Two years have passed since the end of the "Martian Successor Nadesico." Akito and Yurika have disappeared. The Jovians and the Earthlings have joined forces and Ruri is now captain of Nadesico B. As the popularity of Boson Jumping grows, a vast transportation network has been developed. Dubbed the Hisago Plan, this network of Chulip portals holds the answers to the mysteries behind Bose particles and their power. If those secrets should fall into the wrong hands, it could mean big trouble. And big trouble there is. A Martian splinter group has launched an offensive, leaving the United Forces befuddled and desperate. So much so, in fact, that the former crew of the Nadesico is called back to active duty for a special unsanctioned mission-to save us all. Does this menagerie of misfits have what it takes? Who will win the race for the Boson technology? And what the heck happened to Akito and Yurika?
I recommend all Nadesico fans to NOT watch this movie.
"What were they thinking when they made this?" - That's the first thing that comes to mind when looking at Prince of Darkness. This isn't Nadesico, this isn't the GEKIGAN FLARE-yelling, hotblooded- yet lighthearted- and satiric view of the real robot genre that made Nadesico unique, interesting and a brilliant watch. No, this is a dark, murderous, hideous shadow of Nadesico. It's what you get if you lock Nadesico into a dark room for a couple years, continuously poke it with a cattle prod and feed it nothing but raw meat. It's just not the same.
But it tries to be.
====WARNING: THIS CONTAINS SPOILERS===
Ok, well for starters, the story is ABYSMAL. Basically the movie comes in parts. Part 1- introducing the viewer to what happened in the time skip between the movie and the end of Nadesico. Part 2- gather all the crew together. Part 3- none of the crew does anything, other than Ruri, and the whole movie ends in virtually the exact same way as the series. WITH THE EXCEPTION OF AKITO. Yes you heard me, Akito does not revert to his lovable anime self, no he leaves this movie as a cold-hearted killer who shoots first and asks questions later. After all the series' development to get him involved with Yurika, he just up and leaves her at the end of the movie. This alone makes the plot of PoD horrible. It just takes away all the good things from the series and throws them in the bin. There is NO Gekiganer in the movie, aside from one line where it is briefly mentioned in passing. This is despite the Jovian's entire race was centred on the thing for centuries. I'm sorry but I just don't *get* that.
Now, don't get me wrong, there are a few funny lines, but I could count them on one hand, and they simply do not justify the complete and utter abandonment of everything Nadesico had represented.
The artwork is amazing. The Black Selena is an incredible-looking mech, and as with the series, the quality of animation is very high. I have no complaints at all about the animation. However, this does not justify the plot.
Again, no complaints, the sound is at least good enough for me to not have anything bad to say about it, and thus I give it the thumbs up.
Ok, here's a big thumbs down. Yurika has all of what, three lines in this show? Akito is NOTHING like his previous self.Minor characters, such as prospector or Megumi are delegated to single-sentence appearances, and serve no real role whatsoever. Ruri has almost all of the screentime, with the only other character of notable significance being Ryoko (oh, and the Jovian- the Joe Umisubame (gekiganger) lookalike, I can't remember his name, he gets a little development). Sure, this isn't bad if you're a Ruri fan, but the colour and depth of the cast is one of the pivotal things that made Nadesico great. This movie chucks that into a paper shredder and lights it on fire. You simply get no charater development whatsoever, and the development you do get is largely negative, as in Akito, who is the complete opposite of his three-years-prior self.
None. As a matter of fact I felt sick after whatching this. The animation was good. There were a couple of funny lines. But what was once a bright and funny show is now a dark and pessimistic gloom-fest. Sorry but I actually REGRET watching this, rather than enjoy it.
This series departs from the Anime in such as colossal way that it is simply a complete and utter punch in the face to someone who came here looking for more Nadesico goodness. Watch the Gekiganger OVA, that thing's far more deserving as Nadesico's sequel. Don't watch this.
I was quite suprised to see no reviews of the movie, at least I thought the series was sufficiently popular to reel in an audience for the movie. Oh well, regardless, I really enjoyed the movie.
STORY: The movie primarly focuses on ruri hoshino, the current captain of the mobile battle ship Nadesico B. Yurika and Akito mysteriously disappear, and she and her crew investigate the new conflicts that arise during the earth's and jovian's unstable peace after the TV series. Officialy ruri is sixteen in the movie, so the movie takes place about 3-4 years after the series. The plot wasn't really
well developed and it takes a new direction in mood, from comedy with points of drama and seriousness, to vice versa. Allusions to Geikanger is lacking, that can be a pro or a con depending on your preferences. While the mood is a complete change, and may discourage some viewers, if you maintain an open mind, the movie still maintains equilibrium between drama, action, and comedy, just enough to keep you watching it without getting bored.
ANIMATION: The art is more crisp and cleaned up from the series adaptation; to be expected because its was released in movie theatres back in 1998. In fact the artwork is really good, considering the time period.
SOUND: The soundtrack is appropriate according on the mood and scene. SFX was also great, even during the aestavalis battles.
CHARACTER: Expect to see some old cast favorites like ruri, jun, megumi, ryoko, et cetera. Also some new characters like ruri's vice captain saburota takasagi, a humorus womanizer which adds to the comic relief of the show, and ruri's antipode, reproduced from the genetic engineering, a young boy named hari makibi, serves as the nadesico's ensign.
ENJOYMENT: I may have been a bit subjective in writing this review because this movie has my favorite heroine Ruri Hoshino, but besides that, like I stated earlier, the movie does maintain a good balance between its incoporated genres, and you will enjoy this title.
