Blue Gender: Pop Eco-Facism

Main Duotagonists, Yuji and Marlene, in Blue gender
Main Duotagonists, Yuji and Marlene

Media is filled to the brim with Humans vs. Nature as a theme. Within that as a sub-genre of sorts are stories of humans battling insects. Whether it is Anti-Fascist satire like Starship Troopers, drama like Ender’s Game, or sillier fare like Slither, or 8 Legged Freaks, the narrative of humans not necessarily fighting evil, but fighting an implacable other. The convention speaks to a sort of primal id in the human experience, that is to say, that nature, so far removed from modern man’s experience, is itself alien.

With the current trend in media portrayals of villains, there is a tendency to sympathize with them. To provide context or even justifications for the decisions antagonists take. While this nuance is useful in establishing a more, grounded and mature understanding of why people may do unjust things, it does tend to bury harm within nuance.

Evil, stripped of philosophizing, can be understood as, that which causes harm to others and Blue Gender makes no sort of pretense of any other sort of definition. Blue Gender with its bug monsters, the titular Blue, has no such requirements for justification. Blue are evil, they will destroy humanity, they can’t be reasoned with and for that reason, they must be destroyed. Blue Gender is a story of a man out of time, forced into an alien world where alien insects have come and turned humans into prey.

At least at first.

When it is revealed the story’s chief antagonist was actually Gaia, Mother Earth itself the story shifts from one of the humans fighting for survival against an alien menace, to an ecological aesop where humanity is wholly guilty of the destruction of Earth and thus the Blue, are her righteous anger.



Ecology is in short, the study of life. Ecology activists come from a myriad of different ideological backgrounds, though most would be categorized as left of the political center. Some groups take an economically liberal point of view and believe that the market can help to solve the problems the market causes in the environment and there are other groups that seek a revolution in society, a destruction of the current modes of production. One of the more, concerning and popular ideologies is that of eco-fascism.

The term, “eco-fascist” has existed roughly since the 70s with its most notable adherent being the Unabomber, even if it’s not a title he’d self-identify with.

The main aspects of Eco-Fascism, are taking elements that are true about the global ecology problems facing humanity and using it to advance what could be best described as right-wing ideals. This line of thinking includes things such as population control, the general idea that “humans are a virus”, or that “there are too many humans” without interrogating which humans are actually causing the problems.


Ideas like this remove the causes of the global climate crisis, washing the hands of the direct culprits and making the victims of their crimes culpable.

With the rise of extreme weather and global temperatures rising every year, the most directly impacted communities come from the global south. Economically disadvantaged countries and cultures will be forced to either endure, become climate refugees, or perish, due to the economic benefits to an infinitesimally small group of profiteers.

Eco-fascist thought, accepts that the climate is getting worse, but that the victims of it should be excluded. Many call for closed borders, refusing the give aid to nations decimated by the changes to the historic climate. Eco-fascists take the ideology of Earth punishing humans and accept it as good because they’re not the ones being most harmed by it and they don’t care about those who are.

Blue Gender’s disturbing thesis

Blue gender

Returning to the topic, Blue Gender shows Marlene and Yuji struggling to survive on Earth, fighting to flee into a space station where the remaining humans have been living, but once they’ve escaped the Blue, they encounter the True Villain of the series Humanity.

It turns out that the entire plot of fighting these giant alien bugs and surviving by the skin of their teeth doesn’t matter because all of the humans are in space and they’re a military dictatorship. The society of Earth 2 is one of the more spartan in fiction. But then it is revealed again, special twist, that Mother Earth made the B-Cell humans and has control of them. She also drives them crazy with B-Cells which leads to the destruction of Earth 2 and she created the Blue to get rid of humans on Earth.

She wanted them dead but the “happy” ending of the story turns out is that humans will come back to a pre-colonial world, pretechnology.

Millions will die.

