MARTIAN SUCCESSOR NADESICO - - DVD/Blu-Ray Review

Topic started by samweller999 on Jan. 4, 2013. Last post by Marshal Victory 1 year, 2 months ago.
Post by samweller999 (69 posts) See mini bio Level 9
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Introducing my favorite (and most respectable) loli character in anime ... COME AT ME :)
Introducing my favorite (and most respectable) loli character in anime ... COME AT ME :)

MARTIAN SUCCESSOR NADESICO is a series I've been curious about ever since my most formative year of anime viewership - - 1998. Back when I was collecting ESCAFLOWNE tapes and plowing through every one of Manga Entertainment's releases. Back when one of the most exciting parts of the whole experience was simply watching whatever crazy trailers were appended on my Blockbuster Video rentals (DARKSIDE BLUES?! WTF?!)

This was one show that fell between the cracks for whatever reason; even despite a crazy, intriguing trailer. But boy... am I glad it took me this long to find it again. Without a more seasoned background in anime, I doubt I’d appreciate its plentiful homages as much I did. I doubt I'd even comprehend them, for that matter.

The first thing to understand about NADESICO is how incredibly meta-fictional it is. The “show within a show” concept has been done before, but never this well. NADESICO includes nods to SPACE BATTLESHIP YAMATO, GETTER ROBO and GUNDAM. Even the ship itself is a direct nod to White Base...

WHITE BASE VS THE NADESICO ... FIGHT!!!
WHITE BASE VS THE NADESICO ... FIGHT!!!

The second thing is that this show is a comedy. Yes, it features an intergalactic battle. Yes, there are mecha. There are even extremely unexpected deaths in the first few episodes. But the show constantly disarms any accompanying tension with a joke or gag. And instead of it being a jarring reminder that you’re watching a cartoon (like in BLEACH), the comedy plays exactly as it should: like a campy meeting between ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT and GUNDAM.

While the plot initially focuses on lowly fry-cook-turned-mech-pilot Akito coming aboard the corporate-owned Nadesico (a ship incidentally run by his childhood friend, and cute girl, Yuriko), it quickly branches out to a larger ensemble. The relationship Akito and Yuriko share (which isn't technically a relationship, most of the time) even proves to be the un-ironic saving of mankind. And the true shining stars of the show are actually the side characters. From wacky engineers to smarmy accountants, the show spends as much time on their respective quirks and picadilos as it does on duels and battles, and it's far more compelling for it.

Indeed, the most memorable of these side characters are the trio of female pilots whom the Nadesico's crew picks up around Episode 8. Ryolo, Hikaru, and Izumi have some of the funniest dialogue and interchanges of the show. As a helpless lover of puns myself, I especially enjoyed Izumi’s ceaseless wordplay.

The beginnings of the anime Spice Girls.
The beginnings of the anime Spice Girls.

The animation quality is a bit hit-and-miss, but it's generally around "mid-grade" and rarely "poor." Having discussed this recently on the Vice Pit, I'd say the show's strong enough to not be hampered by any animation hang-ups. Still, seeing it in a basic (and untouched) 4:3 transfer on my widescreen was a little disheartening.

There's plenty of pseudo-science being paraded about to satisfy those looking for that kind of headier stuff. “Boson jumping,” or teleportation, is a main factor of the fiction, and it’s relation to the planet Mars and Akito’s character arc is especially interesting to watch. There are also some unexpected religious themes which kind-of blew me away. (No crucified aliens, though - - sorry EVANGELION fans!)

Without getting into too many specifics (lest we spoil some surprises), I have to say that one of the biggest reasons to watch this is a blindsiding mid-season twist. Threads started in the first few episodes loop back with a vengeance, and the show possesses one of the strongest conclusions in an anime that I’ve seen in a while. It’s not world-shattering, but it’s damn satisfying, and it makes the rest of the show look that much better.

This show is a delicious layer cake of anime.
This show is a delicious layer cake of anime.

