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The US cover is similar

The US cover is similar

I’ve just completed the first disc[1] of the remastered[2] Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water.[3]

So far it has been a very good buy indeed.

The Remaster

Some time back I wrote What was old is new again about the Dirty Pair remaster.

The Nadia remaster is that all over again. It looks and sounds fabulous, although I always thought Marie’s dress was pink not purple[4].

The Story and the Characters

Pretty much as I remembered: an engaging action adventure with the gang of Jean, Nadia, and the usual Loon Squad[5].

Captain Nemo is a fairly obvious expy of Captain Gloval from Super Dimensional Fortress Macross, and I wonder why I never made that connection before.

As far as the bad guys go, Gargoyle is your classic evil overlord with the usual flaws of arrogance, monologuing, etc. It’s always satisfying to see Gargoyle lose, even if it’s just a temporary setback.

The Way Anime Has Changed

There are a couple of aspects of Nadia that firmly place it in the early nineties, things that I haven’t seen as regular features in anime for years.

Noses: The characters have actual noses that visible from all angles. I don’t know when it happened, but most series these days seem to have character designs where the noses are all but invisible except when the character is in profile[6]. I have to say that I’d like to see noses make a comeback in anime, but I’m not holding out much hope of that.

Recaps: It’s been a while since I’ve seen a series with recaps of what happened in the previous episodes. In one sense it’s a sign of a more relaxed pacing, in another a sign of the classic adventure serial ala Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea[7] that Nadia was trying to be. Overall I like these within the context of Nadia, but it’s not something I’d like to see make a general comeback.

Nadia is a GAINAX production, right? The studio you most want to slap?

Well, yes, but Nadia has mostly avoided both the excesses of Gunbuster and the flaws of Neon Genesis Evangelion. So far there have been some exploitative elements, and poor Nadia has had a tendency to get damselled a bit too often for my liking.

On the other hand, Nadia has also saved Jean and Marie on occasion, and had to make hard choices as well. I think the series is biased towards Jean as primary lead[8], but overall this is the series that made me look forward to Evangelion once upon a time.

The Disc One Verdict

I’m really enjoying the remastered Nadia. Nadia has never looked or sounded better, I’m not relying on synopses[9], and the story is engaging enough in its own right whilst also benefiting from a dose of nostalgia.

At this stage, on to the second disc and stay tuned for the next report! I’ll finish up with a nice version of the OP:

[1] There are five discs in the set.

[2] Yes, I finally broke down and ordered it. There aren’t even too many Evangelion references on the cover.

[3] AKA Fushigi no Umi no Nadia aka “Nadia of the Mysterious Seas”)

[4] That could be my memory playing tricks on me, or a colour adjustment as part of the remaster. Either way, it’s been consistent throughout the nine episodes I’ve seen so far.

[5] I generally class Marie, King, Grandis, Hanson, and Sanson as the Loon Squad of Nadia.

[6] Even the better shows like Shirobako are prone to this. Check out the images in my Third Thoughts post for examples.

[7] The source material for Nadia if you didn’t already know that.

[8] As shown by the cover image for the remastered edition.

[9] I think that are at least a few episodes that I’ve never seen subtitled.