Ruri and Yurika, trying to look enthusiastic.

Martian Successor Nadesico

Rating: 3½ Rampages ...baka.

Synopsis:
The story begins in 2195. Earth has colonized the Moon and Mars and is in the process of expanding its territory to Venus and Jupiter. However, on October 1st, the Mars Colonies are attacked and the Earth Forces Space fleet is destroyed by the invader's. Akito Tenkawa, a young pilot, tries to save some people in the shelters, but fails and finds himself back on Earth through the effects of a mysterious pendant given to him by his mother. For the moment, the Earth forces are calling the invaders "Jovian Lizards", mostly because they have yet to see who the invaders are. The only certitudes are that the invaders come from Jupiter [they have special "warp ships" and you can see Jupiter through their warp gates] and their technology is WAY more advanced than Earth's. A huge technological corporation, called NERGAL, is asked to take charge of the Earth Force's technological upgrade and , using its latest gadgets, builds a battleship prototype.
Named NADESICO, it uses a new gravitic technology (principally for its drives and weapon systems) and is the fastest ship ever built by Earth. The ship is crewed by the best people NERGAL could find and is commanded by 20 year-old Yurika Misamaru. Because of an imbroglio, Akito finds himself on board the NADESICO and, against his will [he wants to be a cook], becomes a pilot once more. The Earth's military, having heard about the NADESICO, decide to include it in their defenses. However, the crew, made up of civilians, refuses and takes the ship to Mars. While on their way to the red planet, Gai Daikouji, the ace AESTIVALIS pilot of the ship, shows to Akito some episodes of his favorite show, a long forgotten anime named GEKIGANGER III. Gai is killed not long after, but his love for GEKIGANGER continues in Akito. More and more people around him get hooked on GEKIGANGER and the show becomes a important part of daily life on the NADESICO.

Review: Hai, Ruri des...meow.
This is basically what Irresponsible Captain Tylor really wishes it were. Full of unique and hilarious characters, a wonderfully written and paced story, plenty of romantic hijinx (everyone and her sister is running after Akito), a healthy dose of cool mecha, an anime-within-an-anime that even makes up an integral part of the plot (yes, they even made an OVA series of Gekiganger!), and excellent art make this a fantastic TV series that all can enjoy. Brought to us by the people at XEBEC (Bakuretsu Hunter), this series is not to be missed, coz if you do, you’re a...Ruri? "Baka."

Availability:
Currently only available fansubbed; will be released in November through ADVision.


Nadesico the Movie: Prince of Darkness

Rating: 4 Rampages Poster for the movie

Synopsis:
The movie is set three years after the end of the TV series, and much has changed. Yurika and Akito got married and were on their honeymoon trip when their shuttle exploded, leaving Ruri all alone. Now colonies are being attacked and destroyed by an unknown enemy, which appears to be a robot that can Boson Jump. So UES sends the new experimental battleship Nadesico B to investigate, with Captain Ruri Hoshino at the helm. But while Omoikane is hacking into a suspicious colony's system, strange messages start to appear and then a mysterious black Aestivalis shows up. Ruri and her crew are about to discover a terrible secret...

Review:
Okay, if the creators of Nadesico keep this up I'm going to have to either kiss them, or drop a colony on them for finding new and inventive ways of torturing us. Just like with the TV series, Prince Of Darkness tells a very elaborate story, full of interesting and silly characters that interact fantastically with one another, and with just enough comedy and drama to balance everything out into a near perfect package. Picking up a few years after the ending of the TV series, Prince Of Darkness takes off with a dramatic bang even more intense than the opening of the series itself. Right from the get-go, Prince of Darkness deals out everything with amazing energy; drama, comedy, action, all of it is delivered at a breakneck pace with a plot that doesn't stop or even drag for a second. The movie's writers have done something here that very rarely is even attempted, let alone accomplished: take the best elements of an open-ended story, and expand upon them while delivering a fresh new story free of cliche.

Center stage this time is the indomitable Ruri-chan, and we get to see a lot further into her character than in the TV series. A few new arrivals are also added to the mix, and thankfully they play off the others just as well. Other than the art quality, very little has changed here - everyone is just as much fun to watch as before (some, like Akito, are even more interesting), and the dramatic scenes don't feel a bit forced, as often happens in space operas. The music has also remained more or less the same; It may not be a Macross Plus or Akira, but it suits its purpose just fine, and stands pretty well by itself. All of the art is greatly improved from the TV series, the character designs being the most obvious change. Though everyone is easily recognizable, they are drawn with far more detail and look as one would expect them to after a few years of hiatus. As for the story...well, I think I've said as much as I can without giving anything away. Suffice it to say that this is a textbook case of how to keep a story moving, be ready for twists and turns aplenty. The only negative thing I can say about this movie is that it would make little sense without the backstory of the TV series...but if you haven't seen that yet, what the hell are you doing thinking of watching the movie?!

Though Prince of Darkness ends off with a lot more questions than answers (much like the TV series) there is still a feeling of momentary closure, followed by a ton of anticipation for the next inevitable movie... these people should be working for Lucasfilm.

Availability:
Only available fansubbed.

Ruri and her pilots Saburouta & Harry

Martian Successor Nadesico Homepage