Reviewby Josh Lipowsky,
Nadia: Secret of Blue Water
DVD 2: The Dark Kingdom
The last few days have been pretty hectic for young inventor Jean Ratlique. After rescuing Nadia and her pet lion King from the villainous Grandis, he's been chased, shot at, rescued by an American battleship, swept overboard, menaced by sea monster, and rescued again, this time by a futuristic submarine named the Nautilus. Now he and Nadia are aloft once more and headed for Africa. But the nearby deserted island isn't as deserted as it looks. And Grandis is still after Nadia's Blue Water gem. The adventure is just beginning!
The first episode, Marie's Island, finds Nadia, Jean and King soaring through the sky in Jean's airplane, repaired by Captain Nemo's crew. Unfortunately, as they fly over an uncharted island they are shot down and crash. Of course, who else should happen to be on the island but the Grandis Gang, having been stranded there in the previous episode. As Jean, Nadia and King look over the pieces of their airplane, they come across the bodies of a family that were very recently murdered. But the daughter, Marie, is still alive. In this volume of the series Jean, Nadia and King encounter a strange cult called New Atlanteans and their leader Lord Gargoyle who is also after the mysterious Blue Water. The DVD contains the four episodes: Marie's Island, Infiltration of The Secret Base, The Tower of Babel, and Mission to Rescue Nadia.
The New Atlanteans are an interesting and exciting new enemy. While they dress like mimes that joined the Klan, they turn out to be technologically and (in some ways) culturally superior to the times. Unlike the Grandis Gang, they are not both the villains and the comic relief. They're evil and they show it. It also seems that Gargoyle and Captain Nemo have a history as bitter enemies, adding another element of tension into the series. Gargoyle uses practically every dirty trick in the book to get what he wants, while teasing Nadia, King and Marie with death. Lord Gargoyle also reveals that he knew Nadia's father, the first real clue we get about Nadia's real identity.
The Grandis Gang do not disappear in favor of this new villain though. They end up getting captured by the New Atlanteans and in a somewhat predictable fashion, team up with our heroes to escape. The differences in Sanson and Hanson, Grandis's brawn and brains respectively, are accentuated in this volume. Of course the clashing talents also lead to clashing personalities and that leads to humorous antics in attempts to show the other up.
The animation remains on the same simplified plane as the first volume, but the appreciation for it grows with every minute. The characters may appear to be simply drawn, but they still show a full range of emotion instead of the same bug-eyed reactions expected from other Anime done in the same style. And with every action scene, King seems to grow even more kawaii. This baby lion growling in defense of his master and friend is even cuter than a Pokemon. The dialogue in the first two episodes of the volume may seem a bit cheesy but it gets the point across. Marie's loss is conveyed very well to the viewer, even if there is some irritating arguing between Nadia and Jean.
Unfortunately, like its predecessor this DVD comes with few features. The language tracks and previews are about it. But what the DVD lacks in bonuses, it makes up for in video quality. The animation of New Atlantis is excellent and would most likely not be portrayed as well on VHS. What will cause the most frustration though is the constant singing of the line "Secret of Blue Water" which is done in the same high pitched nauseating voices in both dub and sub alike. Just fast forward and spend a few extra minutes watching King instead.
Overall (dub) : B
Overall (sub) : B+
+ Gargoyle is a wonderful new villain that radiates pure evil. He's the kind of guy you love to hate.
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