Three years after the end of a prolonged solar war, the Jovian
Lizard menace has been dealt with at last, peace has returned, only for a new
kind of war to break out on the frontier.
Nadesico’s origins lie with Star Trek and Gundam, and in
their desire to create a lighter-hearted antidote to the Evangelion clones that
dominated Japanese animation in the latter half of the 1990s. The result is a
hybrid mix of portentous alien menaces and squabbling co-ed crews, who sometimes
take time off their galactic conflict to work on their anime fanzine. For once,
this movie follow-up to the TV series genuinely does stand alone.
More hectic than a cat injected with petrol, the Nadesico movie
is a fitting capstone to the series, but also a great introduction for newcomers.
Remarkably, even though it comes at the end of a long story with some mind-boggling
plot twists, it manages to avoid giving any of them away. Which is lucky, because
if this is your first encounter with the crew of the Nadesico, you are going to
want to find out more about their earlier adventures, and Tatsuo Sato’s
movie nobly does not spoil any of the surprises.