Martian Successor Nadesico

Martian Successor Nadesico (Japanese: 機動戦艦ナデシコ, Hepburn: Kidō Senkan Nadeshiko, lit. "Mobile Battleship Nadesico"), sometimes referred to as simply Nadesico (ナデシコ, Nadeshiko),[3] is a Japanese anime television series produced by TV Tokyo, Yomiko Advertising and Xebec and directed by Tatsuo Satō, with manga artist Kia Asamiya providing original character designs, Keiji Gotoh serving as chief animation director, Mika Akitaka being the main mechanical designer and Takayuki Hattori composing the music. A manga adaptation by Asamiya was published by Kadokawa Shoten from 1996 to 1999. The manga, published in English by CPM Manga, has many significant changes from the anime.

Martian Successor Nadesico
The cast of Martian Successor Nadesico.
(Kidō Senkan Nadeshiko)
Anime television series
Directed byTatsuo Satō
Produced byNoriko Kobayashi
Naoya Nakazawa
Shinichi Ikeda
Tōru Satō
Written byShō Aikawa, et al
Music byTakayuki Hattori
Licensed by
Original networkTV Tokyo
English network
Anime Network, Cartoon Network (Toonami; Episodes 1, 6, and 25 only), KTEH
Original run October 1, 1996 March 24, 1997
Episodes26 (List of episodes)
Written byKia Asamiya
Published byKadokawa Shoten
English publisher
MagazineShōnen Ace
Original runSeptember 1996February 1999

In 2005, Anime News Network reported that plans for Nadesico 2 were scrapped, citing an entry on Stellvia director Tatsuo Sato's blog.[4]


The series takes place in the year 2196. Earth is at war with a race of alien invaders called the "Jovian Lizards". A company called Nergal Heavy Industries designs a space battleship, the ND-001 Nadesico. While the ship is powerful and its crew consists of the top civilian experts in their fields, these individuals tend to have "some slight personality disorders".[5]

The primary protagonist, Akito Tenkawa, is a boy with a mysterious past; once a resident of Mars' Utopia colony, he escaped its destruction by the Jovian Lizards and arrived on Earth, with no memory of how he got there but a terrible fear of the invaders. He hates fighting and only wants to be a chef. However, he is constantly called on to act as a pilot of one of the Nadesico's Aestivalis - humanoid combat robots. While on board the Nadesico, Akito has more problems to deal with than just the Jovians; nearly all the female members of the crew, especially the vessel's captain Yurika Misumaru, seem to be head over heels in love with him, though all he wants to do is cook and watch his favorite anime, Gekiganger III.[5]


The series features an energetic juxtaposition of comedy and drama, as the characters engage in lighthearted antics in between facing the drama of war. Many of the characters are themselves anime fans, and there is often comparison between the campy, sanitized war of the anime within an anime Gekigangar III and the much harsher reality that the crew of the Nadesico faces. The show intentionally includes a number of science fiction anime clichés, including time travel and alien invaders, but turns these concepts on their heads by the end of the series through a number of plot twists.

The show has been also described as a space opera.[6]

There are many anime references, particularly to the series Space Battleship Yamato (the name Nadesico is a play on the phrase "Yamato nadeshiko", which represents the traditional Japanese ideal of femininity, and also the name of a flower).[7] One of the characters was a voice actress before joining the crew (and in fact is a parody of a specific voice actress, Megumi Hayashibara),[8] another is a fangirl who likes to draw her own shōnen-ai doujinshi, and a third is an otaku who bases his entire life on Gekigangar III.

In an episode late in the series, the ship holds an anime convention complete with a viewing marathon of Gekigangar, people engaged in cosplay, and tie-in merchandising. Another episode makes a parody of the Macross anime, as the crew celebrates a Miss Nadesico contest to decide a new captain and public figurehead, in which all the female crew members participate. The contest includes a swimsuit competition and singing.[9]

The Gekigangar anime show is in fact an homage (and parody) of many Super Robot mecha anime of the 70s and 80s, most particularly the Go Nagai/Ken Ishikawa collaboration Getter Robo.[10] The battles between Earth and planetary colonies featured throughout the show is a reference to Gundam, while the assortment of odd-ball characters on the ship who prefer to choose their own battles, rather than take sides, is a nod to Harlock. In addition, writers from previous popular sci-fi mecha shows occasionally get announced in teasers for various episodes of Nadesico.



