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ADV Films presents
Martian Successor Nadesico #3: Danger Zones (1996)

"I don't know if everyone is resilient or just thick-headed."
- Ruri Hoshino (Omi Minami)

Review By: Jeff Ulmer   
Published: February 27, 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, Ryôtarô Okiayu, Shiho Kikuchi
Director: Tatsuo Sato

Manufacturer: JVC
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (12+ for language, mature themes)
Run Time: 01h:28m:37s
Release Date: January 30, 2001
UPC: 702727009129
Genre: anime

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer

DVD Review

Disc three of the series covers another four episodes of this wacky anime. These installments are more episodic in nature with less storyline linking them together on one level, yet the interpersonal issues continue to develop as the series progresses, which is more the focal point than any action in the plot. Episodes on this disc are The Miracle Operation Of The Kiss, The Dangers Of Femininity, Finding Yourself In A Routine Plot and Those Unforgettable Days.

As part of the UEAF, the Nadesico is sent on a series of missions which require her special capabilities, under the direction of the recently acquired UEAF Admiral, Munetake Sudaaki. The first is to rescue a VIP left stranded in the northern regions, and the plan is to sneak in and rescue him. However, while en route, Akito (Yûji Ueda) is having recurring dreams of his childhood, in which Captain Yuriko (Houko Kuwashima) plays a prominent role. At the same time Miss Megumi (Naoko Takano) continues her advancements towards Akito, including introducing him to the ship's virtual reality simulator, in which she takes the two of them back to high school, complete with skimpy uniform. This recreational time takes its toll on the Captain of course, since she also wants to spend time with Akito. Food takes on new importance as we move along, as the girls now figure that the way to Akito's heart is through his stomach, though they might be better off ordering take out from the looks of things. The next mission takes them to a tropical island, where the crew gets to frolic in their bathing suits before attending to the task at hand, capturing a new kind of tulip. Here Akito meets yet another young girl, but this time his reaction differs from the norm, which just figures, considering her cuilinary skills. As Nadesico gears up for battle against another new type of weapon, they also face one from the past, as the Aestivalis pilots must learn the meaning of teamwork, and finally have to figure out whose side they are on when the ship can't decide who is the enemy.

Now almost halfway through the series, this set of episodes allows more time for us to get to know the crew, and doesn't move at the breakneck pace of the first two discs, where characters were thrown at us left, right and center. Although the lack of a continuity in their travels breaks a bit of the flow, the continuing saga of Akito and his hoards of female fans keeps things very amusing, and I find myself reminiscing Tenchi Muyo—in more ways than one—in the way things are set up. No Nadesico disc would be complete without a healthy dosing of Akito's fave anime, Gekiganger 3, and we also have his rival in fellow pilot Akatsuki Nagure (Ryutaro Okiayu), who thinks anime pretty much sucks. Although things aren't quite as frantic, there are still many times when we get two people talking at once, which makes following the subtitles challenging, as they flash across the screen. We still get Ruri's frequent interjections, and there is plenty of fan service diced in amongst the mayhem. I'm still enjoying this a lot, less for the many action sequences in the Aestivalis than for the comic relationship humor that keeps getting more absurd as the show progresses. I don't quite know where this is all going, but the ride sure is fun!

Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: A


Image Transfer

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

Image Transfer Review: Black levels seem a bit on the light side for many of the space scenes, but other than that things are looking pretty good, with only minor shimmer present. Overlays for signs and screen shots are still present and out of place looking, but at least allow for some understanding of what is being relayed in the images. The subtitling gets pretty dense at times, but at least with both yellow and white text, the different characters are defined.

Image Transfer Grade: A-


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0English, Japaneseyes

Audio Transfer Review: The original Japanese and dubbed English tracks are available in stereo, with appropriate directionality when required. Both tracks sound fine, though real otakus will stick to the Japanese track.

Audio Transfer Grade: A


Disc Extras

Static menu with music
Scene Access with 20 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
5 Other Trailer(s) featuring Princess Nine, Arc The Lad, AD Police, Reboot, Shadow Raiders, ADV compilation promo
Packaging: other
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Character Profiles
  2. Textless opening and closing
Extras Review: Once again we get character overviews for more of the cast, which again contain spoilers and are mostly characters that aren't very well featured in this set. In fact one was killed off on the preceding disc. Textless opening and closing credits are available as is the Nadesico trailer.

There are also five front-end trailers for other ADV titles only accessable when loading the disc: Princess Nine, Arc The Lad, AD Police, Reboot Shadow Raiders and an ADV compilation promo. These can be skipped through with the chapter skip button, or bypassed completely with the menu button.

One thing that I can mention is that it looks like the spine art is now consistent with the Volume 2 disc.

Extras Grade: B-


Final Comments

For fun, witty comedy, with a good dosing of mecha action, Martian Successor Nadesico is a worthy investment, though some of the language and mild sexual suggestion may not be suitable for younger viewers. Its nods to other anime series makes it more interesting, and would be a good series to revisit as your collection grows to catch more of this humor. And at four episodes per disc, it is decent value. I'm diggin' it!


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