This isn’t your classic 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea…. but quite possibly even better.
What They Say
Obsessed with returning the Atlantean empire to its former glory, the evil Gargoyle will stop at nothing to get his hands on the Blue Water. Young circus acrobat Nadia wears the Blue Water as a pendant around her neck, but she's not alone - not only has the young inventor Jean Ratlique come to Nadia's rescue, but so has the extraordinary Captain Nemo! Climb aboard Nemo's legendary submarine, the Nautilus, as our intrepid heroes journey from one exotic locale to the next in their mission to keep the Blue Water away from Gargoyle's devious clutches!
Contains episodes 1-20.
We listened to the English sound track for this release. The audio quality was solid, but does not offer much sound directionality. There was little to no distortion or dropouts noticed. The English voice actors seem quite convincing, especially with their accents. This is best exhibited by the voice acting for Jean land Captain Nemo.
Produced in 1990, Nadia is presented in the original 4:3 full frame aspect ratio. It has survived the digital revolution without any issues. However, the faults that you will find lie within original print. Dust, print nicks, jittering, jagged lines, etc... appear throughout the episodes. They are minor and irrelevant on a small screen, but can be a bit of nuisance for videophiles who have large TV’s. A digital cleanup of this timeless anime classic is very much needed!
The packaging for Nadia is comprised of a brick-pack that has two hinged DVD panels. The case holds a total of five discs. The front cover appears to be the same as the cover used with single release volume #10. I’m not sure if it really depicts the collection of episodes very well as the images on the front show some characters that are not in the episodes of this collection. The back cover contains the typical episode synopsis along with the technical details about the episodes.
The menus for the collection appear rather dated, and if I am not mistaken, look and act very much like the previous Nadia collections. The menus do differ from disc to disc. However, the menu navigation and setup is basically the same. On the first four discs, the menu options offer: Play, Scene Selection, Language, Extras, and Previews. However, this is changed in the fifth and sixth discs. The fifth and sixth discs provide the viewer with the option to navigate to the individual four episodes directly from the main menu page. The Scene Selection, Languages, and Extras are also found in the menu. A brief audio clip plays throughout on all of the discs.
While I found the menus to be easy to read and navigate, I would have liked to have seen more consistency in design between the discs in this set. One would think that after the numerous releases and repackaging of Nadia, that the menus would have been redone at least once!
The disc extras in this collection are fairly standard, featuring the textless opening and closing and two Nadia trailers (the viewer is not given the ability to view these individually, as they are both included under the "Nadia Trailers" option) on the discs 1 through 4. The only real extra is the character profiles on the fifth disc.
I was disappointed to find that the ADV previews refer to old anime content that was being promoted from years back. Just like the menus, one would think that the extras would have been updated.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers).
Since its debut, Nadia has been reviewed time and time again. Fan sites on the Internet, forum discussions, etc... can be found with one simple Google search. There are just as many arguments about Nadia’s place in the best of all anime or even the worst Gainax’s productions. Heck, you can even find comparisons of how Evangelion: Neon Genesis compares and contrasts with Nadia. Many nods to Nadia are even found in manga, video games, and other anime series.
If you are like me, you may have let this series slip by you. If you did, then you need to pick this up as it is comprised of some great action, mystery, and science fiction. Being derived from the classic tale of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea sets up a precedence that it will be an adventure worthy of watching. If you have ever seen the Disney adaptation and liked it, then this is going to really appeal to you. The mystery of Captain Nemo and the Nautilus continues on in a tale that has never been done any better. In fact, Nadia’s characterization of Captain Nemo is more conceivable than what was depicted in the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
Nadia presents itself as being based off of the classic Jules Verne novel. There are quite a few similarities found within the Nautilus and her captain. This is mainly found within the first few episodes when Nemo and the Nautilus are first introduced. The similarities begin to dissipate afterwards as the elements of, Atlantean mythology, character development and plot take precedent.
Nadia takes place in 1889, near the height of the industrial revolution. The world is full of energy with new inventions and ideas are being created. In this context we are introduced to, Jean, a young French boy who is swept up in all of the excitement. His goal is to become a famous inventor as he is interested in flight, and is preparing to compete in a flying contest with his uncle.
His interests soon turn to girls when he meets Nadia in Paris. Nadia’s elusiveness leads Jean into a fervent pursuit. Nadia does not come without her own baggage as she is being pursued by the Grandis Gang, a trio of jewel thieves. They are after a blue gem that Nadia wears around her neck, which is obviously a link to her hidden past, the Blue Water. Jean and Nadia manage to evade the clutches of the Grandis gang, but find themselves stranded at sea. Fortunately, a US battleship rescues them. Nadia and Jean go out of the frying pan into the fire. The battleship is promptly sunk by a sea monster or sea monsters. The sea monsters are actually the Nautilus and a Neo Atlantean submarine. Nadia and Jean are rescued by the crew of the Nautilus, and therein begins a grand adventure for the secret of Blue Water.
The underlying plot of the story revolves around Captain Nemo’s pursuit to stop the mysterious, but evil, Neo Atlantean group lead by Lord Gargoyle. The overarching plot is how Nadia and Jean cope with growing up in the midst of a world that is completely alien to them. Neither the Nautilus nor the Neo Atlanteans are of their time or world, and Jean and Nadia react quite differently to the experience. Jean is fascinated and drawn to the technology, and Nadia is skeptical and critical of the captain. The Grandis Gang is caught up in it all as well as they become passengers of the Nautilus. Their shared plight soon develops into a friendship as Grandis, Hanson, and Sanon reluctantly chose to stay as new members of the Nautilus crew. This of course, is spurred on by Grandis being head-over-heels in love with Captain Nemo.
There is plenty of action and mystery throughout the series. Quite a bit of the plot up front is about the mystery of the Nautilus and the efforts that the crew has endured to try to foil the plans of Lord Gargoyle. The plot arcs do tend to follow a familiar cliffhanger format. The crew manages to narrowly escape one situation after another to finally find themselves setup for a possible final trap at the end.
The end of this series remains unresolved with the possible demise of all the main characters. Will this be the end of the Nautilus crew? Tune in next time!
Nadia continues to gain a mixed response among anime critics, yet earns a place among the greatest anime classics. If you’ve skipped this series, you definitely owe it to yourself to pick it up!
Japanese 2.0 Language, English 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Hitachi 62VS69 62" UltraVision LCD Projection HDTV, Samsung BDP-1000 Blu-ray Player with Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound.