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Blue Gender Complete Collection PDF Print E-mail
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R1 DVD Reviews
Monday, 19 March 2007 00:00
Blue GenderGod bless the Complete Collection.  The amount of money I've saved by buying these instead of individual discs is quite impressive, and every so often I'm tempted to pick up a series I maybe otherwise wouldn't have, on the back of their low price.  Blue Gender was one of those boxes, and was money well spent - although not entirely without fault...

There's a lot to get through here - the set contains the original discs for both the TV series and subsequent movie, The Warrior.  For episode synopsis and screenshots, check the reviews of the individual discs, and then come back here for the overall verdict:
» Volume 1
» Volume 2
» Volume 3
» Volume 4
» Volume 5
» Volume 6
» Volume 7
» Volume 8
» The Warrior

Blue Gender follows the story of Yuji Kaido, put into cryosleep in the early 21st Century after being diagnosed as having a "B-cell" infection, a condition that modern medical science didn't know how to treat.  The intention was to work on a cure, then awaken Yuji and the other sufferers of his illness when the cure was ready.  Good idea in theory - unfortunately, in the meantime creatures known as the Blue became the dominant life-form on Earth, and the bright, strong and rich of Earth were forced to retreat into orbit, to the space station complex known as Second Earth.  Now, the planners at Second Earth believe that the Sleepers and their B-cells are the key to defeating the Blue and allowing humanity to reclaim the Earth, and troops have been dispatched to retrieve as many of them from the surface as possible.  Yuji wakes up during his retrieval - a thoroughly disastrous mission, by any standard - and finds himself drawn into the fight against the Blue.  Not to mention attracted to the woman whose mission it is to get him back to Second Earth, Marlene Angel.

Waking sightYung

Rest & respiteGotcha

So much for the setup.  The series is split into two distinct parts: the first, set mostly on Earth and following Marlene's and Yuji's efforts to get back to Second Earth.  When the shuttle base in Tokyo Bay is destroyed it leaves them facing a trek across Asia to Baikonur, a trip of several thousand miles and during which they meet a series of people and situations that put them to the test - and in some cases make Yuji wonder if trying to live on the surface wouldn't be such a bad thing, even with the threat of the Blue.  Along the way, his ideals also begin to influence Marlene, who initially is as hard-nosed a military officer as you could ever meet.

This part of the show is almost like a road movie, with them meeting new situations each week - that's its weak point, but there's also plenty here that's very enjoyable to watch or that gives you reason to stop and think a little.  It does get a little samey in places, but that's a minor grumble when compared to how good most of this arc is.

Obligatory shower sceneTony

In the hiveTogether

The second part takes place mostly in orbit, where Yuji joins the rest of the retrieved Sleepers in a special military unit, and the true nature of his B-cell infection and the reasons behind the appearance of the Blue begin to become clear.  There are a number of new characters introduced here that change the dymanic of the show slightly, not entirely for the better, but the increasing focus on the "why" of the Blue as opposed to simply fighting them makes this arc equally interesting.  There are a few genuine surprises thrown along the way, but events reach their real climax a few episodes too soon, and the series sadly peters out to a disappointing non-event of a happy ending.  It always infuriates me when that happens (why is a good ending so rare in anime?), but the ending at least makes sense in light of what's revealed over the course of the show.

BlueHorror

If you want a decent ending, you'll have to watch the movie.  The Warrior could be described as a recap movie - most of it is a rehash of the first 6 volumes or so of the TV series, with a few added scenes - but the ending, at a spot some time short of where the TV series ends, diverges enough to make this its own creature and provides a conclusive - if not happy - ending that's less preachy than the TV series.

9 volumes for this price is a complete steal, with the added bonus that Blue Gender is for the most part a very good series, even if the ending does let it down.  It's beginning to show its age now, but it's still worth the money to add this to your collection.

Rating - ****

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