Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water is being re-released by Animatsu in the UK later this month. I never saw any of the original run but watching the series for the first time summoned up plenty of nostalgia.
The original run was back in 1990. The show ran for a year, notching up some 39 episodes, as Nadia finds out about her mysterious past and the battle against the Neo-Atlantean navy.
The first reason why Nadia: The Secrets of Blue Water summons up such nostalgia is the anime style. It’s clearly from the early 90s/80s. I’m reminded very much of The Mysterious Cities of Gold. The aspect ratio of the animation is for older TVs. If you’re used to watching older anime you’ll be used to the black box and if not you’ll think “Wow! That’s old!”
The second reason why Nadia: The Secrets of Blue Water feels familiar is because it’s very heavily influenced by the works of Jules Verne. It won’t be a surprise since “blue water” is in the title and I’ve already mentioned “Neo-Atlantean” but Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea is a particular reference point. You’re not many episodes in before you meet a Captain Nemo and a Nautilus.
Weirdly I also get Pokemon references from this anime. Or rather, I wonder if Nadia helped inspire Team Rocket. You see the two heroes of the piece – Nadia, our African princess, and the naïve but clever French inventor, Jean, are chased around by a trio of jewel thieves after her necklace (the blue water). There’s the fiery red head woman, the dandy of a guy… and, well, okay, it’s not a white cat but the third member of the villains is a rotund inventor.
There is a white cat in the show, though. I think it looks more like a mutant cat-mouse but it’s supposed to be a white tiger cub called King.
There’s no doubt that Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water is a kids show. Like many anime there’s the occasional adult reference but most important the plot is compelling enough to keep adults interested. If your kids make you watch this you’ll not want to tear your eyes out. If you’re a fan of Verne style adventures you’ll probably want to watch it for yourself; after all after ADV closed, Sentai Filmworks happily snapped up the license and Animatsu wasted no time in following in the UK.
Overall? I prefer harder hitting anime but rather enjoyed the “memory lane” effect Nadia had on me. I say that having never watched the original! If you’re even remotely curious; give it a spin.
My copy of Nadia: Secret Of The Blue Water – Complete Series Collection Blu-ray was provided for review. The set is released in the UK on the 22nd of June.