Fujimiya Momiji is a descendant of the Kushinada clan whose women possess the power to defeat the Aragami, an alien plant-like race, by sacrifice. After centuries of slumber, the Aragami have awakened and are invading Tokyo en route to conquering the world. In their way are the hapless schoolgirl Momiji, who becomes infected with one of the "Blue Seeds" - magatama beads that are the heart and soul of the Aragami - the TAC, a government agency whose sole mission is to stop the Aragami, and Kusanagi Mamoru, a young man infused with Aragami blood who swears vengeance on those who took his family away from him. Like the heroes of the past, this ragtag band of misfits must work together to defeat an ancient menace from the past, and one far closer to home.
Right after I got out of high school, I first saw this series at the local Tower Video in the import section. Apparently it was a favorite of the manager's, as not only did they have the entire series (except for the last tape, naturally -_-), but also a 'behind-the-scenes' special too. So over the next week, my sister and I proceeded to rent the entire set, 4 videos (8 episodes) at a time. By the end of the week, we both had a new all-time favorite series.
Blue Seed is a perfect blend of slapstick comedy, fast-paced action and serious drama, with just a bit of romance to boot. The storyline is based very loosely on the Shinto legend of Susano'o and the Yamata no Orochi. Only this time, Susano'o is a orange-skinned mutant, the Orochi is a alien race of weeds and the princess is a naive schoolgirl. On the surface it looks a bit like Evangelion, what with the government agency using young teens to stop a god-like menace to humanity and all, but Blue Seed predates Eva by a good year or so, and after seeing the two, it is no wonder why I consider Eva to be a wannabe clone.
Kusanagi and Momiji are by far the two best characters in this series. Kusanagi isn't overly angsty, brooding or angry as one would initially expect. He plays around and teases Momiji, and can be downright silly at times. Momiji too avoids being a stereotype. She could be a ditzy, gluttonous crybaby, but she actually is a very tough-willed, caring girl who pulls her own weight in the TAC. She does tend to be the damsel in distress a lot (but seeing as how she is the main target of the enemy, it's to be expected) but she can get herself out of a jam without always needing Kusanagi or the TAC to come save the day.
The stories themselves are very well done too. Each member of the TAC get to have their moment in the limelight, as character development is very important to the series and the final events. (And I shall not give it away ^_^) Though some of the individual spotlights can be rather silly, such as Yaegashi, who develops an Aragami tracking system based off of Momiji's underwear patterns (and the scary thing is, it WORKS). The parody Omake ("extra") Theater segments between episodes serve only to highlight the characters even more, as sometimes they play out VERY silly scenes that they would never dare put in the actual series, such as the characters talking about how they know where to go because it's a cel drawing and not a background image, like they *know* they are animated - or being portrayed in a mini-music video that reflects their overall inner feelings.
The music for Blue Seed is fairly standard action TV style, not really noteworthy, except for the ending theme by Megumi Hayashibara. The animation, however, is above average for a TV series, and is crisp, fluid and surprisingly colorful considering the overall tone of the series. The storyline, though, is the real strength of Blue Seed. It's one of the most intelligent series to come out in the last ten years, and has much more to offer the viewer than even Evangelion could ever hope to do. What Blue Seed has that Eva lacks is the sense of hope, that no matter what happens, everything will be ok and the world will be saved. They don't drag the viewer down with dark, dreary scenes and heavy-handed angst, but instead invite them along on a perilous, but exciting adventure, one I heartily recommend to every action sci-fi fan.
A must-have for any collection. — Christi
Recommended Audience: 13 and up. There is a hefty amount of violence in this show, especially as it goes along later in the series, when Kusanagi actually loses and appendage or two. But he's half-plant so he regenerates them. There is also lots of fan service of Momiji. No nudity per se, but we see her underwear. A LOT. As mentioned before, they actually play a pivotal role in the series (^_^;;). No profanity in the original, (except occasionally from Koume, the gun happy psycho), but since ADV released this title here, it's probably a safe bet there is more of it sprinkled about.
Version(s) Viewed: VHS, raw, dubbed, and subtitled, bilingual DVD
Review Status: Full (26/26)
Blue Seed © 1994 Yuzo Takada / Takeshobo / BS Project / TV Tokyo / NAS
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