Ao no 6-gou

Title:Ao no 6-gou
Blue Sub #6
Blue Sub.
Blue Sub. No. 06
Blue Sub. No. 6
Blue Submarine No. 6
Keywords: , , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - GONZO
GOUDA Hozumi
MAEDA Mahiro
R1 License - Discotek
Global warming has swelled the oceans, enveloping whole cities. An army of anthropogenized sea creatures is winning their battle to eradicate mankind from the face of the Earth. Our last hope is a class of super-submarines. These "Blue Subs" are the only thing standing between mankind and oblivion.

[OVA, 1998, 4 episodes, 25+25+25+40 min]
1:00min U.S. Commercial - YouTube Video
1:47min DVD trailer - YouTube Video
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Watch 10 10 8 4 5 6 Ggultra2764 [series:137#1552]
Blue Submarine No. 6 got quite a bit of exposure on Toonami years ago, hence how I became familiar with this 1998 OVA series from Gonzo. While I did have interest in wanting to see what all the fuss was about, I was also a bit hesitant to acquire this for my collection considering Gonzo's rep for the quality of their works being all over the place and making it hard to recommend them as a studio for consistently good quality works considering for as excellent quality works they can make like Gankutsuou and Bokurano, they've also made stinkers like Witchblade and Zaion: I Wish You Were Here. In the case of Blue Submarine No. 6, the series felt like wasted potential to me.

The series depicts a post-apocalyptic future where most of the Earth has been flooded and humanity is at war with a army of mutant sea creatures given sentience by a rogue human scientist. The main focus of the anime is on a young man named Hayami Tatsu who is recruited by the submarine forces of Blue No. 6 to aid in humanity's efforts against the creatures. He strangely seems indifferent at wanting to contribute to the cause as he is acting pacifistic, but the series explores why he acts as he does as it progresses. This makes him the most well-developed character of the series and a major highlight for me, though that's not saying much as I'll cover later in the review.

The animation for Blue Submarine No. 6 is probably some of the most impressive I've seen for a 1990s anime thanks to its nice mix of CG animation and traditional hand-drawn animation, possibly rivaling the quality I seen with the excellent animation work for Macross Plus. While the CG animation looks rough in detail compared to more modern implementations of the technology, it still features nicely rendered designs of sunken buildings and the various submarines in action throughout the OVA's run. Animation was very fluid in this series as well, as characters moved about at a natural pace, sea creatures swam convincingly fast in the water and submarine battles were nice on the eyes as the CG animation produced air bubble effects for the use of said submarines and any torpedoes they fired in the heat of battle. Character designs were reasonably detailed, though human designs were a bit on the plain side. However, some of the character designs for the sentient sea creatures were quite unique and original for an anime series, particularly designs for Verg and Mutio.

Getting all praises out of the way though, Blue Submarine No. 6's quality suffers quite a bit thanks to its pacing. The series immediately throws you into its action and rushes through its events at a very quick pace. This, combined with the limited run time and episode count of the OVA, greatly limits any opportunities for world building and fleshing out of plot and characters, as only Hayami and Mutio get any real fleshing out or development. Mostly every other character is tacked on with a character archetype and we get little to no details revealed about them. The anime seemed like it was trying to express some sort of moral lesson about how man's excesses to the environment could lead to the future of Blue Submarine No. 6 without any coexistence between man and nature, as seen with Zorndyke's monologues and Hayami's actions. Yet without any reasonable fleshing out or world building, the effectiveness of expressing this lesson is greatly crippled.

But perhaps the worst feature to this OVA would be its choice of soundtrack. Consisting entirely of upbeat jazz pieces, the musical tracks are totally out of place for the series and are more obnoxious on the ears than enjoyable for me, possibly rivaling the annoyance I had with the synthesized techno-rock soundtrack used for Geneshaft.

Overall while visually pleasing and having some promising elements to its storytelling, Blue Submarine No.6 is another anime that I felt had wasted potential thanks to its limited run time greatly limiting what focus could be given to characters and its world, hence adding another subpar work to Gonzo's rep for the varying quality of their works that I've seen.

