Hideaki Anno, creator of the seminal Neon Genesis Evangelion series, made his first real claim to fame in the animation world when beloved director Hayao Miyazaki hired him to help make Nausicaä and the Valley of Wind back in the early ‘80s. The two anime legends would collaborate together again, less directly, with Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water — Anno’s first TV series, which is finally coming to America in style via GKids.
Although Anno directed the 39-episode series, Nadia was based on a concept by Miyazaki, which should be pretty obvious once you read the plot synopsis: “It’s 1889 and people from around the globe are flocking to Paris to see scientific achievements at the Exposition Universelle despite rumours of dangers lurking in the oceans. While attending the fair, teenaged inventor Jean meets Nadia, a mysterious girl who possesses a highly sought-after crystal called Blue Water. Pursued by nefarious forces, the pair journey by sea and by sky to escape their would-be captors and to discover the secret of the crystal.”
If this sounds somewhat familiar, it might be because it shares a lot in common with Miyazaki’s 1986 film Laputa: Castle in the Sky. However, it almost might be because of the many, many similarities between Nadia and the 2001 Disney movie Atlantis: The Lost Empire, which were so prevalent Anno’s studio Gainax wanted to sue the Disney corporation but got shut down by the show’s network, NHK. You can read about them here (or the similar allegations that 1994’s The Lion King is a rip-off of Osamu Tezuka’s 1960s’ anime series Kimba the White Lion here).
Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water has made it to America before, most recently in 2014, but again this will be the first time the series has had a 4K restoration. If GKids does half as well with it as its recently remastered Evangelion set, anime fans are in for a treat.