This anarcho-primitivist happy ending betrays one very simple fact humans kind of need a lot of the technologies that have been created and it sets the story on a perpetual cycle of repetition because humans are going to build. But they’re not allowed to grow. Earth has to be convinced to allow them to live again and refuses to let them live elsewhere.

If they fail to stay within tight parameters, Earth itself will destroy humanity. This is a very dark conclusion for the story to come to because it presupposes that humans are innately the problem that the problem comes from the fact that humans want too much that, too many humans exist and Mother Earth hates them.

This is a narrative that foists the blame for suffering and exploitation not onto the culprits, the people with power, but indicts humanity as a whole. The supposed happy ending is that Humanity is not allowed to live outside of the will of Gaia, a cruel god who hates them.

What do you think? Leave a comment.

Posted on by
She/They Black Queer writer currently living abroad. Working on games and making art.
Edited by Siothrún.

Want to write about Anime or other art forms?

Create writer account


  1. Bootsie

    These scriptwriters need to focus on basic storytelling instead of constantly pushing political or environmental agendas. Sometimes, well-developed, realistic characters can be just as powerful as pseudo-science nonsense. In real life, things aren’t always neatly wrapped up or solved in 20 episodes. Just because you’re telling a story doesn’t mean everything has to end happily or sadly.

    In my opinion, Blue Gender came about from scriptwriters watching Starship Troopers and then discussing how they could give the bugs a moral justification and make humanity the villains, like many other anime shows do.

  2. Sand

    I always wondered what happened in this series, since I never got around to buying it when I was younger.

  3. Julius

    I remember it being incredibly graphic! Old school anime!

  4. Makai

    Yay, only 7 more years till the end of the world by bugs!

  5. Bria

    I cant stand dumb protagonist. I deal with enough dumb people in reality.

  6. Siothrún

    Great article! It was a pleasure to edit, as well as a thought provoking read! Looking forward to the next one!

  7. Excellent article, well done.

  8. Baylee

    One of my favorites. I love grounded mecha.

  9. Gray

    Good analysis of one of the most intense anime (along with Grave of the fireflies) ever. I couldn’t watch it anymore after the 5th episode.

  10. Eden

    With the way things are going right now, giant murderous bugs wouldn’t be much of a surprise.

  11. Koch

    The lame ending kills the series for me. It makes the message less “we need to do better” and more ” we humans are a cancer that is only tolerated” which isnt really constructive at all.

  12. Cooke

    I have a genuine love for this anime… I stayed up past my bedtime 1 night, saw the OP and episode where they watched the Sunrise and it stuck with me… Fastforwards many many years later I looked up what I could piece together from that ep and found it and still reference it to people.

    The full switching of the roles of Yugi and Marlene is great. His change from the bubblegum chewing moralist that never saw or understood the hell that was waged to build his 1st world society, to becoming Death. To fight for the possibly to build it again was my favorite point of the show. Marlene’s shift from, I was to raised to fight as a cog to make the machine work. Desensitized to everything happening around her, for if she hesitates even a moment, the machine will fail, the mission with fail and the entire war maybe lost. To actually having something to fight for and wanting to preserve it as she saw Yugi attempt to do for those dead men walking, culminates in the scene of her pulling Yugi back from the B-Cell fueled blood lust. That bloodlust Yugi rasionalized and accepted by reliving the scenes from the 1st 12ep saw as the only way they could win the war as save more people not just on Earth but those on Earth2 that never lived a full life. Which was why he liked Tony he killed more, he was saving more lives, doing more to build the future.

    Now I wasn’t too hot about the Gia environmental message but I kinda saw it coming and just accepted it was the 90s and it worked for an ending. However, the grand Scientist’s plan to tell Earth2 that the singular purpose that they all lived for to fight the Blue and forget about Earth and just live here under Space Communism failing completely redeemed it.

  13. Lola

    With all this prattling about “human” rights and democracy, what about the interests and the rights of generations yet to come not to be born into a depleted world? Without taking them into account any pretense to democracy is a sham.

