Blue Gender

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Kaido Yuji 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 axe-grinding of the novel. Unlike most anime, Blue Gender has very little humor and cuteness is nonexistent, though there is plenty of Fan Service and other sexual moments (most of which has been censored when aired on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim line-up). 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.


Tropes used in Blue Gender include:
  • 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.
  • 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: Class 4.
  • A Mech by Any Other Name: Armor Shrike is a fancy name for Mini-Mecha.
  • Awesome but Impractical: The Grappler Armor Shrike. It's a large, bulky and powerful Armor Shrike made for engaging the Blue in hand-to-hand combat and has enough strength to damage and restrain them with their bare hands so that a teammate can shoot them. Not actually a bad machine on paper...except that the fact that A) the pilots are exposed and are clearly visible in the cockpit, which are placed in front of the mech, B) it has no weapons to speak of and finally C) it's piloted by two people! Yes, two people, meaning they have to cooperate while piloting to make sure they get a decent win, nevermind that the risks that come with the pilots not cooperating or getting along, and have no range options to fall upon just in case close-range combat isn't even an option (like say, a swarm of Blue). What's more, one pilot controls the arms while the other pilot controls the legs. Meaning that should one of them get killed or knocked out, the mech is either incapable of fighting or RUNNING TO SAVE IT'S PILOTS LIVES!!
  • 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.
  • Badass - Marlene, several other characters earn mention as well, including Dice and even Tony (for his freakish skill in a Shrike, at any rate).
  • Beyond the Impossible: The final Blue in the series managed to evolve to not have a core. It's so shocking that Yuji and co. didn't know what to do, and had to resort to tearing at the beast's insides.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies - The Blue all resemble gigantic insects, with some reaching over 6 meters in height, equal to the Armor Shrikes designed to fight them. This is likely a fear factor programmed intentionally into their morphology by Gaia, since most humans are scared of bugs (especially ones big and strong enough to eat them).
  • 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!"
  • 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.
    • "Most of the characters here are heartless bastards who place little if any value on human life..." At least some things never change.
  • Common Tongue - for all the efforts at realism, everyone living in the future speaks the same language, no matter how geographically isolated. Likely justified, since they're in a common war against the Blue, and the lack of easy communication would get in the way of that (but leaves the question of what may happen to all of the unique languages humanity once had).
  • Crapsack World
  • 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: After going through hell for so long, both Yuji and Marlene finally earned their happy ending by putting an end to the Blue Apocalypse. Well, if you can call the ending "happy" in the slightest way possible.
  • Edited for Syndication: The Cartoon Network version of this anime for Adult Swim has most of the sexual scenes (and a couple of spoken references) cut, along with some gory violence and profanity. It should be noted that Toonami was originally supposed to air Blue Gender this way, but the show found its way (edited) to Adult Swim. Considering that the show that preceded it was Fooly Cooly and that show was left unedited (save for a muting of the word "shit" on the second episode), it seems strange that Blue Gender was not aired uncut (or at least with a few minor cuts for nudity and sex).
    • Also, the editing made the show nearly incomprehensible. Some characters who died on-screen in the original simply vanished without comment in Adult Swim's version.
  • Face Heel Turn Tony and Alicia
  • Fan Service - Some very...random sexual encounters. Marlene is also naked on the ending credits.
  • Fish Out of Water
  • For Massive Damage: Attacks to the Blue's core, even with just mere pistol shots, are enough to kill the Blue with no fanfare. The Ultimate Blue managed to avoid this by not having a core, unlike the rest of its brethren.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Glass Cannon: In contrast to most anime, which typically depict mechas as nigh-unstoppable Lightning Bruisers, the Armor Shrikes are easily damaged and destroyed in each battle. In fact, none of the main characters managed to keep more than one Armor Shrike unit in the series until the end. Even Yuji's custom-made "Double-Edge" Armor Shrike was so badly damaged or exhausted from the final battle, that he had to discard it.
