Category Archives: anime

Nadia Episode 3 – The Riddle of the Giant Sea Monsters

After barely escaping from Jean’s home in Le Havre our young adventures find themselves sitting in the aircraft in the ocean with a storm raging around them. They are sound found and rescued by the American Battleship the Abraham who brings them on board. There they are fed and well looked after by the crew however Nadia is not happy in these new surroundings.

The Grandis gang come across the battleship and try to attack it to get the Blue Water however they are defeated by the battleship. Jean & Nadia meet Ayerton who tell them he is a scientist looking for the sea monsters that the ship is hunting. Soon enough the sea monsters attack but all is not as it should be. During the attack the Abraham is badly damaged. Jean, Nadia & King are lost overboard and are once again floating in the ocean.

This wonderful retro anime series keeps getting more interesting with each passing episode. Firstly a mysterious girl and her blue pendant show up and now we have sea monsters which may be more than meets the eye. I can’t wait to see what Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water throws at me next.

Nadia Episode 2 – The Little Fugitives

At the end of episode one we see Jean successfully rescue Nadia from three bandits trying to capture her and The Blue Water which she wears around her neck. Jean decides to Nadia back to his home in Le Havre when he ask he Aunt for her help.

Episode two begins with Jean and Nadia sailing down a river after escaping the bandits or so they thought. A chase ensures on the water as once again Jean and Nadia try to escape. Jean’s inventions again save the day sort of… they are able to escape and arrive in Le Havre. They arrive at Jean’s aunts place but she refuses to help. So instead Jean takes Nadia to his home. However once again the Grandis gang show up they are once again forces to flee. Using the biggest flying machine Jean has built they manage to escape until yet again the engine blows up leaving them stranded on the ocean with a storm closing in.

Once again I find myself captivated by this historically setting anime series. The settings are so richly detailed (for example Jean’s house) that I find the world very immersive. There is a good level of action and light hearted moments so far which makes it an enjoyable watch even at this early stage. Despite the age of the series so far it has stood the test of time very well indeed and is a firm classic of the anime genre.

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Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water is an anime series developed from a concept by Hayao Miyazaki (of Studio Ghibli fame) and was the first television series made by Studio Gainax. Released in 1990 it was inspired by the works of French novelist, poet & playwright Jules Verne, specifically his works Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and the adventures of Captain Nemo.

In the first episode Jean and his uncle are in attendance the world fair in Paris where they are determined to prove their flying machine is the best one out there. While there he encounters Nadia who is working for a circus as an acrobat. Nadia is an orphan who is in possession of a blue jewel. A jewel which Grandis Granva and other thieves are after and try to capture Nadia to get it. Jean comes to her rescue and their adventures begin together.

This is beautiful anime series, which I first sat down to watch the first episode I noticed the richness of the world and the style of the anime. I thought this feels like a Studio Ghibli film from the same time period not knowing at the time Hayao Miyazaki was involved in it’s development.

The characters of Jean & Nadia are nicely introduced in this episode with Jean being an inventor who comes to Nadia’s aid. Nadia herself being mostly a mystery in her initial character outlay in episode 1. We find out just enough about her for the episode but not too much.

One could not but help getting swept up in the story as it progressed, feeling sorry for Nadia as she was captured and cheering Jean on as he works toward rescuing this girl he hardly knows.

Despite being 25 years old this anime has stood the test of time well and is still very enjoyable even to this day.

 

Daisy Ridley: A Rey of light for Star Wars

While  I am scheduled to do a generalised Force Awakens post on Thursday after seeing an article online last night I felt compelled to make this post ahead of the other one.

For the article I referenced above please see the following link

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-12-28/missing-star-wars-hero-has-fans-asking-wheres-rey/7056480

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It is not often that history repeats itself. Only through careful design and planning can it have a chance of doing so. However history has indeed repeated itself when you look at casting choices in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope & Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.

For A New Hope all three actors Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford had a small body of work before staring in Star Wars. With the exception of Ford who’s biggest release prior to Star Wars was the 1973 movie American Graffiti, both Hamill & Fisher had only really done work domestically in America.

The creative force (no pun intended) behind episode 7 have done the same thing taking three relatively unknown actors and putting them firmly in the spotlight. In this case its John Boyega, Adam Driver & Daisy Ridley. It is the latter’s performance that I shall focus on now.

Rey

As mentioned above the casting choices for the new Star Wars introduced us to relatively unknown actors naturally as a result of this I had not seen any of the work that Daisy Ridley had done before episode 7. Which results in my initial option of her skills as an actor were based solely on her performance in The Force Awakens.

However with playwright and actor Arnold Ridley (The plays The Wrecker, Ghost Train in 1927 & Dad’s Army as Private Godfrey) as her great-uncle one suspects Daisy is of a strong acting lineage.

Being cast in episode 7 was exactly the global exposure the Daisy not only needed but also deserved. Here is why.

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The Force Awakens gives Daisy the widest pallet possible for an actor to portray a huge rage of acting skills all packaged together in one movie.

There were plenty of action scenes where she was running and climbing and dodging fire from the enemy which shows her skills for action movies. However she was not only able to show her credentials as an action star but was able to convey the full range of emotions all in just over two hours of film including sadness, fear and anger as shown here.

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Daisy has the skills to act in almost any movie which will be a huge asset to her as role come her way and her profile continues to grow. She is certainly a rising star of the movie industry. She is an amazing talent and I for one will watch with great interest to see her career grown and bloom as time goes on.

As a side note for the anime & Studio Ghibli fans out there Daisy is providing voice acting work for the character Taeko Okajima in the English dub of the Ghibli release Only Yesterday due for release in 2016.

Thanks should be given to those who cast episode 7 for putting Daisy in the role of Rey she is a strong female main character who is played by a very talented young lady. Who I hope will be a role model to all the young kids out there seeing the movie both girls & boys.

Hopefully Disney and Lucusfilms realise the awesome potential they have in this character and they change their marketing strategies to include more Rey products  and unlike in the article I referenced in the beginning we won’t be asking “Where’s Rey” in the future.

JAFWA 25th Anniversay celebration

Last Saturday (The 12th of December 2015) my wife & I attended the end of year marathon screening at JAFWA. The end of year screening also doubled as the 25th anniversary celebration for JAFWA.

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As a way of information and background JAFWA stands for Japanese Animation Fan of Western Australia. I first started attended from around 2000-2004. In which time I saw some rather excellent anime and formed some awesome friendships. My now wife Cathy was also in attendance at that time and used to sit directly in front of me, however we never spoke to each other.

At the 25th anniversary they screened some awesome retro anime including Read or Die, Tenchi Moyo, El-Hazard, Neon Genesis Evangelion, GTO, Card Captor Sakura & Full Metal Panic! it was great to see these and other titles which are much loved by the anime community.

It was also great catching up with friend who were in attendance of the screening, some of whom I have not seen in quite a long time.

While the continued rise of the internet and streaming services have in some way caused diminished numbers at clubs like JAFWA. I still feel that clubs like this serve as an invaluable service to the community because it brings fans together.

My thanks to the committee of JAFWA for putting on an awesome event. it has rekindled my love of anime and I may very well may make JAFWA a regular fixture on my calendar again.

For more details on JAFWA please visit:

https://www.facebook.com/JAFWA/?ref=ts&fref=ts