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ADV Films presents
Martian Successor Nadesico #5: Secrets & Lies (1996)

"We just wanted some more time, like children who play ceaselessly as dusk draws near, yet all the while the darkness encroaches further."
- Ruri Hoshino (Omi Minami)

Review By: Jeff Ulmer   
Published: July 06, 2001

Stars: Yûji Ueda, Houko Kuwashima, Omi Minami, Tomokazu Seki, Naoko Takano, Chisa Yokoyama
Other Stars: Kentarô Itô, Miki Nagasawa, Maya Okamoto, Tomoko Kawakami, Miyuki Ichijô, Ryutaro Okiayu, Shiho Kikuchi
Director: Tatsuo Sato

Manufacturer: CFPI
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (12+ for mild fan service, mature content)
Run Time: 01h:50m:49s
Release Date: May 29, 2001
UPC: 702727009327
Genre: anime

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
A+ A+A-A D-

DVD Review

"How do I love thee, let me count the ways..." William Shatner wasn't it? You know, it wasn't long ago that I was an ordinary guy who didn't watch cartoons. Then came Eva, and she changed everything. Now, I find myself feeling right at home in the Sushi Palace, though looking for subtitles, and those catchy theme songs haunt you for days, and what's worse is you don't know the lyrics, even if you can make heads or tails out of the romanji provided on many discs. I didn't know what an otaku was, or know to be offended when someone uttered "baka" in my presence. I'm surprised there hasn't been a surgeon general's warning plastered on these ADV boxes: this stuff is highly addictive!

So here we are with disc number five in the Martian Successor Nadesico series, Nadesico for us hip cats in the know, and I just can't help but really dig this show. It certainly isn't high art, nor does it have some deep and meaningful message, but it sure as hell is funny! As a bonus, this time there are five episodes on the disc.

So where are we? Oh yeah. This is getting all confusing as we keep being assaulted by an endless barrage of unexpected occurences following the revelations from the last disc about the origins of the Jovian menace. In A Reunion That Came Too Late, much of the crew is still having a hard time coping with the concept, though Admiral Munetake is taking things a bit far—is the Nadesico safe under his watch? It seems not. Then in Echoes of Self, Echoes Of Water, my darling young Ruri (who also made the front cover) is given a trip down memory lane, and discovers some interesting truths about her childhood. This is a most insightful episode, and one of the first to really expose the characters. And what anime series would be complete without a competition of some kind? Aboard Nadesico, it may just be for the captaincy. Would the next contestant come on down? You're The Next Captain Of The Nadesico is a good excuse for a talent show, and to break out the bikinis and tunes for a while anyhow—that is until the Nadesico faces the latest weapon in the Jovian arsenal in Run Silent, Run Deep, pitting the wits of the captain against her Jovian adversary. And, as if it couldn't get any worse, the robot pilots start hallucinating The Meadows We Once Ran Across. Is there any hope for the Nadesico?

The twists and turns are fast and furious, as ever, and you really don't know what to expect next. The editing is amazing, as are the sometimes not-too-subtle jabs at other anime series and fandom in general. There's more of the Gekiganger series, a little song and dance, a touch of fan service and of course more robots, as we lead up to the sixth and final installment of Nadesico. Man is this a blast! I can't wait for the final installment, but really wonder how they can end this all. I am having too much fun!

Rating for Style: A+
Rating for Substance: A+


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Rationo

Image Transfer Review: This isn't a series that will wow you with the quality of its animation, but the transfer on this installment seems to be a bit above that of the last. Colors are solid, graininess is handled well, black levels are good and aliasing is minimal. Looks like an accurate rendition of the source material with few artifacts in the transfer.

Image Transfer Grade: A-


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Japanese, Englishyes

Audio Transfer Review: Stereo Japanese and dubbed English tracks are available, with most of the action concentrated in the center stage. Audio is clean and free of any distortion, hiss or other anomalies. Perfectly suitable.

Audio Transfer Grade: A


Disc Extras

Static menu with music
Scene Access with 25 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
7 Other Trailer(s) featuring Farscape, Shadow Raiders, Orphen, Arc The Lad, AD Police Princess Nine, ADV compilation promo
Packaging: other
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extras Review: Hold the pickles, hold the lettuce, we're the extras, let's forget us! While we do get a bonus episode, extras are nonexistent.

As with the rest of the discs in the series, front end trailers for other ADV titles are only accessable when loading the disc, and included here are Farscape, Shadow Raiders, Orphen, Arc The Lad, AD Police Princess Nine and the ADV compilation promo. I almost thought they had got the listing right on the insert card, but they snuck another one in there to test our reviewer skills! Like most of ADV's front end trailers, these can be skipped through with the chapter skip button, or bypassed completely with the menu button.

The cover features Ruri, looking somewhat forlorn.

Extras Grade: D-


Final Comments

Martian Successor Nadesico may not be for everybody, as it doesn't really have a deep and powerful storyline, and the character profiles are somewhat shallow. However, the abundance of humor and endless surprises keeps this space cowboy firmly planted in front of the video screen from the opening credits until the disc ends. Can you say Jovian? I thought you could.


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