  14. Jorge

    Yuppp, the first anime I ever saw when I was a little kid staying up way to late and sneaking into the living room to watch Adult Swim at 2am. Along side Big-O, Trigun, and Cowboy Bebop, Blue Gender holds a very special place in my heart even though it’s honestly pretty mediocre as far as anime’s of it’s time go.

  15. Frankie

    I never watched it back in the toonami days.

  16. Figgy

    I remember the trailer for this series on my DBZ Cooler’s Revenge VHS!

    • Bonilla

      YES!! I remember when I was young, I bought the dragon ball, Z video tape movie of Broly the legendary super Saiyan, and one of the previews was of blue gender. I am mediately went and found it, and it has stuck in my mind ever since.

  17. Maurice

    I remember wanting to watch this show a few years back. Thanks for the reminder.

  18. MiniMini

    Finally! Someone who is talking about… BLUE GENDER!

  19. Poole

    I love how bleak and forlorn first half of this anime felt to point it was really cozy. 🙂

  20. Allen

    This one of my favourite animes that isn’t really talked about generally. The beginning part, before they get to the ship, is the best part for me. I didn’t consider the ecology angle as I was too young when I watched it first time, but I will do a rewatch this with lens.

  21. Rhian

    I quite like the concept of Blue Gender simply because the human race doesn’t have any predators to keep it’s population in check. So it was nice to see that idea explored a bit in an anime.

  22. Noel

    We all need to subordinate what we ourselves desire to the community’s and the world’s needs and reality to some extent.

  23. Pacee

    Blue Gender. Man I was young enough to be creeped out hardcore but teensy enough to deal with it. Talk about a mindfuck.

  24. Gary

    I like how this anime world does not hold the main character’s hand with OP powers.

  25. Jovani

    Clicked this article because the name of the anime sounded super familiar but I never watched it. I’m seeing a lot of similarities to Robotech, at least the Invid Saga.

  26. Orrie

    It’s a weak story story that was told badly via terrible characters and slow pacing.

  27. Ellis

    If any thing needed a reboot this does. But please do it with some class and tact. This is an underrated anime.

  28. Nicholas

    Man i remember seeing this on some strange anime streaming site when i was like 14.

  29. Eleanor

    Blue gender was the first box set i bought in 2004.

  30. saullivan

    Hmm I either totally blotted this out of my memory or never saw it. Surprisingly I’ve learned there’s quite a few shows/movies that aired on Toonami/Adult Swim that I never knew about. Which seems strange as I would have considered myself a pretty regular viewer back in the day. I can only suppose these shows had very limited runs and or were on very early/late. Given Blue Gender’s content I assume it was probably on quite late.

    Anywho gave the series a shot and I have to say it was a surprisingly decent bit of Sci-Fi. Though the explanation for sleepers and blue cells at first definitely made me facepalm. Obviously it’s extremely unlikely anyone would mutate to develop some aberrant rapidly evolving rogue cell, and this then would also lead giant insects somehow. I can see why most like the first half of the show better, but being on the run for the entirety would’ve been rather uninspired too. I’m glad the series did eventually move on to space. Plots need to progress otherwise you end up with stuff like the TWD which never really goes anywhere.

  31. Ellis Orr

    We have a long way to go as a species, but the current political/economic realities are helping divest many voters of their previous willingness to trust charlatans, opportunists and empty suits with silver tongues.

  32. Sco

    I kinda erased Blue Gender from my memories. “Thanks” for reminding me. 😀

  33. caroo

    I vaguely remember first being exposed to Blue Gender by watching a clip of it on a random old “Most gory and violent anime” video.

  34. Nathalia

    I think the visual novel game Muvluv was inspired by this anime.

  35. LongEr

    I like the show, but admittedly the second arc was a little forgetful for me outside of the battles with the Blue.

  36. Ding

    This stuck with and spooked the crap out of me when i was younger, nice take on it.

  37. Alina

    Blue Gender was cool. It reminded me of Starship Troopers.

  38. I’ve never heard about this anime so it was an interesting read.

Leave a Reply