  • Gorn
  • Green Aesop
  • High-Pressure Blood
  • Hey, It's That Voice! - Marlene in the Japanese sounds a lot like Natarle Badgiruel, and in the English dub she's Henrietta from Gunslinger Girl.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Yuji briefly becomes this after fight the Blue for so long/after his B-cells awaken.
  • Hollywood Tactics
  • Human Popsicle - Kaido Yuji and the other Sleepers.
  • Humongous Mecha
    • Actually, more like Mini-Mecha... This very wiki says: "A telltale sign you have a Mini Mecha instead of a Powered Armor is the presence of a physical cockpit, typically small and exposed". The Armor Shrikes are some 6 mts. tall, quite impressive, but then Humongous Mecha are, well, humongous. Compare Neon Genesis Evangelion EVA or the vintage mechas series like Mazinger Z or Mobile Suit Gundam: big as buildings, roomy cockpits.
  • Hive Mind - The Blue
  • IKEA Erotica - Intentional. The war with the Blue has destroyed human intimacy, and sex is a mechanical, meaningless act.
  • Infant Immortality - Averted, children are killed indiscriminately by the Blue without hesitation, and are sometimes shown to suffer the same, horrific fate as the adults.
  • 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.
  • Made of Iron: The Blue are all ridiculously durable, able to take severe amount of punishment from both firearms and Armor Shrikes and continue fighting, with their exoskeletons capable of withstanding concentrated bullet fire. The only reliable way to kill them is to destroy their core, but even then they've slowly evolved to shield their cores from harm.
  • Made of Plasticine: By contrast, the humans in this series are ridiculously easy to injure and kill. Even just a glancing blow from either an Armor Shrike or Blue is enough to severely injure or kill them. Weapons and attacks that would be considered deadly to humans is often treated as a mere punch or simply aggravate the Blue.
    • To a lesser extent, the Armor Shrikes are also rather frail as well, albeit to a lesser extent. They get easily slaughtered and torn apart by the Blue, even if it's just a basic Blue. Often, a single blow from the Blue are capable of tearing them to shreds and break apart their armor like tinfoil. It's happened so much in the series, you'd have to wonder if Second Earth is running low on supplies, engineers or materials if they designed such crappy mechs.
  • Making Love in All the Wrong Places - Seriously. I mean, ok, 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.
  • Mauve Shirt - Plenty. Nearly every one of them dies.
  • Mecha Tropes: being a mecha series, it is plenty of these..
  • 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.
  • Modesty Bedsheet - Elena has one of these after a night out in the open with Yuji. One wonders why he wakes up fully dressed.
  • Official Couple: Yuji and Marlene.
  • 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, in the two final episodes.
  • Pro-Human Transhuman
  • Real Robot
  • Reality Ensues: When Yuji suddenly wakes up in a world filled with the Blue and people dying one after another trying to fight back against them, he becomes deeply traumatized and often gets too afraid to make rational decisions, much like any real person would when placed in the same situation.
    • When Yuji asked Marlene to train him in knowing how to pilot an Armor Shrike so that he can fight against the Blue, while he did decently in training, his first actual battle to save his own life ended in disaster, with him only not getting killed due to Marlene saving him in a nick of time. Just because you want to partake in something important alongside others, and you believe you can do well if you try hard enough, doesn't mean you automatically excel at it. Especially when it involves fighting in real, life-or-death battles.
      • When being taught how to hold and use a gun by Marlene, Yuji--having never used a gun before in his life--found difficulty in knowing how to aim properly. So, a frustrated Marlene had to direct him physically into the proper position.
  • 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. A rare case where it had nothing to do with a woman's gender, but rather the fact she's a human, as Yuji seemed to have assumed everyone around him is some inhuman monster out to get him.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain - After weeks of Everything Trying to Kill You 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.
  • You Don't Want to Die a Virgin, Do You? - There's an entire culture developed around this.
  • Zerg Rush - Partial example, since individual Blue are hardly weak, but they do tend to attack in huge numbers.