|This article does not cite any references or sources. (April 2011)|
Blue Gender DVD Box set released by Funimation Entertainment
|Genre||Romance, Horror, Science fiction, Mecha, Post-apocalyptic|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Masashi Abe
|Written by||Katsumi Hasegawa
|Music by||Kuniaki Haishima|
|Original run||10 October 1999 – 31 March 2000|
|Written by||Ryōsuke Takahashi|
|Illustrated by||Takashi Hashimoto|
|Published by||Kadokawa Shoten|
|Blue Gender: The Warrior|
|Directed by||Koichi Ohata|
|Written by||Daisuke Okamoto|
|Music by||Kuniaki Haishima|
|Released||20 November 2002|
Blue Gender (Japanese: ブルージェンダー Hepburn: Burū Jendā?) is a 26-episode anime created, co-directed and co-written by Ryōsuke Takahashi (of Armored Trooper Votoms and Gasaraki fame) broadcast in Japan from 1999-2000. Blue Gender was created by the Japanese animation studio, AIC and is distributed in the United States by Funimation Entertainment. In 2003, Blue Gender was released on American television as part of Cartoon Network's Adult Swim, though it had originally been planned for Toonami, and was thus edited to remove its graphic violence, nudity, and sex scenes (however, its airing on Colours TV and Funimation Channel in the United States and G4techTV Canada in Canada were unedited and uncut). There is also a compilation movie (Blue Gender: The Warrior) available on DVD with an alternative ending. The series was also shown on the Sci Fi Channel in the UK in 2002-2003. The Blue Gender series is set in the 2030s, in which Earth has been overrun by the Blue, which are mutated insect-like creatures containing a newly evolved B-cell that recently appeared in several humans, including the main protagonist, Yuji Kaido, that kill and harvest humans for food. Most of the surviving human race has moved to Second Earth, a huge spaceship that orbits the planet. The series mostly focuses on Yuji and Marlene's relationship as they work together to reach Second Earth and their participation in military combat operations against the Blue.
In the year 2009, Yuji Kaido is an average young adult male diagnosed with a serious disease (the "B-cells") and is put into cryogenic stasis until a cure is found. Twenty-two years later, he is awakened in the midst of a raging battle between armored soldiers and insectoid beings called the "Blue" which have overrun the Earth.
The group of soldiers are from an orbiting space colony collectively called Second Earth and were ordered to recover "sleepers" around the Earth. Among them is the soldier Marlene Angel, who at first appears to be heartless toward others. On the journey to the space colony, Second Earth,Yuji meets many of the humans that were left behind during the evacuation due to limited resources. Standing orders for Marlene and the other troops are to consider any human survivors on the surface to be already dead, which greatly troubles Yuji.
On their journey all of the soldiers are killed, except for Marlene, causing Yuji to fall into a deep depression as he recognizes the destruction around him and his own inability to save those he cares about. During their travel to Baikonur space base through the mountains, Yuji and Marlene start to develop a bond that starts to soften her sharp edges. Eventually, in Russia, Yuji and Marlene come across another group of soldiers and devise a battle plan to get back to Second Earth. During the operation to escape to Second Earth, Marlene is the last remaining pilot and completely overrun by the Blue. Just when Marlene is about to self-detonate her Armor Shrike, Yuji arrives. Determined not to leave her behind he comes to her rescue with a team of supporters (service robots). Marlene is overwhelmed at Yuji's efforts to save her. This is a turning point for Marlene and her feelings for Yuji are quite clear for the rest of the series. During the shuttle flight to Second Earth, Marlene and Yuji expose their emotions for each other. Marlene and Yuji's scene is abruptly interrupted as a mutated Blue which hid in the shuttle attacks Yuji, critically injuring him.
Upon arrival, Marlene and Yuji are separated, and Marlene is sent back into training at the education station. Not knowing what happened after he was attacked, Marlene rebels and is bent on finding Yuji. When she does, she finds he is healed and being trained to use a new specialized "sleeper"-specific Armor Shrike (A.S) called the "Double Edge", a battlesuit that is much stronger than the originals used in war against the Blue. It is discovered the illness that Yuji is afflicted with is the key to help destroying the Blue and taking back the planet. He, and other "Sleepers", have "B-cells" which are also the genetic make up of the Blue.
