Reviewby Allen Divers, Mar 8th 2003
With the fate of mankind relying on them, Yuji and Marlene confront Tony in the heart of the medical station. Driven by the b-cells in his body, Tony wants nothing less than to fulfill his perceived destiny as the destroyer of man's world. In confronting Tony, Yuji must face his own destiny. Then, when satellite imagery shows a massive Blue migration to South America, Yuji and Marlene lead a team to discover the reason why. Yuji now faces a crossroads in which the truth about the Blue and B-cells in his own body become clear. Will mankind survive this final confrontation, and will Yuji and Marlene find the peace they seek?
Blue Gender volume eight brings the story that has unfolded over the last seven volumes to a simple but slightly disappointing conclusion. While a little weak in execution, the final four episodes come forward with a bit of spiritualism to help tie the entire series together. FUNimation's production of this series continues to be of high quality, as they keep the English soundtrack well in line with the original Japanese. Blue Gender has moved from a very dark plotline established quickly in the first few episodes to a series filled with hope for the future by the end.
Featuring the last four episodes of the series, volume eight contains the standard features present in the previous volumes. Included as extras are the textless versions of the opening and closing songs, cast bios for the English actors, an image gallery, and character profiles.
Staying in line with the previous episodes, the animation and artwork remain very dark in tone. Animation of the action sequences remains standard for the series, often filled with plenty of blood and gore. Combining this with the oppressiveness of the soundtrack, Blue Gender retains its dark tone near to the end of the series. In the end, there is a change in both the visuals and the soundtrack as hope manages to emerge.
The secret of the Blue is finally revealed, and Yuji and Marlene must fight for the survival of Earth 2, mankind's colonies in space. Tony, once their friend and ally, succumbs to his inner nature and rages war on the last vestiges of mankind. Yugi's final battle with Tony becomes more a battle to find Yugi's place in this new world. Even after the battle is over, Yuji has no clear answers and returns to the Earth to discover the true reason he has lived this long. At this point in the series, the story has turned away from being a simple story of survival to one of the balance of nature. The plot takes a significant twist towards spirituality and naturism as the role of the Blue and mankind on the planet Earth are analyzed.
While this final plot twist had a bit of foreshadowing in the previous episodes, it really comes out strong, dominating the last few episodes of the series. It almost borders on preaching as the cause of mankind's destruction is laid out bare. In some ways, this final twist is a letdown, making the sacrifices of everyone up to that point virtually useless. It really comes down to the series loosing steam about half way through and then trying to tie everything up nicely in the end. While the series did entertain, the same story could probably have been told better in a shorter format. With the upcoming compilation movie arriving soon, the story should flow much better and the conclusion will feel less bitter.
The conclusion of this series was a long time coming but, unfortunately, seemed to lose a bit of steam through the twenty-six episodes of its run. For action and horror elements, the series is top-notch, but in the end the conclusion seemed to be a let down. FUNimation's treatment of the series was solid and the cast helped keep the show strong through to the end. Despite its weak ending, Blue Gender remains a top series filled with action and horror that can keep an audience guessing to the end.
Overall (dub) : B
Overall (sub) : B
Story : C
Animation : B
Art : B
Music : B
+ Strong Sci-Fi and Horror elements make this a series that will keep an audience on the edge of their seats
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