Blue Submarine No. 6
|Blue Submarine No. 6|
(Ao no Roku-gō)
|Written by||Satoru Ozawa|
|Magazine||Weekly Shōnen Sunday|
|Original run||January 8, 1967 – November 5, 1967|
|Written by||Satoru Ozawa|
|Published by||Seika Bunkansha|
|Original run||June 1997 – November 1998|
|Original video animation|
|Directed by||Mahiro Maeda|
|Released||October 25, 1998 – March 25, 2000|
Blue Submarine No. 6 (青の6号 Ao no Roku-gō , literally "Blue No.6"), officially translated in Japan as "Blue Sub 006", is a post-apocalyptic 3-volume manga series written and illustrated by Satoru Ozawa initially published in 1967 by Akita Shoten and was serialized in Weekly Shonen Sunday magazine. The manga was re-published into 5-volumes under the new name AO6. It was published by Seika Bukansha and was serialized in Sebun Comics magazine on June 1997.
The manga was subsequently adapted into a four-episode original video animation (OVA) series by Gonzo in 2000. The OVA had also received two video games for the PlayStation and Dreamcast. Both manga and OVA have received mixed to negative reviews due to the poor plot and characters, however it was praised for its computer-generated animation.
The story sets in the distant future, when the Earth's oceans have risen and flooded most of the sea-lying land on Earth. The rogue scientist Zorndyke caused the flooding, which killed countless individuals, and most of humanity's remaining cities have been attacked or destroyed by Zorndyke's army of half-animal "hybrids". The remaining humans begin to wage war against Zorndyke's seagoing creations for simple survival. Humanity's best hope for a resolution to the conflict lies with its submarine forces, among which is the focus of the story, Blue Submarine #6. It is revealed that Zorndyke is attempting to decisively end the conflict in the favor of his hybrid children by artificially inducing a polar switch using geothermal energy at the South Pole.
- Hayami Tetsu (速水鉄): The lead protagonist who is a pilot for underwater vessels. He's contacted by Kino to help with the Blue Fleet operation.
- Mayumi Kino (紀之真弓): A young girl around 18 years of age who enlists Hayami to help her.
- Tokuhiro Iga (伊賀徳洋): The Captain of Blue 6. While serving in the Marine Self Defense Force Submarine Division, he became an alcoholic and his wife and child left him. He became an instructor at the International Naval Academy by swearing to give up drinking. He is a veteran of Musuca battles and has experience in fighting Verg. Understanding his former student; Tetsu Hayami's great abilities and seeing the need for them, he pushed him to rejoin Blue Fleet.
- Zorndyke (ユング・ゾーンダイク): The antagonist of the story, who is supposed to be attempting to destroy humanity. He has created a series of hybrid creatures to carry out various tasks, known as the Army of Chiron. Many seem to have gone beyond his control, though they claim to be doing his will.
- Verg (ベルグ): The "Admiral" of Zorndyke's navy. He is very prone to fits of anger and jealousy and even savagely attack Mutio for interacting with a human. His biggest motivation appears to be his Papa's approval, and he constantly seeks it by killing humans. He foolishly believes that humans make his Papa sad, and not the war(s) they are involved in.
- Mutio (ミューティオ): A member of the aquatic hybrid race created by Zorndyke (often referred to as nereids). She is saved by Hayami and she later returns the favor. She becomes an outcast due to her interactions with Hayami. Even though she was banished by Verg and brutally beaten by her sisters, she still consoles him in the last episode. This forgiving nature may have developed during her interactions with Hayami and Red Spot or because of her natural compassion. Subtly hinted throughout the anime to have fallen in love with Hayami and implied in the final credits to someday reunite with him. She is the only fish-woman seen with red eyes and red spots (as opposed to the normal blue), a rare sign of genetic diversity amongst her species in the series.
- Mei-Ling Huang (黄美鈴):is a 10-year-old crew member who works with the sonar and communicates with Zorndyke's creatures. She is a child genius and a Sonometer who uses the "Lorenzini System" included on the Blue Fleets Submarines. She is the sole member of Blue 6 who operates this system. She was born and raised in a wealthy family. Her father is French and her mother is Vietnamese. Because she is gifted with extra sensory abilities, she was involved in a project at the Oceania Marine Development center. After the Zorndyke conflict began, Yamada saw her talent and had her join the Blue Fleet.
