Blue Gender Vol. #8 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Menus Rating: B+
  • Extras Rating: B
  • Age Rating: 15 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: FUNimation Entertainment, Ltd.
  • MSRP: 24.95
  • Running time: 82
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Blue Gender

Blue Gender Vol. #8

By Chris Beveridge     February 01, 2003
Release Date: January 28, 2003


Blue Gender Vol. #8
© FUNimation Entertainment, Ltd.


What They Say
Contains:
Soliste
With Rick injured too severely to continue, Marlene and Yuji continue through the Medical Station alone. They arrive at the main computer room to find Tony waiting for them. Now Yuji must confront his one-time friend and rival, and the only way to stop him is to kill.

Compass
The remaining survivors aboard Second Earth begin to rebuild after Tony’s devastating attack. As Yuji contemplates his own place in this rapidly changing world, Director Miyagi lays out his plan to make Second Earth the permanent home of the human race. But there are dissidents hiding in the dark corners... and some of them carry guns.

Adagio
Satellite images of the Earth reveal a mass Blue migration in South America, and Yuji volunteers to investigate. Once on the surface, he and his team discover that the Blue have mysteriously vanished without a trace. Now, the only hope Yuji has of finding answers lies deep underground, in the dark tunnels below a massive Blue nest.

Let Me
A monstrous Blue has emerged in the heart of the South American nest, the only thing standing between Yuji and the answers he so desperately seeks. Unless Yuji wins this battle, all hope for the future is lost – for him, for Marlene, and for the entire human race.

The Review!
Blue Gender’s final installment pretty much has two endings across the four episodes, but I’ll be damned if I didn’t enjoy every single minute.

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 is spot on and looks 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:
An interesting image of Yuji and Marlene touching each other graces the final cover, which is good as it goes back to what the real core of the series is, and it's the interaction between people. 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:
The final round of extras here are pretty good, though mostly things we’ve seen before. The character profiles make another appearance here as well as the textless opening and ending sequences. The new things include some more new pieces of artwork in the image gallery as well as a remix. The opening song gets done up in a great 4 minute remix piece with animation from the entire series. I’m definitely glad that they managed to get this and to have done the songs as well as they have.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
In its own way, Blue Gender provides two endings to the series and I can’t bring myself to complain about it. In a way, it’s fairly typical of its very western/Hollywood influenced style, so having one big bad dealt with and then moving on to another shouldn’t be terribly surprising. Add in the fact that both play out well within their own realms and I’m a happy camper.

The action continues strong on board the medical station, as Tony continues to consolidate his power and set into motion his plans as he believes is predetermined by the Great Will. Tony has clearly snapped and is doing everything in his power to control things. Yuji and Marlene continue their efforts to thwart him, such as sending the other groups to head out of the station while also setting free the residential blocks into space so that they can be properly saved and secured.

Strangely, we also get a recap episode of sorts mixed into this batch, as the resulting battles lead Seno to explaining to everyone what the origins of the Blue are as well as the danger of those who have the B cells. Seno’s consolidation of power has been fairly efficient, and his near scare tactics with the remaining troops almost guarantees him solid command of the remaining space station. Seno also realizes that Yuji is a potential danger, which leads into the second half of the disc.

In South America, it appears that the Blue are mass suiciding down there and part of the Blue’s larger plan is at work. Yuji feels a draw to this, and knowing that he can’t stay on the station, nor does he really even want to stay there, he offers himself up to go down on recon and check it out. The majority of those on the station have little interest in the affairs of Earth now and are essentially writing it off, but Yuji manages to scrape together a small crew of Sleepers and others as well as Marlene for one final mission where they won’t be coming back from.

The South American adventure is the perfect way to bring about the completion of the series and dealing with the Blue infestation. While the arc aboard the space station was interesting and highlighted a lot of things and provided real answers about why things went wrong, the real story is on the ground with Yuji and Marlene. In that respect, the ending here really delivers. The transformation of Yuji from the opening of the series when he was awakened accidentally to now, where he’s fully confident and in charge of a squad whose searching out the answer to the end of things has been progressively well done. There’s been no radical change somewhere along the line that didn’t make sense.

Blue Gender has been one of the best series I’ve been watching this past year. While the main reason I enjoy anime is the break from western style storytelling and plots, the way this one was told highlighted the things that I do enjoy about the western science fiction series plot. The team behind this hit just about every mark right and even went perfectly into the gratuitous sex sequences. The action was good, the characters solid and the entire basis of the series one that I enjoy immensely. Blue Gender is probably one of the more under appreciated series out there that I hope will make out with some new fans once a box set is released for it. It’s a wonderful series.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Character Profiles,Textless Opening,Textless Ending,Remix Video,Image Gallery

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Panasonic RP-82 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.

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