Martian Successor Nadesico Vol. #4 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: B

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  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Menus Rating: B+
  • Extras Rating: B+
  • 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: Martian Successor Nadesico

Martian Successor Nadesico Vol. #4

By Chris Beveridge     April 17, 2001
Release Date: April 17, 2001

Martian Successor Nadesico Vol. #4
© ADV Films

What They Say
A new military initiative takes the Nadesico by surprise and Akito finds himself cut adrift, but Erina’s secret plans for the young pilot are sabotaged when the Jovians stage a daring series of raids on the city. Megumi and minato are taken hostage, the Gekiganger team takes over and the entire universe gets turned upside down and inside out as the shocking truth about the Jovians is finally unveiled. 4 Complete Episodes!

The Review!
The fourth of six volumes brings the series closer to the final arc and things really begin to pick up speed here. The first half of the series has been passable and moderately enjoyable, but the changes brought about in these episodes are making me look forward to the next set of episodes.

For our primary review, we watched the Japanese language track. Throughout the track we had no issues at all, no dropouts, no distortion, just clean clear audio. The opening song in particular sounds very good, but the majority of the show tends to be dialogue and uses the center channel. The action sequences use a bit more of the left/right channels and had a decent amount directionality.

Overall this is a very solid transfer with very few problems. Colors are vibrant and for the most part, the darks were solid. There were a few sequences with night blue skies where we noticed a lot of background artifacting that was distracting. Rainbows were pretty minimal throughout and line noise was practically nowhere to be seen. A lot of the animation in the show is pretty straightforward and relatively simple, so the show doesn't stand out much in a lot of places.

Going for the fanservice style cover, we've got the three female pilots smiling and grinning in their own way out at you. Pretty eye-catching and much easier to figure out than the cover on the third volume! The back cover has a brief summary of the disc and a quick rundown of the features. There are a lot of shots of the show itself though as well as the menus. While the episode numbers/names aren't listed, the disc is numbered on the spine so it's easier to tell where you are in the series.

The menus appear to be just about identical to the first two discs, so they're pretty solid and have no functional issues. Access times are pretty fast and everything seems to go where it's supposed to. One nice feature, when selecting subtitles, it pops you right back to the languages menu when you're done, saving a keystroke. It's the little bits that help!

The extras are pretty similar to the first two discs as well, with the same textless opening and ending as well as the ADV Nadesico trailer. The character bios this time around were pretty enjoyable as they focus on the Gekiganger TV show cast and talks about them and their own weird traits. Very amusing.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With the holidays upon the crew of the Nadesico, happy times are abound for everyone. Several big parties are planned (each competing with each other) and everyone's trying to get their favorite people to their party. This doesn't go on too long though as Akito is cut from the crew as a more experienced pilot is brought on board as the ship goes more military in nature.

Akito eventually ends up meeting with Erina, an up and coming military scientist whose bound and determined to figure out how to use the chulip fields to transport live materials through them so they can take the enemy on instead of being the victim. Even with the failed reports, Akito finds himself interested and realizes with Erina's coaxing that he's already performed a boson jump, in his sleep no less.

And just when things start seeming like they can't get any worse, the Jovians send an invader to Kawasaki City where Akito and Erina are. Akito knows that he has to do something as his desire to help others overwhelms him. He snares a bunch of the chulip crystals and goes off to attack the invader, providing some truly interesting results.

Of the three remaining episodes, two of them focus on several interesting revelations about Earth's past, the Jovian Lizards and members of the crew. A lot of interesting background ideas that have been slowly forming start taking shape and the various forces working behind the scenes start revealing their secrets.

Rather than reveal those secrets, I'd rather take a short moment to talk about the second episode on this disc, "Let's go with hot-blooded anime!". The show starts off giving the feeling that it's going to be a recap episode as seen through the eyes of the Gekiganger anime characters watching their favorite show, Nadesico. A recap episode was something I was looking forward to so I can get myself caught up again, but it took a slightly different turn as it progressed. The earlier episodes are recapped in a fairly amusing way while getting the point across, but it's after the halfway mark that things are hilarious.

The show within the show becomes the main show and we follow the Gekiganger crew as the invading aliens use what they seen in Nadesico for their next attack on Earth. The giant robot action is fast, furious and great fun. For older fans who may not have seen much of their classic robot shows in years, this definitely brings back a great feeling and reminded me why I enjoyed those old shows so much.

It's no surprise that Gekiganger has a good fanbase and was big enough to spawn its own brief OVA series. It's good enjoyable fun that looks great and works well. While I generally hate recap episodes, this was one of the better done ones and one that used more new animation in it than others. Good stuff.

Nadesico is slowly growing on us, but it's not a big favorite at the moment. There's some interesting new twists and changes in these episodes that have us looking forward to more though, and that's almost always a good sign.

Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Character Bios,Textless Opening & Ending

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Pioneer 414 codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.


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