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Martian Successor Nadesico: Prince of Darkness

a.k.a. Nadesico the Movie
Genre: Action
Company: XEBEC
Format: 1 movie
Dates: 1998

Three years after the discovery of the ruins on Mars, a new war against the Jovians is on the brink. Akito and Yurika have died during a freak shuttle accident, so Lieutenant Commander Ruri is left in charge of the newly commissioned Nadesico C. Earth military branch U.E. Spacy wants to do everything in its power to avert another conflict, so they resurrect the careers of all those who served on board the original Nadesico to protect the peace.

summary by Kain

 

Reviewed: 04/26/2004 by
Grade: 63% av-Kain

 

Highs: Everybody’s back; smooth animation

Lows: Everybody‘s back; wants to be the anime it parodied; pieces of a story; abrupt ending

Here are the reasons why I liked the original Martian Successor Nadesico: a successful attempt at parody of popular mecha and science fiction anime from the previous twenty years and fun, wacky characters. Allow me to place the emphasis on parody. OK, with that out of the way, I was expecting this sequel to the wildly popular television series would bring more laughs with better visuals…

… but only the visuals seemed to have made the transition. To this day I’m still dumbfounded as to why Prince of Darkness became the object of the very same jokes told by its predecessor. There are hardly any comedic moments at all, and the few that are there are borderline humorous to begin with. The great thing about good jokes is that you don’t have to have the punch line explained to you; the “jokes” in this movie are followed by commentary informing the viewer that, yes, what you have just heard was indeed a joke, and this is what the joke is making fun of. Are those crickets I hear chirping in the background?

The emphasis has been removed from comedy and placed on action. And there is plenty of splendid space combat to go around. The animation is much more crisp and fluid, but that is to be expected when comparing a movie to a television series.

Had the story been given adequate time to explain certain events that took place during the few years after the end of Nadesico, I might have forgiven the change of direction. However, nearly all of the movie is spent on giving every significant character from the series screen time, only to have them fade into the background and be of no consequence to the plot. And with an ending that feels so artificial and hackneyed, this is one anime that will not sit right with most Nadesico fans.

 

Martian Successor Nadesico: Prince of Darkness can be downloaded legally in the United States HERE.


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