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ADV Films presents
"I'm sorry, Nemo, but you must be the subject of our experiment."
DVD ReviewThe adventures of young inventor Jean and mysterious acrobat-princess Nadia (together with baby lion King) and little orphan Marie continue, as does the pursuit of nearly everyone for the Blue Water, the jewel Nadia wears as a pendant. This is by far the best disc in the series released thus far. We've passed the halfway point (the series will run 10 volumes on DVD), and the setup here begins to pay off in a big way. The Nautilus begins in a trap set by the Gargoyle, and the drama of the situation of the ship, her crew and the situation of Nadia and Jean is highly suspenseful and gripping. These episodes feature some of the most engrossing action sequences I've seen in animation of any kind. The second half of the disc features the adventures of Jean and Nadia on a deserted island, having been jettisoned from the Nautilus for their own safety. While Jean relies on science to attempt to make them comfortable, Nadia decides to go native and live amongst the animals. As a confirmed meat-eater, I found the comeuppance of her New-Agey naiveté highly satisfying. There are some revelations here, most of which are highly predictable (the big secret is revealed here, though most will guess it by the third episode of the series). In addition, we finally get a glimpse at the source of the Blue Water. There are also some less satisfying revelations, including one regarding Nemo's first officer, Electra, that seems to run counter to everything we've seen of her character thus far. This doesn't ring true in the least and seems more than anything to be something shoehorned into the story without much regard for what has already been established.The animation seems a bit more confident here than in previous episodes, although there is also some silly super-distortion that most will find obnoxious. Fan service here is limited to a couple gratuitous panty shots, so those seeking ecchi would probably be best served by looking elsewhere. This volume does pay off well for those who have kept up with the story.
Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: A-
Image Transfer Review: The picture is solid here. The color instability that plagued some earlier volumes is not to be seen here. Blacks are solid and show no artifacting. The picture is crisp and clear. As usual, there is dirt visible on the cels themselves, but the transfer itself is perfectly fine.
Image Transfer Grade: A
Audio Transfer Review: Both the English and Japanese tracks are presented in 2.0. For a change, there is substantial surround activity here, particularly in the segments where the Nautilus is under siege; the creaking sounds of the hull giving way are truly menacing. The audio is free of hiss and noise, and dialogue is clear throughout. The music has excellent range and there is good bass extension. The audio is quite pleasing indeed.
Audio Transfer Grade: A-
Disc ExtrasAnimated menu with music
Scene Access with 16 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
1 TV Spots/Teasers
Layers Switch: 0h:51m:47s
Extras Grade: D
Final CommentsThe character development of the previous five discs renders big dividends in an excellent two-part action sequence, followed up by an entirely different desert island adventure. The transfer continues to be quite good and I'm looking forward eagerly to volume 7.
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