Although billed as "The Movie," this edition consists of the four episodes of the computer-animated OAV (original animation video) cut together and edited for airing on the Cartoon Network. Most of Earth's population drowned when the mad genius Zorndyke began meddling with the planet's polar alignment. The survivors cower in half-drowned cities and undersea bases, battling Zorndyke's robots and hideous mutants; Kino, a dedicated young pilot, draws Hiyami, an alienated ex-submariner, back into the war. Based on a manga
by Satoru Ozawa, Blue Submarine
offers lots of computer-generated effects, but little in the way of coherent plot and character development. Hayami's conversion from hard-bitten veteran to peace advocate seems improbable, as does the prospect of seeking peace with a villain responsible for 10 billion deaths. Blue Submarine
will appeal primarily to hard-core computer animation fans and devotees of Water World
. The Cartoon Network policy of not showing what it construes as violence further weakens the story. Hayami doesn't see his old friend Katsuma writhing in agony from Zorndyke's "beast mutation," removing much of his motivation to rejoin the submarine forces. The gigantic Musuca no longer dies in a sea stained by its own blood, eliminating the series' one genuinely poignant moment. Eliminating tobacco use produces some unintentionally comic moments: Hayami flicks his lighter and touches the flame to nothing. The four OAVs are available separately in their uncut format. Rated 13 and up: robot versus robot violence and grotesque imagery. --Charles Solomon
The poles are shifting and most of the Earth's land is now underwater! The scientist Zorndyke has seemingly turned his back on humanity, creating a race of beast people to challenge the humans for global supremacy. Mankind's last hope is the Blue Fleet and its state-of-the-art flagship, the Blue Submarine No. 6. With the final battle at hand, Hayami and kKino must confront Zorndyke and stop his plans for destruction. But who is the real enemy - Zorndyke and his undersea army, or humanity itself? The climatic end to one of the biggest anime releases of the year!