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Chibi Review: Blue Drop

Alien invasions, now with decidedly more school girls.


Title: Blue Drop, The Complete Collection
Studio: Asahi Production
Licensor: Sentai Filmworks
 
Run Time: 235 minutes
Episodes: 13
Episodes reviewer has completed so far: 6
SRP: 39.99 (found for 29.99)

Synopsis

When Mari Wakatake arrives at the gate of the 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. The subjugation of Earth has begun, and the heart of one young woman may be the key to our race's ultimate salvation or damnation.

 How accurate does this feel: Inaccurate.
 
  This picture pretty much sums up the entire first episode.
 This picture pretty much sums up the entire first episode.

  Strangling: its like hello in some cultures.
 Strangling: its like hello in some cultures.
So far, this series has been almost exclusively about rich, headstrong youth, Mari Wakatake, who is adjusting to going to her new boarding school. Once there, she is greeted/accidentally choked by a class idol/schizophrenic murderer Hagino Senkōji. Of course, there's a reason this uncontrollably the main character, we're just not privy to it...  yet. Bruised, yet intoxicatingly intrigued, follows Hagino at night, only to find that the class idol is not what she seems...
 
I focus on these elements, because that's really all the show has focused on so far. Six episodes in, I've yet to be caught. Mari literally sees Hagino summon an amazingly dangerous looking alien craft, and yet decides not to press the issue. For about 4 issues, she observes countless examples of alien happenings, yet all she doesn't confront her roommate at all. Though, occasionally she drops, "You're weird and have a crazy hologram girl," like its only a character quirk to be alien.
 
  Proper military apparel
 Proper military apparel

  annnddd in love.
 annnddd in love.
And what's worse, Hagino, who is some sort of alien Captain for an entirely female species, either flatly denies such facts, or ignores the breach of her cover. Why, you ask, would they act this way? Well, the most convincing reason I've come up with is that these two are not so subtlety hot for each other. Yes, Blue Drop indeed qualifies as a yuri series. More to its credit, it's even a "yuri sci-fi." Though darned if I've yet to see a convincing reason why these characters actually like each other. The pacing is so lopsided that all we got was on "I'm going to choke you," and then Mari is suddenly infatuate.
 
I'll let you in on a trade secret... very few people like to be choked, and even if they did, its not proper first date material.
 
 
 
 
Pros
Okay, what I like. Well, I like that the show is decidedly low in fanservice. Any title that advertises itself as a sci-fi yuri romance (read: lesbian romance) could easily be laden with awkward giggles, locker room scenes, and panty shots like there's no tomorrow. Also, the side characters at the school have a tolerable amount of depth. Its no masterpiece, but they spend a good amount of time playing up the motivations on seemingly insignificant characters.
 
Also, its the entire series in one affordable collection. That's always a plus in my book.
 
Cons
Annnnd what i didn't like. Well, for starters, I'm six episodes in and I still don't get where all of this is going. They've flippantly spent so much time ignoring (yet addressing) some sort of alien invasion, playing up... glasses girl's dream of becoming a writer, that I can only assume the latter half will devolve into some sort of magical school girl affair with all of the cast taking up ships to defend humanity. Of course, I don't actually expect that. Instead, the series is going to just flip a switch, and change gears once more. 
 
like, the pacing, up till now, has be absolutely terrible. They seem bent on throwing random facts/happenings at the audience to keep their attention, yet are unwilling to deal with them. The show has, on 3 occasions now, ended on an ambiguous, high energy note (like, Mari finding a giant, floating alien vessel) and they wait till about 10 minutes into the next episode to even bring it up.
 

Pictures


Conclusion


The strongest recommendation I can give is that I intend to finish this. I say this with a forlorn expression, as I don't believe it'll reach the heights I want it to. Don't get me wrong, I've watched a hundred things worse than Blue Drop, but the serious tones and sweet moments have sold me a bill of goods yet to arrive.
 
Basically, its a quagmire. I haven't disliked the show so far, but if the episodes continue as they have... I'll be dissatisfied with the end product. Likewise, if they make the sweeping tone/pacing changes to match the advertised "plot"... it'll become a entirely different show.
Karasuon April 9, 2010 at 11:18 a.m.
Hmm… I think I watched this all the way through in fan subs, but maybe I didn't? <= and I think that is about the most ringing NON-endorsement you could give a show.
metalsnakezeroon April 9, 2010 at 11:55 a.m.
I remember having a pretty hard time watching this show due to its pacing but I did like how the yuri in it wasn't over the top but more teaching. I may rent it if I get the chance.
giaon April 9, 2010 at 12:24 p.m.
@Karasu: Yeah, I couldn't remember how far I'd gotten in it before and was surprised to realize that I'd gotten to like, episode 5 or something. It's definitely a "soft touch" kinda show...probably a little too soft. But that makes it very unusual for anime, so I have to give it some kudos there.
Karasuon April 9, 2010 at 12:40 p.m.
@gia: I really enjoyed Reideen, which had a really weird, slow pacing, but at least that one got to the point. : )
Elfenlied1012on April 9, 2010 at 3:14 p.m.

F: ohh dont even bother its just going to build and build to nothing like I said in my review for blue drop it's a show that has a 10 episode "introductory" and has an ending that should have been the middle... not worth it dude not worth it and I'm super willing to give anything yuri a taste.
Karkarovon April 9, 2010 at 9:24 p.m.
I don't care for Yuri most of the time because of the gratuitous fan service but one that manages to be tasteful, intelligent, and have a nice story... sure why not?  Too bad your review and all evidence are indicating that this one only has the tasteful part ;p.
Konandaon April 10, 2010 at 9:12 p.m.

Wow with all the doves in that shot I was thinking someone likes John Woo films.

transgojoboton April 11, 2010 at 2:02 p.m.
I think I'll refrain from my comments on this series, until you've reached its ending.
John_Martoneon April 12, 2010 at 10:17 a.m.
@transgojobot said:
" I think I'll refrain from my comments on this series, until you've reached its ending. "
I'm done, and left with curious opinions.

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