Review

by Josh Lipowsky, Feb 17th 2002

Nadia - Secret of Blue Water

DVD 4: Battleground

Synopsis:
Nadia DVD 4
In 1889, the crew of the Nautilus take a break to replenish their supplies on a nearby island. Marie and King take the chance to play together in the sunshine, but theyu 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 an American fleet that still believes it to be a sea monster? The adventure continues in another exciting volume of Nadia-The Secret of Blue Water the beloved series from the creators of Neon Genesis Evangelion.
Review:
Volume four of Nadia is definitely more exciting than the previous DVD. It's got Neo-Atlanteans, life and death struggles and some secrets about the origins of Nemo and his crew are revealed. Nadia's dislike of Captain Nemo intensifies in the beginning as he guns down a member of Gargoyle's crew, and the audience's dislike of Nadia's Pollyana “Let's all get along” ways increases as well. Of course Nadia and Grandis soon fall ill and who's the only person that can save them? Nemo of course. It's safe to say without giving away the end of the series that Nadia survives and that adds in some nice tension. She hates Nemo but owes him her life on several occasions.

The best part of the DVD however is towards the end when we finally see Atlantis. The colors used are fantastic and is probably one of the best backgrounds out there. We also find out a bit about Nemo and his crew and why they are battling against Gargoyle. We also find out their level of commitment which greatly adds to the drama of the series and frames everything within the context of good versus evil. While this would seem to limit it by making the series more black and white, it actually adds to the feeling of watching an epic unfold.

Volume four is a great addition to the series. It has everything a viewer could want: plot advancement, humor, excitement, danger. It is very hard to actually find anything wrong with it.

But not impossible.

While the animation is great and the plot is good, even the best of writers cannot hide cliches when they're used. And while the story doesn't make use of the typical cliches, it is easy to predict where what will happen next and why. By this point in the series we know the characters and we know what they will do, so the way they react to situations is not really surprising for us.

But like all great epics, it shall not be judged on the quality of the story so much as the quality of the storytelling. And the storytelling is excellent so far. Although the audience can pretty much figure out that Nemo won't let Nadia die and will give up pursuit of Gargoyle to save her life, the way it is presented leaves just the smallest bit of suspense about what Nemo will do. Viewers aren't exactly sure that he will do what they think he will do. And that is helped greatly by framing everything within the confines of good versus evil. In that eternal struggle there are casualties, even children. So Nadia might seem like an acceptable loss if it means stopping Gargoyle once and for all.

Like the last volume the one thing this DVD heavily lacks is Gargoyle. The man just needs more air time. What is it about this villain that just makes him so cool? Perhaps it's the way he pulls off the disgruntled mime look so well, but he is just bursting with evil potential and flavor.

Overall, this is an excellent DVD for the value. Granted, there is the usual lack of extras that most ADV DVDs have, but the episodes are so good that they make up for it. Getting DVD quality video and being able to switch out of the annoying dub to subtitles is worth the extra few bucks. This series is a definite must for any fan and this volume is one of the best yet in the series.
Grade:
Production Info:

+ Good plot advances and great backgrounds
Not enough Gargoyle yet again

Director:
Hideaki Anno
Shinji Higuchi
Scenario:Kaoru Umeno
Storyboard:
Masayuki
Hideaki Anno
Shinji Higuchi
Yuuji Kawara
Toshiyuki Kubooka
Mahiro Maeda
Takeshi Mori
Yoshitomo Yonetani
Masa Yuki
Episode Director:
Masa Aono
Yoshitomo Yonetani
Music:Shiro Sagisu
Original Work:Jules Verne
Original Concept:Hayao Miyazaki
Character Design:
Yoshiyuki Sadamoto
Shunji Suzuki
Art Director:
Masanori Kikuchi
Hiromasa Ogura
Hiroshi Sasaki
Animation Director:
Hideaki Anno
Tadashi Hiramatsu
Takeshi Honda
Toshiyuki Kubooka
Nobuaki Nagano
Masahiko Ohta
Yoshiyuki Sadamoto
Shunji Suzuki
Kazuya Tsurumaki
Mecha design:
Hideaki Anno
Shoichi Masuo
Sound Director:Katsunori Shimizu
Executive producer:
Hideki Higuchi
Shinji Ichimura
Yukichi Ohashi
Producer:
Kenjiro Kawato
Hiroshi Kubata
Kenichi Maruyama
Yasushi Yoritsune

Full encyclopedia details about
Nadia - The Secret of Blue Water (TV)

Release information about
Nadia - Battleground (DVD 4)

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