BLUE SUBMARINE NO. 6 (1998)

 

Format: 4 30-minute OVA episodes, sometimes presented as a movie.

Rating: PG-13 (AC, GV) or PG (V – Toonami version)

Type: Sci-Fi Action

American Production: Bandai Entertainment

English Dub Production: Coastal Carolina Sound Studios

Japanese Production: GONZO Studios

 

Grading

 

Premise:

B

Story:

B

Writing:

B

Character Design:

A-

Mecha Design:

B

Animation:

B+

Artistic Merits:

B+

English Dub:

A-

Musical Score:

C

Opener:

n/a

Closer:

C+/B

 

 

Humor Content:

n/a

Action Content:

A-

Drama Content:

B

 

 

DVD Presentation:

not reviewed

DVD Extras:

not reviewed

 

 

OVERALL:

B+<

 

Synopsis

      In the not-too-distant future, a seeming madman has instituted shifts in the Earth’s magnetic field that has resulted in the melting of the poles, triggering catastrophic flooding that killed billions. Now an apparent effort to affect the Van Allen radiation belts protecting earth threatens to exterminate the rest of humanity. To combat this threat the surviving nations of the world pooled their resources to create the Blue Fleet, a class of advanced submarines. Opposing the fleet, and threatening to wipe out mankind through their own devices, is an assortment of intelligent mutant creatures created by the mad scientist. Caught in the middle is Hayami, a disillusioned ace submersible pilot whose willingness to not automatically treat all mutants as the enemy might ultimately be the key to salvation for both humankind and mutantkind.

 

Quotes

      “If this mission fails, if we are unsuccessful, we have no future.” 

 

The Long View

      Blue Submarine No. 6 is a landmark in anime because it was the first anime series to fully exploit the possibilities of CG animation. Though the series is still a blending of cel art and CG effects – and not always a perfectly smooth one – the stunning (for the time) visual effects it produced set the standard for many later series. It is also the series that put the fledgling GONZO Studio on the map as a leader in cutting-edge CG animation; now they are one of the leading anime studios in Japan.

      Blue is a hard-core action series, with an underlying environmental theme, which focusing predominately on underwater combat. It succeeds quite well at this, producing several thrilling battle scenes. Its other top selling point is the fantastic array of mutant creatures created for the series, from the more ordinary beast people on dry land to the inventive shark-man who captains the phantom ship that is the chief nemesis of the Blue Fleet. Key mutant races are a whale-like species called musica which does battle with human submarines and a remarkably appealing race of fish-women (can’t rightly call them mermaids) who pilot crab-like war machines. It is Hayami’s association with an unusual member of the latter race, after they take turns saving each other, which is the key to the plot, for they seem to be the only two characters who realize and accept that humans and mutants don’t have to fight each other. Dogging Hayami’s steps, and also perhaps a bit attracted to him, is a gung-ho female submersible pilot who has far more difficulty than Hayami in accepting that mutants or the mad scientist could be anything other than the enemy.

      The English voice work for Blue is quite effective, especially in the voicing of the fish-woman, although the electronic distortion and voice-mixing effects used to give the shark-man his distinctive voice sometimes make him hard to understand. The merits of the musical score are more debatable; the upbeat jazzy tracks used during battle scenes didn’t work for me. The animation and blending of CG and cel art are rough in places, but they’re still a respectable first attempt for a studio on the front lines of technical advances and flaws are more than made up for by the detail put into the battle sequences. Two different closers are used: a standard one, and a special one for the second episode which continues to play out the action at the end of the episode and leads somewhat into the third episode.

      Two different versions of Blue Submarine No. 6 exist. The version broadcast on Cartoon Network only has a PG rating because it cuts out the smoking scenes and bloodier violence. The unedited version carries a PG-13 rating.

 

DVD Extras

      Review is based off of a cable broadcast, so the DVDs (available separately or as a boxed set) are not reviewed here. Be aware that edited (Toonami) and unedited versions exist.

 

 

Principle English Voice Actors

Role

Voice Actor

Tetsu Hayami

Michael Granberry

Mayumi Kino

Pamela Weidner

Tokuhiro Iga (Cpt. Of No. 6)

Dave Underwood

Velg (or Verg)

Scott Simpson

Mutio, minor role

Juliet Cesario

Zorndyke

Mike Way

Red Spot

Thomas Bruning

Kouichi Nakamura

Mike McGovern

Yuri Malikofski

Jeff Johnston

Alexander David Cekeros

Cullen Moss

General Gilford

Rhonda Bellamy

Professor Marunami

Andrew Masset

Hugh W. Conwell

D.C. Kennedy

Freeda Verasko

Traci Dinwiddie

Mei-Ling Huang (little girl)

Danielle Sullivan

Engineer, minor roles

Michael Brady

Novo

Forrester, Rick

Katsuma Nonaka

Justin Smith

Captain Maracott

Bryan Bolick

Captain of the Narushio

J.R. Rodriguez

Captain Shou of the Shang

Kaza Takeda

 

 

 

Home   |   Anime Reviews   |   Manga Reviews   |   References   | Links |   Bibliography