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ADV Films presents
"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."
DVD ReviewFor 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 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 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 ExtrasAnimated menu with music
Scene Access with 8 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
Layers Switch: 00h:51m:15s
Extras Grade: D+
Final CommentsA 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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