A few noteworthy highlights but otherwise mostly for fans.
Reader review by Jon Turner (2008-05-08)
The music of "Nadia - The Secret Of Blue Water" proved popular enough to inspire many albums. Some of these included image songs performed by the voice actors of the TV show along with songs from the show itself. Nadia Vocal Twin Best, the last of the double-disc Eternal Nadia Series released in 2001, contains most of the vocal tracks that were ever released on album (including those from the ill-fated Nadia movie "The Secret of Fuzzy"). It can be considered a collector's item, but for all its completeness, Nadia Vocal Twin Best will be a very questionable purchase for many.
The songs themselves vary in quality. The opening theme for Nadia, "Blue Water", is energetic and buoyant and beautifully sung by Miho Morikawa. The catchy, upbeat ending tune "Yes! I Will..." is similarly charming. Also noteworthy are the individual musical numbers featured in the music video episode, each of which is very character driven. "Deeper Than The Ocean" is a soft, lovely guitar ballad marvelously delivered by Nadia herself, Yoshino Takamori. "Let's Go, Jean!" (which, of course, is Jean's number) bursts with zest and is buoyed by Noriko Hidaka's lively vocal contribution. "Why Is It So?", as sung by Marie (Yuko Mizutani), is alternatingly cute and irritating while the Grandis Gang (the likes of Kumiko Takizawa, Kenyu Horiuchi, and Toshiharu Sakurai) bring out the laughs with their delightfully comic "Love Trio". And yes, there's even a love ballad between Jean and Nadia, which is well underscored by a strumming guitar and soothing keyboards.
Other standout tracks are the two image songs that were featured on the first soundtrack album of Nadia, "Real Heart" and "The Time There Is A Lover." Both are well sung by Satomi Matsushita, but "Real Heart" fares better due to its more kinetic underscore; "Lover" is just too cheesy for its own good. However, it runs circles around the songs produced for the widely maligned Nadia movie, which make up tracks 11 to 13 on Disc 1. "When Will I Smile" is a lame, unemotional ballad and "Where Has The Love Gone" is even weaker. "My Precious Trick Star" is probably the best of the movie songs, providing enough bounce and a good vocal performance, but it ultimately lacks heart.
The remaining tracks consist of songs delivered by various characters from Nadia, all of which are loosely inspired by the show. At times they sound like they could come from a Disney cartoon, and the fact that practically all of them are in Japanese can make them hard to ingest. While diehard fans may find amusement from them, these songs could also alienate anyone who makes a blind purchase without knowing well what to expect. In all fairness, some of them do work reasonably well. Akio Otsuka, who voices Captain Nemo, delivers his ballad, "Live," with radiant resonance and gentility, and Kikuko Inoue's "Let's Go Electra" is a treat for Electra fans. "Bitter Ship, Favorite Plate" is a deliciously dark and campy "bad guy" song, rendered by the guttural, menacing tones of Motomu Kiyokawa (Gargoyle).
Two other songs are ingenious mixtures of themes from Shiro Sagisu's score. The electrifying epic motif for the New Nautilus is transformed into a grand chorus number, "Our Almighty Battleship, New Nautilus" (sung by Nemo and the crew). But my favorite is "Bye Bye Blue Water," where the entire cast joins in for an infectiously upbeat, lively "grand finale" musical number that uses the main theme of Nadia as its basis.
The only truly unbearable song is the one that opens the second disc - a bouncy but frighteningly painful, blasting ripoff of the opening theme from My Neighbor Totoro, wrecked by Yuko Mizutani's obnoxious shrilly singing and the earsplitting childish shouts toward the end. The rest of the tracks aren't quite as hideous as this, but they're also hardly worth writing home about. "First Heart Contact" is a pretty bland and uninteresting lounge jazz number involving Jean, Nadia, and Marie, and "Flower Garden of Love" suffers from a certain tawdriness that could leave a bad taste in one's mouth.
All in all, this vocal collection is a hit and miss affair. Nadia fans will love it, but others are advised to be cautious. For every gem of a song there are tracks that barely come across as tolerable.