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.

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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  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 06:51 PM)
    Hype kills anything. In regards to the kind of emotional manipulation Clannad and maybe Undertale uses, it’s like a drug. The more you are subjected to it, the less of an effect it has.
    Still there are examples of something which comes close to expectation. People say Muv Luv Alternative gives you PTSD and in a kinda does. Though it’s helped by the connection you build with the characters though the first two games.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 06:47 PM)
    @Kaiser,I haven’t updated the old entries of my MAL in quite a while. Pretty sure Code Geass is sitting at a 10 on it and I am sure if I give that a rewatch that rating is going to fall harshly.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 08:59 AM)
    I say this because people often like to hype up the genre or those elements. I bring this up/think about it now because I played a game called undertale lately on my brothers recommendation and he was all like it emotionally destroyed him but I never ended up crying, I mean don’t get me wrong its a good game, there were laughs to be had and there was sentiment but it wasn’t THAT sad/funny.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 08:44 AM)
    Given how many people cry at some drama, clannad included.
    That reminds me…
    I can’t actually remember the last time in my life where I cried, I draw a blank.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 07:58 AM)
    @Aidan: Something always feels off to me when you criticize clannad, I mean I’m critical enough of key these days too but it seems odd that you rank it as an 8 on MAL when you’ve always made it sound its more of a high 6 or a 7.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 03:45 AM)
    But I’m no fan of gung-ho soldier games/most fps games so I am glad clannad, a visual novel outsold call of duty.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 03:44 AM)
    I said it once I’ll say it again. I preferred the clannad movie over the tv series, had more style, a more mature feel to it and cut out all the superfluous arcs/comedy for the better. It also concludes better than the series. The emotional involvement in the kyoani version doesn’t work for me anymore, doesn’t hold up. However the film remains emotionally engaging after revisiting it.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 03:19 AM)
    Holy hell Clannad is selling like hotcakes on Steam. Even beat Call of Duty in sales at one point.
    Kinda happy to see a VN get recognised and it would help open up the market for more titles to come over. But..well..Clannad really isn’t all that great.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 02:29 AM)
    I can remember when I first got into anime when I was a whole lot younger I always said I would watch lodoss war, El Hazard and slayers, yet I never ended up doing so…
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Nov 24. 2015 05:34 AM)
    Ha, the child in me would love to see a film like that I’d imagine, when I was young I was pretty crazy about Egyptian supernatural stuff.

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