After having piqued my curiosity for quite some time, I finally decided to watch Fushigi no Umi no Nadiaa couple of months ago. I must say I thoroughly enjoyed it (except for the horrendous “Island ark”). However, little did I know that this series would allow me to have a much finer understanding of Evangelion 3.0
For those not familiar with it, Fushigi no Umi no Nadia (or Nadia and the Secret of the Blue-Water) is an anime series that was directed by Hideaki Anno prior to Neon Genesis Evangelion, heavily inspired by Jules Verne's 20000 Leagues Under the Sea and other animated series such as Uchū Senkan Yamato. The story is set in the year 1889, and it revolves around two main characters (Nadia la Arwall and Jean Raltique) and other minor characters as they join the crew of the Nautilus submarine, under the command of the Captain Nemo. They are devoted to fight the Neo-Atlanteans, an ever growing secret nation lead by Nemo's antagonist, Gargoyle, who plans on taking over the world using the technology left by the Atlanteans, an ancient, highly advanced race of human-looking extraterrestrials that visited the Earth millions of years ago.
Fushigi no Umi no Nadia can be seen as a "forerunner" of Neon Genesis Evangelion, as it cultivates most of the thematic lines, character design and development, and concepts (such as the primordial alien race, giant humanoid beings, giant mechas, soul complementation etc.) that would later be used in it. Check this: http://www.thesecretofbluewater.com/nadieva-i.htm and this: http://wiki.evageeks.org/Gainax:_Evange ... References for more information about this.
However, apart from those references, which consequently apply to the Rebuild series as well, I was surprised to discover that there are a myriad of remarkable connections that are unique to 3.0.
The most blatant connection is the re-use of at least three pieces from Nadia's soundtrack composed by Shiro Sagisu in 3.0:
Babel No Hikari -----------> God's Message
Bannou Senkan N Nautilus Go -----------> The Anthem
Kishikaysei -----------> Dark Defender
Misato fills the same role as Nemo: They share the same authoritarian and apparently insensitive demeanor. They both seek complete their mission no matter what or who is lost in the way. Their appearance is also quite similar.
-Ritsuko fills the same role as Electra. Their appearance is very similar.
-Some members of Wunder's crew slightly recall those from the Nautilus.
-Wunder's helmsman Sumire Nagara and Nadia share a similar character design:
3. AAA Wunder and Nautilus analogy:
The Nautilus and the Neo Nautilus are actually starships built by the Atlanteans, later used by the crew under the command of captain Nemo to fight against the Neo-Atlanteans. They possess a very powerful “particle annihilation engine”
The AAA Wunder is an airborne ship. It is stated that the Wunder was not entirely manufactured by humans, indicating that it was most likely created by the First Ancestral Race or their Rebuild's analogue. The Wunder is used by Wille to fight against New-Nerv and Seele, and it is powered by Eva 01.
Wunder's appearance resembles that of the Neo Nautilus:
The launch scenes are similar as well: both of them remain still as their enemies surround them, waiting for their main engine to start. They finally launch upwards with an enormous blast and destroy the enemy using their turrets.
Wunder's lower bridge also looks like the original Nautilus' one:
4. Noahs and Moons analogy:
The Noahs are immense, saucer-shaped “satellite cities” constructed by the Atlanteans. They were used as arks during the Great Flood, and during a war between the Atlanteans, they fell to Earth. One of them became the city of Atlantis, the Red Noah became a sort of wandering island, and above the Blue Noah, which crashed in central Africa, the city of Tartessos was built. Tartessos suffered a fate similar to that of Tokyo-3 - most of its inhabitants died, victim of the Babel Tower's outburst and the subsequent flood, and those who survived gathered into two rival groups: Neo-Atlantis and the Nautilus crew. The Red Noah contains the gigantic “first human”, Adam, as well as various large-sized mechas and dozens of spaceships. The Noahs represent, therefore, a loose analogue of the Moons of the SoL.
5. Blue-Water and Key of Nebuchadnezzar analogy:
The Blue-Water stones are devices of immense power that contain the souls of dead Atlanteans. They are needed by Gargoyle to fulfill his plan of world domination and resurgence of the Atlantean empire.
Little is known about the Nebuchadnezzar's key, aside that it is a fundamental element for the consummation of Gendo's scenario.
6. Atlanteans and Seele:
In Fushigi no Umi no Nadia the Atlanteans crash-land on Earth 2 million years BC and are forced to indefinitely stay in it. They eventually create a worldwide empire and uplift native hominids into their own image, creating the human race. Sometime later, they engage in wars which cause the fall of the Atlantean empire and the death of thousands of Atlanteans, whose complemented souls are contained in the Blue-Water stones.
Gendo's statement in the “farewell scene” leads me to believe that the members of Seele could be in fact part of an ancient progenitor race similar to the Atlanteans, whose souls are contained in the monoliths
The holographic AI in control of the Red Noah tells Nadia that her mission as the possessor of the Blue Water is the restoration of the complemented souls of the Atlanteans, that is, bringing them back to life. Keel on the contrary states that Seele's aim is to put an end to individual life and complement all souls into a perfect being.
7. Other similarities:
· Gargoyle's true name is Nemesis La Algol. The AAA Wunder confronts a series of Unit mk04 named “Nemesis Series”
· The Babel Towers from Atlantis and Tartessos look very similar the New-Nerv Headquarters structure. The function of the Babel Towers is to communicate with the native world of the Atlanteans, but they can also be used as immensely destructive weapons.
· The terraces inside the “inverted pyramid” structure closely resemble the terraces surrounding the Neo-Atlantean mining post in which their Babel Tower is located. Also, the characters involved in both scenes appear to be riding a funicular:
· We find flowers both in the barren ruins of Atlantis and in the seemingly sterile wreck of the old Nerv installations.
·The eyes on Eva Mk 09's regenerated head closely resemble the glowing portholes of the Garfish (Neo-Atlantean submarines)
The connections are not just visual or character-wise; the story follows similar lines as well. For example, as the Nautilus is left severely damaged by an Neo Atlantean attack, the main characters are forced to depart from the rest of the crew and take shelter on an island, where they spend most of the remaining episodes living on their own. In 3.0 the Wunder is forced to retreat after Eva Mk 09's attack, and at the end of the movie the main characters are also left on their own.
Speculation on Final:
At the end of Fushigi no Umi no Nadia, Gargoyle obtains the Blue-Water stones and reactivates the Red Noah, calling for mankind's surrender under a threat of complete annihilation. However, they are fought back and successfully defeated by the Neo Nautilus.
If we take into account the multiple analogies I proposed, I think it's reasonable to speculate that a similar ending could take place in 4.0
Could Gendo and Fuyutsuki use the Key of Nebuchadnezzar to take control over the Black Moon in order to carry out the Human Complementation Project? Would Wille use the AAA Wunder in order to stop them?
Who knows? Perhaps I'm reading too much into this...
What's your opinion on this? Please comment!