Martian Successor Nadesico

Alt title: Kidou Senkan Nadesico

TV (26 eps)
1996 - 1997
3.884 out of 5 from 4,862 votes
Rank #1,826

When Akito Tenkawa went looking for answers about his parents' deaths, he had no idea that he'd be indoctrinated into the spaceship Nadesico not only as a cook, but also as a mecha pilot – a job he wants nothing to do with! Alongside his childhood friend Yurika, stoic Ruri, otaku Gai and other misfit crewmates, Akito and the Nadesico crew find themselves in the middle of a brutal war against both the dreaded Jovian Lizards, and the military itself, who wants the civilian ship under their control...

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To Go Like a Man image

Episode 1

To Go Like a Man

Leave the Blue Earth to Me image

Episode 2

Leave the Blue Earth to Me

A Goodbye That Came Too Soon image

Episode 3

A Goodbye That Came Too Soon

Charmed by Aqua Space image

Episode 4

Charmed by Aqua Space

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Episode 5

Ruri's Navigation Logs

Sort of Like a Fateful Decision image

Episode 6

Sort of Like a Fateful Decision

The Song That You Will Sing One Day image

Episode 7

The Song That You Will Sing One Day

The Luke Warm "Cold Equation" image

Episode 8

The Luke Warm "Cold Equation"

