Nadia Vol. #01 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

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: Nadia, Secret of Blue Water

Nadia Vol. #01

By Roman Martel     February 16, 2002
Release Date: June 12, 2001

The Review!
Overall Rating: 4.2
(on a scale of 1-5)

-Technical Ratings-
Sound: 5
Picture: 5
Menu: 4
Presentation: 4
Goodies: 4
Overall: 4.4

-Content Ratings-
Animation: 5
Sound: 4
Plot: 4
English Acting: 3
Music: 4
Entertainment: 4
Overall: 4.0


It's got two things going for it when you first pick up the keepcase. One is the blurb "From the creators of Neon Genisis Evangelion". The other is the tiny little "Based on the novel '20,000 Leagues Under the Sea' by Jules Verne". Combine that with the intriguing "Do you want to know the secret" trailer and LadyCat and myself knew we had to grab this disc. Let's take a look at it.

-Technical Review-

The disc itself is a pretty solid offering from ADV. The picture was very sharp and clear and it was a surprisingly good master for a show done in 1989. The sound on the dub track was also very good. The menu is pretty standard. It reminds me more of ADV's earlier menus and lacks the cool factor of the Gasaraki menus. But you get quick response time. The use of the opening song on each and every page of the menu does get a bit tiring. The presentation is pretty good. The cover has some nice use of color and captures the show's wacky nature as well as some of calmer moments (Nadia looking peaceful with Jean, Grandis, Sanson and Hanson participating in antics behind her). The case contains all the necessary info including: number of languages (2), Episode count, rating, region coding and total running time. It is missing volume number and number of audio channels used. The volume number isn't too confusing if they keep accurate track of the episode number on the back. For extras you get the creditless opening and ending as well as the preview for disc two of Nadia. Not a bad job.

-Content Review-

For those of you expecting an accurate telling of 20,000 Leagues or even a close to accurate telling think again. Those of you looking for the serious side of EVA, look elsewhere. This series is pure fun and adventure, with wacky antics and fun characters.

Young inventor Jean goes to Paris to attempt to win the aviation prize at the 1889 World's Fair. Then he sees Nadia and her pet lion King and decides to introduce himself. Unfortunately Nadia is being pursued by hot-tempered red head, Grandis and her goofy sidekicks Sanson and Hanson. Being the good French gentleman that he is, Jean comes to Nadia's aid. Grandis and her goofy machine are defeated but just for a brief time. The next episode has Jean and Nadia traveling to the home of his crabby aunt and goofy uncle. Jean shows us that he is an 1800's techno-geek and loves to tinker with flying machines. Nadia doesn't have time to be impressed because Grandis and company shows up again. It's another narrow escape and then out to sea in where they run into sea monsters, an American battleship and a woman named Electra. And that's only in these four episodes. It's adventurous Jules Verne style fun with this first disc of Nadia -The Secret of Blue Water.

The animation is pretty good considering how old this series is. It's nice and fluid and manages to really capture the look and feel of the 1800's in a weird anime kind of way. In lots of ways the style reminds me of Kiki's Delivery Service, especially the opening episodes in France. In some ways the technology is what really seems out of place. Compared to Sakura Wars where the machines looked like they were steam powered and built during the time, Nadia ranges from high tech (check out the ocean vessel in the last episode) to cartoony (Grandis' tank/boat/zeppelin thingie). Overall it's got a fun feel and look to it that makes you realize you aren't watching Gasaraki or EVA.

The sound fares much like the animation. It works perfectly in the context of the show. At times it can fit the high tech nature of some the machines and sometimes it comes across like sound effects borrowed from Scooby Doo. It's just kinda odd to hear it in conjunction with the rest of the series. Overall though it's a pretty good mix.

This story is pretty standard as far as plot goes. It's your basic adventure tale. Two unsuspecting youths get swept up into a grand adventure. Both are looking for their pasts and both are likely to find it. It's the way the story is told that makes it fun. So far it's all done in a carefree style that intermingles wackiness and straight adventure to make the plot a little different. And the characters are also interesting. Jean is upbeat and honest, and does the right thing (even if it's a bit crazy at times). He's obviously got a crush on Nadia, but it's unclear how she feels about him. Nadia on the other hand is very much a closed door. She's been hurt many times and seems not to want to get her hopes up for fear of having them shattered again. Her connection with animals make sense, since an animal is far less likely to hurt you. As for Grandis and her goofy henchmen . . they seem pretty generic for now, but it's only four episodes in so that could change.

This dub is real hit and miss. I applaud the actors attempting to do accents. It's tough and most of the time they manage to keep them going and make them pretty authentic. But sometimes (Grandis, her henchies and Nadia) things go a bit wrong. Most of the other cast does a good job making things flow and keeping the energy up. I get the feeling that it will be important to the show to keep the energy as high as possible.

The score is pretty standard so far. I haven't really noticed anything unusual or standout. It fits the show and accents the action on the screen. The opening and ending themes are very catchy and poppy. I love them. But the rest of the music is pretty average.

This is a good entertaining beginning to a show. I'm excited to see more and find out where it's going (although I have my suspicions). I'm wondering if Nadia is going to lighten up a bit or if her attitude it going to stay the same. I might not like her very much if she keeps treating Jean the way she does. If you're looking for something lighter and on the fun side you can't go wrong with this show. In a way it reminds me of Outlaw Star but with a greater emphasis on the comedy than the adventure. Not only that but I get the feeling that anyone over twelve will have a blast with it. Do I dare say it's family fun? Well I might no go quite that far.

Roman J. Martel
Tell me what you think! E-mail me at...

Review Equipment
General Electric Performance Plus (25 Inch), Sony Playstation 2


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