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: Nadia, Secret of Blue Water
Nadia Vol. #04
By Roman Martel
February 16, 2002
Release Date: November 06, 2001
Overall Rating: 3.9
(on a scale of 1-5)
English Acting: 3
The four disc of Nadia continues with the adventures in and with the Nautilus. Some things are revealed, more goofy comedy ensues and we get to see the famed Atlantis. It's pretty much in the same vein as the previous discs, so if you're enjoying the story thus far, you'll love it. If you can't get into this show, well this disc doesn't help.
Things remain exactly the same in the technical department. You've got great sound and picture on this disc. The menu is quick and well done (the opening song plays during all the selections and that gets a bit annoying). The keepcase has all the information on it except volume number and number of channels of sound used. The cover features Nadia and Captain Nemo and Electra in front of a wasteland. It's not the most eyecatching art, but it does fit into the storyline. You get some character bios as well as a trailer for the next disc as extras. Stuff is remaining pretty constant on this disc in the technical department as well.
These four episodes could have been condensed down into two. Things really start dragging at this point and I was wondering what happened to all the fun aspects of the series. The last episode, has a great dark tone to it, but it's too little too late. Looks like I'm going to have to pass on completing this series.
We are still on the little "vacationing" island that was discovered in the previous disc. Marie and King, after growing board with all the older folk on the island, wander off and get lost. Of course Gargoyle and his evil cronies are on the island too, and she runs into them. It's up to Sanson to save Marie from danger. This episode was great in the second half, but that first half was loooooong. The next episode has Hanson, Sanson, King, Jean and Captain Nemo plunging into a deep undersea trench to find a cure for a tropical disease. Marie contracted it on the island and has given it to Nadia. Will the boys find the cure and will Nadia be able to deal with Nemo saving her. The next episode has the Nautilus run into the deadly Garfish (the sub used by Gargoyle) and the American fleet. Things go from bad to worse as the Nautilus takes massive damage. Get your hankies ready for this one, a beloved character bites it. The final episode on the disc joins the characters as they head to Atlantis to bury the dead. It's a somber episode that digs a bit deeper into many characters and their motivations. Good stuff, but it took so long to get here.
The animation remains the same. The look is not 1800's version of the future, it's way more high tech looking. I still kept getting pulled out of the story by that (although I'm suspecting that there might be a reason for that). The animation is pretty fluid and looks good. I especially liked the way Atlantis turned out in the last episode. It definitely carried a mood with it that made that particular episode work much better. The sound design is also very well done and works with that animation.
Again the story is where things really break down. I really think that these four episodes could have been condensed a bit and it might have worked better. The first half of episode 13 went on for a decade, although the last bit with Sanson and Marie was classic. I also laughed at the "dead-meat" character introduced and killed in one episode. Stuff like that just really makes the story that much cheesier. If the character had been introduced earlier in the series, than maybe I wouldn't have seen that plot point coming from a mile away. But, heck the guy even had his dead-meat speech and everything. (sigh). The last episode was handled the best and pulled the grade on this up by a point.
The dub remains pretty good for the most part. Some of the supporting crewmen are really rough sounding, and they come across like they are merely reading lines. The mains all do a great job, especially Jean, Nadia, and Marie. I'll give them a big ol' high five for a first class job. The music continues to get the same grade. This series has a good score and great opening and ending themes. But that "Secret Blue WATER!!!!" for the eyecatch is really loud, painful and haunts my dreams. What is deal with that? I was so grateful it wasn't done in that last episode.
My entertainment value went down with this disc. I've read that some of the upcoming episodes are very fillerish and I don't think I can watch that. I'm gonna have to stop here. At this point I don't see where lots of the adoration of this series comes from. It started off great, but it just got stuck in a tar pit and is dragging its feet. I think the characters and the basic plot could be interesting (although Atlantis has been done to death recently), but the execution of this series is just not working. I've heard people compare this to Evangelion, only because it has most of the same creative staff. Some find it to be better than EVA. I'm not in that camp. But they are very different shows. For me, I think that fact that Jean, who was driving the story in the first disk, becomes a supporting character hurt the fun aspect. And add to that the fact that Nadia was really, really getting on my nerves didn't help. Ladycat was getting violent at Nadia and at one point was chanting for her to die. And while I don't dislike her that much, I found it hard to empathize with her. Well this series seemed like it could have been really great, but I'll have to pick it up and try it again some day but for now I think it's time to try a different series.
Roman J. Martel
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Phillips Flatscreen (27 Inch), Sony DVP-NS300