The Miracle Operator of the Kiss image

Episode 9

The Miracle Operator of the Kiss

The Dangers of Femininity image

Episode 10

The Dangers of Femininity

Finding Yourself in a Routine Plot image

Episode 11

Finding Yourself in a Routine Plot

Those Unforgettable Days image

Episode 12

Those Unforgettable Days

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ANIME MINOR JEWELS SERIES Full list of the review series can be found on this page, 3rd post from bottom: by Studio Xebec, which is notorious for its badly made and boring shows. Nadesico happens to be amongst their best works and even that is not exactly a great show. Directed by Satou Tatsuo, who has made several uncommon and interesting shows, such as Shingu, Stellvia, Lagrange, and Miniskirt Pirates. They are also usually too slow and lack excitement, so you almost always end up being bored even before the second half begins. MSN is in a nutshell a tribute to otakuness. It is made to be at first a simple tale of good humans versus evil aliens but along the way it introduces more to it, to the point that you think you are watching 3 different shows at the same time. They don’t really feel that disjoined, so it’s a good mix too. Which shows would that be?1) The crew of a powerful Earth spaceship fending against alien invaders2) The romantic mishaps of a young pilot with his kindergarten love and various similar acquaintances 3) The tribute to retro mecha anime 4) ???5) Profit So you can always pick one of the three and stick to it for all you care and dump the rest. Each one has its own charm but to be honest, it’s only by combining all three you get a unique result that makes this anime not that average. It is hard to describe one without having to mention the other two, therefore it really does a good job at being more than meets the eye.Let’s start with the phenomenon that is Gekiganger. Gekiganger is a show within a show, a mecha series based on Getta Robo mostly, plus a few scenes from similar mecha shows of the 70’s. Many people in the series love it and still watch it for its simple yet direct and powerful message that inspired them to strive for something better. This is not a new thing in anime, there is also Kujibiki Unbalance in Genshiken as the most famous example of this trope. Yet unlike a cosmetic detail there, the show here is affecting the story in a most direct way. You take it out, you have no anime. I won’t spoil how but I will point out it is not there just for show. It is used all the time and just when you think it’s just an otaku obsession WHAM you realize that it’s the very driving force of everything. The anime in general keeps making references to plamo and voice acting, all part of showing how a fictional work can affect the real world. It is kind of a shock to see them being eventually used as war propaganda, against those villains, who are evil green lizards from Mars that want to destroy Earth and have sent a remote controlled army of ships and robots as the first wave … NOT! I don’t want to spoil it but, seriously, the revelation is what made this anime to stand out from the lot.It is still a tribute to mecha and even breaks the fourth wall at times. I mean, just look at the intro, it is pretty much made to tell you all the characters stare happily at the camera because they know they are in an anime… watching an anime. Wut!So how do the characters fair in this mess? Well, none of them feel special today but back then they were really uncommon. So yeah, everyone has huge stupid eyes, Yurika is the typical bimbo that as a kid promised to marry the typical shounen lead Akito, whose family was killed by evil lizards from Mars and has uncanny skills at fighting TM. So corny you can harvest your own crop out of it. But they still keep trying to excuse it all as part of incompetent leadership on part of the military, so everything is by default a joke. Everyone is stupid and thus the most inappropriate people end up in the wrong seats. And there is a war going on and most elites are already dead, so no time for rethinking. Great excuse for all the lunacy there. And the story is not completely retarded random jokes all the time as important characters do get killed and the military keeps trying to take possession of the lead ship for themselves. Also, Hoshino Ruri may appear to be an archetypical cooldere today but back then it was just her and Rei from Neon Genesis paving the way, so in a way she was a very unique character. She also has her own sad side story thrown in somewhere but unfortunately it doesn’t really get resolved. In fact, not everything is resolved in the end. After the big revelation I mentioned, the series ends in a rather open way and a movie was made later to wrap things later… And it was weird. Very weird. In an almost bad way as everyone turned emo or something like that. Anyways, in all the series uses archetypical characters and a very corny story and by the smart use of “story within a story” makes a lot more out of them. It doesn’t fully exploit all the setting had to offer, a big portion of the plot really is aimless comedy and the ending is open while the movie finale was rather bad. But I will go easy on them all, as the final result was definitely not typical and did entertain me. I appreciate how they used a goofy setting and turned it to something far more elaborate than that. Animation and sound are nothing spectacular. As long as you don’t mind the stupid faces the characters have and the old fashioned Gekiganger clips (which are done so on purpose as to feel retro) then you have an ok series to watch even today. The mecha have interesting designs, the battles usually have some strategy in them (albeit extreme as heck), and there is some fan service at times to break the boredom. The music score is good, the opening theme is likable for an otherwise silly pop-song. Voice acting is relaxed but it’s excused in such a setting. Some talk in very fake ways but it is also part of the whole joke / tribute thing. My grip is with Yurika’s voice, she usually sounds like she is a granny and having to listen to her irritating bimbo voice as a narrator in every episode can really test your nervesBottom line? See it as a typical show and you will find it mediocre. See it as a tribute to mecha and you will instead have a good show that doesn’t fully exploit its own merits but it’s fun nonetheless. And now for some excused scorings. ART SECTION: 7/10 General Artwork 1/2 (generic) Character Figures 1/2 (generic) Backgrounds 2/2 (basic but fitting with the feeling of the series) Animation 1/2 (basic) Visual Effects 2/2 (lots of tributes) SOUND SECTION: 7/10 Voice Acting 2/3 (corny but fitting with the feeling of the series) Music Themes 3/4 (not great but fitting with the feeling of the series) Sound Effects 2/3 (ok I guess) STORY SECTION: 5/10 Premise 1/2 (typical) Pacing 1/2 (loose) Complexity 2/2 (rich context) Plausibility 1/2 (so-so) Conclusion 0/2 (open and messy) CHARACTER SECTION: 7/10 Presence 2/2 (funny) Personality 2/2 (rather cheesy but well founded) Backdrop 1/2 (generic and simplistic but it’s there) Development 1/2 (overblown but it’s there) Catharsis 1/2 (overblown but it’s there) VALUE SECTION: 5/10 Historical Value 1/3 (still remembered by some as an interesting retro title) Rewatchability 1/3 (low because of too little plot) Memorability 3/4 (its plot twists make it intesting enough to remember it) ENJOYMENT SECTION: 4/10 Art 0/1 (looks typical) Sound 1/2 (I liked the songs) Story 1/3 (good concept that is not exploited properly) Characters 2/4 (they are funny but not special) VERDICT: 6/10


