My three surprise picks of this year in Reverse Thieves’ Secret Santa project were Martian Successor Nadesico, Galaxy Angel, and Hanamaru Kindergarten. All three were shows that I’ve heard decent things about without being raving, so I knew right away that none of these were getting close to my favorites list. Still, I’m all up for surprises and trying new thing – hence why I deleted my “Plan to Watch” list, and as long as what I got wasn’t a sports anime or f*cking Gundam, then I was ready to dive into anything my Secret Santa gave me.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t get into any of the choices my Secret Santa gave me. Galaxy Angel drew such a massive blank from me that I turned it off four minutes in, and Hanamaru was acceptable, but I didn’t want to watch twelve episodes of it. Nadesico is the same, only twice as long as my other choices. But it was the anime that I was able to watch the most of, so I might as well talk about it.
Here’s something I know I mentioned once or twice on this blog: I do not care for the traditional space opera genre or war stories in general. I love Captain Tylor and I like some of the Leiji-verse stuff and Crest of the Stars (although that rested entirely on the couple of Jinto and Lafiel, as I thought the rest was meh), but that’s it. Everything else I tried from Legend of the Galactic Heroes, Majestic Prince, the Yamato remake, Banner of the Stars, and Star Trek failed to interest me despite the bits of good within them. I was always more into space fantasy hence my love for stuff like Bebop, Trigun, and Star Wars. Nadesico itself has the double problem of also being a mecha anime, a genre I also have a habit of tuning out whenever I see it, although I obviously have better luck with that genre.
Don’t get me wrong. Nadesico is more comedic in tone regarding the whole space robot thing. If anybody has seen Majestic Prince, which will be probably be on quite a few top ten anime of 2013 lists this year, then you’ve seen Nadesico. It hits similar plot points with the inspiration drawn from a TV show to a ragtag crew of teenagers trained to fight a war. I didn’t get far enough into Majestic Prince to know if every girl on the ship falls for the main dude’s cock, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that happened in the least.
You have no idea how much I wanted to like this show. The crew is all a bunch of quirky misfits and stereotypes that usually appeal to me in someway, even if the main dork is kind of bland (although he does get to kiss a girl by the fourth episode, so he’s already much better than most bland leads). The tribute to mecha is pretty obvious, although that doesn’t really mean much to a guy like me. I got some chuckles out of the captain, Yurika, coming to the realization that it was less for her skill and more because the definition of “captain” degraded over history, plus her “moe girl” antics to deal with all her responsibilities are cute. Oh yeah, and the fact that so many girls fall in love with the male dude when all he wants to do is cook and watch his favorite show is amusing. But the whole core of the story cancels all the stuff I like, leading me to indifference for most of its run. And the fact that it was 26 episodes long just killed my enthusiasm even more.
After making it seven episodes in and not caring one bit regarding what was happening, I looked at the episode summaries on Wikipedia, fast-forwarded through the ones that had descriptions that kind of appealed to me, and then just gave up. Yeah, sorry “dude who got me for Secret Santa”. Maybe next time I should make a requirement saying “please include at least one movie” so at least I’d be able to finish something I don’t dig. For what it’s worth, Nadesico is my favorite of the choices you gave me, even if that’s worth about as much as a plastic ring in a flea market.
On another note, here’s last year’s Secret Santa review that I did of Gankutsuou, which is far more positive than this one. Also, don’t watch the English dub for this show. It REALLY sucks.