Blue Gender: The Warrior falls squarely into the "fish out of post-apocalyptic water" genre. Yugi, who has been asleep for twenty-two years, is awakened to discover himself in a war zone with giant bugs. As is the case with late arrivals, he spends much of his time proclaiming that, ‘things can’t be all bad’ before wandering into dangerous situations with said bugs. Naturally the Blue offer no concessions to Yugi, keen to employ their strategy of tearing humans in two, a tactic that has seen them successfully subjugate most of the planet’s population. Rescuing Yugi almost invariably costs veterans’ lives which puts him offside with mecha pilot Marlene Angel, a steely blonde whose orders are to protect Yugi. Not surprisingly, Marlene sees Yugi’s worth as somewhat less than that of a bus ticket.
This movie is the Reader’s Digest condensed version of the twenty-six part series and is surprisingly successful in maintaining the source’s coherence. There are moments when you feel that incidents and secondary characters would have been stronger if developed across an episode. However, the shocking disposability of key characters leaves the viewer with a real feeling that, trapped in a world with giant, angry insects, longterm friendships are something of a luxury.
Yugi’s story becomes a picaresque journey of survival as he and Marlene hike across the planet. Along the way the way we learn more about the pair as they discuss the price of survival. Yugi and Marlene cross moral swords over maintaining one’s humanity versus the cost of simply of staying alive. One wonders whether Marlene will thaw or Yugi will get his shit together. This dynamic is the film’s emotional core and is one of its most enjoyable aspects. In fact Blue Gender plays with these themes elegantly in its final act. In humanity’s final battle against the Blue both Marlene and Yugi find themselves effected by what has passed between them.
Blue Gender‘s opening does little to to make the viewer think it will break its genre cliché shackles. However hang in there, because after an intial stutter it settles into a thoroughly entertaining post apocalypse action adventure. It fulfills both the mecha action and blood quota requirements established by the anime standards authority, but also fuses strong themes that set it above many end of the world pretenders.