It’s a series done by the guy who did the sort of classic Armored Trooper VOTOMS, which was pretty good, and the forgettable Gasaraki. The latter is (probably) better known by being the directorial (co-director, but still) debut of Goro Taniguchi, who would later make much more worthwhile endeavours like Code Geass, Code Geass R2, and… uh… that one Kimba the White Lion special and… Maria the Virgin Witch. Well yeah, he’s something of a one trick pony. Anyway, I keep forgetting the director’s name, so for now I’m just going to refer to him as Mr. VOTOMS Guy.
Hey, I asked you about Blue Gender, not about this Taniguchi dude.
Yeah I got sidetracked there.
Blue Gender is a science fiction show set in year 2031 in world that has been completely taken over by a giant insect-like species known as the Blue. More specifically, it’s about a dude called Yuji who was frozen since 2009 because of a really vague and nonspecific disease. Remember back when Cryonics R Us opened in 2007? Good times. He is unfrozen by some chick called Marlene, and then is he learns more about the world and such.
Why would you ever want to unfreeze someone who has a potentially contagious disease?
That’s a really good question that has a really stupid answer. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.
Are the monsters really called The Blue?
That’s really stupid.
Do they at least look cool?
No, absolutely not. For some reason, Mr. VOTOMS Guy thought it’d be really cool and deep if every Blue looked like a symbol of motherhood. You see how Alien had a lot of Freudian imagery to drive home how uncomfortable and rape-y the titular Aliens were? It’s like that but ten times more pretentious and infinitely shittier. Instead, every Blue looks like a vagina.
Yep, ever single of them is a good ol’ vagina dentata symbol. Instead of looking disturbing, it looks really silly and juvenile if you’re not a 12-year-old with some mommy issues or something.
Do the mechas look cool?
Nope. They have an insane open cockpit design that provides zero protection for the pilot, in a shocking disregard for common sense, because basic military engineering is apparently not a thing in 2035. Then there’s that melee mecha that is two-piloted, with one pilot controlling the legs and other the torso, and neither has protection. I’ll give you three guesses and no prize as to why it’s stupid.
It’s supposed to be symbolic of how much humanity disregards human life and such but instead it’s really stupid. For the record, many a World War I and World War II general really thought soldiers were disposable, and even them didn’t have horrible open cockpit tanks.
How are the characters?
This is a Neon Genesis Evangelion clone, after all, so it has a multitude of “complex” characters. They range from the decent to grating. But this being an Eva clone, of course the main characters are a bunch of annoying pansies while all the side characters you like die horrible, mean-spirited deaths. There’s also some character development, but…
But their developments usually feel… undeserved, for lack of a better word. It feels forced and jarring. Characters change because the story needs them to change at a particular moment, without much transition between phases. It starts off strong enough, but somewhere near the end of the first cour it just degrades to the amazing depths of characterization only matched by a grade schooler playing with Max Steel (that’s still a thing, right?) toys, with some added fucking thrown in.
Wait, there’s fucking?
IN THE FUTURE, it turns out that no value is placed in human life, and therefore the act of fucking has lost all meaning beyond simple, instant pleasure. So, in the future, masturbation and sex are pretty much the same thing in levels of social significance and so everybody fucks all the time. Yeah, I’m not really sure I’m the sort of person who is bothered by that. It’s just distracting and adds nothing to the setting and it’s jarring more than anything else and by the way Mr. VOTOMS Guy totally ripped it off from Brave New World. Fucking hack.
No, this is a 90s anime. They don’t show any of the good bits.
Where you really expecting anything other than the equivalent of two Barbie dolls fucking?
Fucking aside, can you talk about why they unfroze Yuji in the first place?
Oh yeah, this is some second-half stuff. This is where the series really collapses inside-out like a undrunk digestive system that just ingested a kebab.
Oh right, yes, Blue Gender. The reason they unfroze Yuji was not because their many computers (that by the way still have CRT 4:3 monitors despite being THE FUTURE) predicted he was going to be the second coming of the Chuck Motherfucking Yeager of mecha, because that’d be too conventional and not edgy enough.
