Archives for : Tatsuo Satō

Martian Successor Nadesico (anime review)

Title: Martian Successor Nadesico: Complete series plus Prince of Darkness on Blu-ray

Director: Tatsuo Sato

Studio: Xebec

U. S. Distributor: Nozomi, Lucky Penny

U. S. Release Date: April 4th, 2017

Format: Blu-ray/26 Episodes & Feature Film / 740 Minutes

Genre: Comedy, Sci Fi, Mecha, Harem

Age Rating: 13+

Overall Personal Rating: A-


The Martian Successor Blu-ray contains all 26 episodes of the TV series and the Prince of Darkness movie across 4 Blu-rays PLUS an entire DVD of extras including the Gekigangar 3 OVA!

Tatsuo Sato’s Comedy Masterpiece Returns in High Definition!

The Earth, its moon and its Martian colonies are under alien attack, but the war against the “Jovian lizards” has, so far, been nothing short of a series of disasters.

Disgusted by the incompetence of Earth’s military, the independent arms manufacturer Nergal builds its own space battleship and plans to launch a desperate offensive to save humanity. But due to a shortage of trained soldiers, they’ve assembled the most unorthodox crew to ever launch into orbit! With a pacifist cook-turned-unwilling mecha pilot and a ditsy admiral’s daughter in command, can this unprecedented gathering of geeks, misfits and anime fans prevail against the Jovian menace?


In the long list of Mecha Harem series, Martian Successor Nadesico stands out as one of the top series for me. Although it may be beginning to show its age it still has plenty of laughs and mecha action to offer. The great thing about this series is that it pokes fun at all of the tropes and silly plot devices that many of the older mecha series used. The unwilling Akito Tenkawa is every young male mecha pilot that shows up in series like Gundam, Evangelion and many others that give us reasons to root for a anti-hero figure, but in Akito’s case he just wants to cook, but may be a better pilot than a chef.

The other great parody aspect to the series is the inclusion of their own anime series “Gekigangar III“. This is a focal point for much of the crew and they exhibit a funny Otaku tenancy that pokes fun at the fan base of the mecha universe of anime. I personally think series like Martian Successor Nadesico provide a glimpse at the anime world that a large number of fans should be required to watch. This series of fun and laughs takes a goofy look at the world it lives in and also makes a very pointed commentary about the obsession that sometimes follows the fandom around.

Overall Grade: A-

I am not sure if there was a good reason to release Martian Successor Nadesico in Blu-ray it is very possible that the quality of the series is about the same on DVD. I am happy to see it coming back out. I think it is a series that needs to be re-released every 5 to 6 years just so new fans can discover the greatness of it and be reminded that anime is just anime.

There are many great anime that hold the mirror up to the fandom and Martian Successor Nadesico stands at close to the very top of the list. The other thing that keeps this anime worthy of praise is the overall humor that comes across and the simplistic approach to telling the story. If you haven’t see Martian Successor Nadesico then you really have a reason to check it out. So, get busy!!!!

Argevollen Collection 1 (anime review)

ARGEVOLLEN-Collection-1Title: Argevollen Collection 1

Directed by: Atsushi Ōtsuki

Written by: Tatsuo Satō

Studio: Xebec

U. S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23 Films

U. S. Release Date: September 1st, 2015

Format: Blu-ray / 12 Episodes / 300 Minutes

Genre: Sci Fi, Mecha

Age Rating: TV 14

Overall Personal Rating: B

Other series to check out: Knights of Sidonia, Nobunaga the Fool and Aldnoah. Zero


Tokimune Susumu has every reason to distrust the military and question orders. His sister has already died in the service of the Arandas military, and his secret reason for enlisting is to ferret out the truth behind her mysterious death. So, when a civilian convoy is in jeopardy and his own battle mech is destroyed, Susumu’s all too ready to break ranks and jump into the cockpit of the experimental Argevollen.

What he isn’t expecting, however, is that activating the Argevollen conforms it to his mind alone. Now he’s on the frontline of the ongoing meat-grinder that the war between Arandas and Ingelmia has become, and his only certain ally is an attractive civilian contractor whose reasons for being in the war are as convoluted as his own.


2015 may just end up being the year that the Mecha series made their triumphant return. At least in the U. S., really 2014 was the year in Japan. I think that some of the very best series release in the states this year are mecha and Argevollen is a classic example of where the genre tends to be very good and also very heavy handed.

Argevollen gives us a rather common story line of a young mecha pilot who has raw ability but doesn’t understand how to control himself. Can you say Full Metal Panic, you know it is all about being able to connect with the machine to become the ultimate fighting mecha. Of course his youth and lack of understanding tends to get in the way and is pure energy and mindless will ends up being his savior. The level of coming of age struggles may be at the core of all too many anime, but is is also fun to watch and at the same time very frustrating when the drama ends up being heavy handed. And heavy handed drama is front and center with Argevollen.

Overall Grade: B

For a mecha series it is very entertaining because of the way they bring this band of military outliers together and prove that you don’t have to be spit and polished to be good. There is also the connection between Tokimune Susumu and Jamie Hazaford that is handled very well. Jamie is a reluctant player in this war but as things move forward it is clear that she is meant to be right where she is and that she is there to help Tokimune and Argevollen become a single unit.

The animation is above par but in the end it is all about how these characters blend together. I can’t say that Argevollen is one of the top offerings of the season, but if you are a mecha fan then you should be pleased with this series too. I still think the heavy handed dramatic approach is what always hurts mecha series. I will always love the approach that Full Metal Panic took with a easy blend of comedy and drama with plenty of wonderful action to keep things going.

Argevollen will find its home in the hearts of plenty of fans, so if you enjoy a action packed mecha then this one is for you.