The Martian Successor Nadesico anime was directed by Tatsuo Sato and produced by TV Tokyo, Xebec, and Yomiko Advertising, Inc. The series aired on the Bandai Channel and TV Tokyo from November 1, 1996 to March 24, 1997. The series was also aired on KTEH, a PBS station in San Jose, California, as part of its Sunday Late-Prime Sci-Fi programming line-up (9pm-after 12am). ADV Films announced they had licensed Martian Successor Nadesico in May 1998 at Project A-Kon 9.;[11] the company released the series originally on 12 VHS tapes. Later, the series was released on a total of six DVDs. On September 24, 2002, ADV Films released a box set containing all of the DVDs entitled Martian Successor Nadesico: Complete Chronicles and, on January 1, 2008, a collection of all the episodes entitled Martian Successor Nadesico: Perfect Collection. At Anime Expo 2011, Nozomi Entertainment announced that they had re-licensed the series, following ADV's closure in 2009. They re-released the series, along with the movie and the Gekiganger III OVA, in 2012.[12] Anime Limited later acquired the series in 2017 on Blu-ray.[13]

Martian Successor Nadesico's opening song is "You Get to Burning" by Yumi Matsuzawa. The main ending song is "Watashi Rashiku" (私らしく, "Being Myself") by Houko Kuwashima, with episode 26 featuring "Itsuka...Shinjite" (いつか…信じて, "I Believe... Someday") by Kazumi Matsumura as its ending.


A manga series loosely based on the anime with a whole new story line and written for a mature audience.


A Gekigangar III compilation OVA was also released.


A sequel movie called The Prince of Darkness is a 1998 anime film written and directed by Tatsuo Sato, and it is a sequel to the series Martian Successor Nadesico. The story is a direct sequel to Nadesico: The Blank of Three Years, a video game for the Sega Saturn that takes place immediately after the TV series ends, and before the movie begins.

Video gamesEdit

Four games based on the series were released in Japan. The first game, released for the Sega Saturn in 1997, is entitled Mobile Battleship Nadesico. It is a dating sim game with a few mecha elements included. A second game, also for the Sega Saturn, was released in the following year under the title Martian Successor Nadesico: The Blank of Three Years. It is an interactive story of the events which occurred in between the television series and the movie. Released on the Dreamcast in 1999, Martian Successor Nadesico: The Mission, continues the story from Prince of Darkness. Finally, a mahjong variant game was released for the Game Boy Color entitled Mobile Battleship Nadesico: Ruriruri Mahjong. Nadesico also appears in games in the Super Robot Wars and Another Century's series, where the setting is combined with other mecha series' such as Gundam, Mazinger, Full Metal Panic!, and Tekkaman Blade.[14][15]


There have been mixed reviews to the series, although most reviews have been positive. One review written when the series was released on DVD gave it average ratings, commenting that while the show was dubbed into English poorly, it commented positively on the use of characters saying, "Despite his heroic calling as a robot pilot, Akito is remarkably approachable—after all, what could be more down-to-earth than a cook? Yurika, the world's most unlikely starship captain, may seem like a troublesome ditz at first, but demonstrates resolve and emotional depth as she learns the art of leadership. The characters may be billed as goofballs, but they also provide some of the most touching moments in the show. The Nadesico mindset shows that heroism and self-sacrifice are still respectable virtues, and that nobody needs to hear whining about why you can't or won't pilot a giant robot."[16] Los Angeles Times writer Charles Solomon praised the series, calling its action and hi-jinks on par with Rocky and Bullwinkle.[17]

