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.
My Blue Gender review took me a long time to fully complete and many months after I had originally finished the anime, so please keep that in mind, and understand that portions of this review maybe shorter than normal for that reason.
This anime takes place in a futuristic, post-apocalyptic Earth where humans no longer inhabit the planet and are forced to reside in space. This is all due to the discovery of an unknown, incurable disease that effects human B-cell growth. Decades later, humanity eventually returns from Earth’s orbit to try and recover and awaken certain people who were left behind. These people, known as “Sleepers,” are special individuals who were put into a cryo-type stasis to keep them alive from the B-cell growth that plagues their bodies.
However, their mission is not as easy as you might think. Since their departure to space, also known as Second Earth, the Earth itself has been overrun by a mysterious species of creature. They are called the Blue, giant insects that invaded Earth, consuming everything in their path, including human beings. They are the reason humanity has not returned to Earth for as long as they have.
So why, after all these years, does humanity return to Earth to rescue the Sleepers? Is there another purpose or agenda to their motives? Enter our two protagonists, Marlene and Yuji. Marlene is a space-born modern-day soldier sent to Earth as part of the recovering mission. Yuji is one of the Sleepers who happens to be a part of the “behind-the-scenes” agenda of the current Second Earth government. To what extent do Sleepers and taking back Earth have in connection to each other? That right there is the mysterious question that needs to be discovered.
In my discovery to the answers to the pivotal questions that plague this anime, here is what I discovered. There are many plot holes and bits of confusion in the first third of the series. It is not until episode nine the suspense and story begin to evolve a little more, especially when the outer space folks come into play. The mystery of the Blue is yet to unravel though other than their evolving nature, which leads to the furthering of the horror. Episodes 11 and 12 are a prime example of both their evolution and the horror in which they bring.
The story has some surprisingly unpredictable moments as well as some very predictable ones. The Blues’ origins, which becomes more and more apparent as the purpose of the Sleepers unfolds is a prime example of an unpredictable moment eventually becoming a more predictable one. It is not entirely surprising, but it is still interesting all the same. To some degree, Blue Gender has a quasi-Resident Evil sense about it.
The art is relatively bad considering the time frame in which it was produced. The animation on the other hand is well above average. Collectively they work well together and give the anime a sense of realism regarding the ever-changing emotional landscape that happens to a variety of the characters throughout.
The OP is slightly above average with a hard rock sounding edge to it. The ED is a letdown unfortunately. The sound effects of the Blue, the armor shrikes, and remainder sound effects are all very solid. However, the best part of the whole series is the eerie atmosphere the music creates in various scenes. It can draw out the suspense and really enhance the horrific aspects of the series. In this genre of series, that is a particularly large part of the overall enhancement and impact of the sound.
The characters of Blue Gender tend to be all over the place, especially ones who play an important role throughout or at a specific arc in the story. Regardless, the cast of characters plays a significant role in the success of the series, but I am only going to briefly discuss select characters.
Marlene and Yuji lead the way with solid and consistent character development over time, little by little. However, Yugi starts off as a pants peeing, big whining Sleeper baby, who grows up and comes into his own as a courageous, dependable person and soldier. At first, he reminded me of Shirou Emiya from Fate/stay night, and ends up becoming more like Marlene, in terms of courage and skill, before further "evolving" as a character. He changes so much at a couple of points in the series that it becomes easy to forget just who the heck we are watching. Pants peeing, to semi-badass, to near-bonkers extremist exterminator, to humanity’s last hope. That’s quite an epic change for one single character.
Marlene is a the seemingly cold-hearted, stoic, ruthless soldier who slowly softens up for all to discover her passionate and warm-hearted nature. She transforms from unlikable b*tch to my favorite character, while still maintaining the most consistency of any other character in the series. She is the most plausible person in this dystopian world.
Dice is a fun, carefree soldier (former) who's involvement with Yugi and Marlene is cut way too short. He has got skill, class, and is a bonafide badass! He is just a likeable guy in general.
Last, but not least, there is Tony. All I can say about this self-proclaimed Sleeper overseer is, “F*ck that guy!” Watch this anime and you will see why. He plays the part well, and I mean that as a compliment, although still, “F*ck that guy!”
There are some other important and significant characters to keep track of, including Alicia, Chairmen Victor, and Seno, but I am not going to discuss the important roles and influences they have on the plot and story development of Blue Gender.
This series is not going to be for everyone due to its sheer content, subject matter, and both character and plot deficiencies. Its characters are not bad, and its concept is quite intriguing.
If the writing was cleaned up and the visuals were given due justice, then Blue Gender would be a quite the series to behold. Still, I recommend it because its intentions, concept, and slight allure are better than a large portion of today’s modern day, tropey anime offerings.
Entertainment Score: 7/10
Achievement Score: +0 to Overall
My expectations were Moderate, and it delivered Spot-on to those expectations.
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.
CLICHE ANIME DISCLAIMER: Vagina Faced monsters, Gore Porn, Awkward Boners, Dystopian Future, Psuedo-Science, Extreme Violence, Esoteric explanations, Mechas.
Story: It has a concise, direct, somewhat well explained story line. It has a few twists along the way, a little political intrigue, and some fast paced episodes. Unfortuntly, its cliche the whole way through, Its overly angsty, violent for no reason, meanders for a few too many episodes in the begining, it also ends poorly. To top it off, it has some ridiculous Psuedo-science to explain its premise, and a strange "hippie, live as one with the earth" messege that shows up at the end.
Animation: Its superb and has held up fairly well over the years. Fair Warning, there are lots of naked moments showing mostly breasts and some sex. Also tons of violent gruesome deaths. Still, its pretty good for the time.
Sound: Basic anime fair. Never really stands out in any way, but its not horrible either.
Characters: Forgettable. Most of them die along the way. A good few of them show up only half-way through and then are killed. A couple of them make some lasting impressions, but, unfortunetely its not the main characters. Marlene is by far the most interesting, and she's not the protaganist. Yuji, is way to over-angsty and then later psycho, then just boring, but, at least he has some genuine development.
Overall: its something to watch, just dont expect any great revelations, and dont expect to have your socks blown off. there are better anime out there but if you need to veg or just want somethign that is particularly violent then Blue Gender works.
A thrilling, emotionally engrossing and incredibly well-written Science Fiction anime! Stunning, pulls at the heart strings in a myriad of directions and is a psychedelic post-apocalypse mind flip. I was hooked on this one from the very first episode with powerful and relateble characters, amazing creature designs with a pulse-pounding plot-it's a powerhouse of an anime for anyone who enjoys epics of its genre.