Yuji Kaido has been frozen
since 2009 after being diagnosed with a strange and terminal illness to be awakened after a proper cure for his disease has been found. He is awakened to the year 2031 to a world that has been completely taken over by a giant insect-like species known as the Blue. He and Marlene Angel must find a way to survive onslaught after onslaught of the Blue and make it back to a space station called Second Earth, where Yuji must discover the true nature of his condition. In many ways it is a Fish out of Water
plot, but without the humor as Yuji wakes up to a world completely different and is at first unable to cope with a world in which the Blue have taken over. He does quickly learn to fend for himself, but is still shocked by how the ethics, morality, values, and general outlook on life have changed so radically since his time. For example, sex is meaningless pleasure, and there's no point in forming close meaningful bonds because Anyone Can Die
at any moment. There is no longer any value placed on human life as every individual human is considered expendable
The premise is similar to that of Starship Troopers
but without the campy satirical feel of the film
or the political ideology of the novelnote
. Unlike most anime, Blue Gender has very little humor and cuteness is nonexistent, though there is plenty of fanservice
and other sexual moments (most of which has been heavily censored when aired on Cartoon Network
's Adult Swim line-up. The reason for this is because, at the time, Toonami was a weekday afternoon line-up and Blue Gender
was supposed to appear there. When it was announced that [adult swim]
would be airing the show, no effort was made to re-edit the show to Adult Swim standards). The series generally has a very dark and cynical
tone; however, the series does end with the message that humanity can live happily (Provided they live in harmony with the Earth).
The series has very in-depth character development on the parts of both Yuji and Marlene, who end up being completely different people by the end of the anime's 26-episode run than they were in the beginning.
Blue Gender contains examples of:
- A God Am I / Dark Messiah - Tony, who declares that upon wiping out humanity, he will "become the world's Messiah!"
- Adaptation Explanation Extrication - In the series, the Clincher shows up in the Baikonur power room, kills Han by fusing to him, takes a few bullets and appears to be dead, but follows the gang into the shuttle when they escape. In Blue Gender: The Warrior, the scene in the power room is cut, so suddenly, this thing appears on the shuttle, fused to Han's body, with no explanation whatsoever.
- After the End
- Alternate Continuity - Blue Gender: The Warrior cuts up various bits of the anime and condenses/mangles it into a 100 minute movie with vague similarities.
- A Mech by Any Other Name: Armor Shrike is a fancy name for Mini-Mecha.
- Anyone Can Die: Most supporting characters end up not lasting more than a few episodes, if that. Of the six supporting characters introduced in the first episode, four were dead by the end of the second, three having died within a minute of each other.
- Apocalypse How - Planetary, Class 2 verging on Class 3.
- A Real Man Is a Killer: Deconstructed. The more of a badass Yuji becomes, the less human he comes off as.
- Attack Its Weak Point - The core, the small fleshy tube on a Blue's head; shoot it FOR MASSIVE DAMAGE!.
- Ax-Crazy - Using
NewtypeB-Cell powers tends to result in this.
- Babies Ever After/Happily Ever After: Yes, despite the overall tone of the series, it does end on a rather happy note for the main characters. Yuji ensures that the threat to humanity is over, and then reunites with Marlene, with the promise that they can live a happy life together on Earth. And Marlene is pregnant with Yuji's child.
- Back-to-Back Badasses - Yuji and Marlene do this with their Humongous Mecha during a training exercise.
- Bad Ass - Marlene, several other characters earn mention as well, including Dice and even Tony (for his freakish skill in a Shrike, at any rate).
- Big Creepy-Crawlies - The Blue, obviously
- Break the Cutie Alica, whose introduced as bubbly and optimistic. Then she happens upon Tony in a Blue's nest and her attitude changes rapidly.
- Breath Weapon - The Land Whale spits out what looks to be a glob of compacted sand that impacts targets like a cannon ball.
- Bring My Brown Pants - How Yuji reacts to first seeing the Blue.
- Broken Aesop - "Take to the stars to ease the planet's burden? Screw you! Green Aesop or death!"
- Broken Bird: Marlene and later Yuji, for a time.
- Bug War The Blue are more or less created by the humans, in fact, because humans wanted to use B-cells for war.
- Celibate Hero: Interestingly, despite the attitude towards sex and love in this world, both times Marlene is presented in such a situation prior to having sex with Yuji, the male involved in the situation only gets so far as groping her before she stops them from going further. In the first occurrence, she's not in the mood. In the second, adding to the previous reason, by that point she'd fallen in love with Yuji. Additionally, this may be in part due to her backstory, in that she was forced to discover about such things at an unfortunately young age, and ended up deeply hurt as a result.
