From the box art:
"When Mari Wakatake arrives at the gate of exclusive Kaihou Academy, she is a girl without a past. Five years earlier, SOMETHING happened to her. Something that took the lives of her parents and every other human on Kamioki Island, then wiped her mind clean of even memories. But if Mari's past is an unknown nightmare, her future may soon become even more terrifying. Because while she was the sole HUMAN survivor, there is something else that lived through that same night, and her path is about to cross Mari's again. Something in a female skin has invaded Kaihou Academy, and Mari is its target..."
Talk about your misleading box copy! Doesn't it sound like some female monster in human guise is out to tentacle-rape poor Mari?
And actually, nothing could be farther from the truth. Here's what the show is REALLY about:
A group of human-appearing aliens called the Amure is roaming the world's oceans, studying humans for reasons unspecified at first. One of the ship's captains has rebelled against her people and "gone native", posing as a high school girl, also for reasons unspecified at first. Her Amure name was Ekaril, but she's going under the name Hagino Senkoji among humans.
For reasons related to Mari's suppressed memories, there is an altercation between Hagino and Mari, but the two girls gradually grow fond of each other, a process that continues even after Mari discovers that Hagino is not human. Hagino, for her part, is wracked with guilt over Mari (it's all in Mari's suppressed memories), concerns which she juggles along with her studies AND trying to keep her ship, #5 (aka Blue) from being taken or destroyed by her erstwhile fellows. She has particular problems with a woman named Azanael, who blames Hagino (well, Ekaril) for the death of Azanael's lover (female; all the Amure are female).
Such is the plot, at least until fairly late in the story. We also have some typical shoujo stuff going on with Mari's circle of friends at the school. Included are a "tough" girl named Akane, who has problems with her father, and Michiko Kozuki, a timid girl with a love of stories and storytelling. Of course, the friends have to overcome these problems, which consumes a bit of screen time that might otherwise have been used to further develop the Mari/Hagino relationship, or to have provided a bit more backstory to Hagino/Ekaril. Yes, I am complaining a bit about that; I wouldn't be if the classmate's stories were more unexpected, or if they were more integrated into the Amure plot.
BLUE DROP does have one perfect sequence- Hagino eventually invites Mari aboard her ship, and Mari has those "sense of wonder" reactions that are really why people like science fiction in the first place. (The audience wishes THEY were the ones invited aboard.) There are also a couple of really nice quiet moments between these two girls, including one in an abandoned diner.
But I found the ending too conventional. I'm also not sure who the audience for this is: males may be turned off by the shoujo drama, while the normal shoujo fans might be turned off by the violence of the ending.
Still, the series looks great (with computer assistance, they ALL do these days), and the Amure technology looks interesting. I also think it was good for the dramatic aspects of the show that the principal cast was kept rather small. My favorites among the cast were Michiko (I've always had a soft spot for characters with low self-esteem, even when their stories are done in a cliched fashion) and Tsubael, Ekaril/Hagino's thankless second-in-command, who has to keep the ship safe while her superior is enjoying the Forime Lifestyle (the Amurian word for humans).
I almost went for 4 stars here. — Allen Moody
Recommended Audience: Nothing really offensive here; there are deaths (though no blood and gore), and no sexuality per se, though I'm sure some would have problems with the fact that the Amure, of necessity, have same-sex lovers. Females who don't mind tech in their shoujo, or male technophiles who don't mind female relationship dramas, should be OK with this.
Version(s) Viewed: R1 DVD
Review Status: Full (13/13)
Blue Drop © 2007 Akihito Yoshitomi / MediaWorks / Akita Shoten / PROJECT BD
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