The story is loosely (very loosely) based on Jules Verne's novel 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, which means they lifted the parts they liked and then ran off in a completely different direction with them. Set in 1889, the story focuses on Nadia, a 14-year-old circus acrobat and orphan with a mysterious past. When gem thieves appear to steal the Blue Water, a gem which is her one possession and which may be a clue to her origin, she is rescued at the 1889 World Exposition in Paris by Jean. Jean is a 14-year-old inventive genius whose inventions don't always work as well as he planned. The two of them lead the thieves on a chase that eventually lands them in the Atlantic Ocean where they are picked up by Captain Nemo and the Nautilus. The series twists and turns from there as Nadia (and we) discover more about the Blue Water, the real bad guys who are after it, and why the fate of the entire planet may ultimately depend on who has the Blue Water.
Review: This is one of those series that just about everyone who can call themselves an otaku has seen by now, and it's not hard to figure out why. One of the first endeavours of Hideaki Anno and his team of fans at Gainax, this little show wasn't particularly financially successful but it's still a lot of fun. Very much like Romeo's Blue Skies, this is a show aimed at the whole family, and the villains aren't really. Cute and (usually) interesting characters all round, good animation (for when it was made) nice music, and a good story make this a show worth watching...it's just unfortunate that shows like this get overshadowed by the sublime.
Availability: At Anime Expo 98, AD Vision announced that they have acquired the rights for "Nadia" and that they plan to release the entire series in the US! It seems probable that they will redub the first 8 episodes. Release date unknown.
Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water
Fushigi no Umi no Nadia