Last updated Saturday, February 02 2013. Created Saturday, February 02 2013.
Buy 10 10 10 10 7 Kari [series:137#798]
I like this mini-series. I like the character designs, the voice acting and the way CG was used in this. The music was great. I'm not sure if this show has a two volume soundtrack, but I only own one. It consists of 8 instrumental tracks, and 1 vocal track called Mina Soko ni Nemure. The songs are all of a Jazz nature, and I find them very relaxing.

The plot is similar to that of several shows in the anime genre, which is the human race is about to become extinct for whatever reason. The reason for that in Blue Sub. No. 6 is because the world has been engulfed in an endless sea, making it impossible for humans to survive.

The Special Edition DVD of Blue Sub. No. 6 costs $10.00 - $20.00.

Last updated Friday, November 17 2006. Created Sunday, June 22 2003.
Avoid 5 7 3 2 4 6 Devil Doll [series:137#752]
[Score: 39%]
Sadly, this anime failed to catch me, and it didn't improve when I rewatched it now after more than a year.
The character development is missing so badly (except for red-eyed Muteo - I like her). Therefore all that is left is a lot of underwater battle, strange monster-like beings plus some anti-war and race tolerance message that may be reasonable but far from original. Furthermore the show reduces itself to dialogues like: "They're killing us!" - "So we kill them first?" Sorry folks, I already got the point long before that line.
I simply don't like this anime, as I cannot sympathize with the protagonists. Zorndyke's monologue in episode 4 was the most interesting part of the story, yet even this was too predictable. And that Jazz music trampled on my nerves...

Last updated Monday, June 02 2008. Created Sunday, June 08 2003.
Buy 8 10 7 6 7 8 AntitrustSpider [series:137#542]
Really great computer animation mixed in with the other parts. The story line is a little weird but goes well. I enjoyed watching it.

Last updated Sunday, February 16 2003. Created Sunday, February 16 2003.
Rent 10 10 8 7 6 6 RedSilver [series:137#288]
The story line for Blue Sub is OK. I'm just not into all that hug and kiss stuff. Peace&Love is what the main charactor is trying to find in a world of hate and distruction.
Even thou the story line is not so good the art makes up for it. If you watch Blue Sub 6 it will only be for the cool Animation&Art.
by RedSilver
Note: the music is odd but good, it like some sort of jazz

Last updated Thursday, March 28 2002. Created Thursday, March 28 2002.
Rent 8 9 6 8 8 Courtney [series:137#80]
An interesting but concise story. Thats what I think of BLUE SUBMERINE NO.6. The post-apocalyptic genre is one of those done-to-death themes in anime but I think this title managed to actually bring a little something back to the subject rather than take it away. They did a lot with their computer generation spliced with animation to give people a rich and textured view of a dying world. The only reason I can't give this series a BUY rating is because the price-gauging a-holes that market the series force you to buy each haf hour segment in four parts (But if you want to spend $100 on 2 hours knock yourself out!). I have to say that I wanted to see a lot more done with the story, maybe under a full season run, but that probably would have just run the series into the ground. Instead I will simple accept BLUE SUBMERINE as a brief but memorable journey in storytelling and animation that Id like to see thrive.

Last updated Tuesday, October 16 2001. Created Tuesday, October 16 2001.
Rent 9 9 7 8 8 Sutekh [series:137#227]
This is an excellent mini-series that everyone should get a chance to see sometime. I loved the animation and to my surprise there was a pretty good story and character development to back it up. So I suppose you want to know why if I liked it so much did I give it a rent only review? That is because all the episodes are sold separately at 30$ a piece that is a dollar per minute. That is a little too rich for my blood and to add salt to the wound BlockBuster has the whole series on one tape.

