Martian Successor Nadesico

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

Martian Successor Nadesico is a sprawling Space Opera with a subversive sense of humor about its own genre.

Several centuries in the future, Earth is at war with an alien species — propagandists take advantage of the fact that no one has ever seen one by dubbing them "lizards," and everyone knows that Reptiles Are Abhorrent — that fights entirely by remote controlled robots and ships sent from Jupiter via immense hyperspatial gateways. The war is going badly for Earth when a defense contractor, the Nergal Corporation, decides it's going to cut out the middleman and field its own space battleship, the Nadesico. Of course, it crews the ship almost entirely with a classic oddball gang of civilians. As captain, Nergal selects Genius Ditz Yurika Misumaru, daughter of Earth's head admiral.

Yurika's childhood sweetheart, Akito Tenkawa (a burnt-out, traumatized ex-mecha pilot who can't remember how he got to Earth after the fall of the colonies on Mars) joins the crew mainly by accident. Although he wants only to be a chef in the ship's galley, he is repeatedly forced to use his piloting skills in defense of the Nadesico.

Over the course of the series, the ship and crew go through bright times and dark, joy and sorrow, defeat and victory. Conspiracies are uncovered, secrets are learned, and the true nature of the war—and of man's destiny in the solar system—are revealed.

While it revels in being a classic "space war with giant robots" story, it also parodies the genre, both overtly and subtly. One of its most famous devices is Gekiganger 3, a classic 1970s-style Super Robot anime Show Within a Show. Although G3 seems at first only a device for cheap laughs, it slowly becomes not only a sly commentary on the main action, but also a major element of the plot in and of itself.

Originally licensed by ADV Films, it was recently[when?] re-released by Nozomi Entertainment.

Tropes used in Martian Successor Nadesico include:

Hikaru (upon seeing Akito and Nagare Akatsuki shaking hands): "This gives me an idea for my next Doujinshi".

  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Akito takes a page from Lieutenant Quattro's book in The Movie. It lasts all of fifteen minutes, or rather, two minutes of actual screentime.)
  • Proud Warrior Race Guys: The Jovians
  • Perky Female Minion: Inverted by Yurika - she's the one in charge.
  • Pervert Dad: Yurika's father, Admiral Misumaru.
  • Please Don't Leave Me: Yurika towards Akito during times where he either seems to be leaving the ship, or spending too much time with another woman. Later Erina says this towards him while also crying.
  • Pungeon Master: Izumi.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The natural result of putting a together a crew of the most skilled individuals with no regard for "minor character flaws."
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Akito's Aestivalis is a rather bright red.
  • Recap Episode: In which the characters of Nadesico watch the characters of Gekigangar III watch a Nadesico episode and try to figure out the ramifications of such a paradox.
  • Red Shirt Navy: The UAEF seems to be easily defeated by the Jovians most of the time. When the Nadesico makes its appearance, they can't even stop one ship from escaping Earth, although to be fair, the Jovians do attack in multiple areas at the same time, forcing them to divert their troops.
  • Theme Tune Cameo
  • The Red Planet: Much of the plot revolves around what happened on Mars, and several of the main characters were born/raised there.
  • Rocket Punch: The ground-type Aestivalis is one of the few Real Robots to use this.
  • Romantic Plot Tumor: Akito and Yurika's relationship tends to fall into this at times, even lampshaded in universe.
  • Sacrificial Lamb: Gai Daigoji, although he lasts until the second episode. He's even shot by his own side. Also, Joe Umitsubame in Gekiganger 3 - his death scene foreshadows that of the aforementioned character in the same episode, even though it occurs in the penultimate episode of Gekiganger 3.
  • Selective Obliviousness: Yurika, with regards to Akito's feelings for her... possibly done strategically.
  • Serious Business: See below.
  • Shoryuken: (Gai! Super! Uppaaaaaaaaaaah!)
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: Akito seems to repeatedly say this to Yurika, although she doesn't believe him.
  • Show Within a Show: Gekiganger 3!
  • Smarmy Host: In one episode, the various female characters on the show participate in a fashion show to be the captain for a day, with Jun and Nagare acting in the role of commentators. The latter fits into this role like a glove.
  • So Last Season: The Nadesico‍'‍s Gravity Blast Cannon, as of about the sixth episode. Possibly a record.
  • Sobriquet: After a certain point, Yurika is officially known to the Jovians as "the Daring Man of Action"...much to her chagrin.
  • Space Navy: The UEAF for Earth, while the Jovians also field one, largely unmanned due to their smaller population and space factory.
  • Space Opera
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Gekiganger/Gekigangar/Gekigengar.
  • Spider Sense: Inez can sense when any other character attempts to deliver exposition.
  • The Spock: Ruri.
  • Spoiler Opening
  • Stay in the Kitchen: While Earth is definitely an equal opportunity employer, the Jovians are... less egalitarian.
    • Inverted on the Nadesico - Akito desperately wishes to stay in the kitchen himself and let the girls do all the robot fighting.
  • Stepford Smiler: A particularly tear-jerking sequence reveals that the Hurricane of Puns Izumi constantly spews are a coping mechanism for her grief — one that isn't really working.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: A particularly large-scale example - early in the show we meet Gai Daigoji, who has modeled himself after Gekiganger III, and think he's crazy (possibly Crazy Awesome). Then we meet the Jovians, who have modeled their entire civilization after the same show.
  • Stuffed Into the Fridge: Itsuki Kazama, who was killed on her very first mission.
  • Super-Deformed: Tenkawa and Ruri are represented as Super-Deformed versions of themselves when they interface with the Nadesico‍'‍s computer in episode 12.
    • There's also a chibi Gekiganger doll in episode 6.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Pretty much Ruri's Catch Phrase. The Jovians aren't exactly the sharpest mecha-sized knives in the arsenal compared to their leader, either.
  • Theme Naming: The Nadesico and the Earth Forces ships are all named after flowers, including the ND-002 Cosmos which uses the English name.
  • Theme Tune Cameo - Yurika sings the ending song in episode 19.
  • There Are No Therapists: There is one, actually... but you'd have to be really crazy to go to Inez Fressange for counseling. And the counseling is a one-time, throwaway bit anyway.
  • Time Travel
  • Token Loli: Ruri.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Akito in The Movie
  • Tragic Hero: As above.
  • Tsundere: Ryoko Subaru is a classic example. Yukina Shiratori pretty much drops the tsuntsun once she stops wanting to kill Minako. Akito might count as a male example, especially where Yurika's concerned.
  • Unusual User Interface: The Image Feedback System, via Nanomachines.
  • The Unwanted Harem: Akito hates having it.
  • Warrior Poet: Kinda. Warrior Chef, anyway.
  • Wave Motion Gun: The Nadesico‍'‍s Gravity Blast Cannon. Later, its upgrade, the Y-Unit's reality-warping Phase Transition Cannon.
    • The Cosmos manages to Beam Spam the first version.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Gai Daigoji.
  • Who Is This Guy Again?: This series is really bad about making the names of key characters clear...
  • Worthy Opponent
  • The Worf Barrage
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Most of the Ascended Fanboys seem to think they're in an idealistic Super Robot show, rather than a Real Robot series where Anyone Can Die, etc. It helps with the Mood Whiplash.)
  • Yandere: Akito runs into one in episode 10. It takes a jealous Ryoko to rescue him.
  • Zerg Rush: Due to their smaller population, the Jovians have to rely largely on unmanned drones for attacking. Interestingly, the humans seem to have trouble fighting against them early on, but later in the series the Nadesico‍'‍s crew seem more competent in destroying them.