Posted by psgels on 2 February 2011 with categories: Anime Reviews




When the Earth is under attack from sort of menace, whether these are aliens, robots or giant mutated freaks, the trick is to make them feel like a threat. Really give off the feeling of “we’re screwed”. Blue Gender is really good at this.

In Blue Gender, the earth is overrun by freakish bug-like monsters. As the series went on, and showed how these creatures (called Blue) operate, it had convinced me surprisingly quickly: yes, these things are able to nearly completely wipe out the human race. They are completely brutal in their hunts, they have evolved to the point where they occupy every part of civilized areas, and whenever you try to kill them, they only evolve and get more nasty. Dying in this show is something really easy: just one careless moment can be the result of a brutal and unforgiving death and just when you think you’re safe, another threat just pops up from the corner. Blue Gender is a large part survival horror, and it really knows how to do that correctly.

As the show goes went into its second half, it really started to impress me, though. Beyond the survival horror, it is also really focused on the character development of its lead couple. This character-development is really excellent: at the end of the series, both of them have changed completely, but believably. The changes that their characters undergo gradually twist the series in a completely different mood and focus. The romance also actually gets developed believably and gets somewhere for once!

That’s pretty much the gist of what you need to know for this series: if you like survival horror and character development, then this is a must-watch. It’s rather simple, but this show hardly has any weak moment and does what it does really well. On top of that, it actually gives quite a bit of depth to its setting through a bit of political intrigue here and there. There are just three things that you need to be aware of here:

1). This show has a very low budget. It’s well directed, but the cleanup animation is lacking throughout most of the frames, and there are a lot of still frames around.
2). It’s a show with a lot of angst. And really, once you see the series you’ll see that there are enough reasons why this series has characters purposefully acting like idiots at times in order to show the mental state they’re in, it can be annoying. Clashes of ideals are also a big theme here.
3). Be prepared to go WTF at the ending. Just… be prepared…

Storytelling: 9/10 – Survival horror like it should be. Keeps the tension constantly high and interesting, despite the simple storyline. Excellent atmosphere.
Characters: 9/10 – The thing that really sets this show above most a lot of the other shows of its kind. Angsty, but amazingly developed and easily relatable characters. The main characters especially, but also the side characters do their job wonderfully.
Production-Values: 8/10 – The animation is obviously lacking, but not bad enough to get in the way of the rest of the series..
Setting: 9/10 – Few mecha series have been able to achieve this bleak of a setting. It really manages to portray that things have gotten completely desperate.

Suggestions:
Shiki
Gasaraki
Armored Trooper Votoms
(I’m not putting High School of the Dead here, because it is inferior to Blue Gender in every way apart from the graphics; call it Diet Blue Gender if you will).

13 Responses

  1. darkerthanblackswordsman says:

    WTF in a good way or a bad way?

  2. psgels psgels says:

    dtbswordsman: unfortunately in a rather bad way.

  3. Solaris says:

    Uh?? Bad way? I also was surprised to read about wtf. It looked like a good impression before, given the high score, but, on the other hand, it looks like this show is still pretty flawed. I’m startled now as I don’t even know how should i take those numbers anymore.

  4. Loz says:

    I understand where psgels is coming from with this one, this is a bit of a weird one, one of those shows which is slightly flawed, but for silly reasons such as low bugdet, yet once you’ve started watching it, you are going to want to see it all the way through.

  5. Sarynn says:

    So a case of “the journey makes up for the disappointing ending”, eh? I’ve seen so many shows lately with open-ended, cut-off, or super-rushed endings– though it’s been a while since I saw a good show end with “WTF”– but if the story and characters are that interesting, I think I’ll give it a shot.

  6. Anon says:

    The ending isn’t THAT bad lol. On the other hand, it’s pretty rushed.

    I watched this series a long time ago despite THEM giving it a pathetically low score, and I liked it. Glad you thought it was interesting.