After intensive training, Yuji and Marlene return to Earth with two other "Sleepers" named Tony Frost and Alicia Whistle. Tony is an inexperienced A.S pilot, but his B-cells are very adept, giving him great A.S skills. Alicia is only a young teenager with no combat experience and not much sense as to what is going on around her. They and the other forces of Second Earth battle the Blue. They become successful at destroying a few of the largest nests before they head back to Second Earth. However, the battles begin to have a negative effect on Yuji who gives very little regard for human life and is completely obsessed with being better than Tony at killing Blue. Yuji's actions deeply concern Marlene and she begins to know something is wrong.
Shortly after returning to Second Earth, the High Council orders the "Sleepers" on a second offensive against the Blue. Marlene is separated from Yuji once again, but in his current state he does not seem to care. As the "Sleepers" are carrying out their mission, a battle on Second Earth between two factions is waged. Seno, the head of Second Earth's science division, leads the "Ark" rebellion taking control of the military, lunar resource, and education stations of Second Earth. The High Council escapes to and retains control of the medical station. During this time Marlene learns about the nature of the illness that put Yuji in stasis, the source of his abilities, and the source of the Blue Insectoids. They are a defense mechanism enacted by the Earth to purge the existence of humanity, and the B-cells that exist in the "Sleepers" could become a potential threat to humanity as well.
After the "Ark" successfully takes over Second earth from the ignorant High Council, Marlene heads down to earth in search of Yuji. When she finds him his B-cells are already beginning to activate and he begins to go berserk as a killing machine. After struggling and fighting with him, Marlene is finally able to get through to Yuji and helps him overcome his madness by showing her human emotions and feelings for him (this is ironic because in the beginning of the series Marlene is the brutal military soldier and it is Yuji who uses his emotions to help Marlene realize her human sensitivity). Meanwhile, Tony and an unknowing Alicia have also abandoned the remaining grounds forces. The troops fend off waves of Blue before escaping with the few remaining survivors. Tony and a now brainwashed Alicia also eventually return to Second Earth, but bring with them several Blue when they board the medical station.
When Yuji and Marlene return to Second Earth, they find that Tony plans to ram the medical station into the military station, which would therefore destroy the heart of Second Earth. He sees this as the "Grand Will of the Earth", in which he will become a "messiah" and cleanse the planet of humanity forever. However, Yuji, Marlene, and a group of other soldiers infiltrate the station, and manage to free Alicia's mind after injuring her. Later, Yuji and Marlene confront and eliminate Tony, while Rick (a close friend and partner to Yuji and Marlene) is slaughtered by a Blue. Alicia ventures back to Tony to die with him as the military destroys the medical station.
After the decision by Seno's junta to abandon Earth, Yuji becomes depressed and contemplates his existence, wondering what he has been fighting for, why he was woken, why he cannot save his friends (Joey near the beginning, Tony from his madness, and Alicia from Tony's brainwashing), and what is truly Earth's will. However, Marlene again is able to get through to Yuji and the two realize they need each other and finally become lovers.
Yuji decides to return to Earth to once and for all find out what Earth's Will is. After learning from Seno about a new migration pattern of the Blue, Yuji and Marlene take a group of volunteers and head to an area where a massive nest is located. There they find a group of humans who seem to be surviving in the area. The nest seems impenetrable at first, but they eventually find an entrance with the help of the local people.
The entrance leads to a tunnel where the walls, ceiling, and floor of the cavern are composed of fossil-like Blue. The team finally comes upon a crystal formation in a massive cavern. A huge Blue is birthed from the gel substance sitting atop the formation and kills everyone except for Yuji and Marlene. Yuji kills it and comes to the conclusion that the sphere will hold the answers he seeks. He sends Marlene, who is pregnant with their child, away to the surface to wait for him. He then gets a vision and can see what the earth itself can see. Yuji comes to understand how mankind can live alongside the B-Cells and returns to Marlene.
