Blue Gender (TV Series, 1999-2000)
Produced by Youmex, Toshiba EMI
When Yuji Kaido was sealed away in a cryogenic state due to an untreatable medical condition in 2009 he was living a life which seemed calm and happy. His best friend Takashi reassured him that the induced sleep will be short and that following it they will share a grand time.
Twenty-two years pass by leaving Yuji unchanged, something which cannot be said for humanity and the planet Earth. Entire cities have been reduced to waste, and humans no longer top the food chain. Holding that position as of 2031 is the “Blue.” The rapidly-evolving, insect-like Blue roam the Earth's surface in search of tasty humans to crush up and eat.
Overpowered by the aggressive creatures, much of humanity has retreated to space and the “Second Earth” station which orbits their home planet. But some of those on Second Earth don't intend to sit idly and let the original Earth be overrun by Blue, and “Sleepers,” those who were preserved as Yuji was, may be an important key to dealing with Blue.
Despite all of this setup, Blue Gender is sci-fi to turn your brain off to. There's gore for gore, and shock for the sake of shock. Camaraderie often serves no other purpose than to heighten the drama in death. Any underlying themes are completely lost in the violent, action-packed presentation. But as the story progresses through arcs of survival, conspiracy, and warring there is a good amount of character development and chemistry. It's pretty fun in general, and the latter-half of the series is particularly enjoyable. There's plenty of satisfying action and zealous applications of blood and gore.
Blue Gender's biggest disparity lies in its animation consistency. Great shots of the steadfast soldier Marlene and the Armor Shrike units are interchanged with vague figures or awkwardly drawn expressions. When it's good it's good, but some serious moments are ruined by lackluster animation (which can admittedly be enjoyable in its own right). Unfortunately, the fantastic-looking, more apocalyptic color scheme (pictured below) is rarely seen.
Picking up the animation's slack is Haishima Kuniaki, the individual behind the series' grimy soundtrack. Breakcore, glitch, cold pieces of ambient, and hard brass hits come together. It's an intriguing sound with lots of character and plenty of standout tracks (the unsettling “Cycle,” Massive Attack mix “S.x,” and pounding “Dead Tech” for starters).
A faulted, yet entertaining series, Blue Gender only gets better as it goes along.
-2 Awful, ruined it
-1 Took away from the experience
0 Okay, didn't leave an impression good/bad
+1 Added to the experience
Personal Bias: 0