Mania Grade: NA
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- Audio Rating: N/A
- Video Rating: N/A
- Packaging Rating: N/A
- Menus Rating: N/A
- Extras Rating: N/A
- Age Rating: 13 & 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: Martian Successor Nadesico
Martian Successor Nadesico Vol. #1
By M.C. Wilson
February 16, 2002
Release Date: November 14, 2000
-- Overall Rating: 2.0 -
(on a scale of 1 - 5)
-- Disc Ratings --
-- Artistic Ratings --
Recently, I asked a friend's recommendation for new and exciting anime that I should try. He recommended a series called Martian Successor Nadesico, the first three volumes of which he had already purchased on VHS. I decided to give it a shot, and picked up the first four-episode
DVD volume. Having finished watching it, I can comfortably say that if I see this friend in person again, I will kill him.
Martian Successor Nadesico is a goofy anime from ADV that follows the four-episode to three-episode release format seen in other ADV releases such as Gasaraki and Evangelion. This first volume serves to give a feel for the rest of the series, introducing most of the characters and advancing the plot slightly. Nadesico is a story about a bizarre crew of bizarre folks assembled aboard the Earth's mightiest ship, called Nadesico, for the purpose of combatting a menacing alien race known as the Jovians.
The overall disc here is a pretty decent package, technically. The menus are effective, load quickly, and feature the show's opening song, "You Get to Burning"-which, admittedly, is pretty catchy. Unfortunately, this is one of the ADV releases that features a multitude of trailers prior to the actual feature, so prepare to make heavy use of the Skip button. Sound quality is pretty impressive on both language tracks, and this is a disc featuring a good bit of air and space battles so you'll be glad for that 5.1 setup here.
In terms of video quality, Nadesico is closer to Gasaraki than Evangelion; bright, striking colors are pervasive throughout, and video quality is for the most part very crisp, though the artwork does take on a softer tone in some of the later episodes on this volume. Nevertheless, Nadesico is pretty impressive visually-the artwork is good, the animation is very good, and ADV has done a respectable job with the DVD transfer of this series, save for the abundant use of overlays which are made to look more like PowerPoint presentations here than the official monitor displays they are designed to resemble.
We selected the English language track while watching this, listening to bits of the Japanese language track afterward for comparison's sake. While the voice actors do a good job portraying the characters as they're designed to be portrayed, the characters were originally annoying and continue to be annoying here. This is due partly to the characters' constant screaming and partly to the dialogue moving so quickly that it's dizzying. At one point my friend requested that I pause the anime for a few minutes because it was making him ill. Later I checked the English dialogue against the Japanese and the Japanese characters also scream constantly.
Be warned: if you have problems with the goofiness of Vash the Stampede in Trigun, do not watch this. In fact, if you take this review to heart at all, do not watch this. Nadesico is a supposedly humorous anime that uses goofy characters speaking at loud volumes and arguing with each other as the base of its humor. There are only a couple of moments in this entire volume that's serious at all, and for some, this might sound great-a little lighthearted anime is good, yes? The trouble is that the "humor" here isn't effective, it's just annoying. The crew of the Nadesico is even more annoying.
As the series went on, I prayed that the ship would explode and all the characters would be killed. There isn't a likable one in the whole bunch. On the one hand we have Akito, a soft-hearted yet hot-tempered youth, thrust into the robot pilot position when all he wants to do is cook food. Hiring Spike Spencer (Shinji from Evangelion) to provide his voice is almost a necessity, and Spencer does a good job here, bringing a certain sardonic humor to the role that's actually effective some of the time. However, on the other hand we have Yurika, the captain of the Nadesico: a blue-haired, self-absorbed, vibrant girl who is effective as a captain but obsessed with Akito. She's never serious, but she's also never funny, just annoying. The rest of the crew is far too much like her for me to recommend Martian Successor Nadesico. Stay far, far away from this.
Sony PlayStation 2 DVD, Philips-Magnavox 25" Stereo TV, Kenwood Dolby ProLogic Receiver w/ Three-channel Speaker Setup