Martian Succesor Nadesico Anime Review
Kidou Senkan Nadeshiko
Rapid Deployment Battleship Nadesico
US Release By
26 25-minute episodes
1996-10-01 - 1997-03-24
Young cook Tenkawa Akito has a very shameful fear of the Jovian Lizards that are currently attacking earth. No one is sure what these monsters are, they are only certain that they come from Jupiter. But no one is actually afraid of them. The United Earth Federation has been fighting them for a long time; so long that no one fears a possible destruction like the one on Mars all those years ago. But Akito has always been afraid of them, for reasons that he can't quite remember. Now, all Akito wants out of life is to be a cook. Unfortunately, he is also a certified pilot. Because of this, and for other reasons not immediately made known to Akito, he is drafted onto the battleship Nadesico. Enter Misumaru Yurika, childhood friend of Akito and captain of the Nadesico. She harbors a life-long crush on the young cook, but all Akito wants is to provide everyone with tasty meals. He wants nothing to do with her or the many other odd women on the Nadesico who all seem to fancy him. Despite a few, er, "personality issues" (I.E. everyone is quite insane), they get along well and manage to launch and start their battle against the Jovians!
Picking a genre for this anime was very difficult. One of the greatest things about it was the depth of the humor that the creators used. Among the various interesting people on the Nadesico, many of them are anime fans themselves. The biggest anime is called "Gekiganger 3", which looks suspiciously like a dusty old Gundam series. Akito immediately befriends a fellow name Yamada Jiro, who insists that his soul's name is Daigohji Gai. He is the biggest fan of Gekiganger, even refusing to call his giant robot, the Aestivals, by its proper name. He prefers to call it a Gekiganger. Gai represents the otaku in everyone, the part of a person that can become so obsessed with an anime that every aspect of his or her life becomes that of an anime.
Created in the wake of Evangelion, Nadesico takes a lighthearted look at otaku-ism. However, that is not the only thing it looks at. Towards the middle of the series, certain revelations cause the mood of the anime to darken, becoming less focused on humor and more focused on what it means to be human.
Nadesico could definitely have been planned out better. The dramatic turn that is takes makes the viewer feel almost betrayed. Some people may look for comedy in this anime, and then be let down by the second half of the series. Others might be looking for a series, dramatic anime and find the first half to be somewhat grating on the nerves. But when I watched this, I was just looking for some good entertainment, and that's what I got, for sure.
Visually, this anime is stunning. The character designing leaves nothing to be desired. Every personality fits with the way a character looks. For example, Ruri, the little girl who does the physical piloting of the anime, always has an expression of extreme boredom and cold, blue eyes. Incidentally, her favorite word is "Baka." The fight scenes leave you breathless and wanting more.
The music varies from excellent to not so excellent. The opening theme song, "You Get To Burning," is a song that I would listen to on a regular basis. But the ending theme song, "Watashi Rashiku," is a combination of boring and mildly interesting. The music played during the actual show is nothing to get in a fuss over. It's certainly not bad and it manages to convey emotions quite well, but it would not sound good outside of the anime itself.
The voice acting is very good, but not the best I've ever heard (That would be Escaflowne). Actually, one of the main characters, Raynard Megumi, is a voice actress before she signs on-board the Nadesico. Funny, right? It just adds to the overall humor of the series.
Overall, the series is not perfect. It has its moments, and it's definitely worth the money and time. The worst thing about it is the ending. It took me forever to gather the courage to watch the last two episodes, and when I finally did, I was sorely disappointed. But that does not take away from the overall enjoyment of the series. I recommend this series to the serious anime-watcher, particularly one who has seen Neon Genesis Evangelion. If you've seen enough anime to recognize when the creators are poking fun at anime-watchers, it definitely makes it more hilarious.
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Notes and Trivia
I love some of the characters, particularly Izumi and Ryoko. Izumi's jokes are hilarious, no matter how little sense they make. Her mischievous little laugh is enough to crack me up. "Ice cream. I scream. I screamed! Hehehehe!" The translator did a wonderful job translating Izumi's jokes. The poor fellow must have had a terrible time trying to translate them, as they are mostly puns that make very little sense.
US DVD Review
The 6-DVD set comes in a fat, 5-layer multi-disc plastic clamshell case, although the DVDs are identical to the original single-disc release. Extras include character biographies, translation notes, textless opening and closings, and trailers.
Rate 12-up by AD Vision.
Violence: 2 - Some shooting and mecha fighting.
Nudity: 1 - One girl came from a brothel.
Sex/Mature Themes: 1 - Kissing, that's it.
Language: 1 - Nothing of note.
Staff & Cast
Original Japanese Cast
Yurika Misumaru: Houko Kuwashima
Akito Tenkawa: Yuuji Ueda
Ruri Hoshino: Omi Minami
Megumi Raynard: Naoko Takano
Minato Haruka: Maya Okamoto
Jun Aoi: Kentarou Itou
Guy Daikouji: Tomokazu Seki
Jin Fukube: Nobuo Tanaka
Seiya Uribatake: Nobuo Tobita
Ryoko: Chisa Yokoyama
Hikaru: Shiho Kikuchi
Izumi: Miki Nagasawa
Vector Bros: Kenichi Ono
Holly Gooto: Juurouta Kosugi
Houmei: Miyki Ichijou
Eri: Tomoko Kawakami
Rirical: Rei Nakagawa
Nagai Akatsuki: Ryoutarou Okiayu
Erina: Yuko Nagashima
Ines: Naoko Matsui
Akara: Kousuke Okano
Yukina Shiratori: Ikue Ohtani
Motoichirou: Toshiyuki Morikawa
Haruki: Kunihiko Yasui