What I’m Watching: Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water

My kids and I just finished the anime series, Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water (circa 1990-1991), and I already miss it.

Nadia features the adventures of Nadia, a young girl, runaway circus performer, and orphan allegedly from Africa, and John, a French young inventor; and of course, their relationship, how they help each other and grow, and what happens along the way. I won’t say what happens. The above brief sketch of these two can be found in the very first episode. For fans of the U.S. anime series Avatar and Korra, simply put, I highly recommend it. The themes are closer to older-child age appropriate.

Based in part on Ten Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Nadia offers amazing creativity in an odyssey of adventure, and a world-spanning origin story that unfolds during its 39 episodes. As the title indicates, there’s a “secret.”

What else might I add, without giving anything away? My kids and I also enjoyed the opening song, and would sing it as we began our next episode. Further, there’s a certain sort of realism to some of the violence in this anime, along with positive underlining values of non-violence and respect for nature, plus emotional depth–all of which makes it best-suited to slightly older kids. This depends on the household. For me, ages 11 and 13 were great for Nadia. Some of the nuanced emotions will resonate upward with adults, but the show’s okay if the heart-rending depth of some of this is just missed by the younger crowd.

Wikipedia, linked here, quotes a good takeaway for Nadia by the Anime Encyclopedia by Mr. Clements and Ms. McCarthy, the apparent editors: “Very rarely has [a popular approach to writing anime] produced a show of such enduring charm and emotional validity.”

I got my copy from the library. Thank you library, a communal and valued resource!

G. H. Mosson