Thursday, June 17, 2010

Theater Thursday: Martian Successor Nadesico

Spoiler Warning - Okay as the title says I'm going to be talking about a movie/show. Despite the fact that my Theater Thursday posts are more discussion than review I will be talking about what goes on during the movie and doing so I will inevitably bring up specific details about said movie. If I bring up specific details about a movie that you haven't seen yet this is what you call a spoiler. Now its up to you and your taste in movies to decide if you don't want to read said spoiler. So now that I have explained a spoiler I warn you. This post contains specific details about the movie mentioned in the title of this post that you may not want to read. Tread carefully.

Hey folks it that time again. This time I want to talk about justice.

According to Wikitionary on definition of justice:
The state or characteristic of being just or fair.

Sounds simple right? To promote the idea that what is fair and right should overcome that which is unfair and evil. When you are only thinking about your perspective you probably have no problem with thinking that your cause is just and the other side(s) is wrong and must be dealt with. Well what happens when you sense of justice collides with that of the other side(s)? That is what happens late in the anime series Martian Successor Nadesico (which I will simply call Nadesiso from here).

Nadesico is an anime series that starts out with a simple premise. The humans that much up the population of Earth are at war with the Jovians. The Jovians are a race of space lizards that are intent on destroying humanity...or so you're led to believe.

About half way through the series (the whole series is 26 episodes with a movie that takes place 2 years after the end of the series) it is discovered that the Jovians are not a race of space lizards but are in fact human as well. It turns out that 100 years before the start of the series a small portion of humanity was forced away from Earth and over time they made their way to the deep reaches of space. While in said deep reaches they discover the technology of an alien race and use it to wage a war to take back the home they were cast from. That begs one question. How is it that the characters of the series didn't know this?

That's because when the Jovians were forced from Earth that little part of history was removed. So in a literal example of "history is written by the winners" most everyday Joes and Janes never knew about this. Well its then the characters and Jovians have one thing in common, their love for the anime series Gekigengar (yes we're talking an anime within an anime, serious). Not only do the Jovians love the series but they model their society by it and one of their strongest principles is justice. A point of commonality right?

No quite.

After expressing their love for the show by way of having a GekigenFest (mind you these people are on a spaceship a few thousand light years from Earth and they are having what's basically an anime convention) both sides agree that in the name of justice they will come to terms and end the war. Problem is the terms that the Jovians offer are not quite those of a peace treaty but those of an unconditional surrender.

Surely a society that is just and right would not demand an opposing side give up their planet and all natural resources would they?

In the end it all comes down to one's idea of justice. For some it may be that all sides live in peace. For others it may mean total subjugation and obedience from other sides. For others still it may mean absolute annihilation of others.

Take it easy folks.


uremo said...

Saw this anime years ago and loved it. Esp the Ruri character.

Like alot of anime it asks big questions which is one reason I like anime as compared to most American animation.

Danny said...

Yes I'll say that Japanese animation takes a more approach than American animation which for the most part designates it as "for kids".