Nadia Vol. #04 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: A-

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  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: A-
  • Menus Rating: B+
  • Extras Rating: C
  • 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: Nadia, Secret of Blue Water

Nadia Vol. #04

By Chris Beveridge     February 08, 2002
Release Date: November 06, 2001

Nadia Vol. #04
© ADV Films

What They Say
In 1889, the crew of the Nautilus take a break to replenish their supplies on a nearby island. Marie and King take this chance to play together in the sunshine, but they soon find themselves being chased once again by Gargoyle's minions! Can they make their way back to the ship before being captured? Will the Nautilus find its way out of danger from mysterious creatures of the deep, from the dreaded Garfish and from the American fleet that still believes it to be a sea monster? The adventure continues in another exciting volume. Episodes 13-16: "Run Marie Run!", "The Valley of Dinicthys", "The Nautilus Faces Its Biggest Challenge", and "The Mystery of the Lost Continent".

The Review!
The fourth installment of Nadia finally made a sizeable leap in winning me over to being enthusiastic about seeing the next volume. And it only took a couple of key things!

For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in its original language of Japanese. The shows stereo mix continues to be solid, dialogue's clean and clear and the music and effects sounded pretty much on target. There's not much in the way of directionality, but the whole front soundstage works pretty well with the varying number of locations used throughout the show.

Things look a bit better in this volume than the last, with less of the problems I had nitpicked there. The cross coloration has dropped off pretty well, with only a few scant instances throughout the entire show. The skylines looked solid throughout this time, as did other backgrounds, since the show moved away from being outdoors all the time. There's still some nicks and minor scratches in a few places, but that's been standard from the first episode.

The great packaging style continues, this time with a nice image of Nadia, the captain and the first officer standing within Atlantis. The back cover provides a good number of screenshots and a nice listing of the discs features. Episode numbers and titles are clearly listed, a definite plus as there is no volume numbering, and the brief summary does a decent job. The insert provides the front cover artwork on one side with boxart from other shows on the back side.

The menus follow the simple is best method here, with the main screen being an image of the characters while the opening song plays along. Everything's laid out in a simple and straightforward manner and the access times are pretty quick. We had no problems at all with this layout.

The only extra included in this round is character biographies of the couple of main characters.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Things turned around nicely in this episode, bringing in some elements that were desperately needed to get me to be more enthusiastic about it. It's unfortunate it took this long, but it's here.

The first episode just had us laughing for a large portion of it, all due to Marie and then Marie and Sanson. While the Nautilus is still doing repairs and cleanup at the small island they've stopped over at, some of the people are getting restless. Nadia and Jean continue to argue over their killing of the deer for food, with each taking a relatively hardline position and not trying to understand the other. Marie tries to get them to play with her, but they've got their own things to deal with.

So being the young girl that she is, Marie heads off into the woods to play, with King following her along. We get several minutes of her running around and exploring this fairly sizeable island, at least sizeable to a child's eye. At one point, she comes across some rail tracks. Of course, she doesn't question them, but the viewer definitely does. So she and King go running off in one direction on the racks, making choo choo puff puff sounds along the way. Eventually, she tires and tries to head back, but only ends up getting lost. She thinks she's at the right place, but only finds the Neo-Atlanteans ship instead, the Garfish!

One of the masked men from the ship goes after Marie and King, and ends up chasing Marie through the woods with another soldier. It's around this time that Sanson arrives on the scene and finds Marie and then finds out about her being chased. They start making their way back to the camp when one of the large spy mechs from the Garfish is spotted behind them, and one of the best chase sequences since Lupin III plays out. Hilarious stuff, perfectly executed, solidly animated.

The other element that helped really make this disc work was a trip to Atlantis. After the island adventures had completed, with a lot of issues raised about the seriousness of killing someone and death in general, Marie and Nadia both contract a tropical fever. The ship makes some changes to acquire an underwater substance that can cure them, but there's a fair amount of things that get in the way of it.

But eventually, with the ship now having some recent dead from all that's gone on, the captain decides its time to return to Atlantis to bury their dead. It's a fascinating journey, one that leads to a "land of the lost" below the ocean floor, where an amazing race once lived and prospered. The city, even in its ruined state, is fascinating in design and style, seeming both small and simple and massive and complex within only a few frames. Many aspects of it reminded me of the ruined city from the Macross movie.

There's a lot of subtle revelations made in this episode as well as the strengthening of bonds between several of the characters. This is definitely a turning point episode, and the way things are coming together is quite interesting. I can't wait to see more of Atlantis in the future as well as seeing how Jean and Nadia deal with everything that's happened to them, and what the little nuggets about her origins really mean.

Great stuff here, with the series now starting to work towards living up to its reputation.

Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Character Profiles

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Skyworth 1050P Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.


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