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Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water

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Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water (1990 - 1991)

Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water is a 39 episode anime television series that originally aired on the NHK from 1990 to 1991 and proved to be the breakout hit that would place Studio Gainax (Neon Genesis Evangelion, Re: Cutie Honey) in the public eye after their first financial success (Gunbuster) In 1988.

Originally slated to run for only 30 episodes, NHK Enterprises commissioned an additional 9 episodes during its initial run due to high ratings. To meet the airing deadlines for the new episodes, director Hideki Anno handed direction for episodes 23 through 34 to Gainax co-founder Shinji Higuchi while Anno focused on finalizing the series' conclusion. The resulting episodes consisted of what is known to fans as the "Island/Africa Arc"; 9 episodes with sub-par animation and almost no impact on the actual plot culminating in episode 34, "Nadia's Song", which largely consists of five musical numbers set to recycled footage from previous episodes.

Despite its troubled production, the series won the Animage Anime Grand Prix in 1990 and went on to be one of Gainax's flagship franchises (rivaled only by Evangelion and Gurren Lagann).

The show is often connected to Atlantis: The Lost Empire due to the film's striking similarities to Nadia, though whether this stems from direct inspiration or their shared use of Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea as inspiration is subject to controversy.

The following weapons were used in the anime series Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water:

Mondragón M1908 rifle

Most of the Neo-Atlantean footsoldiers are armed with Mondragón M1908 rifles. This is anachronistic, as the series takes place in 1889, and the M1908 (as it's name would suggest) was first produced in 1908.

Mondragón M1908 rifle - 7x57mm Spanish Mauser

Smith & Wesson Model 1

Captain Nemo (yes, that Captain Nemo) keeps a Smith & Wesson Model 1 hidden in his uniform, but only uses it on one occasion.

Smith & Wesson Model 1 - .22 Short
Nemo fires is S&W Model 1.

Colt 1849 Pocket

A Neo-Atlantean (presumably Gargoyle) uses a Colt 1849 Pocket revolver to assassinate the emperor of Atlantis during a flashback sequence.

Colt 1849 Pocket with 4" barrel - .31 caliber.

Unidentified Automatic Pistol

Gonzalez uses an unidentified automatic pistol with a Beretta-style cutaway slide during episode 33. It is grossly anachronistic regardless of its make, as no slide-operated pistols existed in 1889.


Webley Bulldog

Sanson keeps a Webley Bulldog hidden in his suit jacket, and uses is on several occasions throughout the series. Grandis also uses it as well on a few occasions.

Webley 'British Bull Dog' - .45 caliber - 1870s
Sanson strikes a pose with his Webley Bulldog.
A closeup of Sanson's Bulldog.

Unidentified Revolver

Lady Electra is seen with an unidentified revolver in episode 22.

Electra aims her revolver.
A closeup of Electra's revolver.

Unidentified Revolver

Nadia is seen using an unidentified snub-nose revolver (likely a variant of the Webley) during episode 38.


Atlantean Pistol

During the series climax, Electra gives Jean an Atlantean laser pistol during the infiltration of Red Noah. Electra, Neo, and Gargoyle are all seen using these weapons as well.

Jean examines his new weapon.
Electra fires her pistol at Gargoyle.
Jean aims his Atlantean pistol.
Gargoyle draws his weapon on Nemo.

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