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"Martian Successor Nadesico: Volume 3" Essentially The End

by on March 6, 2005

The war with the Jovians is getting more intense, but the crew of the Nadesico have their own problems. An Aestivalis pilot’s true motives are revealed along with some secrets of Boson jumping and the ability to instantly teleport across space… and time? These final eight episodes wrap up the fan-favorite Martian Successor Nadesico… or do they?

Episodes included in this set
:: Disc One ::
Episode 19: “You’re the Next Captain of Nadesico”
Episode 20: “Run Silent, Run Deep”
Episode 21: “The Meadows We Once Ran Across”
Episode 22: “Protect the Visitor”
:: Disc Two ::
Episode 23: “A Place We Call Home”
Episode 24: “Ubiquitous Righteousness”
Episode 25: “Being Myself, Being Yourself”
Episode 26: “For the Lady We Will Meet Someday”

Here we are, the final volume of the Essential Animé Collection of Martian Successor Nadesico. These eight episodes are the end of the story, outside of the movie, which takes places afterwards [but also really blows. -Ed]. So far, I’ve found the series decent; not the best thing around, but far from bad. It’s a decent series that’s interesting enough, but I’m glad I’ve been picking it up at this incredibly budget-minded price.

To kick the first disc off in true half-funny, half-serious Nadesico fashion, the crew of the Nadesico has a talent show to decide the new captain. There are some great comedy moments here: the fan girl in Gekiganger cosplay singing the theme song, underpants-Aestivalis Ryoko, the incredibly cute but bitter Ruri, the… eh, I won’t spell it all out. Let’s just say we get to hear the ending song and the fourth wall takes a solid beating. This is definitely the highlight of the first disc in the set.

From there, the series gets trippy when a new weapon malfunctions. The crew has to make their way into the bowels of the ship to fix it, but are stuck playing “Memory Mahjong,” with each of the crew being able to see some of the memories of the others. Neil Gaiman would be proud of this psychological (and befuddling) plot point.

To remind everyone, Tsukumo was the Jovian pilot who met up with the crew of the Nadesico and fell in love with Minato, the secretary-turned-helmswoman. His little sister, Yukina, is appalled by this interplanetary romance, which is why she’s probably not the best choice for an impartial goodwill ambassador from the Jovians. She’s chosen anyway, to mend the rift between the Earthlings and the Jovians. Unsurprisingly, things don’t go well, and the crew of the Nadesico is soon kicked off the ship.

If Gekiganger‘s taught us anything, heroes can team up and do anything, and the ex-crew, after having a fun stint back in their regular jobs (Akito goes back to being a cook, Megumi a voice actress, etc.), retake the ship and go on the run.

How do you get two warring entities to make peace? Geki-fest! The Nadesico hosts a convention all about Gekiganger III, the animé from a hundred years ago on which the entire Jovian lifestyle has been based.

Remember how I said that Nadesico manages to be half-serious? At the end of a certain episode everything’s looking all peachy-keen until bullets start flying, provoking the final battle between the Nadesico, NERGAL, and the Jovians.

Or at least I wish it was the final battle. The last two episodes have the three teams racing back to Mars to claim the ancient ruins that have been allowing people to boson jump; having the source of this great ability would be a major coup to turn the war in their favor. While these final episodes do resolve a few plot points (including one way back from episode one), the series doesn’t get a true resolution, and the voiceover at the end admits just that.

As for the extras, they’re far from Simpsons-level of quality and quantity, but they’re much better than a barebones release. The sole commentary in this set is on the best comedy episode (“You’re the Next Captain of Nadesico”) with Tiffany Grant (Ryoko), Cynthia Martinez (Hikaru), Jay Hickman (Akatsuki), and Matt Greenfield, again. Doesn’t this guy ever take a break? There are also character bios (this time for the characters from Gekiganger), a production sketch gallery (which you’ll end up fast-forwarding through), the clean opening, closing, and the traditional ADV previews.

My final verdict on the series? Far from top ten, but far from a waste of time. If you get a chance, catch the series. Well, you probably already have and I’m preaching to the choir. The silent choir. Seriously, I never hear anything from you guys, outside of warning me of what spoilers Matt Greenfield lets go in Neon Genesis Evangelion. Anyway, Nadesico manages some great comedy, decent action, and pretty excellent drama. Anime only rarely gives me chills, but this series was good enough to pull it off. Here’s what it really comes down to, though: eight episodes, thirteen bucks. Go buy it.

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