NADESICO is basically an amazing amalgam of five other shows’ best ideas. It exists in tribute, but still stands well on its own. The schewing of certain anime tropes is fresh and welcome, and the fourth wall breaking is genuinely hilarious. While I have yet to see IRRESPONSIBLE CAPTAIN TYLOR or a lot of other ensemble comedies, I can safely recommend this show as being more than worth the modern anime viewer's time.

...Even though they never describe what a “Martian Successor” is. It’s this guy, right?

Aaaand he's off to complain in the forums.
Aaaand he's off to complain in the forums.

You can check out the NEW Complete Collection over at Nozomi Entertainment here

Sam Weller is a writer and actor who's scribed for shows like FIRST EDITION, GEEK THERAPY, and most recently BATGIRL: SPOILED. He also really likes anime. To know what is going to happen next, follow@cravesam

Post by Marshal Victory (1,961 posts) See mini bio Level 13
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Hmm may have o look at tis.Every time i read NADESICO i kept seeing Nabisco an thought mm cookies.That aside this looks like something i could enjoy.How does it stack up to say Vandread ?

Post by Donwun (112 posts) See mini bio Level 12

It's a really good series - watched it for the first time recently and dug its self awareness and slapstick nature

Unfortunately the follow up movie The Prince of Darkness attempted to take the series in the complete opposite direction in terms of tone / theme and FAILED...miserably.....urg......regardless of that a real fun show that still holds up today

Guud stuff Sam

Post by rubberluffy (573 posts) See mini bio Level 16

Haha Darkside Blues, I've seen that. I think I've even seen it more than once. I have no idea what it's about.

Post by sickVisionz (4,242 posts) See mini bio Level 24
Moderator

I've always heard of this show but didn't know anything about it. Hearing that it's a parody sounds pretty awesome and something that I might like.

Post by buhssuht (223 posts) See mini bio Level 19

@Donwun: that movie got me sad and depressed at the end.

also one thing that really bothers the most would be

i really dont like their explanation of advanced techonoly for enemies were some abandoned alien technology. at least in manga version, which is the original and has very different story, has proper explanation.

and as for the term martian successor

only people who grew up in the Mar has access to the transportation device. and that is THE ONLY reason why i think it's called martian successor.
Post by Halberdierv2 (1,288 posts) See mini bio Level 17

congrats, you got me to watch it! the english dub is hilarious.

Post by Turambar (233 posts) See mini bio Level 10

How did you go a full review without mentioning how this show, meta as it is, goes the route of letting you see a society built around the ideologies of classic super robot anime, literally?

Post by Turambar (233 posts) See mini bio Level 10

Keeping things as vague as possible, lets just say this piece of in-world fiction is the most influential piece of cultural artifact within the entire anime.

Post by samweller999 (69 posts) See mini bio Level 9
Staff

@Halberdierv2: YAAAAY!!! I'm glad you enjoyed it! Honestly, I take a lot of cues from the community as well, so it's nice to get feedback and forth.

Post by Kino88 (191 posts) See mini bio Level 6

nice, it's been awhile since I had a good hardy laugh from an anime not since I saw Welcome to the NHK(a dam funny show)

thanks Tom, this is now a must see for me : )

Post by amp___seeker_of_lost_knowledge (8 posts) See mini bio Level 13

@Donwun: Here, here

Post by zaldar (1,239 posts) See mini bio Level 15

hmm sounds interesting one of the most satisfying endings ever? Hmm that is a hard sell...seen some pretty satisfying endings. Madoka, Renmei, Here and There Then and Now. May have to check this one out if it comes on netflix or hulu ever.

Post by Marshal Victory (1,961 posts) See mini bio Level 13
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@samweller999: Just finished the tv series its on my amazon buy list now.Some head nots to star treck next genration.Marzinger,to many to count but enjoyed all.Thanks for this review i found a show some of my sci fi friends might cross over to anime threw.

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