BLUE GENDER: THE WARRIOR (2001)

 

Format: 98 minute feature

Rating: R (AC, AL, GV)

Type: Sci-Fi (mecha) Action/Romance

American Production: FUNimation Productions

English Dub Production: FUNimation Studios

Japanese Production: AIC

 

Grading

 

Premise:

C

Story:

B-

Writing:

B-

Character Design:

B+

Mecha Design:

B

Animation:

B

Artistic Merits:

B

English Dub:

B

Musical Score:

B-

Songs:

B-

 

 

Humor Content:

n/a

Action Content:

B

Drama Content:

B

 

 

DVD Presentation:

DVD Extras:

D- 

 

 

OVERALL:

B

 

Synopsis

      In 2009 gas station attendant Yuji Kaido is diagnosed with the Prophecy Syndrome, a terminal condition for which there is no cure. He and others similarly inflicted agree to be put into cryogenic freeze “for a year or two” while research is advanced towards finding a cure for his condition. Every true sci-fi fan knows that stories involving any form of cryostasis rarely end without complication, though, and this one is no different. When Yuji finally wakes in 2031, it is to a horror story: the Earth has been overrun by giant buglike creatures called Blue, who turn humans into slimy green balls to save for snacking. Most of humanity has been wiped out either by the Blue or the desperate attempts to stop them; all that remain are the Sleepers like Yuji, a few isolated pockets of survivors on the surface, and the few hundred thousand lucky souls able to migrate to a collection of orbital space stations called Second Earth. Heavily-armed Recovery Teams have been sent planetside from Earth 2 to extract any remaining Sleepers, whose “illness” may actually be a key to the ultimate defeat of the Blue, and it is during one such harrowing rescue attempt that Yuji awakes. The first person he connects to is Marlene, a soldier and Armored Shrike (mecha) pilot who is dispassionately dedicated to seeing Yuji brought to Earth 2 at any cost. Though they eventually succeed, two people cannot go through the trials they do together without it having an effect on both. But the story is hardly over when they finally reach Second Earth; it just moves into its second stage. . .

 

The Long View

      Blue Gender: The Warrior is a condensed version of the story told in the Blue Gender TV series (reviewed here), albeit with some details changed and a significantly different ending. Several supporting characters from the TV series don’t make the cut, while one or two new ones are added in minor roles and the existence of other roles (most notably the Council members) are minimized in the extreme. Though some scenes are copied almost exactly from the original series, the artistry and animation is all new; this isn’t just a collection of clips from the series spliced together with a few new scenes. As a result, BG: The Warrior is an intact, coherent story which can be understood and appreciated by someone who knows nothing about the series. Those who have seen the series will find the bulk of the emphasis on the action prior to Marlene and Yuji reaching Second Earth (i.e. the first half of the series). The events on Second Earth and in the battle to reclaim Earth, which constitute a full half of the TV series, take up only about a third of the movie and are not only stripped to bare bones but bear substantially greater alterations to the original plot than the pre-Second Earth segment. This may be a big disappointment for series fans – especially how Seno is handled – but those who haven’t seen the series aren’t likely to notice.

      Though The Warrior is as heavy on action as the series was, Blue Gender has always been as much about the developing relationship between Marlene and Yuji and how it changes both of them. That remains the same, though fans of the series may be dissatisfied with the lack of full development here. Lost is the intrigue with the Sleepers and the Council, along with most of the encounters with survivors other than little Yung’s group (which is resolved in an entirely different manner in the movie than in the series). On the upside, extraneous battle footage is also cut out, so the fights don’t seem quite as repetitive. And Yuji starts with long hair, which he never had in the series!

      The artistry and technical merits, which are digitally enhanced compared to the series, are a small step up in quality from the series. The musical score is mostly the same, though it cuts out some good clips. The song playing during the closer is a remixed version of the opening theme song from the series, a slight improvement. The English dub uses the same voice actors in the same roles as the series did – a nice bit of continuity – and is generally good; Laura Bailey and Eric Vale in particular are excellent in the key roles.

      The TV series had a good dose of very graphic violence, but the movie ratchets it up another notch; it is needlessly gory at times. Set by the wayside is nearly all of the groping, sexual content, and nudity seen in the series. This is still not a production for kids, however.

      Blue Gender: The Warrior is a respectable movie which should spark the interest of any newcomer towards seeing the series. Fans of the series may find the latter parts disappointing but otherwise should find it to be a satisfying “short version” of the series.

 

DVD Extras

      The only extra on the DVD is company trailers. The credits allow an angle-shift option which, if used, gives the English credits first.

  

Principle English Voice Actors

Role

Voice Actor

Shuji Kaido

Eric Vale

Marlene Angel

Laura Bailey

Robert, Seno

Kyle Hebert

Keith, assorted minor roles

Christopher Sabat

Joey 

John Burgmeier

Malcom

King Hollis

Yung

Brandi Ray

Han, Yung’s father 

Chuck Huber

Amick

Wendy Powell

Rick

Sean Schemmel

Geinrich

Chad Cline

Director 

Brad Jackson

Minh

Meredith McCoy

Automaton

Colleen Clinkenbeard

Rookie Driver

Andrew Chandler

 

 

 

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