- Character Development
- Chronic Hero Syndrome - Another of Yuji's Fish out of Water traits.
- Clasp Your Hands If You Deceive Victor, Chairman of the High Council.
- Cold Sleep, Cold Future: Most of the characters here are heartless bastards who place little if any value on human life to the point where civilians who are not granted access to Second Earth are not only expendable but are pretty much considered dead to those who are on Second Earth. The one and only thing on everyone's mind is wiping out the Blue, and that's it.
- Common Tongue - for all the efforts at realism, everyone living in the future speaks the same language, no matter how geographically isolated.
- Crapsack World
- Creature-Hunter Organization: The military with their Armor Shrikes, being the ones well equipped for fighting the Blue.
- Cryonics Failure - This happens with alarming frequency. Hell, happens right in the first episode.
- Deadly Dodging - In The Warrior Marlene kills two Maneaters (praying mantis-esque Blue) by evading their attacks and causing one of them to impale the other. She skewers the second one with her bayonet at the same time.
- Deadpan Snarker - All of the main characters and a fair few side characters have their moments...
- Defrosting Ice Queen - Marlene.
- Earn Your Happy Ending
- Face-Heel Turn Tony and Alicia
- Fanservice - Some very...random sexual encounters. Marlene is also naked on the ending credits.
- Fish out of Water
- For Massive Damage
- Foreshadowing: The last couple of episodes include a few hints to how the series ends out. In the 24th episode, Yuji and Marlene, after finally admitting their feelings and having sex, are shown transparent in a naked embrace against the Earth, signifying the new life they promise to live together at the end of the series. In the 25th episode, Marlene is shown acting much more passive than she normally does, and in one scene, watches a group of settler children play whilst resting a hand on her stomach, before interacting with them in an unusually motherly way, hinting she's pregnant with Yuji's child.
- Free-Love Future - In this story, even the act of kissing is seen as a "pre-battle ritual". Justified because humanity is on its last legs, and everybody has to get it on while they've got the chance.
- Freudian Trio: After most of the recovery team are killed, Yuji becomes The Id, Joey (and to a lesser degree, Robert) become The Ego, and Marlene becomes The Superego in the dynamic of the remaining members. After Joey and Robert die, Yuji and Marlene predictably begin to wear on each other's nerves, establishing their initial dynamic, with each of them improving through the other's influence. Yuji's Shrinking Violet tendencies become less pronounced, learning to take the lead once in a while and fend for himself, and Marlene becomes less and less of a coldhearted bitch, opening up a bit more and embracing her more human side, although it takes a little bit more time for her to actually take a level in kindness.
- Gaia's Vengeance - The Earth creates the Blue because the human race has become overpopulated and because of their negative impact on the environment.
- Gaia waited for humans to make the Blue while trying to cure a disease, then directed them to kill us. Then when that fails, she kills only the Blue and drives all the humans in space insane, what a girl. So not only is she a bitch, she's lazy too.
- Gainax Ending
- Genius Loci: Gaia the Designated Hero.
- Green Aesop
- High-Pressure Blood
- He Who Fights Monsters: Yuji briefly becomes this after fighting the Blue for so long/after his B-cells awaken.
- Hollywood Tactics
- Humans Are the Real Monsters: A variant. A major theme of the series is that, in their attempt to survive, pretty much every human being has become cold and unfeeling, placing absolutely no value in human life, love, or simple compassion since everyone is viewed as expendable. While Marlene is certainly capable of handling herself, she's not an especially warm or likable character. As she begins to change through Yuji's influence, the tables are turned when Yuji becomes like Marlene was at the beginning of the series, and she has to save him from going completely insane.
- Human Popsicle - Kaido Yuji and the other Sleepers.
- Hive Mind - The Blue
- IKEA Erotica - Intentional. The war with the Blue has destroyed human intimacy, and sex is a mechanical, meaningless act.
- I Let Gwen Stacy Die: A major part of Yuji's Character Development is how completely powerless he is to prevent the deaths of anyone close to him. This doesn't do much good to his already hurting mental state, as 'hurting' swiftly becomes 'rapidly deteriorating.' Marlene of all people is the one to finally snap him out of it.
- Infant Immortality - Averted.
- Kill 'em All - The corpses pile up pretty high by the third episode, let alone the rest of the series.
- Lampshade Hanging - The series does this repeatedly, and these might be considered the only forms of humor throughout the show.
- La Résistance - The Ark.
- The Load: In the beginning, everything is trying to kill Marlene. Let's just say Yuji doesn't exactly make keeping the two of them alive easy.
- Ludd Was Right: Gets broken by how the group that plans on using technology to reduce the strain on earth is demonized instead of considered.
