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SaitoHajime101's Blue Gender Tv Review

Blue Gender tv Review

Story & Characters

Holy crap, get me out of this hell hole of a show! Throw me from this pitiful existence and let me wallow in my grief about losing my ears and eyes to the horrible, tortuous screaming of a man who is anything but a man...

Ah, forget it, I can't write long, sophisticated words to make my review sound all smart-like. That's just not my style. Any who, Blue Gender is the review and as you, the reader, must have guess from my first couple sentences, that I didn't really like what I saw.

Blue Gender takes place about 30 years in the future where the world is overrunned by insectoid creatures known as the Blue. What an original name huh? The Blue, give me a break. Yuji Kaido, our main hero, is what the human race call a Sleeper, because, oh my god it's amazing, they slept for the past 30 years or more. Well not really amazing. Without spoiling much here, they were put into a form of "cyrogenic freezing" but without the freezing part, allowing them to sleep eternally until woken up. They were put to sleep because they contracted a disease that the current medical doctors at that time couldn't figure out what it was. So fast forward 30 years and voila, our main female protagonist, Marlene Angel (foregoing basic Japanese naming convention of last name first for obvious reasons), is set down to Earth with her unit (one of many units sent down) to recover the sleeper pods in order to awaken them. The rest you can either easily figure out from thinking about it for a minute or watching the first 2 episodes.

Sigh, Yuji has got to be the biggest baby I've ever seen. That's no lie. I don't get the appeal of the characters at all. Yuji gets woken up in a world he doesn't recognize, then what does he do? He cries about it that's what he does. Instead of trying to adapt to his situation in any aspect, the viewers of this particular anime are stuck for the first 10 or so episodes hearing him whine and cry how he can't see his loved ones anymore. It's not that I'm a cold person, but there's only so long before one cries enough and realizes he or she has to do something about the current situation they're in. He's stuck on Earth where the Blue roam free and attack any humans that wander into their path, yet he feels all he can do outside of crying is get into a cockpit of an Armored Shriek and fight.... wait can it be? Can there be some saving grace to this character that will make him change to a strong, take charge, kill them all guy... yes! He indeed over a period of time changes, however it's my personal belief he changes too much. He goes from one extreme to the other in the span of two episodes. It's not a gradual change, it's not a change that you can start seeing immediately, but it's a change that occurs after he lands himself into space (yes slight spoiler but nothing to give away any subplot or main plot). Oh less we all forget the small time jumps we're lurched through without even getting a sign that says "a few months have passed, blah, blah, blah". No, we're stuck with an depressed, nutjob who can only either cry or go incredibly insane and kill everything.

Ah, but before I go on I should talk about our female protagonist. Any anime wouldn't be anime without romance now would there? Is it possible to have an anime without a romance story in it? Yes, yes it's been done before but not in Blue Gender. Marlene Angel (yes her last name is "Angel", go figure) is the tomboyish, cold hearted son of a gun until good ol' Yuji cries his sorry brains out. From there we start seeing change. Fortunately for us she's not the instantaneous, psycho type. She becomes the romantic interest to Yuji, however that romantic interest is, interestingly enough, not as interesting as we think. There's alot of subplot intertwined with Yuji and Marlene's relationship that I won't go into as to avoid spoilers.

Now typically I would mention supporting characters here, but up until about episode 15, we don't get any supporting characters that last longer than a couple episodes. We think we get some at the beginning then certain events occur, then we get another set of supporting characters later, then another set of events occur, and so on and so on. So really, the supporting characters play no real role in moving the story along... well I can't quite say that. Two notables that are part of the last supporting character set (about episode 15 and beyond) become pretty prominent for the remaining series. Those two go by the names of Alisha Whistle and Tony Frost. It sounds like the writer of this story just took what was around his room or what people were doing in his presence to make last names. Was any effort applied to this story, or was it half-assed the way it seems? Moving along, Alisha plays the 3rd person in what seemed to be a "love triangle", but not only was the character written in a way that you just want to choke her to death (or rip your eyes and ears out for witnessing such a character), not to mention the fact the "love triangle" never even existed because by that point we can safely say Yuji's thoughts are elsewhere (and no not that way you sick people, hah!) to even care about such things. Tony Frost on the other hand came off as a complete psychopath even though he's an ally of Yuji. Oh, a little bit of information, both Tony and Alisha are Sleepers as well but supposively Sleepers of an innate battle skill to battle Blue, yet Alisha doesn't show any of it. She's horrible in a Shriek, clumsy and stupid. What is the point of her character? She makes Marlene seem like Aries, the God of War, when she's in her "Mecha Suit".

I have to say the story was pretty original for it's time (release date in Japan, 1999), however the characters were extremely unorganized and felt like they were whipped together to fill the character hole. A story can't exist without some sort of character, am I right? They could've probably threw in Arnold Schwarzenegger in here as the main male protagonist and it would've been more interesting. At least he doesn't cry every 5 minutes. Definitely a lacking story in the character department and could use some better names.

Rating: 4

Art

My bleeding eyes can't take anymore of this pain, thats for sure. Time must go on though. The animation quality was way lower than it could've been in the battles. Even Cowboy Bebop (1998) had better animation at points through its running. I don't know what kind of budget they had for this anime, but it must've been a bit lower than other anime of that time period. There was quite a few reused scenes and some other parts just made you wonder. I can't talk badly about the style, because it wasn't that bad. It fit the anime well enough (I personally liked it), but I just felt the animation lacked in areas where it could've been a lot better. Then again we are dealing with guns here. Not like you could animate every single bullet with the rotoscoping technique. That would take a lot more time than probably alloted. This section is about average for me. Not horrible, but not good either.