Nadesico, Nadesico... where to start?First off if you like Mecha, Off the wall personalitys, great character relationships and a wonderful flowing comedic edge then Nadesico is for you because it has all that topped off with moments that can rip your heart out.I'll start with the story. An alien force called the Jovians (or 'Jovian Lizards' by the UEAF) have come from jupiter and desimated the earths forces and taken the colony that was Mars and are starting to move on the earth. The last hope is the civilain battle ship the Nadesico and its managery of misfits (but all the best at what they do). In short its the story of the journeys aboard this ship and their efforts to regain the colony and the things they find out along the way.Now for the characters:Akito Tenkawa, A cook originally from mars. through a series of coincedences he is reunited with his childhood friend and lands a possition as a cook and then a pilot on the Nadesico. He is the picture of "Whats wrong with being what I am?" plus he seems to be a magnet for the women, as half the female cast is after him in one form or other. He is also an anime fan, bonding with fellow pilot and room mate Gai Daigoji over their favourite mech series Gekigangar (a parody to the whole mecha genre).Yurika Misamaru, The ditzy captain that I swear is blonde under the blue hair. Even though most of the time she is a ditz when the time calls for it she shines with her military prowess. Jun Aoi, Yurika's best 'friend' and thats his problem. Even though he is faithful and always there for her she just doesnt seem to notice how he feels even though its obious to all around them.Ruri Hoshino, A 12 year old girl who happens to be the smartest one among the crew, she is the science officer and for all intencive purposes controls most of the operatinf functions of the Nadesico. She is usually quiet unless the time calls for it.and then theres Hiruka Minato the sultry Helmswoman, Megumi Reinard the comunications officer and former voice actress, Seiya Uruibataki the maintainence team leader (His babys are the Aestvalis, the humaniod mecha suport aboard the Nadesico), The team of full time pilots Ryoko Subaru, Hikaru Amano, Izumi Maki and the Anime obsessed Gai Daigoji.Thats it pretty much for the characters, yes there are more like Yurika's 'Suspect' Father but if I said more about them I'd ruin the series for you. In sumary, Martian Successor Nadesico is a great series with some great twists, even better characters and a complexly layered storyline. I also gaurentee that even the 2nd or 3rd or in my case 40th+ time watching it you will notice atleast one thing new each time. Nadesico is also the kind of series that you can watch in quite a few ways either as a comedy, a romance show, a war time drama ect ect so really no matter what you have been watching this should easily follow without throwing you totally off.So it has all you could want. I sujest this to anyone who has seen a little anime to the anime verteran although not so much as a first anime.Now go forth and buy and watch this series I promise you wont regret it. :)


