Apr 29, 2008
Venneh (All reviews)
Title: Blue Submarine No. 6

Manga, Live-Action Movie, Anime: Blue Submarine No. 6 was originally a manga created by Satoru Ozawa. It ran in Shonen Sunday, and stands at three collected volumes. It has yet to be licensed Stateside.

In 2005, a live-action movie was announced by Gonzo studios, with Masahiro Ohkura directing. There's no more info about the movie after this, so your guess is as good as mine as to whether or not it's actually still happening.

Blue Submarine No. 6 is a four episode OVA that was produced by Gonzo (famous for their work on Gankutsuou and Bokurano) and directed by Mahiro Maeda (famous for directing Gankutsuou and the Second Renaissance segments of the Animatrix). It was released in Japan in 1998, and came Stateside in 2000 courtesy of Bandai Entertainment, and was released one episode (which ran about a half hour) a disc, and the final disc was released on October 3rd, 2000. It also aired on Toonami starting on November 6th, 2000 in the 6:00 block.

Story: In the near future, the seas have risen to flood most of the world, and what few areas of land remain are attacked and/or destroyed by sea-living hybrids created by a scientist named Zorndyke. In order to stay alive, humanity relies on the crews of submarines known at the Blue Submarines. The story focuses on Blue Submarine No 6, and a jaded ex-submariner named Hayami, who is asked to come back and help the crew defeat Zorndyke and his hybrids.

Sound like every other post-apocalyptic anime you've seen? Well, it is like most other post-apocalyptic anime out there, except that it takes place mostly in the sea. For the most part, the plot isn't anything particularly stellar, not to mention subplots that are bought in out of nowhere and kind of made of WTF.

The characters are not particularly well-developed, even for having only four half-hour episodes to do it in. The characters have basic traits established, and that's how they stay for the entirety of the series. One of the problems I have is the "romance" between Hayami and the female lead, Kino, who's a whiny little bitch who suddenly does a 180 about how she feels about Hayami in the third episode.

The one exception to all of this is Zorndyke, who comes in in the second episode, and is probably the best well-developed plot line and character of the whole thing. He's initially painted as the ZOMG EVIL SCIENTIST, but as the OVA goes on he gets enough development that you're left with this moral ambiguity about him that you see in shows like Code Geass and Death Note.

Art: The blend that Gonzo does of 2D and 3D art here is absolutely stunning, especially for the ocean scenes. They're also particularly creative in their designs for the hybrids, which is a nice touch. The overall color scheme is based on various shades of blue and grey and green, because hey, we're in the ocean.

Normal character designs aren't anything particularly special, but hey, it works.

Music: The music for this series is all jazz-bassed, as is the ED (no OP), and all in all, I really like it. ...Nothing more I can say about it, really.

Seiyuu: Again, no seiyuu that I recognize/love to death, but all in all, a pretty good job. Props especially to Mutio's seiyuu, who could convey what she wanted to get across with the character without using actual words (most of her dialogue was humming or random sea animal-esque noises).

Length: I think they could've stood to add two more episodes and made it a six-episode OVA, which would've given it a bit more time to breathe, in terms of plot and characters.

Overall: A pretty decent OVA with a plot and characters that don't stand out much, except for one character, pretty art and music, and awesome hybrid designs that deserved an episode or two more.

Story: 7/10
Art: 9/10
Music: 9/10
Seiyuu 8/10
Length: 7/10

Overall: 40/50; 80% (B-)