Based upon the manga by Kia Asamiya
Directed by Tatsuo Sato
Music by Takayuki Hattori
Character Design by Keiji Goto
- Clean opening and closing animation
- Episode one running audio commentary with voice actors
- Production sketches
- Character bios
Dindrane’s Anime Warnings:
- Very little fan service
- Grown women chasing after a teenage boy with issues
- War, good god, ya’ll
- Shonen/shoujo balance
- Mild naughty language
Released by: ADV
Anamorphic: N/A; appears in its original 1.33:1 format.
My Advice: You need this.
Martian Successor Nadesico is a classic of science fiction anime. Invading Jovian armies have not only destroyed the Earth base on Mars, but have shattered Earth’s space fleets as well. This leaves Earth with no choice but to impress the High Mobile Battleship Nadesico into service. Created by a mysterious private company, Nadesico is not supposed to be a military ship, but now the civilian crew, captained by Yurika, a General’s daughter, is the only line of defense between the fearsome Jovians and Earth.
The show is less about the war itself than about the characters. Young Yurika is not what you expect from a ship captain: she’s as perky as a cheerleader, but somehow less annoying. She’s also quite focused on getting the ship’s cook/fighter pilot (Akito) to like her, while Akito just wants to dodge his fighting gifts and go back to being a fry cook. Also along for the ride is Ruri, the mysterious genius girl whose sardonic wit makes a great deal of fun for the viewer. We also get a trio of crazy pilots who compete with Akito for best fighter pilot; one of them also fights Yurika for Akito’s affections, as does Megumi, the communications expert. Other characters include the in-show otaku “Daigouji Gai,” the womanizing master-pilot Akatsuki Nagare, and one of the most mature characters, Gort Holly.
The sound on the English track is slightly improved from the original version, which is particularly impressive as it was good enough to begin with. Echoes are particularly well-done here. The Japanese audio is a bit muffled in comparison, but fans of the original sound often draw great delight from this, as it sounds as it originally sounded on Japanese TV. The visuals have had less work done, but this still leaves us with crisp, gorgeous graphics that are always clear and bright. The show looks and sounds great, and the voice actors in both languages (particularly the English version) know what they are doing.
The features list is outstanding for a disc set this cheap, even with the absence of interviews with the Japanese creators/staff. First off, for the price of one anime disc, you get two, allowing you to watch nine episodes of the show in one small package. There’s also a commentary track on the first episode with three of the American voice actors, which is a nice treat for viewers, even those who favor the Japanese audio. We also get a clean opening and closing, a quasi-reversible cover, a nice set of production sketches, and some interesting and well-produced character bios that will bring new fans up to speed. There may be nothing here that Nadesico fans haven’t seen before, but for $20 and easy storage, you can’t beat it.
While the show may sound like a cheap Tenchi in Space rip-off, it is truly much funnier than that and will likely appeal to many anime fans normally turned off by the goofiness and constant clichÃ©s of the harem genre, like myself. It’s genuinely funny, and several episodes into the show, you realize that something a lot bigger is going on than you or the characters thought, not unlike the meta-plot of Evangelion, but less tiresome. The Essential Anime Collection from ADV is a great way to start picking up those series that passed you by before, and Martian Successor Nadesico is definitely one that belongs in every otaku’s collection.