Martian Successor Nadesico-Volume 2: Mission to Mars (1996)

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Released 12-Sep-2001

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Anime Main Menu Audio & Animation
Biographies-Character
Trailer-Bubblegum Crisis; Neon Genesis Evangelion; Gasaraki
Theatrical Trailer
DVD Credits
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1996
Running Time 88:48 (Case: 100)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Tatsuo Sato
Studio
Distributor

Madman Entertainment
Starring Yuji Ueda
Houko Kawashima
Kentaro Ito
Naoko Takano
Maya Okamoto
Omi Minami
Case Click
RPI $34.95 Music Takayuki Hattori


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures Yes
Subtitles English Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, After credits next episode preview

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Martian Successor Nadesico: Mission to Mars contains the second set of four episodes from this popular Japanese animated TV series. The series was voted the Best Anime Show of All Time by Japanese fans at the 1998 Animage Grand Prix.

    Nadesico is a twenty six episode animated television series that was first produced in 1996. The series is based around the battleship Nadesico and its crew as they help fight the Jovians, an alien race that have taken over Mars and are attempting to capture Earth.

    During this group of episodes we are able to see more of the character Ruri Hoshino. Ruri is the ship's computer operator and youngest member of the Nadesico crew at just twelve years old. Ruri was voted the Most Popular Female Anime Character of All Time at the 1998 Animage Grand Prix.

    As seen in the first four episodes, this series features an unusual combination of action, mecha, romance and comedy. Some of this comedy is based upon specific Japanese cultural references and the structure of the language and is unlikely to be understood by foreign viewers. Luckily, there are also a large number of easily accessible jokes that will be understood by all viewers.

    This DVD release contains the following episodes. I have included a very short description for each episode but as these may contain some very minor spoilers you may wish to skip directly to the Transfer Quality section.

Ruri's Navigation Logs
    Funerals are held for the people lost during the previous battle at the space station and the captain must preside over each of these. Akito struggles between his desire to become a better cook and his duty to be a pilot. Finally, after their long journey across space, the Nadesico arrives at Mars.

Sort Of Like A Fateful Decision
    Upon reaching Mars, the Nadesico encounters strong resistance as they battle to reach the planet's surface. After the ship lands, crew members are sent to the Nergal research lab while Akito returns to his childhood colony in search of survivors.

The Song That You Will One Day Sing
    After sustaining significant damage in previous battles, the crew of the Nadesico search for replacement parts. During this search, they come across a second ship that they last saw on earth and make a discovery regarding the Chulips.

The Luke Warm "Cold Equation"
    Returning to Earth eight months after their encounters on Mars, the crew of the Nadesico is surprised to learn of a new arrangement between Nergal and the United Earth forces. The battles with the Jovians continue, two new crew members join the Nadesico and Akito discovers what he must protect.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    As seen in the first four episodes, a large number of overlays are used to allow English viewers to understand the various signs and monitor displays seen in each episode. This is done by placing English text directly over or next to the original Japanese artwork.

    The full frame transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, as you would expect for an older television series.

    The episodes are never extremely sharp during the transfer but due to the animation style employed this is never a problem for the viewer. No low level noise was detected and there was never any problems with shadow detail during the brightly animated transfer.

    The colours displayed during the transfer appear slightly muted as typically seen in television animation of this age.

    A number of small MPEG artefacts were detected during this transfer. Some examples of these may be seen at 9:47, 16:07, 22:17, 27:11 and 28:39. As seen on the previous disc in this series, during the closing sequence for each episode Gibbs effects may be seen around the scrolling credits and lyric subtitles.

    As often seen during anime transfers, the fine lines in the drawings do produce some aliasing artefacts. Some examples of this aliasing may be seen at 32:49, 52:30 and 60:14, but as these artefacts are quite minor they are not distracting to the viewer.

    A number of small film artefacts may be seen throughout the transfer. Some examples of these artefacts may be seen at 3:22, 4:30, 53:33 and 54:27 but these are quite minor and are never distracting to the viewer.

    In addition to the previously mentioned overlays, a single set of yellow English subtitles are provided on the disc. These subtitles are always clear and easy to read but at 31:40 and 58:58 the subtitles appear on a wide single line when splitting the text into two lines would have been more legible. When compared to the English audio track, numerous differences may be seen but the general information conveyed is the same. As previously seen on the first disc in the series, the opening and closing credits for each episode contain subtitles for the song lyrics that are burned into the image.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The default English Dolby Digital 224 kbps 2.0 track is supplemented with the original Japanese Dolby Digital 224 kbps 2.0 track. I listened to both tracks in full and found both to be of high quality with the voice acting suiting the characters. Viewers may recognize that the English voice talent for Ryoko Subaru is provided by Tiffany Grant who was also responsible for the English voice of Asuka in Neon Genesis Evangelion.

    The dialogue was always clear and easy to understand during both tracks.

    As this is an animated feature, there are the expected obvious problems with audio sync for each soundtrack. No drop-outs were detected at any stage during the transfer.

    The musical score by Takayuki Hattori varies considerably during the episodes, ranging from pop numbers to classically based pieces, but this does always seem to suit the on-screen action.

    The surround channels were not utilized during either audio track. The subwoofer was only used minimally to support the musical score and effects in both tracks.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    Unfortunately, we are not provided with a set of interesting translation notes as seen on the first disc in this series.

Menu

    The simply animated menu is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1.

Character Profiles

    A single page profile is provided for the following characters: Hikaru Amano, Sadaaki Munetake, Ryoko Subaru, Prospector, Izumi Maki, Ms. Howmei and Seiya Uribatake.

Trailer: Martian Successor Nadesico (1:31)

    This trailer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with a Japanese musical Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.

Trailer: Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040 (1:27)

    This trailer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with a musical Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.

Trailer: Neon Genesis Evangelion (1:08)

    This trailer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with a musical Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.

Trailer: Gasaraki (1:31)

    This trailer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with an English musical Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;

    The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;

    As seen on the first disc in this series, the only difference between the two releases is the omission of the textless opening and ending sequences. I do not consider this to be a major loss but hopefully future discs in the series will include these sequences.

Summary

    This second instalment in the Martian Successor Nadesico series will definitely continue to please anime fans who enjoyed the first disc.

    The full frame transfer is quite acceptable and does exhibit less problems than were detected on the first disc in the series.

    The inclusion of both English and Japanese tracks will satisfy fans of both dubs and subs.

    The new basic character profiles are a welcome addition, but the lack of the excellent translation notes found on the first disc is disappointing.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Anthony Kable (read my bio)
Saturday, September 15, 2001
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba 1200, using S-Video output
DisplaySony KP-E41SN11. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationFront left/right: ME75b; Center: DA50ES; rear left/right: DA50ES; subwoofer: NAD 2600 (Bridged)
SpeakersFront left/right: VAF DC-X; Center: VAF DC-6; rear left/right: VAF DC-7; subwoofer: Custom NHT-1259

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