Made in 1994, Blue Seed is (loosely) based on the Izumo cycle of Japanese mythology and the tale of the god Susanoo and the eight-headed monster Yamata no Orochi. The original manga was written by Yuzo Takada and was made into a 26 episode anime series.Momiji Fujimiya, a normal middle school girl, is one day stopped on her way to school by a cat eyed man with greenish hair and magatama beads (read: blue seeds) who calls her "Kushinada" and then tries to kill her. Momiji is saved by the sudden appearance of two government officials, one of whom shoots the man in the arm and sends him fleeing.Momiji is intrigued as to why she was referred to as "Kushinada". She discovers that "Kushinada" refers to an ancient princess whose blood holds the power to stop the ancient monsters known as Aragami by sending them to an eternal sleep. Momiji dismisses the idea that she could be such a person, despite the fact she lives with her mother and grandmother in a shrine in Izumo. However, she soon changes her mind after vines begin to appear from every crack and opening attempting to capture her as they whisper "Kushinada".Momiji tries to escape, not knowing that the vines are being employed by a powerful Aragami known as Orochi. Fortunately, she is saved by the man with the magatamas embedded into his hands, who introduces himself as Mamoru Kusanagi. He confronts Orochi using Momiji as bait. The plan fails and the government officials appear again. They reveal themselves to be members of the Terrestrial Administration Center (TAC for short), and manage to subdue Orochi. However, with the last of its strength, it makes a final attempt on Kusanagi.Momiji saves Kusanagi by taking Orochi's blow. Impaled by the Aragami, instead of dying, she is instead fused with the magatama, more specifically identified as a mitama, which gives Momiji the ability to sense the presence of other Aragami. The TAC agents explain that they are an organization dedicated to defeating the Aragami, who seek to destroy humanity. The current Kushinada, Momiji, must aid them because the other Kushinada, Momiji's twin sister, is thought to be dead. Momiji, wishing to discover more about the twin sister she never knew and also to fulfill her destiny, agrees to join the TAC under the protection of Kusanagi, who wishes to destroy his former masters, the Aragami.The story becomes increasingly complex with the appearance of Murakumo, a man with eight mitamas who kills any Aragami he comes across for his own personal reasons. Kusanagi repeatedly attempts to kill Murakumo. Then Momiji's twin Kaede reappears along with a strange energy field in Tokyo, and Murakumo and Kaede's plans soon become clear - they intend to resurrect the god Susano-oh and purify the world of humanity's influences, with Kaede acting as the leader of the movement.There is also a three episode OVA, Blue Seed Beyond, which takes place two years after the end of the TV series. It concerns what seems to be a resurgence of aragami (actually created via biotechnology), and introduces a new character, Valencia Tachibana. Like Kusanagi, she was implanted with a mitama without turning into a full aragami.Also has nothing to do with the "sour, yet refreshing" spice from the Lost In Blue games.
Book Ends: The first and final omakes end with the same scene: Momiji blasting the heck out of Kusanagi and Kunikida.
Brick Joke: The first omake has Kunikida buying sexy pictures of the TAC girls from Kusanagi, with the ones of Momiji still being developed. Then Momiji shoots them with a machine gun. In the thirteenth and final omake, those photos are finally developed and seen just before Momiji again shoots them with a machine gun.
Downtime Downgrade: Subplot of the Blue Seed 2 OVA series epilogue. In the opening of the first episode Momiji and Kusanagi's relationship is heavily on the rocks, with Momiji outwardly worrying that Kusanagi will break up with her. She even tries to sleep with him at one point and he rejects her, calling her a kid. The rest of the OVA deals with the subplot of Kusanagi trying to reconcile his feelings for Momiji. At the end of the second episode of the OVA it's clear that while Kusanagi will continue to date Momiji, the relationship itself is still in shaky ground. In the third episode of the OAV Momiji is afraid of Kusanagi seeing her naked (despite having tried to sleep with him two episodes prior), prompting Koume of all people to comment that their relationship hasn't progressed and will probably end soon. The ending to the entire OAV series does not resolve the subplot, with the inference being that Momiji and Kusanagi could still break up in the near future.
Koume and Yaegashi also suffered this, but the two reconcile and even make plans to get engaged by the end of the second episode.
Gratuitous English: See entry for But Not Too Foreign, above. The shift in Sakura's pronunciation from "Mommy" (American) back to "Mama" (Japanese—Engrish, but still Japanese) actually marks an important turning point in one episode.
Japanese Architecture: Kunikida's house, along with various temples and other locations throughout the series.
Just Eat Gilligan: If Momiji croaks, the Ariagmi go away. However, aside from the ethical complications of human sacrifice, it's implied this is more of a stop-gap solution and the TAC is attempting to find a more permanent end to the Arigami.
Limited Wardrobe: One omake has Matsudaira wondering why Kusanagi always wears the same clothes and if he ever takes them to be cleaned. This is even more amusing when you consider that Kusanagi's trademark red coat tends to get literally torn into small pieces during his transformations, yet in the next episode it is usually seen again, undamaged.
Meaningful Name: Kusanagi Mamoru. Mamoru mean "to protect," and Kusanagi is the holy sword of the Japanese emperors, which apparently once belonged to Susano-o. It means the grass cutting sword (long story). Murakumo, the cloud cluster sword, is another name for the same sword and is the name of another character. He's trying to kill Kusanagi.
Medium Awareness: One omake has Kunikida and Takeuchi explore the perils of animation cells.
Offscreen Breakup: Happens between Blue Seed 1 and Blue Seed 2 for Koume and Yaegashi. Momiji directly asks Koume at one point why they broke up, to which Koume replies that she and Yaegashi had been talking about getting married and having kids, with the inference that Yaegashi may have proposed. She got got cold feet and broke it off, even going so far as to transfer divisions and relocate in order to get away. After Momiji cries that if Koume loves him then it's the right thing to do, Koume reconsiders and by the end of the episode she accepts his proposal, telling him to get her a ring "worth at least three month's salary."
Omake: Thirteen shorts poking fun at the show, and some animation conventions.
Science Hero: Matsudaira and Yaegashi both fall into this trope (as the science and technology experts respectively). They prove their worth by assessing, researching, and executing effective ways to kill the Aragami.
They Call Me Mister Tibbs: Yaegashi whines throughout the second episode that he's the only person in the TAC to not be addressed with an honorific, specifically "san" ("Mr."). He tries correcting his teammates on this several times, but they all brush him off. This becomes a plot point again in another early episode when he complains that no one in the TAC respects him or takes him seriously.
Team Mom: Maitsudaira, interestingly also explored in that she openly admits that she's a horrible mother to her young son Jun.
The Bechdel Test: Passes with flying colors. More than half of the TAC is made up of women, and interestingly enough if Momiji isn't in the room the conversation almost never turns to men.
Tokyo Is the Center of the Universe: It's really amazing how many bad things happen there, and no wonder why at the end of the series, America has sent a fleet to just put it out of its misery.
Took a Level in Badass: Yoshiki Yaegashi starts out as a wimpy computer nerd, but mans up by the end of the series and gets the girl - Koume Sawaguch that is.
Two Act Structure: The first 13 episodes are standard Monster of the Week fare that serves to set up the premise and flesh out the characters. Once Kaede pops back up, the remaining 13 episodes has things get darker and focuses on setting up for the finale.
You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Ryoko has purple hair, which could be written off as stylized black. Kusanagi and Susano-oh have green hair, which is justified by their connection to aragami. But then you get Valencia, whose hair is bright pink and Koume, whose hair is orange.