Meanwhile, Second Earth's military station's citizens revolt against Seno. The station's personnel proceed to abandon the station for Earth via shuttles. Eventually a firefight erupts over the last remaining overcrowded shuttle, and the station is destroyed by a massive explosion. All around the world from former Blue Nests, long strings of coalescing energy ascend into Earth's atmosphere and form a ring. Marlene and Yuji watch this, realizing Earth is now a safe place to be and look forward to the rest of their lives together as the sun sets. A final view of the Earth from space is shown with a slightly garbled narration, presumably by the Earth, stating, "Welcome to your next journey".
- Yuji Kaido (海堂 祐司 Kaidō Yūji?) - After being diagnosed with an incurable disease (later discovered to be B-cells), Yuji Kaido decides to be put in cryogenic sleep in hopes that an effective treatment will be developed soon. In 2031, twenty-two years later, Yuji wakes up to find the world overrun by a deadly new species known as 'Blue'. In 2009 Yuji worked in a gas station, rode his motorcycle, and hung out with his friend Takashi. But in 2031 everything Yuji knew has been destroyed by the Blue. He feels lost and alone in an unforgiving new world. For better or for worse, Yuji is guided by the only thing that he can't trust - his emotions - as he attempts to gain control over his new life. Voiced by: Kenji Nojima (Japanese), Eric Vale (English)
- Marlene Angel (マリーン・エンジェル Marīn Enjeru?) - Orphaned at the age of ten because her parents were killed by the Blue, Marlene was one of the few lucky ones to make it to Second Earth. Since then, Marlene has dedicated and trained herself to defeat the Blue. Though seeming very heartless and cold in the earlier episodes, as time progresses, Yuji opens up Marlene's emotions and a bond is created. As Marlene's emotions begin to resurface, everything she was taught to believe in begins to break down. Towards the end of the series, she and Yuji conceive a child together. Voiced by: Houko Kuwashima (Japanese), Laura Bailey (English)
- Tony Frost (トニー・フロスト Tonī Furosuto?) - Another sleeper who unlike Yuji, awoke on Second Earth. A very powerful sleeper, He is easily the most advance member of the Sleeper Brigade and trusts no one. Yuji strives to improve himself to be able to beat Tony. Tony seems to have no emotion except for the euphoria of destroying Blue. It becomes apparent in later episodes, however, that he sees himself as a Messiah when his B-cells initiate, and has his own plans for the fate of humanity. Voiced by: Hiroyuki Satō (Japanese), Jerry Jewell (English)
- Alicia Whistle (アリシア・ウィッスル Arisha Wissuru?) - Another sleeper on Second Earth who is paired with Tony. She immediately gravitates towards Yuji, seeing Marlene as an obstacle to a relationship with him. She is very young and often naive. Her death is one of the many that troubles Yuji. Voiced by: Miwa Yasuda (Japanese), Lisa Ortiz (English)
- Seno Miyagi (セノ・ミヤギ Seno Miyagi?) - A high-ranking member of the science division on Second Earth. He suggests that Marlene and Yuji are kept together in order to get the best results from Yuji in the sleeper program. Not agreeing with the High Council's leadership of Second Earth or its reckless use of the sleepers, he eventually forms a group called The Ark, which would later overthrow the High Council's "government" on Second Earth. Seno would subsequently become the leader of Second Earth, but only for a brief time. His order to abandon Earth eventually results in a revolt and his execution by citizens whom wanted to return to Earth. Voiced by: Katsunosuke Hori (Japanese), Kyle Hebert (English)
- Rick - Rick is a military Elite, and although he fights on the Sleeper Brigade, he is not a Sleeper. He is cocky, confident, and loves strong women, especially Marlene. Voice by Sean Schemmel
- Doug Vreiss - Doug is the assistant to the High Council and a high-ranking official on Second Earth. He is the Director of the Military Station, and also participates in High Council inquireies. Voiced by Bradford Jackson
- One Day: It is the year 2031. Humankind has been replaced as the dominant species on Earth by a race of monstrous insect like creatures known as the Blue. Sleeper Yuji Kaido finds himself thrust into this nightmarish world, suddenly awakened after 22 years in suspended animation. Alone and surrounded by Blue, Yuji’s only hope for survival comes the elite Sleeper Recovery Team, and a steely Mech pilot named Marlene…
- Cry: Yuji learns the horrible truth about the Blue. Their infestation of the planet has forced the human race to seek refuge in outer space. Marlene and the Sleeper Recovery Team have been given orders to get Yuji to space station Second Earth alive. But with the Blue lurking around at every turn, things do not always go according to plan.
