Type: TV (26 episodes)
Yugi is diagnosed with an illness only recently discovered. Right now there is no cure, so to halt progression of the illness, people are put into a cryogenic freeze . Within the next three years, it's expected a cure will be found. Missing a year is a better option than death, so Yugi chooses to sleep.
Yugi wakes over a decade later to a post apocalypse world over run by giant insects known as "the blue". Nearly everyone on the planet is dead, aside from a small population of humans on a space station known as Second Earth, and random pockets of survivors who haven't yet been devoured. A military unit is tasked with getting sleepers out, but Yugi wakes early due to a blue attack. It doesn't take long for Yugi to butt heads with a woman in the platoon named Marlene. The operation goes from bad to worse, with bug attacks thwarting them at each turn. Eventually their sole option is to travel from Japan to Moscow to board the last remaining shuttle destined for Second Earth.
The trek is long and dangerous. Yugi and Marlene find they have to work together if they want to make it through alive. But what exactly awaits Yugi on Second Earth?
Production values start strong, but degrades over time and gets pretty bad later on. Considering the sci-fi plot, carnage, decent animation and sorta sexual parts; for a moment I thought I'd been transported back to the 80s. With the 1999 vintage, I figured this one might have the benefit of hindsight, could avoid 80s anime problems and go interesting places. Not so. Like many 80s shows, Blue Gender has an inspired concept but does a poor job making it into a story, and struggles to utilize characters that poorly interact with one another. In addition, about 30% of this title consists of "exploding bugs".
I really liked the dark side of Blue Gender in the beginning. Bugs don't just kill people, they mutilate them, coat them in slime, then crumple them into green balls. It's disturbing and I LOVE that. The side characters are all a very strange bunch (not exactly likable), but it really is a jarring contrast from the world Yugi knows. Blue Gender doesn't manage to maintain this level of intensity long, and becomes standard poor quality sci-fi anime stuff.
The first part involves the platoon trying to get Yugi off the planet. It goes bad, and they have to make the very long journey to Moscow (don't look at a map, the animators didn't because it obviously doesn't make sense). This section is standard fair apocalypse survival stuff that looks into human nature. It's not too bad but gets really predictable, as every scenario inevitably concludes with the "bug attack". From here it moves to the Second Earth section and becomes more like a space sci-fi anime. The last third deals with the nature of the blue cells, the blue bugs, and the future of the human race.
That's a lot of ground to cover, and the progression keeps Blue Gender from getting stale. I'm sorry to say that as Blue Gender moves from part to part, each section is worse than the previous. I liked Blue Gender best when Marlene was detached and always means business. Her shift into a more emotional person didn't convince me, and I think that exotic part of her personality was a big loss to her character. Yugi is interesting because he changes a LOT through the the show, but I always hated him just as much as before. He wines a lot, freaks out over everything, or he's crazy; there's just something about him I found really irritating. Whenever Yugi argues with someone, I'd almost always agree with the other person. Too bad for them, everyone in this anime either agrees with Yugi, or they DIE.
After the nature of the Blue is revealed, it seems like maybe people shouldn't be on the Earth at all. Yugi doesn't care and he wants HIS Earth back. Uh, Okay. The conclusion of the lead scientist of Second Earth is that humanity should start anew in space. That makes sense right? Instead of sending people to death by bug mutilation and wasting resources, people seem to do fine on a space station. This isn't good enough for Yugi though, because he wants HIS Earth back.
Differences of opinion are fine, but this anime is almost insulting the way it pushes its agenda on you. Yugi settles things on Earth, and there isn't anything wrong with people living in space. Then this anime decides that people will riot for no reason and blow it (and themselves) up. Why? Because this anime demands you agree with Yugi. OR ELSE.
Early on I would have said "screw going into space, I'm staying here with this hottie from Kazakhstan" (or wherever they were). So obviously I don't have humanity's best interest in mind.
Blue Gender starts ok, but doesn't go anywhere good. The story could be patched up with only minor fixes, but the characters are pretty bad. If you're into 80s sci-fi anime, you might consider this one despite the vintage far past it's time. Everyone else will probably want to avoid it.
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