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Blue Gender: Warrior - The Movie

voice cast: Kenji Nojima, Houko Kuwashima, Chinami Nishimura, and Masatake Ginga

creators: Katsumi Hasegawa, Koichi Ohata

95 minutes (12) 1999
MVM DVD Region 2 retail

RATING: 7/10
reviewed by John Percival
In the year 2031 humankind has been replaced as the dominant species on Earth by a race of monstrous insects called simply the Blue. Suddenly awoken after 22 years in suspended animation Yuji Kaido finds a world very different to the one he left and the truth is that he may be key to the survival on the human race.

Taken from the 26-episode TV series this has been cut, edited, reanimated and compressed down to a 95-minute feature movie. Most of the story appears to remain although they are quite a few elements that go without explanation. Initially starting when Yuji is awoken, he is being transported in a stasis pod by armed soldiers when a huge insect attacks them. The beast quickly kills the soldiers, and a female solider inside a large two-legged robot or mech rescues Yuji.

The reason that Yuji is been in suspended animation is that he has an incurable illness which was hoped would be cured; he shares this illness with a number of other people who were also put into cryogenic sleep. Twenty-two years later it is suggested that this illness has equipped the sufferers with the ability to effectively fight the Blue. This is why Yuji is being transported, but somehow he wakes up during the transport process. Everyone else in the pods is killed when the ship at the spaceport transporting them to the huge 'Earth 2' space station is attacked and destroyed by mammoth insects.

With the spaceport destroyed and most of the soldiers killed, Yuji must make his way through the destroyed landscape to another spaceport with Marlene Angel the mech pilot who saved him. Along the journey they form a deep friendship. This is for the most part an animated version of Starship Troopers with the familiar anime stereotyped mech robots and their big guns. There is a significant amount of violence and gore contained within this animation but none less than is expected of any modern anime offering.

As we discover that the Blue are part of a genetic experiment gone awry we see more familiar anime themes. The gigantic bugs were created as a weapon a mass destruction by a rogue nation leading to the near annihilation of humanity; the parallel to the nuclear weapons dropped on Japan in the Second World War becomes apparent. The disaster created by another's technology, destroying communities but still people survive. There is also more of the marriage between man and machine, less intimately as in cyborgs but as operators of the large human shaped mech warriors. However it is with more than just technology that will ensure their survival, it will be down to the special powers of a person from a forgotten time.

Blue Gender, despite the odd title, is fairly run of the mill in terms of subject, but there is still plenty of action to make this an interesting anime. I am not sure just how much has been lost in shrinking the series to fit a feature film but there is enough to keep the viewers attention. To be honest it has been done better in other examples of the genre but this is offering is still quite enjoyable.

The only extras on the disc appear in the form of trailers and scene selections.

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