Before I get to anything else, let me point out something: This movie isn't intended to be watched right after the anime with no information given. There was actually a video game made that takes place in between the television series and the movie where a lot of important things happen. You can watch the movie right after the anime and probably still understand it, but it might distract you from the story of the movie trying to figure out what happened. It's called Martian Successor Nadesico: The Blank of Three Years. I don't think it's necessary to actually play it (I haven't), but finding
and reading a plot summary is helpful.
With that out of the way, let's begin. It's obvious that this can be a very polarizing movie: Just take a look at the reviews on this page. An 8, a 10, a 4 and a 1. So there's definitely a big element of personal preference here. Personally, I think that it does have some pretty big flaws in parts, particularly in terms of some character development, but it's entertaining enough to make up for it.
The story is fast-paced and exciting. The getting-the-band-back-together elements of the story, while cliche, are very entertaining, and the final battle at the end is typical Nadesico fun. That said, there are definitely some flaws. There's one in particular that stands out: The villains, the Martian Successors, have motives that are only vaguely defined - it's stated briefly in the movie that they want to control all aspects of society and life, and that plus some of their regimented attitude makes you think they might be a bit like Nazis or something, but you're never told HOW exactly they're going to change the universe for the worse if they come into power. Without this important information, they seem pointless and silly, and their whole plot just becomes kind of dumb. It's especially disappointing since for some reason the English version was named after these villains instead of the Jovians, and yet once you see them it doesn't take long to realize that there's no good reason to name the series after them. Most of the story, though, remains quite entertaining. I was especially interested in the way they built upon the sci-fi concept of the chulips that they had explored in the original series.
The art is as good as ever, even better than the TV series. Admittedly, it was a 1990s series, so the animation was not always top-quality, and nothing much to write home about compared to some of the series of today, but I've always felt the more 90's style character designs had a lot of charm, and the animation was always perfectly adequate. It's improved upon, though, in the movie, since, you know, higher budget and all.
The music is just as great as usual, with more of the orchestral type stuff that really energized the original series, and it energizes the movie as well. The voice acting is the same as it ever was in the dub, which is the version of the series I watched and so the version of the movie I watched, for consistency. I know some people don't like the dub at all, but I personally love it, and I felt it was just as good as it was in the original series. I liked especially how Ruri sounded older but still like herself. None of the characters we've already met are recast and the voices of the new characters fit in seamlessly, so all in all I'd just say that whatever you thought of the dub the first time around will be exactly the same as what you think of it here. The Japanese appears to be just as good, but I wouldn't really know for sure. Oh, and the sound effects are pretty good I guess. I wasn't really paying attention to that.
Ruri pretty much takes over the helm of main character from Akito in this installment, as she's the captain of the Nadesico B and basically gets to do all the coolest stuff in the movie. Personally, though, while she definitely got a lot of the spotlight, I didn't think she took much away from the other characters. It's interesting to see where they've ended up and how much they have grown in three years, but they don't change so drastically as to be unrecognizable and there are still plenty of great character moments. Nearly every character from the series gets at least a few moments to shine here, and Hikaru and Izumi in particular provide some welcome comedy relief toward the end of the movie.
A couple characters really get the shaft, though. Although she's plot-important, probably crucial actually, we also don't see Yurika very much during the movie - although admittedly some viewers might be glad to be rid of her. And Akito himself gets some pretty lackluster development. His character frankly becomes a lot less interesting.
There are also a few new characters, mostly the crew populating Ruri's Nadesico B. They aren't quite as interesting as the characters from the anime, but they're likable enough and fit in with the rest of the cast. The new villains, however, have basically no real character whatsoever. Even the leader just seems like some random guy, and their whole group really isn't given much of a good reason for doing anything that they do.
The most disappointing thing about the movie is probably the ending. By this I don't mean the resolution of the Martian Successor plot threads that began in the movie; that's fantastic. What I do mean is that there are a lot of things left hanging open-ended by the finish, and unfortunately it's the last Nadesico related thing that was ever produced before there were some disputes between the creator and the anime company. There was going to be a sequel in 2005, but it fell through. While I still hope there might be a continuation of the show someday, I'm not holding my breath. Knowing this is the last bit of Nadesico we'll probably ever get is a bit of a downer and it does make a lot of the ending unsatisfying.
All in all, although I think it might have helped a bit more to consider character development and plot more, especially the matter of who exactly these villains are and why we should give a damn, but it's still a pretty good movie. Even though the story can be a bit ridiculous at times, it's still a lot of fun. And although it's disappointing that this is pretty much the end, you can always imagine what comes next in your mind.
Or hell, write some fan fiction if you want. Frankly, it could be better than any continuation we might actually get.
One bit of advice when watching this movie: Don't Blink.
Seriously, the plot turns on you like a bad crowd at Yannifest and if you don't pay absolute attention to it it passes you by, causing you to scratch your head and ask 'wtf'. It did have its good parts but they were sparse at best. They spent way too long trying to convey what everyone was doing post-series but then decided to just flat-out stop at a certain point and try to get the plot up and running... to no avail.
the final battle follows closely with what the plot was doing and you
honestly have no idea how or why everything is happening. The dude who[SPOILER] shot Tsukumo in the series just shows up and tells everyone to stop fighting and they do, without hesitation or explanation as to why. They're just captivated by his hair, i guess.
And they also succeeded in turning Akito into a mopey little bitch. Hooray for Shinji's Disease and its ability to grasp the heart of ANY mech protag.
i was really hoping this would turn out as awesome as the show was, but i just felt sorry for it.