Nadesico is partly a parody of Space Battleship Yamato, which involved the characters fighting in outer space against aliens known as the Gamila. In Nadesico, we have the same theme of people fighting against aliens, known as the Jovian Lizards. However, it’s also more about a fictional anime show within this series as well.
Nadesico’s plot centers around Akito Tenkawa, a boy who lived on Mars until the Jovian lizards attacked their colonies on Mars. His parents died, and he also lost a friend of his, named Ai.
But somehow, Tenkawa managed to escape. He lives on the Earth as a former robot Aestivalis pilot, but he doesn’t want to fight anymore. He wants to be a cook! However, he’s such a loser that he cries about his past even when he’s cooking. Things change when he runs into Yurika Misumaru, his childhood friend. Apparently Yurika is the new temporary Nadesico captain, and Akito rushes over to help her fight the Jovian lizards.
Sometimes the plot just borders on ridiculous. After the liftoff of the Nadesico, Yurika’s father tries to capture the Nadesico back, so that it can fight in the Earth’s army. As nonsensical as it sounds, though, Yurika decides to head to Mars anyway, for the sake of her friend, Akito.
Yurika hardly even remembers Akito anyway–her only memory is her picture frame of him in a bulky suitcase. But anime fans can’t help but love how bubbly Yurika is, even when she’s totally clueless.
But Yurika is one of the most lovable anime heroines. Even though Akito doesn’t want to be around her, he falls in love. Inevitably, it turns into a big romantic comedy. Yurika gets into some heated competition over Akito with Megumi Reinard, a former voice actress and communications officer. Yurika and Megumi has some laugh-out-loud momentts arguing in front of Akito in his robot, while Akito just watches their breasts in front of him.
There’s so many different genres in this anime that it almost fails to conclude itself. Thankfully, director Dai Sato holds the series together with a cheesy retro robot series called “Gekigangar-3.” Akito watched every episode with his buddy on the Nadesico, Gai Daigoji, before he was killed. Eventually, this silly anime-within-an-anime turns into a universal phenomenon, an anime which all the nations, including the Jovian lizards, love with all of their heart. Even the ship Nadesico holds an entire series screeening of “Gekigangar-3.”
It’s a very good thing that this series never takes itself too seriously. Even when the scientific time-travel and space travel concepts shot over my head, there were always funny “Gekigangar-3” jokes, as well as plenty of hectic jokes in which multiple characters argue over the love of Akito.
And yes, the ending might not tie together the entire series. Still, this anime is about growing up and respecting everyone’s own views of an anime. After all, the Jovian lizards saw “Gekigangar-3” as a tale in which the evil empire always conquers the minorities. However, Akito and Yurika know that what really matters in anime is the passion of the characters, not just simplistic anime endings.
But “Martian Successor Nadesico” is truly a romantic comedy at heart. In fact, the humorous ending in which Akito is chasing after Yurika is probably the funniest use of teleportation ever. There’s plenty of random jokes, but this is exactly what makes Nadesico a classic anime.
Image courtesy of wikipedia.org