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Episode 15: Calm

 

Review by Joel Jankiewicz

May 8, 2007

 

Summary

 

Brenda is monitoring Sleepers who are undergoing a simulation exercise. Alicia, her clumsy self, is having trouble again hitting any simulated Blue and can’t avoid getting hit. She then notices Yuji and Marlene working together, even in separate A.S.s. Alicia watches in awe, as they don’t seem to make any mistakes. Later when the simulation is done, Alicia and Marlene are in the women’s locker room, both showering up. As Alicia dries up, she complains about who an ‘old hag’ thinks they (the Sleepers in this case) are. In this case, she’s probably referring to Brenda. She notices Marlene start to dry up then touches her back, and Marlene asks her what she’s doing. Alicia says she’s pretty, that her skin is as white as snow and is soft. Then she complains about her own skin, among other things. They head to the main locker room to change, and Alicia asks Marlene if she’s been on Earth for a long time. She asks her if they could go down together, and see a place or two that she knows. But Marlene tells her Earth isn’t the same as she once knew it. Marlene feels Alicia touch her back again and asks her why she keeps doing it. Alicia says she can’t help herself, and gives Marlene another compliment, and this time sprays perfume onto Marlene’s back and left shoulder. She says that Marlene and Yuji work well together, and wishes she could pair up with Yuji sometime. Marlene tells her it could happen if she puts effort into it, and Alicia says she really thinks so. She then asks her if she were to go for it, she wouldn’t mind, and Marlene says no. Alicia says she gets it, but Marlene just looks at her confused. Marlene asks her what she means, but Alicia tells her not to play dumb. She asks her if she doesn’t like Yuji, but Marlene says she can’t say any reason not to like him. She says she doesn’t get her and then says she feels sorry for Yuji, but Marlene still says she doesn’t understand what she’s saying. Marlene tells her to forget about it and concentrate on the real combat that is ahead; otherwise she’ll die. Marlene leaves the locker room, but Alicia blows off what Marlene said, and as she sprays herself with perfume, she decides she’s going to make Yuji her new partner. Meanwhile, Yuji is walking down a hall, saying how since the drills have started, how much better he feels and how much more energy he has. He then sees two guards dragging off a man, who screams he doesn’t want to go back to fight on Earth. The guards move on, and whatever enthusiasm Yuji had vanishes, and he slumps his way into an Armor Shrike hangar. He feels a bit happier looking at the Armor Shrikes, then notices the man who beat him in the earlier drill challenge, Tony. He’s working on his A.S., and Yuji walks up to him and asks him what he’s working on at such a late time. He sees him working on maintenance program, and as he leans down to place his hand on Tony’s shoulder to get a better look, Tony tells him to keep his hands off. Yuji pulls his hand back and asks Tony if he was a mechanic on Earth, but then Tony gives him an angry glare. Yuji says he’s just interested since he hasn’t met any other Sleepers. Tony asks him if he woke up on Earth, and when Yuji says yes, Tony goes on to say that he woke up on Second Earth, and that he doesn’t remember much about Earth anyway. Yuji asks him if he was around on Earth at the same time, since they seem roughly close age wise, and says he has memories of home and how he used to fight with his dad. Suddenly when he looks at Tony, he sees an image of his old friend Takashi overlap Tony. Tony asks him what’s wrong, but Yuji says it’s nothing. Tony finishes his maintenance and closes the hatch he was working on, when Yuji asks him why he does it and not the mechanics that do a good job. Tony says he doesn’t trust anyone, but says that something isn’t right about the people of Second Earth. Yuji goes silent, and Tony goes on to say that whatever lives they had back then mean nothing now, that their lives before now never existed. Tony says he should be only worried about one thing, and that’s how he’s going to survive. Later that night, Yuji wonders why he thought of Takashi earlier. Suddenly his door opens and a woman tells him they’ve got emergency orders. Yuji thinks it’s Marlene and he stumbles out of bed onto a chair, but it’s really Alicia who pulled a prank on him. He asks her what the big idea is, and Alicia just makes herself comfy on Yuji’s bed, saying she has three others in her quarters and that she feels cramped. Yuji asks her what she’s doing here and Alicia asks him if he’s off right now. Yuji says he is, then Alicia pulls him down to sit next to her. She asks him to guess what, and tells him she has something to show him, and Yuji wonders what she means. Meanwhile, Marlene is working on in the gym, and Rick hands her a towel when she’s done. He asks her to hang out with him since it’s their free time, and Marlene hesitantly agrees when Rick becomes persistent. As Marlene and Rick walk down the hall, Marlene notices Alicia dragging poor Yuji down a corridor, and she stares at them as they disappear around a corner.

