"Blue Gender" The Second Verse, Bloodier Than The First
Okay, it’s been a long time since I watched Blue Gender. I had previously reviewed volumes one through four, but various other things came up, and Blue Gender, having been seen completely throughout its Adult Swim Action run, got put on the backburner. Sitting down with the latter half of the series, I’m reminded of why I like the series, and of how weird it got in the final innings.
When we last left them, Marlene and Yuji had finally escaped to Second Earth. (I guess the Thundercats and Third Earth stories have not happened yet). During transit, Yuji had been injured and taken in for medical care aboard the space station. When we last saw Yuji he was being wheeled away in a gurney. It was the last time Marlene saw him as well.
As with every other military organization in the movie world, humanity is sacrificed for the sake of a better fighting machine. Happened in GI Joe: Valor VS Venom, happened in countless sci-fi Van Damme flicks, and it happens in Blue Gender. It turns out that the B-Cells in all sleepers can be activated to turn the warrior (when put in the right mech, of course) into a fighting machine capable of annihilating the Blue. But, the head scientists warn, pushing these cells to the max can cause the human to become more like the Blue: ready to take out humanity.
The last half of the series boils down to a war between the B-Cells. Yuji keeps being pushed and pushed, losing his humanity bit by bit in the process, but Marlene manages to pull him from the brink. On the other side, Tony Frost and Alicia Whistle (gotta love the American-style names they come up with in Japan), fellow sleepers, go over the edge and begin to enact their plans to take out humanity along with the Blue. If the Earth is a living organism, the B-Cells in humans and the Blue are the organism’s antibodies, ready to kill any outstanding cell growth (read: overpopulation).
During these episodes, it seems as if we get a role reversal with Marlene and Yuji. At the onset of the series, Marlene was bitterly cold, while Yuji was full of hope but rather weak. When Blue Gender hits the halfway mark, Marlene slowly becomes more soft, approachable, and emotionally more unstable, while Yuji (via the B-Cells) becomes a cold blooded killer who eventually evolves into an intelligent, rational man.
The third-to-last episode could have been the end of the series, as it brings the main plot to a rather satisfying close. The last two episodes, set an indeterminate amount of time later (probably just months), do manage to bring about a conclusion for, well, the human race. While Marlene and Yuji get a pretty enjoyable ending of their own, the wrap-up for everyone else seems very rushed.
The extras on these discs are nothing to go out looking for: character and voice actor bios, trailers, and photo galleries. The final volume does have a music video, a remix of the theme song.
Blue Gender, as a whole, is not an excellent series, but it is a pretty decent sci-fi show that manages to mix some heart in as well. If you’ve never seen the series before, go ahead and pick the first volume up. If you did and enjoyed it, go grab the box set. If you have no interest in gory sci-fi, then just forget about it.
And watch out for the Blue.