Mania Grade: A-
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- Audio Rating: B+
- Video Rating: A-
- Packaging Rating: B
- Menus Rating: B+
- Extras Rating: B
- Age Rating: 13 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: FUNimation Entertainment, Ltd.
- MSRP: 24.95
- Running time: 75
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Blue Gender
Blue Gender Vol. #6
By Chris Beveridge
October 06, 2002
Release Date: October 01, 2002
Blue Gender Vol. #6
What They Say
© FUNimation Entertainment, Ltd.
A large attack force is sent to Earth, the first wave in a new campaign to reclaim the planet from the Blue. Yuji is awed when a fellow Sleeper, Tony, wipes out an entire Blue nest on his own. Yuji determines to be the best, at any cost. But is this unhealthy obsession with beating Tony really a symptom of a much greater problem?
Marlene notices that Yuji’s behavior is getting stranger and stranger. On the battlefield he is a force to be reckoned with, but he has an unhealthy obsession with destroying the Blue. Has Yuji turned into something that he once despised – a cold-blooded killer?
Director Miyagi reveals to Marlene the true cause of Yuji’s accelerated rate of achievement – an infestation of “B cells” that have begun to eat away at his mind. And unless she can do something to stop it, Yuji’s sanity will soon slip away completely.The Review!
The action goes all out again for a few more episodes as things start to spiral downwards for our leads, but also end up getting a ton of new critical information in the process.Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in its original language of Japanese. The show continues to feature a good strong stereo mix with some nice directionality across the forward soundstage. Guns in particular sound nice and distinct in this show. We didn’t notice any dropouts or distortions throughout the program.Video:
The transfer for these episodes are spot on and look great. Colors are nice and solid, cross coloration is pretty much non-existent and aliasing is very minimal. Blacks are nice and solid as well, with the space sequences holding up very well. There’s pretty much nothing I can find fault with here, especially with the 3 angles that are there for the opening and closing sequences, which makes everyone happy.Packaging:
The cover this time around gives focus to Yuji, with a headshot that takes up about eighty percent of the cover as he holds a gun straight out. It’s a grim looking piece, but reflects the contents pretty well, even if it doesn’t please visually here. The back cover provides a couple of good animation shots. The discs features and extras are clearly listed and the disc is nicely numbered with a volume listing showing up on the spine and on both the front and back cover. The back cover also provides episode numbers and titles. The insert provides another shot of the cover while it folds out to provide more detailed summaries of each of the episodes.Menu:
The menu system is laid out like the earlier volumes. The animations that play around it are considerably shorter making moving back to the main menu from the submenus a heck of a lot easier to deal with. The layout for the most part is pretty logical. The only part I don't like, most because it confused me the first time, is the language selection since what you're doing is selecting language and subtitles together.Extras:
There’s two main new sections here, with the original (and untranslated) Japanese commercials for the series release on video and the Image Gallery providing some good stills. Character profiles and cast bios make their regular appearance as does the textless songs. I still can’t complain about the textless songsContent:
(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
After all the revelations during the previous volume, things move into a more action oriented alignment during the first two episodes here. The morale of the crews on Second Earth are getting higher and higher as operations to free Earth from the blue are making more and more progress. We get involved in one of the Blue Nest pacifications that our leads are dealing in, and watch at just how efficient they’re becoming.
Yuji’s effectiveness is also growing quite rapidly, especially with the new armor units that they’re training with and using in ground operations. As his skills increase, his demeanor does as well, and he’s becoming more and more involved in just focusing on the operation and nothing else. Marlene’s finding herself getting concerned about this change in him, since it’s not like him to be this way. This becomes readily apparent when he no longer cares what happens to some of the humans on the planet during a particular mission. The red flags go up for Marlene at this point, and she starts to take serious notice of the changes. And the conclusion she comes to is that most of them seem centered around his desire to out perform Tony.
This brings her to gather her data up and send it secretly to Seno Miyagi, the one person she thinks she may trust that deals with both the High Council and with the Sleepers. Her risk in sending this to him pays off, and she’s brought into the small clique that’s working to reveal what the High Council is apparently hiding. The raw data she provides them brings proof of tampering among those above in regards to the effects of the training and exploitations done on the Sleepers. We start to learn just how different they really are, which goes back to the beginning of the series and the origins of the sleepers.
Much like past discs, these episodes just flew by. The two action oriented episodes played out great, getting the teams back on the ground and in real life situations added a lot to things as opposed to the virtual sims. Watching the way the characters now interact, with Yuji becoming so much different is interesting as well, if a bit forced at times. The other portion, which moves to dealing with the intrigue side of things, helped to flesh out a lot of what you can suspect and pick up along the way, but is great to finally have confirmed going into the last batch of episodes.
Again, one of the things that strikes me about how well done this series is, is how it delves into the issue of sex between the characters. We get a few more encounters going on during the Second Earth phase of the episodes, and the way the natural Second Earthers treat it is still interesting. The simple admission that these people are screwing around is a leap up from about 90% of the other series out there these days. And the fact that it’s done without a lot of angst, whining and chasing only adds to that. So many series focus on two characters just making it to that first single kiss and starting a relationship that we’ve moved so far away from the other side, where we deal with the actual relationships themselves and all that comes with it. So even when it’s done as a tangent like this, it adds a whole level of maturity to the program that otherwise wouldn’t be there.
Blue Gender’s still kicking some firm ass, and I cannot get enough of it. Though not seeing the conclusion of the series or the movie yet, I wish more was made.
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Japanese Commercials,Character/Actor Profiles,Textless Opening,Textless Ending,Image Gallery
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Panasonic RP-82 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.