Rating: 5

Sound

Wow, something I actually enjoyed (partially) from this already disappointing anime. I do have issues though. Starting out with the music, it did well to compliment the scenes it tried to express. However the issues I have lie more in the opening and ending. For the opening we have the song "Tokihanate!" sung by Houko Kuwashima (English Dub sung by Daphne Gere). This song seemed very subdued in the Japanese version. I felt no feeling from Kuwashima at all. Plus the lyrics didn't really match our male protagonist that much. It fit better to Marlene than it did to Yuji, which makes me wonder if this story was ever about Yuji at all. This ties in with my feelings about the ending song. The ending theme is titled "Ai ga Oshiete Kureta", also performed by Houko Kuwashima (same with Daphne Gere and the english dub). While in this song I got more of the feeling from Houko in the Japanese version, I felt the song itself was kind of out of place. It's a love song, or at least thats what it sounded and seems like to me. While I can fit this to Yuji and Marlene, it denounces the story itself. The story isn't about the love plot but about the planet Earth itself. Also another issue I had with the japanese version of the opening and ending is how the TV Size versions were recorded. Compared to the full version copies, the shortened versions sounded like Kuwashima was covering her mouth with something to make what she sang sound muffled. Of course the dubs were crystal clear and slightly variant to sound awesome (released in 2003, compared to 1999) so it might have been the recording studio they were in at the time, which wasn't up to standards to the its counterparts. I liked the dub variation. I thought what Funimation allowed for the production staff for the English dub was great for the show. Thats probably one of the few things I really would like to hear more in English dubs are remakes of the songs. While in some anime, the english VA crew might not sound great, I've always felt the dubbed songs were pretty good.

On the other side of this section is the VAs. I watched the dubbed version, because when I initially saw the first 15 or so episodes on Adult Swim, thats what I saw, so I figure I would finish it in dub. The voices weren't so bad, however every time I listened to Yuji speak, I thought Trunks. No offense to Eric Vale, but that's all I can think of him now his Trunks from Dragonball Z. It's like when I think Mark Hamill or Carrie Fisher, I think Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa from Star Wars. It's a hard character for him to get past because that's probably one of his best roles (Future Trunks was badass, excuse my language). Of course you had another great VA in Laura Baily who played Marlene. I like Laura's voice has it's not one that I cringe every time I hear it. It's very soft for me, but can be harsh when need be. Even though her voice is very recognizable, especially for those who've watched many dubs that have her in the cast (like I have), I still find myself getting immersed into her character a bit. She has a sense of charisma about her that makes you want to listen even thought you recognize the voice. I guess that's why everyone likes Vic Migongna.

The voice acting in the English dub was my highlight of the series. For a series that had no hope to be anything better than mediocre, they really did well to give it something to like.

Rating: 6

Presentation

Blue Gender was 26 episodes of nothing but mess. I won't say the concept itself was bad, because it wasn't. The concept that Earth itself was cleansing itself of "a cancer" was a pretty good idea (not going to spoil much by explaining it), but it was applied to poorly written characters with one track minds. However I do say Yuji and Marlene had two tracks but they're extremes of each other. Yuji goes from cry baby to cold blooded psycho while Marlene does the opposite, going from cold blooded to cry baby. Why make two characters identical to each other but yet on the opposite of one another. True opposites attract but in this case it's like the North and South Pole trying to connect but fail in doing so. I was waiting for the moment during the first several episodes where Marlene just got fed up and shoot Yuji square in the eyes. I know that's what I wanted to do. Oh but wait it was her "duty" not to.

Past my tangent on the characters again, the concept would've worked better with a different set of characters. It just felt like the only two characters (minus the Scientist whom you meet 15 episodes in or so), were the only ones really trying to find out the truth behind the Blue. What point is there when out of hundreds of thousands of people, only two people care about it all?

The ending was even worse I think, not in the fact that it was terrible but in the fact that it was confusing. I should take that back. There's only one part of the ending that was confusing and thats when a certain thing or person meets the end of a thousand bullets and a certain building or man-made creation blows to smithereens. I'm sure you guys don't know what I'm talking about unless if you've seen the series which is good because I haven't given anything away. That part was confusing for me cause I didn't see the point in it. If that thing or person was still alive it would've made more sense, but they choose the death card which left it confusing beyond belief.

Sigh, well in light of a serious anime like this, if you're looking for humor, there's really not much there. By the time the characters reach space you get some humor, but it's bland. Doesn't really do much considering you're at the constant whim of Alisha and her annoying personality (not to mention the constant military actions going on). That's probably what I should've put in the section on VAs. Despite it being a good voice for the character, I think the VA who played the english version of Alisha did too good of a job (because I'm of the personal opinion that Alisha was written to be annoying on purpose).

At the end of the day you got a great concept placed inside the confines of a mediocre story with everything else either falling below mediocracy or rising slightly above. The dub version, in my honest opinion, will help enhance your viewing of this anime, but it's not going to help the poorly written characters. Blue Gender, pick it up if you really are bored.

Rating: 5

Final Verdict

4.83 (moderate)

Reviewed by SaitoHajime101, Mar 25, 2010

Comments

  1. Janny-Cats Mar 31, 2010

    Kind of a winy review, but it does pretty much sum up my own feeling for this anime.

  2. lordryo Apr 19, 2010

    Good review!

  3. SchRita May 01, 2010

    Thanks for the review!

  4. rukasu04 Mute Member May 15, 2010

    Nice review :D

  5. emina07 Mute Member May 28, 2010

    ...

  6. SchRita Aug 27, 2010

    It's translated into Hungarian but the episodes I saw didn't catch my attention. But after reading this cool review I may watch it.

  7. back07 Sep 26, 2012

    thanks for the nice review
    :)

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