Celebrating it’s 25th anniversary from its original run, Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water comes to us in Blu-ray and DVD, consisting of its complete run of 39 episodes.
Once again I believe that the BBFC have got the certification wrong. Not because of the content, which is pretty much the same as any anime out at the end of the eighties and of the early nineties. It covers topics such as death, murder, torture, kidnapping and semi nudity, for which some releases have a 12 certificate. This series is clearly aimed at thirteen year olds and with a 15 cert it might not hit it’s target audience.
We open with the Paris World Exposition of 1899 where new technologies are on display. Crowds are oohing and aahing at all the displays, whilst off to one side, a young Jean Rocque Raltique has his attention set on a new World record for the longest flight, in a aeroplane he has designed and built with the help of his Uncle. Jean’s technical abilities far outway his tender years and his happy go lucky demeanour helps with his imagination. There is a while before Jean can show off his creation, so when he spots a pretty athletic young girl and her pet baby lion, as she seems to be the only one around of the same age, he gives pursuit to the Eiffel Tower to gain this girls friendship. But she is aloof and rebukes his advances of friendship.
Suddenly they are interrupted by a very loud and demanding woman, Grandis Granva and her two goons, a very arrogant Sanson and her nerdy genius Hanson. The trio try to kidnap Nadia for the strange blue gem around her neck but Nadia shows some amazing acrobatic moves as she evades her would-be kidnappers. Jean finds her again later on that day performing at a circus and falls totally in love with her, but Granva has got there first and by deception and bribery she gets permission to take Nadia away.
Nadia gives them the slip and with the aid of Jean they manage to get away, which puts Jean in Nadia trust. He wants to take her home but Granva is determined and follows with their multi purpose ship the Gratan, but Jean has invented a ship that is much faster and more manoeuvrable.
They end up at Jean’s workshop after his Aunt refuses to take in Nadia. During their stay Jean finds out that Nadia just wants to get back to her birth place, but she doesn’t know where that is. She has the ability to understand and talk to animals (we find out why in a later episode) and King reckons that she came from Africa. Jean says he will take her there himself in his new aeroplane.
But as with almost all his inventions, they are not tried and tested and they end up adrift on the Pacific Ocean, where they are rescued by the US Abraham who are hunting the Sea monsters, supposedly funded by scientist Ayerton Grenavan. But things keep going wrong for our little group as they are sent overboard along with his plane and once again they are set adrift until they are rescued by Captain Nemo and his fantastic Nautilus, a massive futuristic submarine (the story is heavily based on Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea).
Jean is in awe of everything, but the feisty Nadia hates everything about the submarine and the Captain and her crew. After fixing Jeans plane up and improving it, they set off on their journey once more, only to get shot down over an island. This finds them rescuing a young girl, Marie, whose parents have been summarily executed as they fled from the army that is Gargoyle. They are the Neo-Atlanteans, a world wide secret organisation who are trying to take over the world, both economically and physically (this is only up to episode six of thirty nine, so go one and immerse yourself in the world of Nadia the Secret of Blue Water).
With a heavy lean to the steampunk with the technology of the late 1800’s, I think this is aimed at a teenage female market as Nadia takes on the strong willed lead role. Will she find her origins, will she discover what her strange blue pendant is and will Nemo sort out his problem of the Neo-Atlanteans? Probably. Did I mention there are 39 episodes?