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: 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 Roman Martel
February 16, 2002
Release Date: April 17, 2001
Overall Rating: 4.4
(on a scale of 1-5)
English Acting: 5
This disc contains the best episode of Martian Successor Nadesico that I've seen yet. And guess what? It's the "re-cap" episode. More guess what? The other three episodes are also really good. More, more guess what? There's also a Christmas episode. Yep this series is really shaping up to be one of the best I've seen this year. Can it keep up the momentum?
It's more of the same in the technical department. Nadesico is still looking and sounding really good on my set up. The menus have stayed the same. They are plain but functional. The cover is a bit better only because it showcases your favorite female pilots from the Nadesico (Izumi is so cool. I love her horrible puns). The back has almost all the information, but it is missing the number of channels used on the DVD. The insert has everyone's favorite mecha, Gekiganger on it and includes chapter stops on it. The goodies on this disc include character bios for the cast of Gekiganger. You've still got the trailers starting right when you pop the disc into the player... blech!
After a disc of wacky filler (or was it really filler!) we come to some "story" material. But where have we seen this plot before? And how come the flashback to past history reminded me, at least style-wise, of those flashbacks in Gundam! But enough of that, just what's going on in this series now?
The first episode of the disc has the Nadesico crew coming fully under the jurisdiction of the military. And the military doesn't want someone as wacky as Akito on the crew. So he is discharged and Megumi goes with him. Erina (I'm still confused if she's evil or not ;-) thinks that Akito holds the key to using a Chulip to travel through space and time. Since you can never solve a problem unless you are kicked off the team, Akito solves the mystery of teleportation in true anime fashion. The next episode, Let's Go with Hot Blooded Anime is the "recap" episode of the disc. The style makes this one fun. The characters of Gekiganger are watching the recap episode for their favorite anime, Nadesico. And the Nadesico crew is openly mocking themselves in this. The episode ties together with an epic battle that pits Gekiganger against his toughest foe! Will our heroes survive? Can anyone say Voltron? The third episode pits the crew against a Jovian intruder! Oh no! He's a Gekiganger fan and even more sinister he's captured Megumi and Minato! Can Akito and the crew save the girls? The last episode The Beginnings of Nadesico's War reveals the true nature of the Jovians. What unspeakable horrors to do Megumi and Minato face aboard a capital ship. And how can an entire chunk of history be hidden from an entire plant. Huge, massive revelations are revealed in this disc of Nadesico... like the Jovians were missing some Gekiganger episodes, and only Gai's super collection can fill in the blanks.
Nadesico is maintaining its self in all the scoring. There haven't been any changes in most of the various artistic departments at all. I have to mention the great style used in all the scenes using Gekiganger. The animators, sound designers and score writer have done a great job of bringing back the look and feel of old cheesy mecha series. The episode that features Gekiganger on this disc is done so well, that if someone walked in and saw it they would swear you were watching some Voltron rip off. Time for more kudos the animation and sound crew for working that episode so well.
Now that we are hitting upon the "plot" of the series things seem to go dead serious at times. It's hard to see how the show is making fun itself and you find yourself looking for lightness (especially in the first and fourth episode). Is it a tone shift? Not really; the satire and parody are still around, but the mocking tone has been lessened. It's the sheer generic nature of the plot points that are funny. I did love the twist about the Jovians. Making them huge fans of Gekiganger was icing on the cake. It's like Galaxy Quest gone horribly wrong and I'm very eager to see where the writers take us from here.
I've got to mention that the English voice cast is still holding down the fort and making this series more and more fun to watch. The way that the Gekiganger episodes are done will remind some of us old timers of the bad dubs for Robotech and Voltron. I especially liked the cheesy German accent for the main Gekiganger scientist. Well done! The music also combines with the other elements perfectly, especially the super-Velveeta-y opening theme song for Gekiganger.
What can I say that I haven't said before. This series is maintaining its entertaining nature and keeping me laughing out loud almost the whole time it's on. I want to see more, but I'm wondering if this momentum can be kept up till the end of the series. It seems that ending a show has been a major obstacle for most anime. I've got my fingers crossed, but until then, I'm enjoying the ride.
Roman J. Martel
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General Electric Performance Plus (25 Inch), Sony Playstation 2