Despite Huang's remarkable skills, she is still quite young and very emotionally frail, often time she's seen clutching her stuffed bear and is very disturbed by all the death that occurs during battle. She dislikes any kind of conflict and feels burdened by her psychic abilities. It also seems that she is very close to Kino.
- Yuri Majakofski (ユーリ・マヤコフスキー): A 21-year-old vice chief of the Blue 6. He attend the same academy as Hayami. He was opposed to Hayami returning and has always been His rival.
- Sidra Dedson (シドラ・デッドソン): A 23-year-old leader sailor of Blue 6. his father was a poet, as is he. He join the Blue fleet to fight Zorndyke. Plays both football and basketball. His favorite book is The Gulf and Other Poems by Derek Walcott.
- Hugh Walde Cornwell: Hugh is a 58-year-old chief engineer of the Blue 6 of Scottish origin.
- Kouichi Nakamura: The 53-year-old crew member of the Blue 6. His hobbies are listening to Hawaiian music and diving. Childhood dream was to become an underwater photographer. joined the public merchant marine university. Went from his see trading company to the Blue Fleet. Loves Hawaiian music and plays the ukulele. Age: 53 Place of birth: Kanagawa, Japan Position: crew member, Blue submarine No. 6
- Makio Yamada (山田マキオ): 28-year-old sonar operator of the Blue 6. Boasting about his abilities, he volenteered to join the Oceania Marine development center project. After a short stint at the center he became one of Blue Sub No 6's Sonar Operators. He also acts as Mei-Ling's guardian.
- Yun Myong-Hae (尹明海): 20-year-old Korean communication operator of the Blue 6.
- Toko Gusuku: A 20-year-old firearm control of the blue 6. Her motto is "eat a lot and talk a lot". She is a typical tomboy. She is against war but justifies joining the Blue fleet "for the purpose of restoring peace".
- Freeda Verasko (フリーダ・ベラスコ): A 27-year-old pilot of the Blue 6 of Mexican origin. Freida was raised in a military family; her father was an officer in the Mexican Navy. She has a husband and a 3-year-old child, but during Zorndyke's war they became separated. She loves and appreciates the beauty of botany and painted pictures
- Alesandro David Cekeros (アレッサンドロ・ダビッド): 25-year-old Quartermaster of the Blue 6 of Italian origin. During his service in the Italian navy, he was reprimanded by his commanding officer for his loose conduct with women. He was expelled from the International Naval academy. A native Italian who dislikes pasta, has a cheerful personality. He is usually seen around Freeda. Position: First Officer
- Akihiro Ookawa: 19-year-old firearm control of the Blue 6.
- Sukune Tsuji: 4-year-old chef of the Blue 6. Born in Osaka, Japan.
- Jean-Jacques Bernell (JJ バ－ネル): He is obsessed with machines and how they work. He joined the development research center from France to work on AIP research, yet still believes that diesel is the best propulsion system in the world. Had claustrophobia before he joined the Blue fleet.
- N'duhlle Gilford: Emigrated from Africa at the end of the 20th century to escape strife. Received her citizenship and scholarship by joining the Navy. A devout Catholic and 33 years-old.. The youngest and most elite Captain in the Blue Fleet.
- Red Spot: He appears to be the only Musuca to speak the human language. He seems to have a dominant ability over others of Zorndyke's army. He is killed by torpedoes fired from Blue 6 and is comforted by Mutio as he slowly dies stating, "It doesn't hurt anymore...no more cold...no more loneliness." He is the second of Zorndyke's creatures to show compassion. Claims to be a prototype in episode 3.
- Musaca: Giant mutated whales, outfitted with torpedo capabilities and high frequency echolocation that can cause massive damage. Highly intelligent, the creatures were given the gift of sentience by Zorndyke.
