Posted by psgels on 17 September 2007 with categories: Anime Reviews


Blue Submarine No.6 is Gonzo’s first ever anime-production, according to AniDB at least. It was made in the time when they weren’t notorious at all, and I must say, I’m impressed. I expected a standard action-flick without substance, but the story and setting actually turned out quite interesting. There indeed is lots of action, but when combined with a jazzy soundtrack, it gives this OVA a unique and enjoyable style. This could have been a classic if handled by a talented writer.

And yes, I used the word “could” on purpose. Blue Submarine is good, but it doesn’t quite cut it to become really memorable. It’s got no major flaws, just a lot of minor ones. The minor side-characters and generics, for example, all have individual character-designs and look quite stylish, but most of them lack personality. Most of the major side-characters do have their own personality and they’re definitely interesting to watch, but half of them lack development. This story would actually have been perfect for a 13-episoded series. That one would have had enough time to give everyone of them a background.

And regarding the main characters, they’re actually pretty interesting and manage to step away from the stereotypes as a cool guy and cute girl. Still, I wish I could say the same about the main love interest for the male main character: she’s just an obvious plot-device. The dialogue could also have been written a bit more realistic as well.

I know I’m being very nitpicky here, but the flaws do add up. I would have liked to see this story executed without them, though. It would have been an awesome watch, because the OVA already has a lot of good points. This has probably been the only time where submarines have been the centre of action-scenes, but the creators show that these machines can also be really cool when in their element. One scene that was especially memorable was when the “bad guys” were attacking a city of civilians, and all of the random people who ran into our main character kept encouraging them for various reasons.

Overall, I’ve seen people describe Gonzo as a combination of Good Gonzo and Bad Gonzo, and I can actually agree with that. Gonzo has been behind gems as Bokura no and Red Garden, and yet it also produced crap like Giniro no Kami no Agito and Final Fantasy Unlimited. Still, Blue Submarine No.6 is Good Gonzo, even though they had much to learn at that time.

4 Responses

  1. Cos says:

    It’s really one of my favorite Gonzo, you should also try Gankutsuou since everybody seems to like it a lot,even if in my opinion it remodels the book too much in it’s final.

    Also a quick 4 OVA series that is in the same genre as Blue Submarine is Macross Zero, maybe you should give i a try.

  2. Chris says:

    Wah another show from my childhood! I saw it on a kid’s TV network and the show was mostly uncut except a few edits for younger crowds but I was still rather surprised at how much nudity and violence was left in.

    Anyway I loved the show itself, I was a bit bored by it at the start but the final episode made everything worth while and the art and animation is fantastic. I don’t know if I’d like it now that I’m older but I still remember the last episode because it was just very good.

  3. Chris says:

    I had watched Last Exile before this one even though it’s much older. Somehow I had the feeling that they reused quite a bit from this in Last Exile i.e., characters, uniforms and the animation style that it could almost be considered a prequel.

  4. LoliHat says:

    Somehow I had the feeling that they reused quite a bit from this in Last Exile i.e., characters, uniforms and the animation style that it could almost be considered a prequel.

    Range Murata did design work for both. He’s one of th best out there and his work on Blue Submarine #6 is why I so looked forward to Last EXILE.

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  • ratsgnoF
    (Wednesday, Jul 1. 2015 03:48 AM)
    How would that be toxic?
  • Raggers
    (Wednesday, Jul 1. 2015 02:31 AM)
    From a critical perspective it was rock solid. Directing, writing, soundtrack – all were excellent. A great cliffhanger for this arc of the teenage condition.
  • Raggers
    (Wednesday, Jul 1. 2015 02:27 AM)
    ratsgnoF: thanks, may skim through those later.
    Personal reaction to the finale: welp. Things are a complete mess, Yukino x 8man would be a toxic relationship and Yui x 8man would be far healthier, potentially even good.
  • ratsgnoF
    (Wednesday, Jul 1. 2015 01:43 AM)
  • ratsgnoF
    (Wednesday, Jul 1. 2015 01:41 AM)
  • ratsgnoF
    (Wednesday, Jul 1. 2015 01:40 AM)
    Here are some of the monologues that weren’t really shown in the anime. They’re very well written. https://kyakka.wordpress.com/yahari-light-novel/volume-10/first-memorandum/ https://kyakka.wordpress.com/yahari-light-novel/volume-10/second-memorandum/
  • Raggers
    (Wednesday, Jul 1. 2015 01:11 AM)
    Ah, then yes, almost certainly. I’d go as far as to expect the author also spends significant time with teenagers to capture their mentality so well.
    I imagine it’d be easier for teens to get emotionally invested, but I’d also say there’s a deeper level they wouldn’t really ‘get’ until older. We can evaluate what we see with a hindsight teens cannot have, so we aren’t worse off for being older.
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Jul 1. 2015 12:58 AM)
    Ah yes, the author being like hachiman, thats what I was getting at.
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Jul 1. 2015 12:57 AM)
    While watching yahari, one other thing went through my mind “Y’know were I a teenager watching this I can only imagine just how much/even more I’d be getting from this”
  • Raggers
    (Wednesday, Jul 1. 2015 12:49 AM)
    I’ve only seen first eps for both, but I have hope for Euphonium also being decent on the character front. Plastic Memories looks like it could easily turn out badly and the premiere gave no cause for hope. And I’ve yet to find someone defending it, so unless you’re bored I’d give it a pass.

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