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Blue Gender

bluegender-2
Genre: Action/Drama
Company: AIC/Toshiba-EMI
Format: 26 episodes
Dates: 10/8/1999 to 3/31/2000

Kaido Yuji went to sleep for twenty years. It was said a cure for his disease would be available in a few years, but things have changed. Too bad no one warned him about the Blue, a race of giant bugs that now rule the planet. Too bad no one told him that humanity is on the verge of extinction. Too bad the space station, Second Earth, has sent down a recovery team to use him as a weapon of war against the invaders. All this happened while he was asleep. Too bad Kaido Yuji woke up.

summary by Ender

 

Reviewed: 01/23/2005 by
Grade: 88% av-Ender

Highs: Action sequences; story and imagery; nice progression

Lows: Low-budget animation and art; not really genre-breaking

Here’s a nice, little title that took me for a loop. This is so much more than just bug-blow-’em-up. This is a science fiction story with teeth. Large, gnashing, violent, bloody teeth, and it doesn’t stop biting.

One of the best things about this series is that it knows when to be talky and when to shut up. Dialogue is only used when it is really needed. No one needs to stand around and say “war is hell” because you can clearly see it through the imagery; the horror this world has gone through, and will go through, before the end of the war. This all sets up for the journey that Yuji takes. He goes from a weakling to a, well, you’ll just have to see it for yourself. And as he changes, so does the world. The entire series keeps its story, characters and themes working like bones and muscles to stay alive and moving. Only problem with the story is that it plays around a lot with traditional sci-fi ideas that we’ve all seen before. Mecha, giant bugs, cryogenics, super soldiers, post-apocalypse, evolution, science gone awry… been there, done that. It might seem like a small complaint, but it holds the series back from being completely original.

The action sequences are nicely done. Battles are intense and tend to bring out the beasts lying within the characters. Mecha, Blue and humans all explode with some rather gruesome intensity, which is pretty odd considering that the animation is hardly anything special. It seems that most of the budget was reserved for the big bangs. The artwork has the same problem; the artists seemed to have cut a lot of corners just to get the final product on the air. Too bad the producers weren’t very hopeful with this title, as I would have loved to have seen what would happen if this series had the budget of, say, Evangelion.

This is a hard-boiled, mature story that just begs for an audience to freak out. I recommend it for those of you who like a good fright/action/character fest with a good story. Of course, if you’re squeamish or have a fear of bugs, don’t watch this one alone.

 

Blue Gender is licensed in the U.S. by Funimation, and episodes may be viewed legally in the United States HERE.


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