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Blue Gender #5 PDF Print E-mail
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R2 DVD Reviews
Written by maehara   
Monday, 29 January 2007 00:00
Blue GenderAbsence makes the heart grow fonder, as Marlene finds out during her time without Yuji, so she makes a determined effort to arrange a reunion between the two of them - and ends up meeting a number of other Sleepers as a result.  Second Earth's leaders are hoping to make use of the innate fighting ability the Sleepers seem to have - with Marlene now fighting alongside them, will she be able to keep up..?

13 - Heresy
Marlene's instructor has had enough with her errant behaviour and decides a course of mental adjustment is required - a soldier who won't shoot without hesitation is no good to them, after all.  Marlene, though, has other things on her mind: mostly Yuji, who has been moved from the ward where Marlene first found him.  While she doesn't know where he's now being held, she's determined to find out.  She tracks him leaving the station on a medical shuttle, but with no recorded destination for the flight pinning his location down proves easier said than done...

AngryYuji, restrained

14 - Set
On hearing Marlene's voice, Yuji awakens and frees himself from the apparatus he's been confined in - a surprise for the medical staff, as he's not even supposed to be conscious.  Realising there's something about Marlene that Yuji's reacting to, the High Council decide it's time to have a word with their rebellious underling.  Marlene herself doesn't really understand why she felt it necessary to track Yuji down - but now that she's found him again, she wants to know exactly what the High Council have been planning for him.  The chairman of the Council is surprisingly forthcoming...

CouncilFellow Sleepers

15 - Calm
The arrival of Yuji and Marlene on the Sleeper Brigade is beginning to show up Alicia's shortcomings.  While Marlene warns her that with real combat duty coming up she'd better work on her skills, she's more interested in seeing how far she can get if she applies a little flirtation in Yuji's direction.  There's something she wants to show Yuji - not the secret spot where the members of the Brigade can be found working off their sexual frustrations together, as Yuji was maybe beginning to hope, but something altogether more scenic.  Marlene, meanwhile, catches one of the other squad members carrying out some unauthorised investigations into her and Yuji...

Shower sceneAlicia

Fortunately for Blue Gender, Marlene seems to have developed the same sort of healthy disrespect for authority that Yuji had shown to her own orders - and she's not exactly short of ideas when it comes to getting her own way, either.  That she would eventually catch up with Yuji was never really in any doubt - the interesting stuff comes when the High Council finally explain why they're so interested in Sleepers: a little bit of medical babble about how the illness they had - essentially an overactive immune system - could somehow be used to transform the sufferers into unbeatable warriors.  It's a little bit far-fetched, but this is anime, so I'll let it slide.

The running theme in orbit that the individual is considerably less important than the overall aim of defeating the Blue continues, as well.  The way Marlene is treated by her instructor is one sign, as is the arrival on the scene of Alicia - like Yuji a former Sleeper assigned to the military, but looking at best around 14 and pretty much acting her age.  She's a wee cutie, who I suspect may not last very long once the Sleeper Brigade reach active duty.  Time will tell.  There are also a few other hints dropped here & there that would indicate the value of human life isn't all that high on Second Earth - a paradise, it isn't.  Add in a few rather explicit scenes of a titillating nature, and I'm quite surprised this volume got by the BBFC without an 18 certificate slapped on it.

At heart, though, these episodes are filler.  We're in the gap between missions to Earth - once the Sleeper Brigade have completed their training we'll be back on the surface and into the action again, but for now we're stuck with a few almost slice-of-life stories that are interesting enough in themselves but that don't really advance the story by much.  The new characters introduced here do liven things up again - some are fun, some decidedly untrustworthy - and I don't mind getting the chance for them to become more than faceless fodder for the Blue, but I do also miss the action scenes.  Still well worth a look, though.

Rating - ****

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