Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water – Episodes 33 to 36

June 10, 2004 on 7:29 pm | In Nadia | Comments Off on Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water – Episodes 33 to 36

Upon saving King from crucifixion, and then an episode which is essentially a collection of music videos (and the few ‘new’ scenes made of cels from 20 episodes ago used against new backgrounds) that culminates in Jean performing a love song for Nadia that degenerates into his listing all of her faults … the story comes back to stay. Thank God for that. As the increasingly put upon narrator said at the beginning of episode 33, “Cheer up, Nadia! You only have a few stories left!”

I’ve sounded like Nadia has been nothing but terror for about 13 episodes … it’s not been that painful, but it has not been the joy that was promised. Thirteen episodes of inconsequential activities that ultimately did nothing to further plot or characters; in fact there may well have been regressions just wears thin. Nadia could quite easily have been edited down to 26 episodes (not that I’d advocate such a thing, oh no!). Bear in mind that I’m one who loved the last ten episodes of Macross, so that might be indicative of your own tolerance.
What seemed like a four episode run of tolerable nothing became a six episode run, then ten, then thirteen – so one third of the series became essentially negligible. The music video episode wasn’t actually bad, because it included footage from good times and the songs were also pretty amusing and tuneful. The editing itself was a mixture of the appropriate, the there for the sake of it, and the wildly inappropriate.

Anyway, the tour de force was the visit to Tartessos. GAiNAX used its dramatic black and white technique which is so effective that you don’t realise that the animation is entirely in black and white with the exception of the Blue Water until about five minutes after its come into effect. Fifteen minutes worth of black and white animation is surprisingly (or perhaps not) much more dramatic. This was also helped along by the mostly absent music. When colour returns, it’s blindingly bright. GAiNAX used this technique to great effect in the final episode of Gunbuster, which was both black and white and 16×9 (or at least “letterboxed”).
The content of the episode itself was high drama, and the stuff that harkens back to the old days of high drama. Then at the end, when everyone bursts into “Happy Birthday to you” (which is dubbed as “It’s your birthday today” because of the ancient laws against dubs using songs that are probably technically copyrighted), it’s good will all over again.
Finally, Gargoyle reveals himself to be a bastard and some of the new character designs are confusing. Only three episodes left. There’s no room for slack any more. This ending had better be damned good; and people had better not complain about the “given” events happening.

The wild ride of Nadia (oh, how long a week is in the world of anime …) is almost at its end. Can it find ultimate meaning? And what is the secret of Blue Water? Ah, crap, we already know that one.

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