This was one of those series that I had heard a lot of people talk about, that has a couple of very popular characters in anime as a whole, and one that many people had nothing but good things to say... yet I never had any idea what it actually was or was about until I finally watched it. It was both what I was expecting but not what I was expecting at the same time. STORY AD 21XX. War was beginning. But before that happened mankind had developed technology to allow humans to colonize the earth's moon as well as Mars. The series begins with the main character, Akito Tenkawa, a Martian-born human taking shelter alongside numerous other settlers during an attack by an unknown enemy called the Jovian Lizards, only known by the unmanned weapons sent from Jupiter. The Jovian mechs are able to penetrate the shelter after one of their transports crash lands on it. Akito does his best to evacuate and protect the other people, but ends up witnessing their deaths and himself becoming surrounded- with the next thing he realizes is he somehow teleported to earth. With the image of the destruction fresh in his mind, Akito is left traumatized by the event and, despite his best attempts to make a living as a cook, becomes frozen with fear and ends up screaming whenever there's a Jovian attack. At this same time, the private corporation, Nergal, has designed and built a specialized battleship known as the Nadesico, which is designed to travel to Mars and recover any survivors who are living there. Its crew readily admits to being a group of weirdos, but beyond their personalities they are the best at what they do. The captain, Yurika Misamaru, also happens to be Akito's childhood friend and hopelessly in love with him. After a chance meeting, Akito ends up following Yurika to the Nadesico because he believes she can help him find answers regarding the apparent assassination of this parents when he was a kid and to also help the Martian survivors. He's officially signed on as a cook, but quickly becomes one of the Nadesico's ace mecha pilots when he's practically thrown into the fray. As the Nadesico's mission takes one turn after another, only more questions are asked before any are answered. How did Akito suddenly teleport from Mars to Earth? Did Yurika's family have something to do with the deaths of Akito's parents? What is the true identity of the Jovian Lizards? And how does the in-show anime Gekigangar III end up tying everything together? The story wasn't quite what I expected as the initial mission to Mars and the Nadesico's subsequent return only takes up the first six episodes. While there are a couple of filler/fanservice episodes, none of them waste any time in the sense that there's some great character development, humor, and light-hearted fun that make them worth watching. Overall, the story doesn't take itself very seriously when it doesn't have to, mainly because the series is not only a parody of several genres, but also a parody of itself at times. While the events leading up to the ending are full of some great twists (despite a major moment of hypocrisy that the Jovians fail to notice), the ending itself was a bit confusing because the last few minutes are full of a LOT of information and events to take in, so I had to watch the last episode more than once to fully understand it. Even then, there were some questions left unanswered that I hope the movie will solve. CHARACTERS The series proves to be a character-driven one more than anything else. None of the characters are one-dimensional and all of them are given several idiosyncrasies and quirks that make their participation memorable. Various interactions, including some on-board romances and especially a few love triangles that pop up, feed most of the humor while insightful questions and pondering moral crossroads, especially when everyone learns the true identity of the Jovians and the morality of the war, fuel most of the development. As mentioned above, despite Akito's trauma, he ends up becoming a pilot and overcoming his initial fear. While he maintains a strong level of approachability, he would also tend to act very reckless and let his anger get the best of him. On the flip side, Yurika can be clueless and narrow-minded when it comes to Akito, but she proves to be a skilled tactician and wants to learn more of what it means to be a real captain and a good leader, especially after she has to make her first mind-crushing decision where, no matter what course she takes, someone would die. The main crew of the Nadesico consists of the best available people, despite their personalities. Megumi Reinard, communications officer, is also a popular voice actress (named after Megumi Hayashibara), and becomes the first one other than Yurika to fall for Akito after they work together to overcome the shock of a sudden attack together. Minato Haruka, a former corporate secretary and the ship's navigator who puts on the aura of an air-headed flirt, but proves to let that be a ruse as she shows herself to be one of the most level-headed characters, especially after suffering a major romantic loss. Ruri Hoshino, a young girl raised in an orphanage and who constantly calls everyone "baka," is the ship's science officer and has a bit of a flat personality, but eventually comes out of her shell and is quite possibly the most popular character in the series. Seiya Uribatake, the ship's mechanic, is a hot-headed inventor who also loves building dioramas and seeks to find someone who understands him, despite having a wife and son. Ms. Howmei, the ship's head cook, is a mother figure towards everyone and acts as Akito's mentor in his quest to become a full-fledged cook. Prospector, the ship's accountant, helps keep track of the crew's expenses, but there are also times where he decides to support the crew rather than his company. Jun Aoi, second in command, another of Yurika's longtime