Set in the late 20th century, Ao no Rokugo is another post-apocalyptic anime where humanity is threatened with extinction. However, there is nothing cheesy, lame, or old about this anime. Done in state-of-the-art CG, it is an impressive OAV about one submarine crew's fight to save humanity.
Last week, we saw Mayumi reluctantly go searching for the notorious Tetsu Hayami, to invite him back to Blue Submarine 6 on the orders of her captain, Iga. Hayami, an ace pilot, has always had a rather loose sense of responsibility and was rumored to have been discharged from service earlier with a court martial. Hayami was reluctantly drawn back into the crew of Blue 6. Mayumi, a diligent pilot passionate about her duty and her mission, finds herself constantly irritated by Hayami's slack attitude. Yet his skill with the ships, and his compassion toward the stranded enemy, Mutio, makes her realize that there is more to him than a slugabed attitude.
This week's episode takes off with a blast. The skillfully done battle scenes set the stage for an unfolding of the story, and convey far clearer than words just how desperately the Blue Team are fighting, and at what cost, just to hold their own in the war against the strangely alien-looking beings. This week's episode shows you just how desperate that war truly is.
For one thing, we get our first close look at the enemy. We get to see Mutio again -- the humanoid female (?) with strange pink growths on her body. We also get to see Verg, a sharkey-looking dude with a bad temper. This gray man with saliva problems commands the enemy and dreams of destroying humans wherever he can find them. (We also see him sucking on Mutio's head, supposedly a kinky moment, but let's not go into that.) Yet Verg himself answers to, strangely, a human he calls "Papa". He is fighting the war for the sake of his beloved "Papa", and it infuriates him to no end that even if he were to win against humanity, there is still one enemy he cannot vanquish -- the god that "Papa" prays to.
The people of the Blue Team know "Papa" as Zorndyke. In a conference at the base, we learn something of what happened to earth. The submerged cities are not, in fact, due to a Water World-esque plot, nor to a Second Impact, but caused somehow by a warping of the magnetic poles of Earth. The machine used to change the magnetic pattern lies at the heart of the enemy stronghold in Antarctica, and that is the target the whole Blue Team is to set out against. However, the council of war is interrupted by none other than Zorndyke. He instigated the war for the purpose of saving the souls of humanity, of speeding the deaths of the sinners. And yet what evils has Zorndyke himself committed in order to save humanity? An event at the end of the episode hints at the truth. As Mei Ring, a little girl gifted with the ability to hear sea creatures sobs, "I can hear them. They aren't dolphins. Dolphins' songs are orange and happy. These are just black. They are black, and they hurt."