Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water – Episodes 21 to 28

June 8, 2004 on 6:49 pm | In Nadia | Comments Off on Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water – Episodes 21 to 28

From the dramatically sublime to the inexplicably ridiculous in the space of eight episodes. That’s Anno for you! Although to be known for wild inconsistencies in your work is probably not the greatest compliment you can be paid.

Initially, the Nautilus is in vast amounts of trouble. These vast amounts of trouble lead, not surprisingly, to vast amounts of drama. The way that this was directed was amazing and created some of the best scenes of the series so far. Inoue Kikuko’s performance was really one of her highest points; Electra is a great character, with inbuilt tragedy not present in so many of her others. One thing leads to another, and …
… Then come the episodes where the world let out a collective “What the Hell?” Nadia, Jean and Marie get stranded on an Island.

The infamous “island” episodes aren’t the total write off they’ve been made out to be. There are some good moments of character interaction, but these are offset by moments of total bizarreness. Nadia, kicking her vegetarianism into overdrive, becomes at one point completely unsympathetic. Jean has to bear the brunt of the hard work and now Marie of all characters is the smartest of them all. Not to mention King, who suddenly becomes bipedal.
Generally these episodes are fine to watch because Jean has some good material and Nadia gets to do some good things out of “love”. But there’s still problems other than Nadia’s occasional annoying stubbornness. One episode progresses really well until all of a sudden, Jean falls unconscious and there’s an incredibly repetitive dream. It’s the same animation and dialogue over and over for several minutes.
Then comes another island, where the laws of physics and nature don’t apply. This was an unhappy turn of events because up until now Nadia had always been realistic, with simply the application of science to account for what happens. Ignoring the magic whale, of course. There’s been mysticism, but it’s always been explainable. What’s happening here isn’t.
Fortunately, it’ll probably turn out to be a turtle or something.

The few opportunities for the other storylines to happen are the highlights. Gargoyle’s few moments are much needed drama and the appearance of Grandis’ gang for “Sanson’s shark shooting adventure” is definitely appreciated.

These episodes aren’t truly horrible, but at times the animation is. I’m not one who complains about lip synching in anime, but when a character speaks and their mouth doesn’t move at all, it’s disconcerting. Hopefully this is just symptomatic of saving big money for the spectacular finale that is inevitably going to follow.
Otherwise, Nadia up until now will have been a lie.

So these six island episodes don’t destroy what Nadia was about before. They just take some time out from the rest of the series and feature some poorly judged directorial decisions, which may not have been Anno’s fault. Let’s just hope that there will be story again. Not just “it’s evil to eat meat” and “Jean, I hate you!” moments.

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