Secret of Cerulean Sand

Secret of Cerulean Sand is an anime series
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Fifteen-year-old Jane Buxton hears that her eldest brother George has been executed for treason while off exploring distant lands. Meanwhile, her stepbrother William storms out of the family home as a result of an ongoing feud with Jane's father, who is soon on trial for embezzlement. Some time later, Jane receives a parcel in the mail containing a strange shard of blue stone (the "cerulean sand" of the English title). Realizing that this might be the mystical energy source for which George had been searching at the time of his reported death, Jane sets off to discover the truth and clear the family name.

The adventures of a plucky British teenager, in a world of deserts and airships in which the idea of honor is still important, may seem to echo the works of Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata. However, any resemblance to Castle in the Sky stems from both stories drawing on the same source-the works of one of the most popular science fiction authors in Japan, the French writer Jules Verne (1828-1905). SoCS takes its inspiration from two of Verne's works, the first being For the Flag (1896, Face au Drapeau), in which an inventor discovers an incredibly powerful explosive and initially resolves to sell it to the highest bidder, regardless of his duty to his country. The second is City in the Sahara (1919, L'Etonnante Aventure de la Mission Barsac), Verne's last work, which was finished posthumously by his son. This anime version, a Japanese-Korean coproduction, changes the heroine's name from Joan to Jane, but otherwise clings to the broad strokes of the original, including its melodramatic face-off between the true-hearted Buxtons and the cruel intentions of their stepsiblings-shades here of an even more traditional family drama, stretching back to Cinderella. Both Verne's original stories dealt with scientists who must come to terms with their complicity in the use of their inventions for evil purposes-shades here for the Japanese audience of Kikaider and other antiheroes, but also of a genuine old-time fascination with technology and progress that was pastiched in Steamboy. The plot also revolves around Jane's discovery of a stone with a mysterious power-echoing the Secret of Blue Water, which was itself inspired by the works of Verne. Such "coincidences" aside, the authors do not doubt for a moment that commercial concerns steered the producers' choice of material-Verne may have been conveniently out of copyright, but the chance to claim to be using his story while actually pastiching Miyazaki's must have been irresistible.

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Original US Poster Art

General Information Edit
Name Secret of Cerulean Sand
Name: パタパタ飛行船の冒険
Romaji: Patapata Hikousen no Bouken
Publisher TMS Entertainment
Start Year 2002
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Aliases Patapata Airship Adventure
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