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Customer Review

3.0 out of 5 stars Big bug attack, July 5 2009
This review is from: Blue Gender: Box Set (Viridian Collection) (DVD)
In the future, civilization has collapsed, because the earth is infested by big, big bugs.

It sounds like the stuff of utter mind blowing disaster, but thankfully "Blue Gender" succeeds in being a fairly intelligent, intricate sci-fi anime. Lots of horror, giant bugs and a fish-out-of-water hero who manages to be fairly interesting as he becomes a seasoned warrior, but the characters develop by leaps and bounds -- and the ending is completely out of left field, apparently in an attempt to be bleak and "deep."

Yuji Kaido was an ordinary teenager in the not-too-distant future, until he came down with a strange disease. The only hope for a cure is to be put into cryogenic sleep.

A few decades later, he awakes to a whole new Earth -- sparsely populated, civilization overturned, and with every continent overrun by hideous enormous insects called the Blue. Then two enormous mecha piloted by humans appear, and after many dangers Yuji is taken by a chilly soldier named Marlene to Second Earth, a space station where humanity is organizing a fight against the Blue.

But Yuji soon learns that life is dangerous -- not just because of the Blue, but because of the militarized humans on Second Earth, who see him just as a sample to be used. After Yuji vanishes, Marlene begins a desperate quest to find him, even if it gets her in hot water. And when she does find him, they both discover the secret of Yuji and the Sleepers, and why they may be the key to destroying the Blue once and for all. Except of course things aren't that simple.

"Blue Gender" has a pretty generic sci-fi concept behind it, the sort of thing you'd probably see on a Sci Fi original movie. Fortunately the actual series is much better than you'd think -- a vivid cocktail of action, conspiracy-laden suspense and science fiction in equal measure, but with the occasional pauses injected between the action and suspense sequences, where the writers can focus on the characters and what they feel.

Along the way, there's lots of grotesque, vaguely Freudian megabugs that have swarmed all over the globe, and whose origins are explored even as they eat people and overturn large machines. Lots of splattered gore, enormous insects that almost look real, and big industrial-looking mecha. But as the series winds on, there's an increasing emphasis on what the humans are doing as well, and their desperation to defeat the Blue -- and there are some surprising plot twists thrown into the mix.

The biggest weak point? The ending is a disaster that throws out most of what comes before it, in the name of a bizarre pseudo-environmental message that just explodes out of the, ahem, Blue. It feels like the writers couldn't come up with a suitably epic ending, so they went for the most bleak and "deep" finale they could.

Yuji is a bit of a pain at first, since he does nothing but scream and panic over the first few episodes. But after a little while, he decides to become master of his own fate, and his story arc shows him turn from a nice ordinary guy to a hardened soldier. On the flipside, Marlene starts as an ice princess, but we see her gradually
thawing under Yuji's influence until she has become more like he once was, and vice versa. Most of the secondary characters die off or vanish pretty quickly, but they're well-drawn as well.

This box set also contains "The Warrior," which basically takes the whole movie and whittles it down to movie length. It's sort of "Blue Gender: The Cliff's Notes," and it's a severely mixed bag.

"Blue Gender Box Set" is a solid sci-fi/action anime with plenty of giant bugs and military attacks, but the ending entirely spins out of control.
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Review Details



EA Solinas

Location: MD USA

Top Reviewer Ranking: 26