Nadia Vol. #05 (of 10) (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Tuesday, December 18, 2001
Release Date: Tuesday, December 18, 2001



What They Say
The Nautilus journeys to the frozen shores of Antarctica. On board Captain Nemo’s amazing submarine, Jean throws himself into his work in order to earn the crew's respect while he desperately tries to distract a distraught Nadia.
For Jean knows full well that once they reach Antarctica, Nadia must confront Nemo regarding her own mysterious past, while still evading the dangers posed by the evil Gargoyle.

The Review!
While things in the fourth volume really got me keen on the series, things start falling back into a more familiar routine with this volume.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in its original language of Japanese. The shows stereo mix continues to be solid, dialogue's clean and clear and the music and effects sounded pretty much on target. There's not much in the way of directionality, but the whole front soundstage works pretty well with the varying number of locations used throughout the show.

Video:
Also much like the fourth volume, the transfer continues to look really nice. Outside of some slight nicks in a few places, the transfer is nice and clean with good solid colors and only some minor background color shifting going on, usually during some of the green or blue sequences. There's thankfully no cross coloration to be seen or much else in the way of artifacting.

Packaging:
The cover for Nemo's Fortress is a fair bit busy this time around with six of the characters on the cover and a variety of other images. It looks good thought with Nadia still being the central character that the eye focuses on here. The back cover provides a couple of nice screenshots as well as some from the menus. The summary is pretty brief and there's a good listing of the episode titles and their numbers since the volume numbers aren't listed anywhere. The insert provides another shot of the front cover but without the discs title.

Menus:
The menus follow the simple is best method here, with the main screen being an image of the characters while the opening song plays along. Everything's laid out in a simple and straightforward manner and the access times are pretty quick. We had no problems at all with this layout.

Extras:
The only extra included in this round is character biographies of the couple of main characters.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With so much being revealed in the last couple of episodes, having a batch that was going to deal with character issues isn't all that surprising.

There's some definite growing pains going on with most of it focused around Jean. With all that he's learned now and with the thought of revenge for his father after learning of his death at the hands of the Garfish, he insists on becoming a member of the Nautilus' crew. He goes right to Nemo for it, but Nemo rebuffs him easily by saying that Jean doesn't have it in him to kill. And it's true, it's not something Jean seems to have in him for the most part. So he tries to get others such as Electra and Grandis to act on his behalf, but they also refuse.

Amusingly, this is a big section of time where Sanson really surprises you by giving so many people so much advice. He gives some strong words about growing up to Jean while getting Hanson to work on Electra while he goes to try his magic on the lovely young ships nurse. Sanson goes at giving all this advice with such vigor as well. It's as if all he's seen in the past couple of episodes has reinforced him to seize things but to do it right. He's quickly becoming my favorite character next to Grandis.

A good portion of time is also spent dealing with the main base of this crew. With the Nautilus having been through so many encounters now and several battles, their stock of repair supplies and other essentials is running low enough that a return trip is due. With some visuals provided by the ships systems, Jean and the others learn that the main base is located deep underneath Antarctica. This of course truly fascinates Jean but only bothers the others with how cold it's going to be.

There's a number of interesting things located within this base that's massively but but apparently sparsely staffed (if at all). There's some real surprises about what's stored in some areas, but the real treat is something that Nemo takes Jean and Nadia to see where she begins to learn something more about the Blue Water crystal. While things have tapered off with Jean, Nadia's story seems to be slowly moving towards taking center stage here.

These episodes aren't bad by a long shot, but they feel somewhat of a letdown after all that went on in the fourth volume with Atlantis and all its discoveries. These are definitely good character building episodes and it was nice to see Jean get some harsh words thrown his way about his attitude. And hey, it started off with Grandis in a bikini. You simply can't go wrong with that.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Character Profiles

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Skyworth 1050P Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.



Mania Grade: B+
Audio Rating: B+
Video Rating: A-
Packaging Rating: A-
Menus Rating: B+
Extras Rating: C
Age Rating: 12 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: ADV Films
MSRP: 29.99
Running time: 100
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Nadia, Secret of Blue Water