Welcome back, to horror anime month. This week we look at another anime that wasn’t based on anything but was an original work. From AIC studios, the same people who brought us such fails as Isekai no Seikishi Monogatari and OreImo, such decencies as Viper’s Creed and Quiz Magic Academy and such goodies as Sasameki Koto and Vampire Princess Miyu. Since their work quality has such a wide range I can’t even give a good estimate about how this we’ll turn out. Let’s take a look at Blue Gender and find out.
Our story begins in 2009 with Kaido Yuji being put in Cryogenic Suspension for a strange condition that the doctor’s hope to find a solution for before reawakening him. Remember when we developed that technology, froze all those people and completely forgot about all of it? That was a crazy year. He wakes up in 2031 to find that giant insect creatures called the Blue have over-run the Earth and a team of soldiers is under orders to bring him into space, for very stupid reasons. The first half focuses on their efforts to reach the space stations referred to as Second Earth and may Red Shirts lose their lives. The second half focuses on the battle against the Blue and many more Red Shirts lose their lives. You can probably guess some of the story flaws, but I’ll extrapolate on most of them. The first problem is that the series is set too close chronologically. The earliest events take place a decade after the series started airing. Using technology we still aren’t close to having. What was the point of setting it so soon? It just makes the series dated really quickly. You’d think they could have set it in the “not too distant future” without giving an actual date and it would have worked much better. By the way, the Blue are scheduled to appear in four years for those of you who like predicting the end of the world. I can’t really go into the reason that they have to bring Yuji to second Earth without giving spoilers, so I’ll just say it fails basic Biology and leave it at that. Another issue is the Blue’s motivation. Once you learn it you will get a migraine from the sheer idiocy of it. I’m tempted to spoil it just to rant about it, but I will restrain myself. Then there’s the ending. It follows one of the dumbest, oldest cliches in existence. The cliched nature of the series is a problem in general, but at no point is it worse than the ending. The series itself seems to be afraid of trying anything new. Every plot element seems to have been decided based on what a very generic sci-fi work would do which just serves to make the whole thing trite and predictable. The horror doesn’t really work. There are scenes where they’re obviously trying, but the attempts are just ineffective.
Then we have the characters. The only two important characters are Yuji and Marlene. Virtually everyone else is just a Red Shirt or they’ll serve one basic purpose before being relegated to Red Shirt. That brings me to the biggest problem with the characters. There are a lot of deaths in this and they never give you any reason to care. “That character who was in all of two scenes and did nothing is dead.” Yet the series treats them as important and emotional, spending an absurd amount of time on some of them. Blue Gender, if you want your audience invested in your characters, you have to actually develop them a little. Otherwise it just seems like you’re padding the series out by dwelling on the deaths of completely pointless characters. Even Yuji and Marlene are pretty dull. Yuji is your standard action hero. He starts out completely out of his element, but he adapts and becomes the big hero that everyone needs all without ever finding a developed personality to call his own. Marlene is more of your action girl who starts out tough but will get relegated to a background role when the plot calls for Yuji to take over. It doesn’t help that Yuji is completely ungrateful. There are two cases in which his life is saved and he gets mad at the people or person responsible. It doesn’t make him more developed or interesting, it just makes him annoying.
The art is pretty good. The Blue look interesting and the backgrounds are pretty vibrant, except when they’re in space and they become kind of monotonous, but that does make some sense. The action sequences could have been good, except that they interrupt the action a lot to show random reaction shots. Because when someone sees one of their comrades killed we couldn’t guess that they’d be angry. We have to see it. Another issue is with the facial expressions. They frequently just look borked and convey no real emotion.
The voice acting is good, considering that the actors have very little emotional depth to work with. The performances are still competent and they did get some good actors such as Nojima Kenji Kuwashima Houko and Nishimura Chinami. The music is really good. Whether they’re trying to be scary, doing an action scene or whatever, the music could have been used in something that was doing it right.
The Ho-yay factor is a 4/10. There are two sex scenes between a couple of the generic female characters. They serve absolutely no purpose and I have no idea why they were included, but they’re there.
So, that was Blue Gender. How does it hold up when taken as a whole? It isn’t bad, but it’s certainly not good. It’s too cliché and generic. Every sci-fi element can be found in much better works, but they can also be found in much worse. In the end it’s just a mediocre work that’s relatively inoffensive. You might like it if you’re a huge sci-fi fan and don’t care about originality or if you’re new to sci-fi and don’t know the cliches yet. Otherwise, I wouldn’t bother with it. Final rating, 5/10. Next week, horror anime month continues with a look at Danganronpa.