Monday, August 13, 2012

ANI-MOVIES, *Nadesico: The Motion Picture


Most of the time, when a movie is a continuation of an anime TV series, its either a remake like Escaflowne, or it takes place during the show like Naruto. However, alot of times the movie will act as a conclusion for a series that has already run its course, such was the case in Evangelion and Fullmetal Alchemist. The Nadesico anime(also known as Martian Successor Nadesico)was a 26-episode TV series that was billed as being a “space opera”, but at the same time was one of the first shows that actually riffed on anime fandom, specifically the outer space and giant robot genres. There were numerous references and jokes used throughout it which spoofed/honored the whole mecha theme in anime, even to the point where the opposing alien army had based their entire culture on a 70s super robot show. It was also a harem anime with the main antagonist had at least 2-3 girls vying for his attention, even during the middle of a space battle. So, mix Star Trek with Gundam and mix in a Love Hina sense of humor, this is what you’ll get.

The movie itself takes place about three years after the series ended, where fan-favorite Ruri who was an ensign when we last left her is now a full-fledged captain with her own ship, the Nadesico-B. The war between Earth and the Jovians(who’re really outcasted humans from Jupiter)has ceased, and the original Nadesico-A crew has split up, most of which left the military altogether. Three of their numbers were killed though during an accident: the main character Akito, Captain Yurika, and the over-explaining Inez. It might seem a little disheartening to have some of the major characters murdered offscreen, but this comes into play later on. Ruri and her crew go to inspect the main station involved in the Hidalgo Plan which combines several warpgates using Boson Jumping linking parts of space into one big junction. The station suddenly gets taken over by a rogue new faction calling themselves the Martian Successors made up of people from the Jovian and Earth governments. They are utilizing the alien artifact found on Mars at the end of the TV series to capture the entire Boson Jump network, which is being controlled by an unconcious Yurika who is not as dead as rumored. Akito is not so dead either, and acting on his own in a dark Aestvalis mecha trying to stop the rebels. Ruri is given command of the new Nadesico-C to head to Mars and confront the Martian Successors, so she has to get the old Nadesico-A crew back to man it. Her officer Hari teleports to Mars with another A-class Boson Jumper, the also not-dead Inez, and prepare the new Nadesico for the final battle. Akito has a last duel with the commander of the Successors who caused him and Yurika to have their deaths faked in the first place, and then takes off into space leaving Yurika finally awakened by Ruri and the others. This leaves room for a sequal where Akito and Yurika are reunited, which unfortunately never happened.

As a followup to the TV show, this was fairly good. Given the extensive original cast, they managed to give most of them some decent screentime, although the two main ones are either now tragically emo or unconcious for the whole movie. This was really a chance for the supporting characters to shine, especially Ruri who had been thrust into the captain’s chair to make the fanboys happy. The animation took a serious upgrade from the series to the movie, mainly in the space battles and mecha fights which were downplayed quite a bit on the TV show. I’d mainly only advise this be watched by fans of the original anime, even though the ending leaves you wanting for there to be more.

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