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ADV Films presents
Nadia, The Secret of Blue Water: The Motion Picture (1991)

"It will be your turn to evaporate if there is no progress. After that, we will have your nice daughter's body dissected for the development of our science."
- Giegar (Chikao Otsuka/Grant James)

Review By: Mark Zimmer   
Published: September 11, 2002

Stars: Yoshino Takumori, Noriko Hidaka, Kumiko Takizawa, Tsukasa Ito, Toshiharu Sakurai, Kenyu Horiuchi, Chikao Otsuka, Tamio Oki, Shuichi Ikeda
Other Stars: Meg Bauman, Nathan Parsons, Sarah Richardson, Lauren Worsham, Corey Gagne, Grant James, Eric Henshaw, David Stokey
Director: Sho Aono

Manufacturer: M.O.F.C.
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nudity, violence, gore, disturbing imagery, suggested for 12+)
Run Time: 01h:26m:30s
Release Date: August 27, 2002
UPC: 702727018923
Genre: anime

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
C- CB-B- D+

DVD Review

For those who haven't had enough of Nadia and Jean, we get a glimpse of the two of them a little further along in this motion picture sequel to the hit television series. Some of the principal voice actors from the series return here, and new enemies and menaces are faced, without the aid of Captain Nemo this time around. Luckily for her, though, the Grandis gang is still in action.

Nadia is trying to make her way in London as an apprentice reporter, some two years after the conclusion of the series. Jean is back in Le Havre, inventing, when a mysterious girl, Fuzzy, washes up on the shore. Nadia swipes a tip about the mysterious evaporation of European dignitaries, which is about to plunge the globe into world war. Inevitably, the two of them are dragged into an investigation that quickly turns deadly. A new menace, Giegar, one of the Gargoyle's old followers, who has made some improvements on his master's evildoing and must be stopped from using the Atlantean technology before all the world is at war.

Unfortunately, nearly the entire first half hour of this already brief film is eaten up by flashbacks to the series that compress 18+ hours of viewing incomprehensibly. Those who are familiar with the story will be bored, and those unfamiliar will be completely confused as to what's going on. Never mind that most of the flashback is completely irrelevant to the proceedings here, beyond establishing the history that Nadia, Jean and the Grandis gang have together. That could have been done more coherently in two or three minutes. But then existing footage couldn't have been cannibalized at zero expense, the cynic notes.

In any event, this leaves far too little time for the adventure itself; it's hardly under way when it's already time for a big finish. This compares unfavorably to the more relaxed feel of the series, where ample time for character bits was permitted. Here, we don't get a chance to learn much about Nadia and less about Jean. The situations move along at breakneck speed, without stopping for breath, which will be probably pleasing for action fans who have not managed to shut the film off during the opening. Nadia's character seems to be fairly consistent with what was established earlier, though the Grandis gang seems to be a complete throwback to what they were in the first episodes, before they had been humanized through their experiences. To the extent that they're important to the story, this diminishes the impact that the series had. When we last saw them, they had grown and developed. Here they seem only stunted caricatures.

Giegar is an effective and creepy villain, and some good situations are brought to the fore, including sharks and robot armies in addition to the mysterious evaporations. While it was nice to see the characters again, this doesn't begin to measure up to the series and really is only for hardcore fans that can't get enough. And darn it, I missed the nonsensical but defiantly optimistic theme song. The opening and closing songs added here only have Japanese romaji subtitles, without translations

Rating for Style: C-
Rating for Substance: C


Image Transfer

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

Image Transfer Review: The full frame picture looks okay for the most part, but there are moments of serious aliasing throughout. Occasionally the picture is unstable, which may be a fault of the original animation, which if anything appears to be more cheaply done than the series (though the backgrounds demonstrate more effort). In addition, some sequences are murky, with unclear lines. Color is generally quite good, however.

Image Transfer Grade: B-


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0English, Japaneseyes

Audio Transfer Review: The English track is generally quite a bit better than the original Japanese, which suffers from fairly heavy hiss and noise. The explosions and other showy material comes through well with a good presence. Dialogue is generally clear enough to be understood.

Audio Transfer Grade: B-


Disc Extras

Animated menu with music
Scene Access with 8 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
Packaging: Scanavo
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: RSDL
Layers Switch: 00h:51m:15s

Extra Extras:
  1. Textless closing
  2. Original Japanese opening credits
  3. Promotional trailer
  4. Previews of six ADV discs
Extras Review: There's really not much here. Those who want the original Japanese opening will find it here, as well as a textless closing (but I wonder why no Japanese closing as well?). The same preview that appeared on disc 10 of the series appears here, dubbed the "US trailer," although I don't believe that this ever played theatrically in the United States. Finally, there is the usual grouping of incomprehensible promos for Super Atragon, Sailor Moon, 801 T.T.S. Airbats, Sakura Wars 2, Princess Nine and Dai-Guard. In all, not much worth noting. Even a little text piece about the popularity of the series and what prompted this sequel would have raised the extras grade significantly.

Extras Grade: D+


Final Comments

A rushed feeling and a disregard of the development of the characters in the series hurts what could otherwise have been an intriguing little sequel. Poor production values drop this one a few more notches, and there's not much notable for extras either. For completists and Nadianados only.


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