Nadia is a teenaged circus acrobat, an orphan searching for her father at the turn of the 20th century. While in France, she meets up with Jean-Coq Raltique, a brilliant inventor her own age. After being rescued at sea by a mysterious submarine, they discover high adventure, and an ancient conspiracy that threatens the very existence of the human race.Written by
Mike Toole <email@example.com>
i bought a package of various bootleg anime series (bad, i know) and spent a few months muddling my way through them all. some were really good (pretear, love hina) some grew on me (macross 7) and some flat-out stunk. (to heart, and ironically, the series for which i bought the bundle, angelic layer) i approached them all with a certain amount of skepticism and nadia was no different. the story takes place in the 1880's and spent its first few minutes placing the viewer within the frame of the times. however, a few minutes later the story introduces the villains/heroes known as the grandis gang and their apparent mastery of a level of technology unavailable now 100 years later. so if anachronisms and anthropomorphisms bug you, nadia won't appeal to you.
as the plot develops, the characters take on depth and voice and you can't help but be charmed. the story becomes complicated and textured and not a little dark. then suddenly the first act closes and the second begins by abruptly changing from a tense drama into a wile e. coyote cartoon. then as soon as you settling into the admittedly funny and loopy island adventures, the series swiftly switches back into its formerly dramatic theme. so if wild swings in tone bug you, nadia won't appeal to you.
can a series flip and twist back and forth between drama and slap-stick comedy and still work? watch nadia for yourself and you be the judge. i found myself forgiving its flaws because it created characters i cared about, who seemed to have the depth to consider who they themselves were and what motivated them. the series lovingly embraces its characters flaws rather then exploiting them. (as was the case in evangelion, also by hideki anno) i forgave the surreality of the plot because it had the profound insight and courage to craft REAL teenagers. (i know a real kid who in his loving teenage cluelessness could have written jean's painfully funny "nadia" song) i especially appreciated the fact that marry's 5-year-old character wasn't nearly as obnoxious as she could have been. nadia could have been done differently, eliminating either its most serious moments or its most ridiculous, but it might not have been the same.
somewhere between the wide swings of our own pendulum is where real life happens.
p.s. there is a movie. it stinks, and adds nothing to anyone or anything in the story. resist the temptation to find it or watch it.
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