Endgame [2000]

Genre: Comedy, Drama
As this rollicking sci-fi comedy concludes, computer officer Ruri sighs, "I guess we'll be fumbling about, making noise til the end. However, when you think about it, that's rather appropriate for us." The last five episodes offer a lot of action, from mutiny to murder. A three-way struggle that pits the crew of the Nadesico against both the Jovians and Nergal Industries hinges on Akito's mysterious ability to move through space and time in a "boson jump." The action is played against typically outrageous comedy: the solution to the war between Earth and the Jovian Lizards lies in the imaginary mecha series "Gekigangar 3" ("the thread ties humanity together!"). The crew holds a "Geki Fest" that satirizes anime conventions, including booths selling special, limited-edition merchandise. When the Nadesico is impounded, Megumi gets a job as a voice actress on "Natural Princess Magical Lychee," an uproarious spoof of Sailor Moon. (Nadesico was initially criticized in Japan for making fun of both anime and fan culture, but its good-natured humor won over critics--and large audiences.) Many questions about the plot are left unanswered at the conclusion; Ruri suggests that some of them will be sorted out "in the inevitable sequel." Alas, no more episodes of Nadesico were produced. Unrated; suitable for ages 12 and up: brief nudity, mildly risqué humor, and cartoon violence. --Charles Solomon

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