Blue Gender (ブルージェンダー Burū Jendā?) is a 26-episode anime created by Ryōsuke Takahashi (of Armored Trooper Votoms and Gasaraki fame) broadcast in Japan from 1999-2000. Blue Gender was created by the Japanese animation studio, AIC and is distributed in the United States by Funimation Entertainment. In 2003, Blue Gender was released on American television as part of Cartoon Network's Adult Swim, though it had originally been planned for Toonami, and was thus edited to remove its graphic violence, nudity, and sex scenes. There is also a compilation movie (Blue Gender: The Warrior) available on DVD. The series was also shown on the Sci-Fi Channel in the UK in 2002-2003. Blue Gender series have been set in the 2030s.
In the year 2009, Yuji Kaido is an average guy diagnosed with a serious disease (the "B-cells") and is put into cryogenic stasis until a cure is found. Twenty-two years later, he is awakened in the midst of a raging battle between armored soldiers and insectoid beings called the "Blue" which have overrun the Earth.
The group of soldiers are from an orbiting space colony collectively called Second Earth and were ordered to recover "sleepers" around the Earth. Among them is the soldier Marlene Angel, who develops a strong bond with Yuji while they try to get to Second Earth. On the journey Yuji meets many of the humans that were left behind during the evacuation due to limited resources. Standing orders for Marlene and the other troops are to consider any human survivors on the surface to be already dead, which greatly troubles Yuji.
On their journey all of the soldiers are killed, except for Marlene, causing Yuji to fall into a deep depression as he recognizes the destruction around him and his own inability to save those he cares about. Eventually, in Russia, Yuji and Marlene come across another group of soldiers and they succeed in getting back to Second Earth.
Upon arrival, Marlene and Yuji are separated, and Marlene is sent back into training at the education station. She rebels and is bent on finding Yuji. When she does, she finds he is being trained to use a new specialized "sleeper"-specific Armor Shrike (A.S) called the "Double Edge", a battlesuit that is much stronger than the originals used in war against the Blue. It is discovered the illness that Yuji is afflicted with is the key to help destroying the Blue and taking back the planet. He, and other "Sleepers", have "B-cells" which are also the genetic make up of the Blue.
After much training, Yuji and Marlene return to Earth with two other "Sleepers" named Tony Frost and Alicia Whistle. Tony is an inexperienced A.S pilot, but his B-cells are very adept, giving him great A.S skills. Alicia is only a young teenager with no combat experience and not much sense as to what is going on around her. They and the other forces of Second Earth battle the Blue. They become successful at destroying a few of the largest nests before they head back to Second Earth. However, the battles begin to have an effect on Yuji, which concerns Marlene.
Shortly after returning to Second Earth, the High Council orders the "Sleepers" on a second offensive against the Blue. Marlene is separated from Yuji once again, but in his current state he does not seem to care. As the "Sleepers" are carrying out their mission, a battle on Second Earth between two factions is waged. Seno, the head of Second Earth's science division, leads the "Ark" rebellion taking control of the military, lunar resource, and education, stations of Second Earth. The High Council escapes to and retains control of the medical station. During this time Marlene learns about the nature of the illness that put Yuji in stasis, the source of his abilities, and the source of the Blue Insectoids. They are a defense mechanism enacted by the Earth to purge the existence of humanity, and the B-cells that exist in the "Sleepers" could become a potential threat to humanity as well.
Marlene heads down to earth in search of Yuji, but when she finds him his B-cells are already beginning to activate and he begins to go berserk. After struggling and fighting with him, Marlene is finally able to get through to Yuji and helps him overcome his madness. Meanwhile, Tony and an unknowing Alicia have also abandoned the remaining grounds forces. The troops fend off waves of Blue before escaping with the few remaining survivors. Tony and a now brainwashed Alicia also eventually return to Second Earth, but bring with them several Blue when they board the medical station.
When Yuji and Marlene return to Second Earth, they find that Tony plans to ram the medical station into the military station, which would therefore destroy the heart of Second Earth. He sees this as the "Grand Will of the Earth", in which he will become a "messiah" and cleanse the planet of humanity forever. However, Yuji, Marlene, and a group of other soldiers infiltrate the station, and manage to free Alicia's mind after injuring her. Later, Yuji and Marlene confront and eliminate Tony, while Rick (a close friend and partner to Yuji and Marlene) is slaughtered by a Blue. Alicia ventures back to Tony to die with him as the military destroys the medical station.