- Trial: Tired of feeling helpless in this new hostile world, Yuji pleads to be trained as part of the team. Marlene gives Yuji a crash course on weapons. Joey teaches him the basics of driving a mech suit. Armed with his new skills and his newfound confidence in his ability to survive, Yuji is ready for action. But against an enemy like the Blue, overconfidence can be deadly…
- Agony: Yuji disobeys Marlene’s orders by saving a little girl’s life, and discovers a group of survivors hidden among the ruins of the city. Yuji makes promise to the little girl, Yung, that he will protect her from the blue. But this new cause is threatened when he learns a shocking truth about his rescuers from Second Earth.
- Priority: The surviving members of the Sleeper Recovery Team must enter an abandoned communications tower that is now a Blue nest in a desperate attempt to contact Second Earth. With the Blue now converging on their position, the only chance of staying alive is to draw the Blue into a fight using human survivors as bait. Yuji has promised to protect Yung at any cost — but is it a promise he can keep?
- Relation: Marlene and Yuji now travel on foot towards Balinonur Space Base. The tensions between the two come to a head, as Yuji confronts the demons that now haunt him in this nightmarish new world. As she witnesses Yuji’s struggle, Marlene’s own horrifying memories of the past begin to resurface. But can even Yuji’s fiery emotions help to melt away Marlene’s icy exterior?
- Sympathy: Still en route to Baikonur, Marlene and Yuji cross paths with a rough mannered stranger named Dice. With the Blue lurking dangerously close, he offers them shelter for the night and Yuji is given a glimpse into his seemingly carefree life. But as Yuji soon discovers, no one left on Earth is without their demons…not even Dice.
- Oasis: Yuji is separated from Marlene and Dice amidst the confusion of a sandstorm. He is rescued from the desert by a band of nomads, and is befriended by Elena, a young nomad girl. As Yuji begins to believe that a peaceful life might still be possible, a raid by a group of bandits serves him a harsh reminder that there is more than one kind of danger in the world — and it is never far away.
- Confirm: Marlene and Dice are reunited with Yuji outside the nomad camp. Marlene pressures Yuji to continue his journey to Second Earth, but Yuji refuses. He decides to remain Elena and her people and to live out the rest of his life in peace. But when Marlene and Dice are attacked by the Blue, Yuji is forced to choose between his life with Elena and saving the lives of his friends.
- Tactics: Marlene and Yuji arrive at Baikonur, only to find the space base in the state of chaos. The facility is crawling with Blue, and the computer defense systems have turned on their human counterparts. Now, with supplies and personnel dwindling, the assembled recovery teams must launch a desperate bid to regain control of the base.
- Go Mad: The lives of the remaining recovery squad members are thrown into jeopardy when a renegade officer attempts to hijack the shuttle and escape on his own. The attempt is thwarted, but the cost is the diversion of valuable resources from the battlefield, where Marlene and a small team of Armor Shrike pilots are fighting to stay alive!
- Progress: Yuji is rushed into intensive care after being attacked by a Blue aboard the shuttle to Second Earth. Now, Marlene must face an inquiry before the High Council and defend her recent actions on the planet’s surface. But Marlene has questions of her own, and soon begins to suspect a dark design behind the Council’s plans for the recovered Sleeper, Yuji.
- Heresy: When Yuji disappears from the Medical Station, Marlene defies orders and decides to find him on her own. Now, with Amick Hendar’s security forces on high alert, Marlene must descend into the lower reaches of the Military Station to find the one man who may know Yuji’s whereabouts — Science Director, Seno Miyagi.