Last updated Monday, October 15 2001. Created Monday, October 15 2001.
Rent 9 10 6 6 The Coyote [series:137#64]
The art and animation in this one alone make this one worth seeing, It has a heavy political message but I didn't mind it as much as say princess mononoke. the story gets deeper as it gose. after the first two episodes i wansnt impressed but the next two made it more than worth seeing so don't give up on it the last episode is in my opinion a classic and ties the story together tremendously well. the art and animation in this one are superb

Last updated Thursday, February 15 2001. Created Thursday, February 15 2001.
Rent 7 10 9 5 Midnighter [series:137#94]
Blue Sub was interesting. Personally, I liked it, except for the CG animation. The traditional animation was some of the best I have ever seen. And the character designs were excellent. (I'm a sucker for the cute, short-haired girls) The story was servicable, and the characters were pretty well rounded out for such a short series, such angst! I especially liked the ending.
Unfortunately, the dub isn't that good, and the voice filters for the bad-guys are unspeakably bad. I couldn't even understand what they were saying half the time. Maybe subtitled is better, but unfortunately I havn't seen it.
Overall, this is definately worth checking out, but I wouldn't buy it.

Last updated Wednesday, October 09 2002. Created Tuesday, December 12 2000.
Rent 7 9 5 8 7 Bryan [series:137#14]
This five part OAV is best known for its heavy use of computer generated graphics. It also has quite a pedigree with several anime notables (and more than a few Sun workstations) working on it, including Kawamori Shoji, known for the mecha designs of Macross.

What is really interesting is that this OAV is based on a manga from the 60s! As I read this on the web, one could take issue with its credibility (the page I got that tid-bit from is here" href="">here">">here), but the character designs are so odd, that I tend to believe it.

There isn't a lot of time for character introductions in five 22 minute programs. This little problem was brilliantly solved by making the characters standard archetypes, so archetypical in fact that they need no introduction. They could just about wear name-tags: Hi I'm the grizzled captain; Hi, I'm, the spunky young idealist, etc. This would include Hayami Tetsu, the bitter and jaded, yet brilliant, loner who is called back to Help Save The Earth. Of course he eventually does, and proves another anime law while he is at it. If you are a good guy you can blow-up anything with a simple machine gun -- including stuff that couldn't be dispatched of by numerous aircraft with ridiculously high caliber weapons.

In the first OAV, "Pilots", there is a really good crowd scene when our hackneyed heroes are running back to Blue 6. The crowd they are running against was really well drawn with every person having identifiable features and moving independently of everyone else. I think this was done with cels. At lot of the show is not, instead using computer animation. I, for one, am a cel-based anime fan, though it did have its moments.

This included the really neat shell bombardments, and a great under/over water fight scene in the first episode where Tetsu takes on some of the bad guy mechas in this neat little transforming mini-sub/Valkyrie thing. I really have to admit that it looked good, and it would have been impossible with cels. In fact, the only cels in a lot of this segment were the head shots of the pilots. Of course all the explosions look like those in Quake II, which is a little irksome. I think I like the way they still used cels in Cowboy Beebop for blowing stuff up :).

I'm a bit of a cold-war era submarine otaku, and as such I was a bit disappointed with the sub warfare in the show, at least the first two episodes, which are all that I've seen thus far. I mean the States spent 30 billion dollars (yes, that is a B) to wire the oceans for sound during the cold war. Yet, these guys can't hear the "phantom ship", despite the fact that the crew is a bunch of bizarre (and, really, very inane looking) Wes Craven like monsters that run around beating pipes and drums. Ever hear of run silent, run deep guys? Geez.

Ok, I could go on quite a bit about that, but why bother. I was happy with how well the under water topography was rendered. The torpedoes and the subs looked great (image wise, I think the Blue Subs' designs were kind of silly), and I found the mechas and the bad guys' biological weapons to be pretty doggone cool. The character designs of the bad guys themselves, with the notable exception of the sort of female humanoid things, were just dumb. Whenever the big Talking Shark was on I cringed and hoped the scene would be over soon.

The background music was really neat. I'd consider getting the sound track if I still lived in Kansas and made futile attempts at chasing tornadoes. I guess this was done by a studio or a production company called Toshiba Emi. Anyway, it was really unique. Just find a couple MP3's and see for yourself.

In the end this gets a rent, though I'll likely go through quite a few other titles first. I found the plot to be just a little too silly for my liking. The science was just wrong (I guess if I go into details that would be a spoiler) and that always bugs me. Couple that with a female lead whose character design I couldn't stand, and I'm not in a big hurry to see more.

Last updated Sunday, January 30 2000. Created Sunday, January 30 2000.

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