Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water: The Motion Picture (1991)
Directed by Sho Aono

Artistic & Entertainment Value

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Two years after the events depicted in the television series, Nadia has moved to London to work as a newspaper reporter. Although her employers do not take her seriously and keep her busy making tea rather than investigating stories, Nadia discovers the plot of a nefarious villain to begin a world war by making use of robots built by a disgraced scientist and, subsequently, with the aid of Jean and the Grandis Gang, sets out to defeat this new threat to mankind.

Sho Aono's Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water: The Motion Picture is a sequel to Hideaki Anno's television series Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water, but it is grossly inferior to its predecessor. While Anno's television program is severely flawed, it is also delightfully fun and consistently engaging. Aono's sequel is just an embarrassment. I like Nadia. She is such a charming girl that, even though I know she is fictional, I actually felt sorry for her when I saw this movie. It is absolutely atrocious.

The first thirty minutes of the film consist of little more than clips from the television series, which relate most of its narrative, although, oddly, not its conclusion. Having saved the money they would have needed to create thirty minutes worth of new animation, the film makers apparently decided to save even more money and, for the remainder of the movie's duration, use some of the most dreadful animation I have ever seen. The clips of the television program, consequently, serve only to emphasize how much better the animation used there is to that of the movie. The film is, frankly, painful to watch.

What is more, the story, which is told in about an hour, is completely uninteresting and consists of little more than the journey Nadia and her friends take to the villain's secret island base, their attempts to rescue the scientist building the robots and his unfortunately named daughter, Fuzzy, their quick defeat of the villain, and their subsequent departure. The story is never able to engage the viewer and completely lacks any of the excitement or grandeur of that told in the television program.

Nadia really is best avoided. Watching it is truly an agonizing experience. Any viewer who has seen and enjoyed the television series will almost certainly be saddened to see the humiliation inflicted upon the program's heroine by this dreadful mess.

Review by Keith Allen

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