Martian Successor Nadesico Vol. #5 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Menus Rating: B+
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: 12 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: ADV Films
  • MSRP: 29.99
  • Running time: 125
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Martian Successor Nadesico

Martian Successor Nadesico Vol. #5

By Chris Beveridge     May 29, 2001
Release Date: May 29, 2001


Martian Successor Nadesico Vol. #5
© ADV Films


What They Say
Expect the unexpected as the revelations about the Jovians threaten to destroy the Nadesico. Even more gets revealed as the lovely ladies of the ship strip down to their bikinis for a decidedly non-military beauty contest! The fun and games turn deadly, however, when the Nadesico becomes the target of a new Jovian weapon and the entire pilot team starts seeing ghosts!

The Review!
The penultimate volume of Nadesico has arrived and it brings us squarely into the twenty-ish range of episodes. The final arc is here... almost. Nadesico continues to be a show where most episodes feel fillerish to me.

Audio:
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.

Video:
On our setup, this disc looks markedly improved over the previous releases. Colors are very strong, there's hardly any line noise and jaggies are at a minimum. Color banding is fairly minimal as well. Things look quite good here through and through, without any of the softness or grain that we saw in earlier episodes. Giving the disc a spin in our Apex player though, the quality didn't look near as good as it did on our master setup. Here's hoping to replace the Apex soon.

Packaging:
Out of all the releases so far, this is probably my favorite cover, even with the creepy water eyes that Ruri has. The image is taken from a very brief moment in the opening sequence, and with Ruri being a focus of one of the episodes here, it works well. The reverse side brings us a variety of artwork, ,menu screens and animation shots as well as the summary and technical information.

Menus:
The menus are again just as previous volumes, with episode selection right on the main screen and all the setup selections quickly accessible. The menu system is a bit smaller this time around because....

Extras:
... there are no extras.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Nadesico continues along here with five more episodes, 17-21, where the crew continues to deal with the revelations made about the Jovians and their situation. The characters throughout these episodes give small clues about their feelings and why they must continue to fight against them even with the new information, though it's almost too much for some of them.

If anything, that's the underlying arc to these episodes, the only thing that really keeps it stringing along. Otherwise, each episode is fairly self-contained and focuses on various characters and situations. But Nadesico isn't about a larger story it seems, but more about the characters. What's unfortunate to me is that even after 21 episodes, I still find myself unable to connect to any of the characters even fleetingly.

The episode here that starts to actually make me interested in the characters is the Ruri revelation episode, where we begin to delve into her past. We learn how she grew up in an education center where they tried to focus only on the information in the children's upbringing and not any of the fluff in life that makes life... life! Her upbringing is both sad and amusing at the same time, as well as the circumstances of her birth and her parentage. The episode is well balanced with Akito tagging along as her "Knight in shining armor" should the need arise, but the episode does a good job of making you realize just how young Ruri actually is.

There's some interesting revelations in other episodes, such as more on Gai's death and the circumstances around them. There's a particular moment when Akito is talking about this that you can get some feel for his passion about finding out who caused Gai's death to happen, which is amusing since the killer is sitting right across from him. There's also a few episodes that deal with a new linear beam weapon deployed by the Jovian's that up the stakes in the cat and mouse game that now seems to be played, as well as more relegating of the Nadesico to the back end of the fleet, causing problems for those in charge.

And not to be missed is the Captain for a Day contest episode, where the women essentially put on a talent show and beauty contest to see who can be the Captain for the day. There's some interesting and amusing moments throughout this episode with each of the women doing various things to try and win, and for the briefest of moments I actually like Yurika. But in the end, Ryoko ruled this episode.

In one sense, I wonder how the series can be brought to a decent conclusion in the next volume. In another sense, I wonder if there's an overall story that really needs to be brought to a conclusion. Overall we did enjoy these episodes more than previous discs, but we're still not connecting with the characters like we do in a lot of other shows.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles

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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