|Overall||Art||Animation||Character Design||Music||Series Story||Episode Story||Reviewer|
Fushigi no Umi no Nadia
If you enjoy this type of story, then you might want to check out - Patapata Hikousen no Bouken and Kenran Butoh Sai: The Mars Daybreak.
Last updated Sunday, September 05 2010. Created Friday, September 26 2008.
Fushigi no Umi no Nadia
Given the huge international success of series such as Shin seki Evangelion and FLCL, I don't find it surprising that many Western GAINAX fans like myself would be curious to sample some of their earlier work. Recently, I did just that by taking in a couple of titles that I had heard about for a very long time, but simply never had a chance to experience. One of these just happened to be a quite cherished little series known as Fushigi no Umi no Nadia. Overall, I found this to be an enoyable adventure, bubbling over with childish exuberance, yet also somewhat weighted by a somber tale of maturation amid a climate of hostility and vengeance. Unfortunately, the presentation of this story is plagued by a generally meandering plot that threatens to lose its way for good before the climactic finale.|
I won't speak at length on the visual and audio presentation of this series, since, as a whole, I was mostly uninspired by it; it seemed the take the typical shortcuts exemplary of an animated Japanese TV show of its time struggling to stay under budget. Still, the locales and character designs were pleasantly rendered, so nothing seemed too aesthetically offensive.
What struck me the most, though, was the almost fluid variability of the show's themes. It begins as a light-hearted, yet slightly-edged romp through 19th Century Europe, but quickly and abruptly shifts into a slice-of-life story about life aboard a sea-going vessel. I found the lengthy "gearing-up" animation phases of the Nautilus particularly reminiscent of the high-tech operational scenes found later on down the road in Evangelion. This shift seems out of place at first, but you begin to settle into its rhythms thanks to the cast of generally likable characters learning to adjust to a new life together. Suddenly (and, many would say, catastrophically) the plot is completely derailed for a painfully long stretch of episodes dedicated partially to a tale of survival for a few of our heroes, but mostly to a deluge of near-pointless filler disguised as character development. When things finally get back on track, the story's ultimate role is revealed: the sci-fi epic. To its discredit, however, the jerky segue into this final phase ends up feeling-tacked on.
Hold on! It's not all that bad! I've spent a lot of time droning on about its faults, but I can honestly say I was more than a little charmed by "Nadia"'s best selling-point: the characters. Sure, they're your typical anime cutouts, but the unique setting and story (when it's not being bogged down by inane filler, weird religious references and crack-pot pseudo-science) help them stand out. By the time the epilogue rolled around to tie up the story in a nice little package, I hadn't felt like I'd wasted my time. I say give it a rent, but skip the "Island/Africa" episodes, they drag the whole thing down. "Nadia" isn't GAINAX's best work by far, but it will provide some measure of entertainment for those who can relax and enjoy it.
Last updated Monday, June 16 2008. Created Monday, June 16 2008.
Fushigi no Umi no Nadia
A fun series which meshes elements of an action-adventure journey and coming-of-age focused on the bond between Nadia and Jean. I found it surprising when I first watched this that Hideaki Anno, the man most famous for his directorial work in Shin Seiki Evangelion, directed this.|
Nadia takes advantage of its adventure genre by featuring a vast number of setting to wow its audience. From the Eiffel Tower of France, the inside of the Nautilus sub, and an underground Anarctica base, there is a lot to look at as Nadia and Jean go on their adventure.
The characters are well fleshed-out as you get an understanding of their interests, motivations, strengths, and flaws, even though there are some who follow the archetypes that were common at the time of this show's airing. Nadia is your obvious tsundere gal who warms up to Jean and others as she hangs around them over time. Gargoyle is the villian with well-thought out plans to have his group rule the world. Jean is the nice guy genius with an immense fascination of all things technology.
The plot to the series is thought out well enough as more developments surrounding Nadia's past are revealed and more about the goals of the Nautilus and Gargoyle's connections are brought to light. The developments flow along at a steady pace throughout much of the series and make for a great watch. The only point it falters is during the middle of the series in the episodes dubbed by some Nadia fans as the "infamous lost island" episodes. These episodes are strictly filler and feature slapstick comedy gags that weren't featured anywhere else in the series. But after these episodes, the series starts coming full circle with its plot which comes down to a great finale.
Nadia is an anime that made me giddy for its scenery, plot twists, and interesting characters. This is one of the better works I've seen from Hideaki Anno and Gainax.
Last updated Saturday, June 14 2008. Created Saturday, June 14 2008.
Fushigi no Umi no Nadia
Many of us know about GAINAX, one of the top players in the anime game today. Many know about its recent hit series, such as Evangelion, FLCL, Mahou Shotengai Abenobashi, and the like. However, NOT many know about the one series that put GAINAX on the map. This is that one series...|
First of all, for all of the fan used to state-of-the-art animation and art, this will not be your cup of tea. This series roughly ended in the early 90's, so its still of the classic Exaggerated style of anime art. However, this series is quite capable of capturing the viewers imagination. The places our heros go to are vast and numerous. An industrial complex, a fancy tower, an underground cavern beneath Antartica, the bridge of a US Navy battleship. Even the scorched ruins of Atlantis itself. Nadia never lets the scenery stay the same for too long, and it leads to many different situations.
Characters are top notch, period. Everyone on board the Nautilis, the Grandis Gang, Marie and King, and of course, Nadia and Jean, has thier own likes, dislikes, manners, troubles, flaws, perfections, etc. Even the minor characters, even the one-episode characters, give off thier own aura. Nadia is fun to watch because for a lot fo the time, she's unpredictable and you never cna get a grasp on her behavior. Of course, you learn to know that despite her moodiness, she's pure, soft-hearted girl. Jean, in my opinion, is one of the luckist bastards in the world. As Fate Herself deamed it, Jean becomes Nadia's guardian, her friend, and eventually, her lover. The romance angle is one of the most satisfying in my recent memory. Though the series takes liberties with the legendary Captain Nemo, he is by no means deminished in Nadia. In fact, he is emboldened, and is shown as a charismatic, wise leader who always knows what to do or say. Jean comes to know the man, and Nemo in return, entrusts Nadia to Jean.
For those who liked Evangelion, or any of GAINAX's series, this is one you should definately take a look at. The series just recently was made into two collections that go for about 30$ each. This series is constantly known as "One of the greatest TV series of all time." I have no doubts about that statement.
Last updated Sunday, January 28 2007. Created Sunday, January 28 2007.