friends, and a bit of a hopeless bachelor (as well as sometimes being mistaken for a girl). Inez Fressange, who joins the crew as its head nurse, has a very logical approach to everything and loves to give explanations, even if she has to explain further on a previous explanation; she does become a keystone towards one of the plot resolutions though. Finally, there's Goat Hory, a former military officer and the official commander of the ship, but he mostly sits on the sidelines and provides actual fire support when needed while remaining very disciplined about separating his personal life and business. The remaining crew of the Nadesico consists of its pilots: Jiro Yamada, who insists his name is Gai Daigoji, is the one who introduces the in-show mecha series of Gekigangar III and uses that for his drive to become a hero of justice. Ryoko Subaru, a tomboyish and hot-headed young woman (who falls for Akito) simply wishes to answer the questions she's asked in order to find herself. Izumi Maki, an otaku who loves to collect various merchandise and write her own doujins, but also doesn't want to run the risk of her hobbies overlapping with her romantic life. Last of all is Izumi Maki, a young girl who seems to have lost all of her spark in life and has a bit of a dark sense of humor consisting of nothing but very bad puns, but also has the tragic loss of two fiances weighing on her shoulders. While the primary antagonists come in the form of the Jovians, I won't go into full detail on them as that would spoil a good chunk of the series, but there are several others as well. The primary being the United Earth Air force (UEAF) that initially objects to the Nadesico's mission and even tries to shoot it down more than once. Others include a few members of Nergal as well, but their loyalties tend to shift back and forth over time. No matter who is positioned where, every character is given sufficient time for the story to delve into his/her past as well as provide a strong measurement of how they interact with various other characters. Part of the way that the series doesn't take itself seriously is several times when the characters break the fourth wall. This is especially evident when Nergal advertises its goods and services to the audience. The part where Prospector offers everyone a personalized funeral while making Yurika perform every single one is one of the funniest moments in the series. Another takes place during the mid-series recap episode where the characters from Gekigangar III are not only watching Nadesico, but also getting ideas for weapons from it too. ART/ANIMATION The art style throughout the series is a mixed back, but not in the good/bad sense. It's easy to tell where the animators paid more attention to detail as the most intense scenes had the most detailed artwork and darker colors while the more light-hearted scenes were more colorful and bright. Character expressions were always drawn perfectly and usually did a better job than even the voice actors to convey the emotions that the character is feeling. One of the most powerful moments takes place at the halfway point of the show where one of Akito's major decisions and newfound determination are beautifully illustrated in his eyes when his actions end up saving the lives of an entire city. The only real complaint I have about the animation is the generic spherical explosions that are shown whenever anything blows up. Otherwise everything was high quality and amazing to watch. Like the artwork, the animation style was light-hearted during the humorous moments while dead serious during the intense moments. As mentioned above, there is a fair amount of fanservice scattered throughout the show, usually in the form of the girls being in swimsuits or some other fetish outfits. One in-joke I noticed is how, during a beauty contest, someone mentions that the ship's computer definitely favors Ruri- so did the animators because she got more screen time than nearly all of the other contestants put together. VOICE ACTING The range of emotions and characteristics is covered beautifully by the actors, and it must not have been easy for some of them given how many characters have quite a few spaz attacks that result in a lot of yelling. Everyone's voices were nicely distinct as well, making it easy to know who's talking even without having to look onto the screen. I couldn't find many flaws, and both Yuji Ueda and Houko Kumashima as Akito and Yurika, respectively, were able to bring those characters most to life, especially when interacting with each other. One particular powerful moment is the same event I described for Akito above, even though he's alone. As usual, I watched the series in its original Japanese, but I've also heard good things about the English dub. When I get caught up on shows and movies that I can listen to in the background, I'll likely half re-watch the series with the dubbed voices. MUSIC Both the incidental music and the ending theme weren't all that memorable, but that doesn't mean they weren't good, either. The reason is because the opening theme, You Get to Burning, is one of the best anime opening songs I've ever heard. Its powerful trumpet lead and high-tempo beat make it catchy and enjoyable. It's one of the few songs I enjoy getting stuck in my head. The rest of the music wasn't bad and I never thought it wasn't appropriate. I just couldn't remember it. SUMMARY Overall Nadesico proved to be a very worthwhile buy. I'm not the biggest fan of mecha anime, but this series is more than just simply that since it explores so many of the various genres at the same time. There are plot elements and characters that most everyone will like when they watch it. And, even despite the high-speed ending, it's worth watching from beginning to end several times.This and other reviews can also be read at my blog:

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