Other books and film related to/inspired by Blue Submarine No. 6
This post is just a list of external books, films and other stuff that, in my personal opinion, would be of interest to fans of BS6, because of similar themes. The list is in no way complete nor definite, obviously. 😛
The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896, by H. G. Wells)
A classic science-fiction novel by the great Mr. Wells himself. Forget the subpar 1996 film version starring Val Kilmer and the late Marlon Brando. Despite being an entertaining popcorn movie in its own right, the movie was hardly a faithful nor respectful adaptation of the original novel. Even the earlier movie adaptation (1977) was better.
It was obvious that the BS6 OVA drew considerable inspiration from both the novel and its film adaptations, and this was especially seen in episode 4. Dr. Moreau was a mad, society-hating scientist living in an isolated tropical island, surrounded by humanoid beast-people that he created. He also had a cat-mutant as a daughter (1997 film), whom appeared younger than the other mutants, and was more peaceful. Like Zorndyke, Dr. Moreau’s creations were originally animals, and both scientists attempted to ‘civilize’ and ‘humanize’ their creations, though for different purposes (Moreau wasn’t interested in eliminating humanity, although he shunned human civilization). Both scientists were regarded as father figures by their creations, and were also killed by the end of their respective stories.
In the end, the book’s protagonist manages to escape and return home, but finds himself unable to live normally in society again, and becomes a recluse. He is plagued by fears that the people around him may suddenly turn into the same beasts he encountered before, the implication being that there is a feral, untamed animal hidden behind every civilized, intelligent human being. Pretty close to what Zorndyke was preaching in the OVA actually 😛
Moby Dick (1851, by Herman Melville)
This is probably the 3rd time I’m talking about Moby Dick, but oh well 😛 . This thick novel was a compulsory reading during my high school years, and its (to me at least), one of those stories that are timeless i.e. would be appreciated by readers of all generations. On the surface, Moby Dick is, like BS6, a simple story about revenge – A whaling ship Captain (Ahab) gets owned once by a giant white whale, and since then becomes obsessed with killing it once and for all. But examine both stories a little deeper, and you’ll find they’re filled with symbolism, subtle critiques of the human psyche and arguments about the definition of ‘good’ and ‘evil’.
I can’t help but wonder if Mr. Ozawa was drawing inspiration from Melville’s novel when conceptualizing the Gilford character, given the strange similarities:
- Ahab lost a leg and became permanently maimed after his first encounter with Moby Dick
- Gilford’s family and children were killed as a result of Zorndyke’s act of genocide
- Despite being a Quaker, Ahab defied his religion in his quest for revenge
- Gilford renounced her religion (Catholicism) in her quest for revenge against Zorndyke
- Ahab was killed in the final battle with Moby Dick; he did not get his revenge
- Gilford was killed in battle by Zorndyke’s creations; she did not live to see him die
Moby Dick is a novel everyone should try to read at least once IMO, even if they aren’t a fan of BS6. This 150 year-old story stomps the ever living crap out of the lame Harry Potter series, and will continue to be a classic in literature. If heavy reading isn’t to your liking, you could try watching one of the several film adaptations of the story, like the 1998 TV version starring Patrick Stewart (Captain Picard) as a very pissed-off Ahab.
Seto No Hanayome (瀬戸の花嫁)
Can’t get enough of Mutio & Hayami? Like the concept of fishgirl + human guy romance? Or are you simply into fish people, mermaids and the like? If so, then may I recommend this 2007 anime series for your viewing. Seto No Hanayome is a story about the turbulent relationship between a good-hearted teenage boy (Nagasumi) and a girl (Sun Seto, who is actually a mermaid) who saves him from drowning. Under ‘mermaid’ laws, if a mermaid is seen by a human in its true form, both parties are to be executed. To sidestep this however, they would have to get married, and so they do, through the reluctant agreement between their parents. Sun and Nagasumi’s marriage is made complicated by things such as multiple rival love-interests, high school life and Seto’s family being from the Yakuza.
As the plot would suggest, Seto No Hanayome is not a serious, high-bodycount show like BS6. Its very heavy in comedy and romance, and contains some eroge elements. But these are usually done in good taste and for comedic effect. Interestingly, like BS6, Seto No Hanayome originally started as a Manga before being popularized by its anime series, which was also produced by GONZO! Coincidence? Hmm…
If you want to find out more about this series, you can visit GONZO’s official site here:
Submarine 707R & Tideline Blue
I am mentioning these two anime shows because they were also written/inspired from the works of Satoro Ozawa, original creator of the BS6 series. Mr Ozawa appears to be quite into publishing comics with a naval/post-apocalyptic theme.
Submarine 707R (サブマリン707R) was published a few years before the BS6 manga. The characters and machine designs in both shows are quite similar. An anime series was produced in 2003, but it only contained 2 episodes apparently. I have not watched either, but looking at the cast list, the name of the fat hero Captain as seen in the cover is Hayami (lol)!
Tideline Blue (タイドライン･ブルー) on the other hand is a completed 2005 anime series (13 episodes) adapted from a Manga series also written by Satoro Ozawa. Not surprisingly therefore, the storyline of Tideline Blue is suspiciously similar to BS6 – most of the world has been submerged underwater as a result of an environmental disaster, and leaders of the UN see this as a fresh opportunity for humanity to build a new, benevolent, non-prejudiced and democratic society. Obviously, there are those who oppose this and prefer militaristic rule. I’ve only watched 2 episodes of this, by accident actually, so I don’t have much else to comment on. Though the characters look rather young and Naruto-like, the anime has a serious theme.