The original Blue Submarine No. 6 manga was written by Satoru Ozawa. It was serialized Shogakukan magazine Shōnen Sunday from January 8 to November 5, 1967. Three tankōbon (collected chapter books) were released by Akita Shoten between March and August 1974. The manga was later republished by Seika bunkansha and serialized in Sebun Kansha magazine under the name AO6. The manga has been collected into five volumes with new cover art and recollected within two volume Kanzenban format released October 1999. Another two-volume collection was released on June 20, 2011.
|1||March 1974||ISBN 9784253014762|
|2||July 1974||ISBN 9784253014779|
|3||August 1974||ISBN 9784253014786|
|1||Sōgū-hen (遭遇編)||June 1997||ISBN 9784418975174|
|2||Kakutō-hen (格闘編)||September 1997||ISBN 9784418975181|
|3||Kaisen-hen (会戦編)||November 1997||ISBN 9784418975211|
|4||Gekisen-hen (激戦編)||March 1998||ISBN 9784418975297|
|5||Sōryoku-hen (総力編)||November 1998||ISBN 9784418985142|
The anime adaptation was released in the United States on April 4, 2000. It uses a hybrid approach, combining 3D computer graphics with traditional animation, and is a pioneering example of this technique. It aired in the United States on Cartoon Network's Toonami block on November 6, 2000. The jazzy and atmospheric score was provided by rock n' roll big band The Thrill. The anime was initially licensed by Bandai Entertainment until their shutdown in 2012. Discotek Media has since licensed the OVA and will be re-released on DVD and Blu-ray in 2013.
|1||"BLUES"||October 25, 1998|
|2||"PILOTS"||February 25, 1999|
|3||"HEARTS"||August 25, 1999|
|4||"MINASOKO"||March 25, 2000|
Two Japan-exclusive video games based on the Blue Submarine No. 6 OVA have been released. The first titled, Ao no Roku-gō: Antarctica (青の6号 Antartica Blue #6: Antartica ) was developed and published by Bandai for the PlayStation on September 28, 2000. The second video game titled, Ao no Roku-gō: Saigetsu fumahito -Time and Tide- ( 青の6号 歳月不待人 -TIME AND TIDE- Blue #6 Inactive Machibito Year -Time and Tide ) was developed and published by Sega for the Dreamcast on December 7, 2000.
In 2005, Shōji Murahama of GONZO stated with NewWords Magazine that a live-action Blue Submarine No. 6 film will be produced for approximately 10 billion yen (US$84 Million). Masahiko Ōkura will direct the movie. This is to be G.D.H.'s first live-action project with 30 more live-action projects under consideration. However, as of 2012, there has been no news nor reports of any progress, suggesting the movie is still pending or in long term suspension.
Eric Luce of Ex criticized the manga's characters and pacing stating, " This manga moves so slowly, one is tempted just to skip pages at a time to find a scene where something is happening. The characters seem to exist without a past so they lack any real depth." 
The Blue Submarine No. 6 OVA was ranked as the 70th best anime of all time by the Japanese magazine Animage. It was ranked 25th best anime of all time by Wizard's Anime Invasion. The Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation awarded the it "Best OVA, U.S. Release" for 2000.
Anime News Network praised the OVA for its animation stating, "Oceanscapes are beautifully rendered, aircraft looks extremely realistic, and the underwater fighting is simply breathtaking." However criticized the characters stating, "The characters, although nicely designed, are sparsely drawn and shaded, and there is absolutely no personality to them whatsoever." Eric Luce also praised the graphics and animation stating, "The producers of this show are pushing many boundaries in composition and editing. [sic] this show is probably one of the best uses so far of integrating the two." Bryce Coulter of Mania criticized the plot stating, " The flashy production and great musical score doesn't mean a whole lot without a decent plot. Blue Submarine No. 6 tends to ride the fence in this area." Carlos Ross of THEM Anime Reviews initially praised the series for its graphics, plot and characters. However a decade after the review and CGI and cel shading became the norm in animation, he updated his review criticizing the characters and plot. He had since referred it as a transition between classic "acetate age" and the modern computerized form of Japanese animation.
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