Nadia the Movie (of 1) (Mania.com)
Review Date: Friday, July 19, 2002
Release Date: Tuesday, August 27, 2002
What They Say
On the even of a worldwide conflict, when businessmen, admirals and ministers of state are evaporting into thin air, a mysterious girl named Fuzzy reunites Nadia and jean after years of separation. Together with the Grandis Gang, the ymust fight off the minions of a new nemesis bent on world domination! Giegar plots to set the world ablaze with war through the use of his nefarious mind control device so that he might conquer the world with his own personal army. It's up to Jean and Nadia to stop him and save the day again. Fans of Nadia everywhere can rejoice, for here is Nadia - Secret of Blue Water: The Motion Picture, one final adventure to love and treasure!
Taking place about two years after the series ended (but long before the epilogue section that details their lives), the Nadia movie gives the fans one last adventure. But should it be taken?
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in its original language of Japanese. Being an older show, its stereo track sounds more like a mono one but a good one. Dialogue is definitely center channel based with music making decent use of the left/right speakers, along with the sound effects, to give the show a full forward soundstage feeling. Listening to both tracks, we didn't notice any dropouts or other distortions.
The transfer for this movie is about on par with the TV series. This means we get some decent looking scenes, but there’s a fair amount of dust, nicks, scratches and dirt in various scenes to make it look worse. About a third of the movie is made up of footage from the series itself, so the transfer you saw there is pretty much the same here otherwise. There was no noticeable cross coloration, aliasing looked pretty minimal, and colors looked decent, though you can see the color defects like you could in the series.
Keeping in style with the TV series release, the layout here is the same with the stylized border and the actual artwork inside. The interior art here is very dark, leaving only some very minimalist character artwork with some color to stand out, giving it a halfway done feel. The back cover provides a number of screenshots and a decent little summary of the movies plat. The features and production information are all clearly listed as well. The insert provides another look at the cover while the reverse side is just boxart advertisements.
The menu layout is pretty much the same as the TV series as well, though without the TV series opening playing, replaced with something from this feature. The style is the strong sea feeling with simple menu selections along the left, nice and fast access times.
There’s a couple of extras included here. The main ones are the original openings and endings, labeled as clean. They’re not entirely clean, but clean in the sense of none of the English credits there. Apparently no truly clean credits were available, so during the actual feature you get both on screen. Also included are the original trailers made for the US release of it.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Just when I thought it was safe to watch anime again, King’s nads are back. And they’re pissed.
Ok, not really. King actually has an almost non-existent role in this feature. The movie takes place two years after the end of the Nadia TV series, but before most/any of the epilogue takes place. Nadia has gone off to London to become a reporter so she can prove that she doesn’t need to rely on Jean. She’s not doing so well though, getting treated decently but not seriously by her boss and coworkers. Jean has gone back to his home in France and continues his experiments and inventions.
Nadia decides to write some of her life story, which takes up the first 30 minutes of the movie by doing flashbacks to the first fifteen to twenty episodes or so. Having just spent a year watching all of it, this was definitely mind numbing and did not help the overall appreciation of the movie. I can understand it in its original form, with the movie showing up some time after the series release. But here, it’s just painful, especially since you get to see the really nice animation from that and see how badly it becomes in the new feature.
Eventually though, we do get to the plot of this movie. Throughout the world, various prominent businessmen, leaders and government officials have begun to simply evaporate on the spot, leaving only the clothes behind. This has raised tensions severely, causing many countries to send their fleets out and to prepare for war, letting their beliefs of who is responsible overtake any actual facts. Nadia manages to get a lead on who may be behind it, so she follows it up without her editors knowledge.
This leads her to a seedy bar, where a scruffy man who called her realizes she’s just a kid and writes her off entirely. That is, until the bad guys start attacking in the classic all black outfits. Nadia manages well, and makes a base comparison to Gargoyle with these thugs. The informer instantly realizes she’s the former princess, and sets her on the right path for figuring out what’s going on. This all goes on while at Jean’s, he gets himself a new housemate as an attractive young woman with little memory washes up on his beach. The most he really gets out of her is that her name is Fuzzy.
There you go. The character we’re supposed to be sympathetic with is named Fuzzy, has little recollection of things, and doesn’t say a heck of a lot. Yeah.
As fate would have it, Grandis and company come to retrieve Fuzzy for some people they’ve taken a job for, which ends up bringing the gang all back together as events converge in London. It’s not long from here we learn of the master villain, Giegar. This rather unfortunate looking man writes off Gargoyle and all he accomplished as a loser and boasts of his plan that has put robots throughout the world into positions of power, so he can manipulate events to create a war. A war that he can then stop, become a uniter, and take over peacefully.
And so our intrepid heroes go to stop him. The movie all told plays out in just under an hour, but feels like it goes on much longer than that. With the substandard animation for much of it, and the general changes in the characters, it almost doesn’t feel quite like a Nadia show. But then you realize it feels much like those infamous Island episodes, where the strangest things happen with little real explanation, but just because they can.
The Nadia movie is one last adventure that should not have been taken. With its release in 1991, the animation for the show is almost shameful, with many TV series and OVA’s boasting far more attractive and well polished animation. Write this one off as one big filler, and maybe you’ll be ok with it. For me, this has only added to my distaste to the ending of the TV series with all its clichés.
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Japanese Open,Clean Close,US Trailers
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: F
Audio Rating: B+
Video Rating: C-
Packaging Rating: B
Menus Rating: B
Extras Rating: B
Age Rating: 12 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: ADV Films
Running time: 90
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Nadia, Secret of Blue Water