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Anime: Secret of Cerulean Sand
Jane, holding her dog Comet and some of this titular cerulean sand.

Patapata Hikōsen no Bōken, or Secret of Cerulean Sand, is a 2002 Japanese / Korean co-productionan and lasts 26 episodes.

This is not Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water, even if the two works share many common features and themes.

It takes inspirations from the novels Face au drapeau ("Facing the Flag") and L'Étonnante Aventure de la mission Barsac ("City in the Sahara"), both written by Jules Verne.

The mother of Georges and Jane Buxton died while giving birth to her, and her father remarried three years later with Margaret, who had already a son, William, then 11-years-old, who come to the Glenar Castle, where lives the family; he then proceed to have in it for everywhere in Glenar, apart from Jane.

One day, Georges hears about azurium - a mysterious cerulean sand, that is capable to enable things to fly. He goes to the University to discuss about it to several scientists, but no one believes him, with the exception of Christopher Barsac.

In a separate event, Lord Buxton learn William embezzled some money from the bank, and Georges is invited participare to an expedition led by the Pr. Barsac to the countries from where come the azurium.

Several weeks after, a letter come to Glenar telling Georges was shot for treason.

Bad things then begin to happen: the Buxton Bank is robbed; stricken by this long suite of misfortunes, Lord Buxton is bedridden.

One day, Jane reveives a letter containing this mysterious sand and decides to mount an expedition to rescue her brother, whom she now believes to be still alive...

Secret of Cerulean Sand contains examples of:

  • Asshole Victims: It's difficult to feel sorry for the denizens of Neo-City blown by William knowing that they remorselessly benefited from the enslavement and plunder of the neighbouring communities.
  • The Atoner: Pr. Kamale for causing several deaths during an explosion but it's subverted by the fact the Pr. Kamale, who is, in fact, Georges Buxton, was made believe by William, the real culprit, he had caused the death of several British soldiers during the expedition to acquire azurium.
  • Bank Robbery: The plot proper opens with the Buxton Bank Robbery, for which Mr. Buxton is accused of even though it's his stepson William's employees who did the deed.
  • Battle Butler: Chambellan.
  • Bitter Sweet Ending: Althrough Jane found her brother Georges alive and cleared his name, he then died with William.
  • Death by Childbirth: Jane's mother died while giving birth to her.
    • Margaret, William's mother, met the same fate after moving to Glenar Castle. Mr. Buxton just can't take a break...
  • Despair Event Horizon: After being attacked by a flying bomber, Jane realizes that flying machines can also be instruments of death.
  • Domestic Abuser: The unnamed overbearing woman during episode 5, who falsely accused Jane and Banchi of stealing her brooch. When Jane reveals that her pet duschehound was the culprit, the woman began throwing fruit at it, then attacked Banchi for trying to defend the poor pooch. This finally spurred her Henpecked Husband to action, by striking her across the cheek and calling her out on her callus behavior. She walks away stunned, but by the end of the episode, Jane saw that she had given him a blackeye and a swollen jaw in retaliation.
  • Due to the Dead: After meeting the remains of the members of a previous expedition, the soldiers proceed to dig graves for the bodies.
  • Empire with a Dark Secret: Neo-City, which appears, at first glance, as a shining exemple of progress, was founded on the enslavement and the robbing of the neighbouring communities.
  • Faceless Goons: Harry Killer's men all wear masks, except for Morilire. Captain Marsenay and Barsac attempt to use this to their advantage twice, in order to infiltrate Neo City. Morilire foils them the first time, the second try succeeds.
  • Faking the Dead: A tombstone wearing Georges Buxton's name is found in the carnage site but is revealed to contain only a miniature flying machine.
  • Feminine Women Can Cook: Averted: Jane is fits this trope. In an episode aboard the Armadillo, she was unable to cook whereas her Private Tutor-Battle Butler Chambellan is shown to be in his element in the kitchen; the reverse is true for tending to machines.
    • In fact, this trope was averted so hard Duncan (chief mecanician) and Willy (chief cook) were asking Barsac to switch Jane and her butler.
  • Freudian Excuse: William always felt despised by his step-brother and step-father and only loved by Jane.
  • Happily Ever After: Marsenay and Camille het married.
  • Henpecked Husband: At first glance, one of the pasengers of the boar Jane is aboard appears as this until he slaps her after one week of her being generally unbearable and capricious.
  • Layered Metropolis: Neo-City.
  • Made a Slave: What happens to the villagers living near NeoCity.
  • Merchant City: Hamman, headed by the queen Camille.
  • Private Tutor: The butler Chambellan is shown teaching Miss Buxton about Alexander the Great's conquests.
  • Redemption Equals Death: William and Georges.
  • Reluctant Mad Scientist: Georges, working on the properties of the azurium after being submitted to the emotional blackmail of his half-brother William, who makes him believe he caused the death of these soldiers died in the explosion William caused.
  • Steampunk: Landboats in the desert and later azurium-powered flying machines.
  • Replacement Goldfish: William so loved Jane he named his adoptive daughter Jeanne.
  • The Reveal: After being captured, Jane reveals to not be named Smith but Buxton, and Barsac says he also wants to find Georges.
  • Rich Bitch: One passenger of the boat Jane board in fit this trope to a T:
    • Accusing her and the seaman Banchee of stealing her jewelry before her own dog retrieves the piece of jewelry.
    • Being generally disagreeable.
      • At the end, her Hempecked Husband slaps her, and she proceed then to apandon her dog Wolfgang.
  • Secret Identity:
    • Jane presented herself as Jane Stuart the first time she meets Barsac in a train.
    • The Pr. Kamale is Georges Buxton.
    • Harry Killer is William Buxton, though Jane believed him to be Georges at first glance.
  • Sand Is Water: The Armadillo, a landboat of the Barsac expedition, is sailing in the desert.
  • Saharan Shipwreck: Sort of: a shipwreck named Raijin - the Japanese god of the lightning - is found with her hold full of azurium, ans was late revealed to be a flying machine.
  • Send in the Search Team: Barsac mounted an expedition to search for azurium, investigate about the fate of villagers who disapeared near Hamman and to find what really happened to Georges Buxton.
  • Shot at Dawn:
    • What the letter said happened to Georges for treason.
    • What Barsac wanted to do to a soldier who deserted after viewing the carnage in the desert, before being interrupted by a bombing.
  • The Spymaster: Morilire.
  • Street Urchin: Sabri and his band of kids, before meeting Jane while robbing her of her purse.
  • Tomboy: Jane.
  • Treacherous Advisor: Morilire, hired by the Barsac Expedition as guide, is later shown as a traitor after he made the troops turn in circle in the desert.
  • Unobtainium: The titular 'cerulean sand', or azurium, can be used to make flying machines.
  • Wrench Wench: Jane Buxton, who follow her brother's track by attempting to create flying machines, all named "Albatross" and numered, apart for the last, named "Silver Wings" and helps the other engineers in the landboat of the Barsac expedition.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: William, who felt alienated in his new family, wanted to take revenge against his step-family and projected to destroy the world with his superweapon before Jane spoke him out of it.
  • Wretched Hive: Neo-City is a city based on slavery and the plunder of the neighbourhing communities.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness:
    • What is implied to worn slaves.
    • Later, William push his master spy Morilire in the sky and kill, with his airplane-weapon, the entire population of Neo-City in the airplanes where they were.

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alternative title(s): Patapata Hikosen No Boken
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