- Making Love in All the Wrong Places - Okay, you may die tomorrow, or even today. Sure, you got IKEA Erotica going on, but in the middle of a transmission back to base? Right before a Blue attack?
- Then again, they're both dead by the end of the episode, so maybe that was their only opportunity...
- Male Gaze - While hiking behind Marlene, Yuji fixates on the seat of her skin-tight suit.
- Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Marlene and Yuji, so much so that Yuji totally qualifies as a Broken Bird.
- Mauve Shirt: Plenty. Nearly every one of them dies.
- Mecha Tropes: Being a mecha series, it full of these.
- Militaries Are Useless: This is combined with Show, Don't Tell, as it is mentioned that humanity's militaries were defeated off screen, but we are never shown or told exactly how. The humans show themselves capable of defeating the Blue without tremendous difficulty in the series, and if they were to use modern day military tactics, the humans should, by all accounts, have been able to win pretty handily.
- Mind Rape - The main disciplinary tool of Second Earth. The recipient ( Marlene) is forced to watch a virtual reality simulation showing the brutal deaths of everyone she cares about.
- Mini-Mecha — The Armor Shrikes are some 6 meters tall, quite impressive, but not on the order of Neon Genesis Evangelion's EVA or Gundams.
- Modesty Bedsheet - Elena has one of these after a night out in the open with Yuji. One wonders why he wakes up fully dressed.
- Must Not Die a Virgin: There's an entire culture developed around this.
- Official Couple: Yuji and Marlene.
- More justified than most, as the fact that Marlene is falling in love with Yuji is a telling sign she's being humanized more and more through Yuji's influence. Her behavior comes to clash with her superiors, who are so absorbed in fighting Blue that they do not seem to be able to even comprehend what love is anymore.
- The Omniscient Council of Vagueness - The High Council, complete with a Gendo Ikari look alike! However, they aren't as bad as some examples, and their motives are eventually made clear, using the Sleepers to defeat the Blue. There's a bit more to it than that, however.
- Paper-Thin Disguise - In episode 14, Marlene is able to evade (apparently) trained guards and High Council members by letting her hair down and putting on a medic's uniform.
- Possibly justified, as most of the guards heard about that through their radios; aside from, say, height and hair color, they'd have no way of knowing what she looked like.
- Pregnant Badass: Marlene's in the (very) early stages during the last two episodes.
- Pro-Human Transhuman
- Real Robot
- Samus is a Girl - Marlene gets one of these with Yuji, who is as surprised to find that she's human. Naturally they become the closest this series can have to a Love Interest.
- Sand Worm: The Land Whale.
- Scenery Gorn - Plenty of footage of destroyed cityscapes covered by Blue nests.
- Science Is Bad - Whether or not this trope is in effect depends on whether the Blue are wiping out humans because we have technology/cause pollution, or because we've overpopulated.
- Theme Music Power-Up - Happens in the last episode, when the last survivors of technological humanity in orbit Freak Out en masse and destroy themselves in a stampede back to earth, completing Gaia's Vengeance.
- The Virus - The B-cells, of course.
- Tuckerization - Yuji's friend Takashi, named after one of the producers
- Stuffed into the Fridge - In the very first episode, Yuji is seen eyeing an unnamed, attractive female sleeper. It seems like she might be set to provide a companion in the future to whom he can relate, until he finds her body twisted into a Blue cocoon.
- Justified in that it establishes that Anyone Can Die. And wouldn't you know, by the end of the third episode, everyone save for Yuji and Marlene is dead. Most of the supporting characters didn't even make it past episode two.
- Too Good for This Sinful Earth: Yung.
- Training Montage: Yuji's training-montage contains the world's bare minimum elements for a training montage: a total zero at the start, someone correcting how he holds a gun, some guy going "hey kid, you've got a knack for this!" and suddenly, Yuji being ready to go into battle.
- On the other hand, when he's "ready to go into battle" he immediately gets his ass kicked, so perhaps not a completely straight example.
- Vagina Dentata- The Blue.
- Worm Sign: The reason for the Land Whale's name. It exhales while burrowing, shooting a "spout" of air and water vapor up through the sand. It sometimes causes a more normal form of the trope, disturbing the sand as it moves beneath it (though this depends on how close to the surface it is and how fast it's moving).
- Yank the Dog's Chain - After weeks of Everything Trying To Kill Marlene, she finally brings back the mission objective that cost everyone else their lives. For that she gets reprimanded by Ominous Multiple Screens, busted down to bottom rank, and stonewalled for any information on the man she may or may not have saved.
- Wouldn't Hit a Girl - Again with Victor, the High Council chairman.
- Zerg Rush - Partial example, since individual Blue are hardly weak, but they do tend to attack in huge numbers.