1/7 Nadia with white dress








Scott Van Aken


resin figure


Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water is a 39 episode anime series and one of the most popular animated series ever done in Japan. Created by the animation studio GAINAX (who also did Wings of Honneamise, Gunbuster, and the 1995-96 hit series Neon Genesis Evangelion), it premiered on Friday April 13, 1990 on NHK television (the Japanese equivalent of PBS) and concluded a year later on Friday April 12, 1991. During its one-year run Nadia consistently topped the Animage magazine's fan poll of their favorite female anime character. (She bumped Nausicaa from the first place where she apparently had reigned for years.)

In Japan the show is called Fushigi no Umi no Nadia which translates literally as Nadia of the Mysterious Seas, but Gainax added the English phrase "The Secret of Blue Water" to the show in Japan, so the official name in English is Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water or The Secret of Blue Water (which is what Streamline Pictures calls the 1996 US released version) or just plain Nadia.

The story is loosely (very loosely) based on Jules Verne's novel 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, which means they lifted the parts they liked and then ran off in a completely different direction with them. (On the other hand, there are some tantilizing clues that they originally planned to stick more closely to Verne's story. See the "lost" Nadia section.) Set in 1889, the story focuses on Nadia, a 14 year circus acrobat and orphan with a mysterious past. When gem thieves appear to steal the Blue Water, a gem which is her one possession that may be a clue to her origin, she is rescued at the 1889 World Exposition in Paris by Jean. Jean is a 14 year old inventive genius whose inventions don't always work as well as he planned. The two of them lead the thieves on a chase that eventually lands them in the Atlantic Ocean where they are picked up by Captain Nemo and the Nautilus. The series twists and turns from there as Nadia (and we) discover more about the Blue Water, the real bad guys who are after it, and why the fate of the entire planet may ultimately depend on who has the Blue Water.

The above description shamelessly pinched from Marc Hairston's well done Anime Page 



Typical of the high quality of anime resin figures that are available, this particular figure is superbly cast. The mold lines are in many cases almost invisible and there are no air bubbles or other glitches that are so common with US made resin figures. The smooth light buff resin has only minimal resin 'blocks' to remove. In many cases, there are keys to assure that the parts will fit together well. In this particular kit, the engineering is especially well done. There are three major seam lines for the body and all of them will be hidden by clothing.

Now it is the clothing that will offer the greatest challenge to building this kit. By doing the majority of the clothing separately, it gives a greater depth to the finished figure. However, there is a trade-off when doing this. There are large areas that will need to be carefully aligned while cementing together. I'd be willing to bet that they will all require at least a minimal amount of filler to smooth things out. As it typical with these figures, there is no way that it will be able to stand on its own so mounting it firmly to a base is a must. The instructions for this kit are basically worthless. There is no exploded view and only a written set of construction steps; all in Japanese! However, the included photograph of the completed kit should be more than enough to properly determine what goes where.



Over the last few years I have gotten hooked on anime figures. Yes, they are not realistic. The long legs, short torso, and large, expressive eyes are not what one sees with actual humans, but then again, they are not supposed to be human, are they? This one should be an interesting build and not that difficult compared to some of the more elaborate kits that are out there.


Review kit courtesy of your editor.

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