Blue Gender #8 Print
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R2 DVD Reviews
Written by maehara   
Monday, 12 March 2007 00:00
Blue GenderAfter a long 8-volume run (you can tell this is a few years old - you don't really see 8-disc releases any more, fortunately), Blue Gender comes to the end of its run.  The only problem is, after being very promising up until volume 7 something happens on the way to the conclusion that kinda takes the whole impact out of what went before.  Time to brush up on your Gaia Theory...

23 - Soliste
Efforts to detach the residential blocks from the medical station are making progress, so the mission isn't a complete loss yet, but Tony's also getting close to setting the station on a collision course with the main military station, so time is running out.  After ordering Rick to get Alicia to somewhere where she can get help (she's survived Rick's attempt to kill her), Marlene and Yuji head out to deal with Tony - they know where he is, but he's programmed the station's automatons to provide a defensive barrier, and they have problems reaching him...

TonyFinal moments

24 - Compass
Out of 300,000 on the medical station, the efforts of Yuji and the others have saved 30,000, while the loss of the medical station itself is a major blow to Second Earth's capabilities that forces Miyagi to consider abandoning the effort to retake the Earth.  Instead, it's his plan to create a peaceful civilian society on Second Earth, a decision that leads Yuji to wonder just what he's been fighting for.  The survivors of the High Council aren't about to take his decision lying down, either, and break out of their cells, intent on retaking the station.  Meanwhile, Yuji finds that after Tony's action, being a Sleeper makes him something of a marked man with the station's other residents...

Making demandsTogether at last

25 - Adagio
Monitoring missions in South America show something unusual is happening - Blue across the continent are migrating towards one hive in what had been Guyana, leaving life in the rest of the continent to return to normal.  Yuji and Marlene are given permission to form a team to investigate exactly what's going on, under the condition that it's likely to be a one-way trip - Miyagi won't offer them any support once they've landed.  The team set up camp at a village near the destination hive, but at first no matter what techniques they use they can't find any way of seeing what's going on inside.  Eventually they find a path that seems to lead directly into the hive - seeking answers, Yuki leads his team inside...

Real humansDestination hive

26 - Let Me
A new form of Blue hatches within the hive, and immediately attacks Yuji and the others.  Rapid evolution's been at work, and this new form is easily a match for their Double Edge units, so Yuji finds his team very quickly on the wrong end of the battle.  Marlene's scans of the new creature show something even more unusual: this Blue has no core, no weak point, no apparent way of killing it.  Even Yuji, enhanced by his B-cells, initially has problems dealing wth its sheer speed, although eventually he finds a way thrugh its defences.  Painfully aware that his action have cost the lives of most of his team, Yuji decides it's time he finished the job - but not with Marlene.  Unwilling to risk her life any further, he decides it's time they parted ways...

IncomingLast goodbye?

First, let's cover the conclusion of events on the medical station, as it's the last real action in the series and perhaps the first indicator that pretty much every battle we've seen so far, every death, has been futile.  With Tony set on destroying Second Earth, Yuji and the others don't have any option but to fight - the people in orbit do seem to be mankind's last hope, after all - but with this battle for once being human against human most of them - Tony excepted - don't really want to.  Even Alicia eventually sees sense, and in one of the more touching scenes of the series is the person who finally gets though to Tony.  Sadly it's too late to make any difference - and even if it had, events in the final two episodes would probably have overwritten her efforts anyway.  And so the tally of pointless deaths continues to rise.

We're not done yet, either.  Come episode 25, the Blue no longer seem to be a threat - having retreated to their hive and shown no signs of any inclination to come back out, there are the first signs that the horror for mankind could be over.  This is where Gaia Hypothesis comes in: in short, it's the idea (now fairly well-respected scientifically) that the Earth is a single organism.  If hostile cells infect a human body, or our own cells begin misbehaving, then our immune systems kick in to kill the infection; Gaia Hypothesis (in some forms at least) would have us ask what would happen if the organism that is Earth began to see humans as an infection.  Enter the Blue - and in episode 25, with the human infection reduced to harmless quantities, there's no longer a need for them.

Go hit Wikipedia if you want to know more of the science - Blue Gender sticks fairly closely to the general idea.  It's not a sudden addition or change of direction - there have been quite a few pointers thrown throughout the series that this was the direction it was heading in that are blindingly obvious in hindsight.  It's just that, with the war essentially petering out to a non-event, you have to side with Yuji on the "What was it all for?" front - the whole story just seems to have been essentially pointless.

One good thing to come out of it was the relationship between Yuji and Marlene, which continues to develop over these episodes and provides the one decent piece of closure you'll find in these episodes.  In its own way, it's almost enough to overcome my disappointment at how other events played out, as amidst the rest of the carnage, at least these two find what they're both looking for, and get a happy ending along with it.

For the series overall, Blue Gender gets two thumbs up - plenty of action, some comic moments, a little gratuitous titillation and a decent romance combine to provide something for everyone.  The ending edged more towards the surreal than the satisfying, though, and really lets things down.  There's enough good elsewhere in the series that I'll forgive it - but you may find the movie's ending a little more conclusive.

Rating - ***

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