1. To Go Like a Man

In the late 22nd century, the Jovian lizards launch an attack on the human colonies on Mars. At the Utopia colony, a young man named Akito and a little girl called Ai are just two of many people hiding underground from the Jovian’s attack- at least, until a Jovian machine breaks through to their hiding place. Determined to protect Ai and the others, Akito uses his nano-machine implant to take control of some heavy machinery and fight off the Jovian machine. Akito is the hero of the hour- or at least he would have been if more Jovians hadn’t broken through seconds later. It looks like it might be the end for Akito- until he somehow manages to escape and end up on the Earth.

After the initial attack on Mars, the war between humans and Jovians rages on, with the United Earth military definitely on the losing end. The powerful corporation known as Nergal Heavy Industries decides to even up the odds a little by building its own battleship- the Nadesico. All that remains is to find a crew, and Nergal employees Prospector and Goat Hory decide to get the best people for the job, resulting in a rather eclectic line up.

Captain: Yurika Misumaru, daughter of General Misumaru of the United Earth forces. Despite being undefeated in the combat simulations, she is ditzy and somewhat clueless when it comes to personal relationships.

Chief Engineer: Seiya Uribatake- a mechanical genius with a passion for machinery and women (although he has no luck with the latter). Hw joins the Nadesico to get away from his wife and son.

Communications Officer: former anime voice actress Megumi Reinard.

Science Officer: Pre-teen genius Ruri Hoshino.

Helmswoman: Haruka Minato. A former secretary looking for a change in direction, Minato may appear to be an airhead, but there’s a sharp mind behind that pretty face.

Executive Officer: Jun Aoi. A loyal Earth military officer whose love for Yurika goes totally unnoticed (she thinks of him as more of a ‘best friend’).

Meanwhile, Akito is working as a chef on Earth, at least until he freaks out during a Jovian attack and loses his job. Whilst running away from the restaurant, Akito bumps into Yurika, who is on her way to take command of the Nadesico. Thanks to the collision, belongings fly out of Yurika’s over-packed car, and in the haste to gather everything up, she leaves a photo behind. Picking it up, Akito sees that the photo is of himself and Yurika at a younger age, and finally recognises Yurika as his childhood friend from Mars. Realising that Yurika and her father may know the truth about the death of his own parents, Akito follows after Yurika and ends up on the Nadesico.

Aboard the Nadesico, Mr Prospector sees Akito’s nano-machine implant and tries to hire him as a pilot (on Earth, only pilots have implants, which they use to command the giant combat robots known as Aestivalis), but Akito declines and takes a job as a chef instead. Meanwhile, the job of pilot goes to anime fan Gai Daigoji; Gai’s favourite show is the giant robot anime Gekigangar, and he cannot contain his delight at getting to pilot his own giant robot- at least until he breaks his leg fooling around inside the Aestivalis.

Gai tells Akito to get his precious Gekigangar model out of the Aestivalis, but while he’s still inside, the Jovians attack the Nadesico. Desperate to run away, Akito decides to the leave the ship in the Aestivalis (much to Gai’s annoyance) and heads off. Getting a report on the errant cook, Yurika finally recognises her beloved childhood friend Akito, and entrusts him with the role of distracting the Jovians whilst the Nadesico slips away and attacks them from behind. An unwilling decoy, Akito initially tries to run, but eventually decides to face his enemy head on, giving the Nadesico the time it needs to launch its attack and defeat the Jovians.

Back on board, Akito finds that his troubles have only just begun when Yurika makes it plain that she has a personal mission of her own- to win Akito’s heart…