After the decision by Seno's junta to abandon Earth, Yuji becomes depressed and contemplates his existence, wondering what he has been fighting for, why he was woken, why he cannot save his friends (Joey near the beginning, Tony from his madness, and Alicia from Tony's brainwashing), and what is truly Earth's will. However, Marlene again eases his mind.
Yuji decides to return to Earth to once and for all find out what Earth's Will is. After learning from Seno about a new migration pattern of the Blue, Yuji and Marlene take a group of volunteers and head to an area where a massive nest is located. There they find a group of humans who seem to be surviving in the area. The nest seems impenetrable at first, but they eventually find an entrance with the help of the local people.
The entrance leads to a tunnel where the walls, ceiling, and floor of the cavern are composed of fossil-like Blue. The team finally comes upon a crystal formation in a massive cavern. A huge Blue is birthed from the gel substance sitting atop the formation and kills everyone except for Yuji and Marlene. Yuji kills it and comes to the conclusion that the sphere will hold the answers he seeks. He sends Marlene, who is pregnant with their child, away to the surface to wait for him. He then gets a vision and can see what the earth itself can see. Yuji comes to understand how mankind can live alongside the B-Cells and returns to Marlene.
Meanwhile, Second Earth's military station's citizens revolt against Seno. The station's personnel proceed to abandon the station for Earth via shuttles. Eventually a firefight erupts over the last remaining overcrowded shuttle, and the station is destroyed by a massive explosion. All around the world from former Blue Nests, long strings of coalescing energy ascend into Earth's atmosphere and form a ring. Marlene and Yuji watch this, realizing Earth is now a safe place to be and look forward to the rest of their lives as the sun sets.
- Yuji Kaido (海堂 祐司 Kaidō Yūji?) - He worked at a gas station during 2009, until a life-threatening disease (later discovered to be B-cells) required him to be put into cryogenic stasis so that his state would not get worse. He awakens in the future to find that the Blue have destroyed everything he knew. He then begins his journey to Second Earth, learning to defend himself and others on the way. His mental state changes greatly during the series, as he sees more of the ruined earth and meets all the people left behind. Voiced by: Kenji Nojima (Japanese), Eric Vale (English)
- Marlene Angel (マリーン・エンジェル Marīn Enjeru?) - Orphaned at the age of ten because her parents were killed by the Blue, Marlene was one of the few lucky ones to make it to Second Earth. Since then, Marlene has dedicated and trained herself to defeat the Blue. Though seeming very cold in the earlier episodes, as time progresses, Yuji opens up Marlene's emotions. Towards the end of the series, she conceives Yuji's child. Voiced by: Hōko Kuwashima (Japanese), Laura Bailey (English)
- Tony Frost (トニー・フロスト Tonī Furosuto?) - Another sleeper brought to Second Earth before Yuji. A very powerful sleeper, Yuji strives to improve himself to be able to beat Tony. Tony seems to have no emotion, and is set on destroying the Blue. It becomes apparent in later episodes, however, that he sees himself as a Messiah when his B-cells initiate, and has his own plans for the fate of humanity. Voiced by: Hiroyuki Satō (Japanese), Jerry Jewell (English)
- Alicia Whistle (アリシア・ウィッスル Arisha Wissuru?) - Another sleeper on Second Earth who is paired with Tony. She immediately gravitates towards Yuji, seeing Marlene as an obstacle to a relationship with him. She is very young and often naive. Her death is one of the many that troubles Yuji. Voiced by: Miwa Yasuda (Japanese), Lisa Ortiz (English)
- Seno Miyagi (セノ・ミヤギ Seno Miyagi?) - A high-ranking member of the science division on Second Earth. He suggests that Marlene and Yuji are kept together in order to get the best results from Yuji in the sleeper program. Not agreeing with the High Council's leadership of Second Earth or its reckless use of the sleepers, he eventually forms a group called The Ark, which would later overthrow the High Council's "government" on Second Earth. Seno would subsequently become the leader of Second Earth, but only for a brief time. His order to abandon Earth eventually results in a revolt and his execution by citizens whom wanted to return to Earth. Voiced by: Katsunosuke Hori (Japanese), Kyle Hebert (English)
- One Day
- Go Mad
- A Sign
- Let Me
The compilation movie, Blue Gender: The Warrior is composed of both old and new footage—with many clips being completely re-animated—and a very different ending. Roughly the last third of the original series' story arc was removed for the movie, thus requiring an alternate ending.
- Blue Gender at AIC studio
- Blue Gender (anime) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
- Blue Gender at the Internet Movie Database