Blue Submarine No. 6

Rating: 2 Rampages Mayumi.

In the near future, the oceans have risen dramatically and much of the land presently near sea level is submerged. Mysterious genetically altered aquatic creatures called Zorndyke threaten the human race with unrelenting attacks on the cities that remain. To combat them the military has constructed special submarines and underwater fighters. One such Submarine, is the Blue 6. Piloted by hotshots and aided by one of the few humans with real knowledge of the Zorndyke, Blue 6 may be the trump card humanity needs to tun the tide against the Zorndyke once and for all.

I was expecting a great deal from this show (too much perhaps), as the trailers looked very impressive indeed. Most of what I'd heard was very promising, but when I finally saw it I wasn't quite as impressed as I'd expected on being. Don't get me wrong, the art is gorgeous and the integration of CGI and cel animation is pretty seamless...most of the time. There are several points where it's obvious they simply painted one cel and used that exact same unmoving cel through the entire scene while the rest of it was done on looked rather jarring to say the least. The design work is excellent, Kawamori has outdone himself this time with the wonderfully organic underwater mechs.
One of the Zorndyke mechs.One of the problems I had was with the main Character of Mayumi. From what I'd seen of her she looked to be a tough-as-nails soldier willing to get the job done at any cost. Instead she ends up sounding like far more of a Miaka than a soldier...quite frankly I don't see how someone that sensitive and emotional could make it through basic training, let alone becoming an officer. The rest of the characters looked interesting, and the little hints at the story were very nice (the cover of a TIME magazine talking about "World renowned scientist, Doctor Zorndyke" and hints at genetic experiments). The music was definitely a weak point, it didn't really fit the settings at all and felt a bit intrusive. A show like this really should have gone with something more orchestral and dramatic like Escaflowne or Macross Plus. As I said, I was slightly underwhelmed, it just seemed to be missing something; I was expecting another Escaflowne, and ended up with more of a SDF Macross (not that that is a bad thing persay, just not what I was expecting). Perhaps after seeing more (I only saw the first tape) I'll get drawn further into it. Intriguing story and the best CGI/Cel work next to Cowboy Bebop make this a winner..just try not to get sucked into the hype.

Updated review: Okay, this is the LAST time I'm nice to a show that does not deserve it...really. Now that I have seen more of Blue Submarine No. 6 I can say with full certainty, you don't need to. The story, which seemed mysterious and intriguing, goes nowhere. The Zorndyke are little more than fancy CGI beastmen with guns; no depth whatsoever. Combined with the irritatingly inappropriate music, lackluster voice acting, and two dimensional characters, and all that's left is eyecandy. And really, that's all this show is, eyecandy. It's nice eyecandy, but utterly worthless as a continuing series.

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