If you look at Amazon.com’s Blue Gender page, you’ll see the fans have given this anime series a 5 star rating (based on 12 reviews).
I just don’t see it.
I’d give Blue Gender perhaps 2 stars and I’d have to be feeling generous when I did it.
But let’s back up a little. Yugi Kaido is put into stasis at the ripe old age of 20-something. When he is awakened, he finds the world is overrun with bug-like (sometimes reptile-like) creatures known as “the blue” and mankind has been all but eradicated on earth. Marlene Angel is a tough-as-nails hard-ass who is responsible for getting Yugi to ‘second earth’ (an orbiting space station). For the first disk or so, Yugi whines (and every other scene uses the ‘quivering eye’ effect to show how much torment he is in) and Marlene orders him around. Very formulaic. They’re fighting in powered mech-suits called shrikes. Bipedal, but on wheels. Very odd…apparently post-apocalyptic earth is really really smooth.
As the series progresses, we learn that Yugi has some special qualities (gasp!) and there are other like him. Others who keep to themselves, act weird, and excel in combat. Hmm, I wonder who the bad guy is going to be? Yeah, everything up to the end of this series can be seen hours before it happens. Hmm, Yugi has “B-Cells” and the creatures are called “Blue”… could there be a connection?!?
As to the end… well, it’s one of those horribly unsatisfying anime endings that make very little sense. Yugi sees a plant growing and says “I see!” and we’re supposed to understand what that means. I’m being a little vague so as not to totally spoil things, but suffice to say that the ending of Evangelion is as clear as can be compared to this work.
Even that would be ok if the characters, and in particular Yugi, were even vaguely likeable. But you’ll hate this guy from the first disk to the last. He screams constantly at the beginning, giving away their location to the bugs…er, the blue. And when he isn’t screaming he’s whining. Then he turns ito a homcidal maniac for a while, screaming for new reasons, and you’ll hate him then. Eventually he returns to something close to normal, but still… this guy is Mr. Empathy. Someone, in the midst of a killing spree, comes at Yugi with a gun, lifts it, points it at his face… and a third person bursts in and shoots the gunman. Does Yugi say “Wow, thanks for saving my life!”? No, instead he screams “What the hell is wrong with you!? You didn’t have to kill him!!!” This happens approximately 253 times during the series (ok, I exaggerate a bit). When another homicidal maniac tries to kill off the last remaining humans and is killed in the process, Yugi laments “Why did he have to die?” And so on and so forth.
There are some really strange loose ends, like an escaping prisoner who gets off second earth and is never to be seen again. How did showing this person escape add to the story? Well, Yugi yells at the people in charge for deciding to let the prisoner go off on their own, because he’s convinced the prisoner will die. So yeah, even when other people show compassion Yugi finds a reason to bitch about it.
There’s lot of serious gore, and the baddies have a lot of yonic openings and ‘cores’ that stand up like happy little clitorises (I’ve never had to use the plural form of that word) before being blown apart by bullets or missiles. There’s some nudity and enough sex to make this not safe for kids (I guess a cleaned up version was shown on The Cartoon Network). Eric Vale, who lends his voice to Yugi, is weak, though admittedly he isn’t given much to work with. Laura Bailey does a much better job as Marlene…she really does a good job of conveying emotion here. In fact her voice talent is probably the highlight of the series.
All in all, this was a total bust. Barely worth a rental. There’s much better anime out there waiting for you!
I should note that the above is based on the English dub. Yes, I know the sub-titles are always better, but I’m a typical lazy American and would rather hear series anime in English, since I tend to watch while eating dinner in front of the tv. 🙂