 

Alicia and Yuji wander around what looks like the quiet and abandoned sections of the station, mostly composed of walkways and pipelines, and not well lit at all. Yuji asks Alicia where she’s taking him, but she tells him he’ll have to wait and see. Alicia says she knows ‘it’ is around somewhere, when she trips and the bag she carries tumbles over the edge onto a nearby metal bar. Yuji asks her if she’s ok, but Alicia asks him if she could get his bag for her. Yuji agrees to help her and begins to lean over the side of the walkway, and tells Alicia not to let go of his legs. Alicia says she has him, but as he goes to reach, something else catches her eye. Just as Yuji grabs her bag, he almost stumbles and falls, but one of his legs catches the metal railing of the walkway, and he pulls himself up, bag and all. He calls out to Alicia, but she seems to have wandered off. He notices her behind a wall, and when he walks up to her and asks her why she let go of him, she tells him to be quiet and pulls him back behind the wall. He asks her what’s going on, and she looks around the corner again, and Yuji peeks too. They notice a couple making love behind large water pipes, and Yuji blushes compared to Alicia, who whispers that it looks like fun. He then notices a second couple below them under another walkway, then sees a third couple off several feet away on a walkway above them. Alicia says it’s time for them to go, and Yuji holds her hand for a minute, but she asks him what’s gotten into him and tells him to go with her. Elsewhere, Marlene and Rick hang out in some kind of ‘lounge’ room of sorts. Only thing is half the people are talking, the other half are making love. Rick manages to get Marlene to lay down, and he lies behind her. He asks her what’s wrong since she doesn’t seem in the mood, but Marlene says it’s nothing. He offers her some kind of pill, but she doesn’t take it. Marlene suddenly remembers how she saw Alicia and Yuji, and just when Rick starts to grope her, Marlene says she remembered something. She says she’s going back to her quarters and leaves him behind. Rick watches her leave, stumped about what he may have possibly said or done. Alicia tells Yuji they took a wrong turn and that it’s killing the mood. Yuji jokes by saying his blood is pumping, but when Alicia asks him about it, he says it’s nothing. He checks the time, and when Alicia sees this, she says they need to get going, and they continue to run around. Marlene walks by the 03 Block North section Yuji and Alicia disappeared into earlier, but decides not to bother following them as she thinks it’s none of her business. She then sees Tony heading down a corridor and wonders what he’s doing in a particular room. Alicia and Yuji end up lost again, and he asks her if they ended up in a restricted area. As it happens, a laser starts targeting them and leaves a hole in Alicia’s bag when he pulls her out of the way. The turret starts firing like crazy and they both split up, with Alicia apologizing to Yuji as she runs in one direction while he runs in another, telling her to get to safety. Marlene enters the room Tony went into and notices a computer with Yuji and Alicia’s data loaded up. From the other end of the room, Tony says she has a lovely fragrance, saying he could smell her down the hall. Tony tells her she has good taste, but Marlene asks him what he was doing looking up the Sleeper records. Tony says he needed to look them up to have peace of mind, but says there isn’t quite enough information. He says he also looked up Marlene’s record as well while on Earth and is impressed. He says that the most important records are locked away, and when he tries to access them, alarms in the room and the hall go off. Marlene runs out of the room before the door closes itself shut, but Tony just calmly watches her jump out. Marlene runs down the hall, just as guards start coming into the adjacent hall. They open the door to the room Tony is in, but as they search it, they don’t find anyone at all. A guard enters the 03 Block section, but Marlene is hiding behind a metal pillar and manages to slip away. Yuji is lost and wandering about when he suddenly bumps into someone, thinking it's Alicia. But Marlene tells him she’s not Alicia, and Yuji realizes who it is. He says he’s surprised, since the smell of the perfume is what made him think she was Alicia. Marlene is a bit surprised by what he said, then asks him what he’s doing down here. Yuji can’t think of anything to say that makes sense, but says he wasn’t doing anything he shouldn’t. He then asks her what she’s doing down here, but she can’t think of anything to say either. She then says the alarm seems to have been lifted since she can’t hear it, then Yuji asks if it has. They both wander next to a glass panel, with a complete view of Earth. Yuji says he had no idea they wandered to the outer hull already, and Marlene adds that where they are is probably where the stations used to connect via junctions. They both notice the sun rise and see the light cover the Earth, and the light from the Earth shines in their direction. Marlene says that the orbit the station does for this angle only happens once each orbit. Yuji watches in awe, then realizes that the view he’s seeing is probably what Alicia wanted to show him. In another part of section, Alicia is by herself next to a window, saying to herself that she just wanted to watch the sunrise with Yuji, and calls him an idiot. Both Yuji and Marlene stare out the window, and Marlene tells him it’s nice. Yuji looks at her smiling face, when his hand pad starts beeping, and he tells Marlene that they’re being called in and that they should get going. Marlene holds on to Yuji’s hand and tells him that to just wait a little longer. Yuji offers no complaints and just stares a little while longer at view of Earth and the rising sun.

 

Commentary

 

There will be a series that’ll sometimes push the borders of what could be considered acceptable, and what is borderline. In this case, this episode of Blue Gender is VERY borderline in terms of some scenes. This is a blatant fanservice episode to say the least, with some touches of romantic moments and some comedy. And the title itself only really matches the last ‘calm’ moment of this episode. But we get a little mystery as well. Poor Yuji is clueless as to what Alicia thinks most of the time, and just spends much of his time trying to figure her out. Marlene doesn’t understand what’s on Alicia’s mind either, but the same goes the other way around. Rick tries to hit on Marlene, but fails miserably. Tony continues to be suspicious, trying to access locked files and figuring out more about other Sleepers. But how did he get away earlier in a locked room? As for my earlier comment about borderline…well…considering the fact that Yuji saw three couples making love in the block section that they’re in, and the fact that Marlene and Rick where in a room where people make love in public…one has think they’re watching Starship Troopers. Despite Yuji’s screw up with Alicia from the laser turret, and Marlene hiding from security, the both of them manage to get a romantic view before heading for duty. Other than that, not much happens in this episode, and some may even skip this episode to go to the main meat of the story. But others may watch this for just what’s been mentioned… well… I got no comment on that.

 

Overall Rating

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2.5 out of 5 stars
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