- Set: Marlene’s attempts to free Yuji from the laboratory in which he is being held are thwarted. Now she must once again stand before the High Council to defend her actions, this time with Yuji at her side. When Chairman Victor reveals the Council’s true reasons for recovering the Sleepers, Marlene is stunned to learn that Yuji may be humankind’s last hope at taking back the Earth.
- Calm: After beginning an intensive new combat training with the newly formed Sleeper Brigade, Yuji finds himself the object of another young Sleeper’s attention. Even the sterile military environment of Second Earth cannot subdue all human urges, but as Yuji soon discovers, a little human contact could cost him everything.
- A Sign: A large attack force is sent to Earth, the first wave in a new campaign to reclaim the planet from the Blue. Yuji is awed when a fellow Sleeper, Tony wipes out an entire Blue nest on his own. Yuji determines to be the best at any cost. But is this unhealthy obsession with beating Tony really a symptom of a much greater problem?
- Eclosion: Marlene notices that Yuji’s behavior is getting stranger and stranger. On the battlefield he is a force to be reckoned with, but he has an unhealthy obsession with destroying the Blue. Has Yuji turned into something that he once despised — a cold-blooded killer?
- Chaos: Director Miyagi reveals to Marlene the true cause of Yuji’s accelerated rate of achievement — an infestation of "B cells" that have begun to eat away at his mind. And unless she can do something to stop it, Yuji’s sanity will soon slip away completely.
- Collapse: The Sleeper Brigades launch yet another offensive against the Blue and Yuji’s lust for battle grows out of control as his B cells begin to take hold of his sanity. Meanwhile a mutiny has begun on Second Earth, and Marlene finds herself with an integral part to play in the plan to overthrow the High Council. But Marlene has her own reasons for aiding Seno Miyagi…
- Versus: The second airborne operation meets with disaster when the Blue counterattack outnumbers Second Earth forces five-to-one. But even as the combat units are desperately falling back, Marlene pushes further into the battlefield. Knowing the horrible truth about Yuji’s slipping sanity, she’s determined to confront him on her own terms…and bring him back from the brink of self-destruction.
- Joker: While Marlene flies a distraught Yuji back to Second Earth. Tony uses his Sleeper skills to infiltrate the High Council. The sky is turned into the newest battleground for survival. Only this time, the Blue have mutated into something unthinkable…
- Dogma: Yuji and Marlene infiltrate the Blue infested Medical Station and are soon reunited with Rick and Soo. While Soo attempts a daring rescue of the station’s hibernating civilian population, Marlene, Yuji, and Rick attack the heart of the problem — Tony. But before they can reach their objective they encounter an unexpected obstacle standing in their way.
- Soliste: With Rick injured too severely to continue, Marlene and Yuji continue through the Medical Station alone. They arrive at the main computer room to find Tony waiting for them. Now Yuji must confront his one time friend and rival, and the only way to stop him is to kill.
- Compass: The remaining survivors aboard Second Earth begin to rebuild after Tony’s devastating attack. As Yuji contemplates his own place in this rapidly changing world, Director Miyagi lays out his plan to make Second Earth the permanent home of the human race. But there are dissidents hiding in the dark corners…and some of them carry guns.
- Adagio: Satellite images of the Earth reveals a mass Blue migration in South America and Yuji volunteers to investigate. Once on the surface, he and his team discover that the Blue have mysteriously vanished without a trace. Now, the only hope Yuji has of finding answers, lies deep underground in the dark tunnels below a massive Blue nest.
- Let Me: A monstrous Blue has emerged in the heart of the South American nest, the only thing standing between Yuji and the answers he so desperately seeks. Unless Yuji wins this battle, all hope for the future is lost — for him, for Marlene and for the entire human race.
The compilation movie, Blue Gender: The Warrior is composed of both old and new footage—with many clips being completely re-animated—and a very different ending. Roughly the last third of the original series' story arc was removed for the movie, thus requiring an alternative ending.