No, the reason is that the cause of Yuji’s mysterious disease is
ebola swine flu gonorrhea something called B-Cells.
B-Cells is some undefined virus that causes an undefined disease with undefined symptoms that include life-threatening conditions like mild irritability, headache and terrible character derailment. Honestly, why they bothered to freeze him and not, say, give him aspirin and Xanax and a decent writer is beyond me.
But the point is, despite being so fucking deadly apparently they cannot dispose of it safely without cryogenics, the government apparently thinks it’s a pretty good idea to harvest these B-Cells to make better mech pilots.
Those B-Cells that, you know, cause an extremely infectious (?) and deadly (?) disease that it’s impossible to contain effectively.
What a tweest!
It’s supposed to tie in with the themes of human life no longer being of any value in THE FUTURE, but there’s “placing little to no value in human life” and then there’s “being a complete idiot”.
You want better mech pilots? Why not put an actual cockpit in the mecha? Look:
I am now a better mech engineer than the dudes at Second Heaven. CA$25 an hour please.
Does this get more stupid?
Oh hell YES. This is only the tip of the iceberg. The cure to the Bullshit Cell Syndrome is simply being tender to Yuji, because that works so fucking smoothly for treating neurodegenerative diseases and herp derp it was Marlene the one who didn’t have any humanity herp derp which would’ve been prettys sweet if it weren’t character derailment. Which leads to another question:
So, BCS is like Mad Cow Disease? Then how Yuji didn’t come out already mad?
That’s a really good question that is never answered.
Moving on, then…
This in an Eva clone, right? Does it mean is has a weird-ass ending?
But of course. After spending some time being a fucking pussy who angsts like a little bitch and cannot cope with his mistakes caused by his stupidness, he decides to return to Earth to find out Earth’s Will, which is a sentient thing in Blue Gender because why not. So, they find a massive Blue nest in which they find the manifestation of Gaia which kills everyone but Yuji because reasons.
Yuji then gets delivered a really boring and tedious vision in which he sees whait is Gaia’s will and holy shit this is fucking pretentious and I really don’t care.
Meanwhile, the humans in Second Earth go apeshit because Gaia triggered a secret gene which makes human in Second Earth go apeshit. Except of course, that genetics don’t work that way, you fucks.
And so, Marlene and Yuji and a few others are left in harmony with nature, free of filthy technology so fuck you if you need glasses or medicine or are crippled or have a manageable but incurable disease. Which their children are going to need when the inevitable genetic bottlenecks and rampant homozygosity and other caveats of a small population size which by the way you learn in Biology 201 inevitably ends humanity.
To say this comes out of left field would be like saying Ride To Hell: Retribution was “a bit shit”.
But hey, common sense and eeeeevil science are no obstacle for a shitty heavy-handed environmental moral meets humanity sux lol that is so fucking innovative and totally not passé even in 19 fucking 99.
You seem to be a taking this a little bit personally.
But of course I am. I hate these kind of stories that push science and technology as an evil thing that we must be rid of, like they read Luddite pamphlets and decided that they’re right and not that Luddites are complete fucking morons who know jack shit. Maybe it’s because I come from a long line of physicists and engineers that these things offend me personally.
Yeah, I should chill out a little bit.
So, what’s your final verdict?
Despite how angry this series makes me, I think it has a strong enough beginning, only to throw it all away in the second half with rampant character derailment, careless and senseless killing of characters, a heavy handed shitty fucking moral about how tech is the devil’s asshole itself and humanity are a bunch of fucking cancerous blobs for creating tech and sorry I got off track there, and everything just falls apart spectacularly when it tries to be deep and dark and edgy.
Mind you, these are not problems endemic to Blue Gender, as these were generally present in terrible Eva clones that plagued anime up until the early to mid 00s. The Eva clone phase of anime did give us some very good anime, like RahXephon, Bokurano, and Fafner in the Azure (as well as some the hilariously bizarre Brain Powerd). Blue Gender is not one of them.