Other reviews have been generally positive, with one saying, "Nadesico is one of those rare series that has something for everyone. Comedy, action, romance, name it, this series has it (well, almost). What's even more astonishing is that Nadesico keeps everything tied together in a neat little coherent package, so much so that you'll hardly even notice the blend of genres. It's a pretty cool little package, too."[18] Another review praised the English dub, saying "I first watched this show multiple times in Japanese, but eventually gave the English dub a try and found I loved it. The cast is excellent, with Jennifer Earhart's Yurika being especially noteworthy. Even minor characters, such as a Jovian pilot played by Jason Douglas, give great performances. His reading of 'If only the humans appreciated life as we do, I would not have to kill so many of them' is brilliant."[19]

The series quickly became popular. The film won the Animage Grand Prix award in 1998.[3] In other polls conducted by Animage in the same year, Akito was voted the ninth most "Favorite Male Character Of The Year", Ruri Hoshino was voted second and Yurika eighth most "Favorite Female Characters Of The Year" and the TV series was vote the third "Favorite Anime Of The Year".[20]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Osmond, Andrew (August 26, 2017). "Nadesico and Food Wars Released Monday". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on April 21, 2019. Retrieved May 2, 2019.
  2. ^ Bertschy, Zac (April 5, 2017). "Martian Successor Nadesico Blu-Ray - Review". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on May 8, 2019. Retrieved May 2, 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Martian Successor Nadesico". Keyframe. Archived from the original on 2018-06-18. Retrieved 2007-11-28.
  4. ^ "Stellvia 2 Cancelled". Anime News Network. 2005-08-10. Archived from the original on 2007-12-09. Retrieved 2007-11-26.
  5. ^ a b "To Go Like a Man". Martian Successor Nadesico. Season 1. Episode 1. 1996-10-01.
  6. ^ "Le Space Opera à l'honneur - Japan Expo Paris". Archived from the original on 2019-02-05. Retrieved 2019-02-04.
  7. ^ Goebel, Greg (2004-02-28). "Martian Successor Nadesico V1 (2*)". Vectorsite. Archived from the original on 2007-11-20. Retrieved 2007-11-27.
  8. ^ "Character Profile: Megumi Raynard". Absolute Anime. 2006-07-23. Archived from the original on 2008-12-11. Retrieved 2007-11-27.
  9. ^ Dungan, Mike. "Martian Successor Nadesico Essential Anime Vol. #3". Anime On DVD. Archived from the original on 2005-03-08. Retrieved 2007-11-27.
  10. ^ McCarter, Charles. "Martian Successor Nadesico (Page 4)". Archived from the original on 2012-07-30. Retrieved 2007-11-27.
  11. ^ "Elevator Action Anyone?". ADV Films. 1998-06-02. Archived from the original on 7 December 1998. Retrieved 2022-07-06.
  12. ^ "Right Stuf/Nozomi Adds More Dirty Pair, Gasaraki, Nadesico". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on 2011-07-04. Retrieved 1 July 2011.
  13. ^ "Anime Limited Acquires Martian Successor Nadesico on Blu-ray". Anime News Network. 1 February 2017. Archived from the original on 15 February 2021. Retrieved 5 February 2021.
  14. ^ O'Sullivan, Greg (2006-01-26). "Mobile Battleship Nadesico, The Games". Archived from the original on 2007-05-20. Retrieved 2007-11-26.
  15. ^ "Super Robot Wars Reversal". Portable Review. 2006-11-13. Archived from the original on 2007-02-04. Retrieved 2007-11-26.
  16. ^ Santos, Carlo (2005-01-05). "Martian Successor Nadesico: Essential Anime DVD 1 (discs 1-2)". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on 2007-11-18. Retrieved 2007-11-26.
  17. ^ Solomon, Charles (September 24, 2002). "'Nadiesco' brings Home its Nutty Anime warfare". The Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on August 18, 2022. Retrieved February 1, 2022.
  18. ^ Huxley, John (2004-05-20). "Martian Successor Nadesico Series Overview". Anime Boredom. Archived from the original on 2008-11-18. Retrieved 2007-11-26.
  19. ^ review Martian Successor Nadesico Anime Essentials Vol. 2 Archived 2006-11-01 at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ "Anime News Service - July 1998 Anime News". Anime News Service. Archived from the original on 2007-10-12. Retrieved 2007-11-28.

External linksEdit