Title: Set Me Free | Artist: Brandi Evans Busby | Show: Blue Gender

So with no set theme for our August OP/ED of the Days, I had to come up with one for myself. I thought what goes better with the dog dags of summer than dark, bleak mecha series! What? I can’t be the only one!

Anyways, this brings us to this oldie, but.....well I can’t necessarily say “goodie”, because Blue Gender’s second half caused people to be divisive on this series, with many just writing off the entire show, others thinking the first half was great but the second half sucked, and others who liked the entire thing. Point is, Blue Gender is a good, but also really flawed old mecha series that many people probably don’t even know exist.

Which is a shame, cause it is basically Attack on Titan or Muv-Luv before either of those existed. Now whether or not you think these two are better works than Blue Gender is entirely up to you, and hell I do think they are better in many areas, but still like Blue Gender in other areas. What matters is that Blue Gender came first.

Basically what Blue Gender is, is a hyper violent series where humans have to fight against giant, deadly insect-like creatures called the Blue. The humans do this by getting into relatively small mecha that are, well not exactly power armor because it is too big to be power armor, but too small to be a traditional mecha, think more along the lines of say Iron Man’s Hulk Buster armor in terms of size, really. Essentially the series is like a Japanese version of Starship Troopers.

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And when I said the series is hyper violent, I do mean that. Both humans and Blue die in brutal ways, sometimes even comedic ways, in that some human deaths are so awkwardly animated that you can’t take them seriously. And it doesn’t take much to kill humans in Blue Gender. Ignoring the mechs and giant insects for a second here, people die relatively realistically in Blue Gender, even bumping their head too hard on a corner can kill them, for example.

Anyways, enough prattling on, let’s get to the opening at hand. “Set Me Free” by Brandi Evans Busby is actually the English dub’s opening (and, by the way, the dub is pretty damn good too, especially for its time, giving us some excellent early performances out of Laura Bailey and Eric Vale).

Here is the Japanese opening, “Tokihanate!” (aka “Break Free”) by Houko Kawashima, for comparison. Personally speaking, I think the Japanese version has a better guitar sound to it (though not drastically better), but the English version’s vocals fit better than the Japanese vocals to me.

Unfortunately they didn’t record a full length version of the English version, so for the full version this time, you’ll have to accept the full version of “Tokihanate!”.