anime.
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