  7. Blue Bomber says:

    I remember seeing this on Cartoon Network years ago. But… that’s about it. I was too new to anime to understand the show enough, so most of the time I was like “Huh?” The show was kinda over my head at that point, coming from shows like DBZ and Inuyasha. I would’ve given it a 4 or so back then. Guess I’ll give it another viewing soon.

  8. Watcherzero says:

    I wouldnt say it was rushed per se, it was set up a lot during the course of the series, lots of little elements that you might not notice. It also answers all questions theres no hanging ‘but what about?’ or ‘Why did?’ however its the revelations of the ending itself thats unsatisfying. Like reading a detective novel and at the end the butler did it.

  9. Shadow says:

    This was the first anime I ever watch! I also caught it during the early days of Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim. Even then I didn’t find it particularly of high quality, but entertaining enough to tune in. Even now, I don’t hate the show, but realize that it’s a bit on the mediocre side of production values and nobody besides the two main characters were developed, and I felt that their change was a bit too drastic to be believable.

  10. Taxy says:

    I liked this series a lot, in particular the music did create a great atmosphere. I haven’t a problem with the ending, since I thought it was nice to have some kind of story enhancement there. And for me it was enough to follow the main couple, I didn’t need mich more character development – and I also find it was believable – but I can understand people, who see this anime with different eyes.

    Let’s say, if you’ve seen MANY other scifi-anime-flicks, this might not be very entaining. But if you’re new to anime or haven’t not seen many of this kind of stuff, you may feel very entertained in many ways here.

  11. lesterf1020 says:

    When I rewatch this show I never watch the last episode. I always assume the last story arc is the end. That way aside from a few loose ends I have a great show instead of a WTF ending.

  12. hoiut says:

    Like Clannad After Story! As long as you just cut out or “tune out” at the second half of the last episode, it’s a wonderful story, haha!

    I have to say, this looks intriguing. I’ll give it a shot.

  13. Piotrus says:

    I prefer to think that the last two episodes just did not happen. Otherwise, it is a perfect example of a good show ruined by a terrible ending.

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  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 07:21 AM)
    All thats left now is macross 7.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 07:20 AM)
    However this one begged to go on for more than just five episodes, come on now and it had the franchises penchant for weak villains. It doesn’t get me as emotional as do you remember love does, the characters of Macross plus were more likeable. Still its a step above Macross II and I at least had fun with it on an action level.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 07:17 AM)
    Thats Macross zero completed then, it was great to see the background arc/plot for this franchise, the pace is tight and the action is arguably the most immersive, well done of the Macross universe along with Frontier.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 04:33 AM)
    While Tatami Galaxy and Ping Pong were definitely sharp I felt that Kemonozume and Kaiba were more inventive.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 04:30 AM)
    Aye,it was the visual style of the film being so different from the norm that drew me in. Still out of Yuaasa’s stuff I found myself more taken with tatami galaxy.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 04:22 AM)
    I think creatively the anime industry has plateaued a bit by now, where we see more derivative stuff and there has a formed an almost universal “anime style” which hinders non-traditional voyeurism.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 04:18 AM)
    I love the tonal whiplash that the story goes thru and the then-impressive-and-new visuals. Both 4°C and Hifana take queues from the Kansai art and the underground graffiti styles that prospered in Japan after the 70’s. Parallel to the postmodern movement in the Western world, the new wave was more expressive than fine and you see its heavy influence on the manga and anime industry.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 04:14 AM)
    @Bam: It is at the last stretch on the film where it is at its strongest visually in my opinion.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 04:10 AM)
    @Bam: For only 100 minutes it did a decent enough job on its protaganist in any case.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 04:02 AM)
    Mindgame is amazing. It is as unorthodox as they come but not really pretentious. It’s pretty humble and does have an actual message and proper story arc, so it’s definitely not just random for random’s sake. The industry needs more Yuasa.

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