BlaizeV's avatar

BlaizeV

  • Adrift of Blighty
  • Joined Oct 12, 2007
  • 34 / M

I write this review having only 10 minutes ago finished this film, a film I was really unsure about going into it. This film has a reputation and I was wary of it but also incredibly curious. Could it actually be that bad? The average scores for this film are quite low, reviews warned of the horrors within and for all intent and purpose the film has been retconned from the annuls of the franchises history.

Sure sequels can certainly be terrible but I wasn't overly convinced this could really be as bad as everyone made it appear. I mean the series is truly fantastic, one of the all time classics and even at it's worst it's still okay, the Island filler Arc is still quite enjoyable in my opinion and is nowhere near as bad as many would have you believe. At least in the case of the Island Arc its bad because it ruins the pacing but it stays somewhat true to the characters and the overall vibe of the show. So obviously having differing opinions from most about the Island Arc as a completionist I saw fit to track down the DVD release of the sequel film and see what I had mercifully avoided or simply missed.

So here just over 90 or so minutes later I sit with this one truth having been learnt and that is simply this—it's all true. Every bit of it is true and in some ways I believe it's worse than what I had heard prior to viewing. Nadia the Secret of Blue Water The Motion Picture is indeed total garbage! So with a deep breath and a stretch of the fingers lets get into why...

The film opens with a sequence about the world powers on the brink of World War (which in the Nadia universe would never have happened before) ending with a Navy Admiral literally evaporating while making a speech, umm okay then. After that we get the credits and find Nadia working an a Newspaper in London as the news of human evaporations continues to spread. Now if you remember that the epilogue to the TV series takes place 12 years later then I suppose this film is meant to fit inbetween. So Nadia has moved to London to become a journalist and Jean remains back in france. Anyway even in this first sequence of Nadia on screen there are some early warning signs of the horrid nature of this film to come because the Animation here is woeful, looking like it had been made in the sixties and this trend continues for much of the film but I'll return to that abit later.

Because first this 90 minute sequel (or 1 hour and 27 minutes or so to be more exact) isn't even really that long because after that short scene with Nadia in London the next 25 minutes of the film are spent recapping the TV series and not of a lick of it makes sense. The TV series is 39 episodes long with a running time closing in on 15 hours. So the opening of this film tries to cram that story into just 25 minutes! It doesn't even use narration to join the huge jumps in story beats despite having a totally easy way to justify it as the recap was started by Nadia writing a letter. Instead it's just a mish mash of some of the more stand out moments from the TV series all spliced together and it's utterly incomprehensible. Sure if you have seen the show then you can start throwing mind darts at trying to pinpoint where this scene takes place and quickly try to piece together the hows and whys from your fuzzy memory (it's been 2 years since I saw the TV series) but in the end it's not worth trying. We literally get scenes of Nadia and Jean being split from one another only for the next recap scene to have them back together. Bad guys are suddenly good guys between scenes, it's a total mess. It also comes to an abrupt end before entirely recapping the series and jumps straight back into the film timeline and from here. 

My question is what was the point of this recap? If it was to get those who had not watched the show upto speed then it's totally useless. Was it a refresher for those of us who have seen the series? Probably but it again is damn near incomprehensible and is a highlights package at best. Basically the whole thing is pointless and it takes up a third of the film and ends abruptly as it had started. 

Right so once the recap is over we now join Jean in France where he discovers a girl washed up on the shore and proceeds to help her. Her name is Fuzzy and she is key to the plot with the evaporating Humans and all that rubbish. As both Jean and Nadia on either side of the Channel piece together whats going on fate brings them back together and the adventure begins. I won't talk about anymore of the story except that the whole thing is pretty boring and weird, which considering the original series is somewhat ironic to say. 

So yeah the story isn't that good but is that really enough reason to hate this film, well it doesn't help but no it's not the entire reason I think this film is garbage. The main reason is how this film looks and how the characters are in this version. 

This is an ugly film, the original series was made by Gainax and has some incredibly iconic designs, Nadia's especially looks amazing and her ethinicty being represented with such beauty was really fantastic and not something often done in Anime at the time and honestly even now to some degree. Anyway suffice to say the original series was a great looking production for the time period, feeling streets ahead of what most TV productions were at the time. The film is god awful by comparison. It's worth mentioning the film wasn't actually made by Gainax at all, instead it was a production by Sogo Vision, who did work on the TV series in some capacity but here they were in charge (so far as I'm aware). The main issue is the character designs are a poor representation of those in the TV series, sure the characters have grown up abit but Nadia especially looks awful, her whole design feels like a bootleg version of the design in the original TV series. But the problems with the animation continue beyond just the characters and straight into the actual motion of the film. For example there is a sequence of Nadia in London running into a warehouse away from some pursuers and it's so stilted looking, as if entire frames of animation have gone missing. It truly looks amatuer and her face in that warehouse looks like a brown blob with with giant white blobs for eyes, it's so poor. 

As for the characters themselves I feel as though again they are just really poor versions of the originals. It's weird to say this because it's Anime but it genuinely feels like they are all just ringing it in as it were. No one feels genuine or invested and are all hollow. Nadia and Jean's relationship is just cold and stagnated throughout. All the charm they had and the love is just not portrayed at all. Just plain and lifeless across the board.

Anyway I'm just going to summarize now as my fingers are tired from all this typing. My recommendation is don't watch this film unless you feel you have to. I understand the completionist mindset and yeah if you want to you should totally watch this film just to see how badly handled a property can be even with the best intentions.

But if you don't have that morbid curiosity then steer clear from this and remain pure and your mind crystal clear with the memory of the beauty of Blue Water and not this rancid polluted swamp this film turned it into.

2/10 story
2/10 animation
2/10 sound
2/10 characters
2/10 overall

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