One fateful day, Mari Wakatake is sent away to Kaio Academy by her grandmother, who is slowly dying and can no longer homeschool Mari. Mari is very upset to leave her grandmother and does not want to go, but a chance encounter with a beautiful dark haired girl surrounded by birds distracts her.
Mari meets this unusual girl, named Hagino Senkoji, at Kaio Academy. They get off to a confusing start when Hagino tries to strangle Mari. It soon emerges Hagino has a secret identity as a commander of an alien ship, known as Commander Evaril to her crew. The alien race are known as the Arume and consist entirely of women.
My main issue with this anime was that for the majority of it, it wasn’t clear where it was going. Logically, Hagino’s alter ego as an alien spaceship commander would seem pretty important, right? But even though Mari uncovers the extraterrestrial elements fairly early on, the plotline is largely put on the backburner during which time the show focuses on happenings at the school. While I appreciate them not wanting to give away the juicy bits too soon, it was incredulous that Mari would find out a girl her age is commanding an alien spaceship and not really ask any questions.
The show also falls under the shoujo ai genre. Shoujo ai means “girl’s love” and depicts romantic relationships and attraction between women. This is hinted at between the schoolgirls with the occasional blush and romantic moment such as a ferris wheel ride or an embrace. On Hagino’s ship we are also shown of a romance between two female officers, one of whom has died, leaving the other to mourn. In a way, even the small moments between the women in Blue Drop are rendered more significant as we see so few male characters. Blue Drop inhabits an almost entirely female world.
For a while it will not seem clear where Blue Drop is going, and the random story detours may frustrate some. But if you have the patience, it will reward you when it begins to tie some of the threads together. A strong sci fi anime does not always need many complex ideas, sometimes focusing on just a few can allow the emotion and message to shine through, and Blue Drop demonstrates this well, once it becomes clearer where everything falls.
Blue Drop moves to a moving conclusion and comes to beautifully portray love and goodness across human and alienkind. With a beautiful animation style and soundtrack and understated characterisation, this has the makings of a classic sci fi anime. I may need to watch it again to make a bit more sense of it, but I certainly enjoyed the ride.
If you are looking for a sci fi anime with a focus on female characters, and lesbian romance throughout, give Blue Drop a go.