Nazca Vol. #1 (Mania.com)
By:Tania Tia Gatdula
Review Date: Saturday, February 16, 2002
Release Date: Monday, January 10, 2000
I was going to wait for a review of Nazca before purchasing it on-line. I saw the first episode at Anime Expo 99 and didn't know what to think of it. However, after spotting the DVD on the shelf and having a bit of Y2K post-apocalyptic cash burning a hole in my pocket I decided to buy it.
Audio: The audio for the DVD was done well on both tracks. Dialog and music were crisp and clear. The English track had a richer sound and used the Surround Sound set up I have to it's full potential. You will notice the difference between the two while listening to the opening sequence music on the English track as well as certain dialog sequences in the first episode.
Video: I had some problems with the video. From the beginning, the Pioneer Animation and the Kadokawa title were soft. As soon as the episode began, I noticed there was a lot more grain than I was accustomed to with Pioneer releases. It was like watching something that was transferred onto a second generation tape. The second and third episode improved a little in quality. It had lost some of that grainy look and the images were crisper.
Packaging: Pioneer used an Amaray keepcase. The front cover artwork features the main characters. The insert provided lists all the chapter stops. I was a little surprised that this DVD did not come with any of the extras (stickers, postcards, etc.) that Pioneer usually includes. I was a tiny bit disappointed, but it's not a big deal.
Menu: I really liked Pioneer's menu. They changed it again. You just have to toggle the Languages and Subtitles buttons. You no longer have to actually select the option you want. The menus were easy to navigate and response time was quick. Unlike previous menus, this one highlights the selections made. There is an Art Gallery in the options menu and some of the illustrations of Yuka are gorgeous.
Content: The story is a common one. Friends and enemies in the present time find out they are linked to each other in a past life. The events in the past were never completed they way they should have, and they now must reach a conclusion in the present. In the process, new friendships are made and others are broken. The twist was making the character's past lives that of the Incas. While they took liberties with Inca history, it makes for an intriguing story.
The first three episodes set up the series, leaving just enough out for future surprises. So far the characters are the standard Anime characters. Some people already show more signs of depth than others are. It will be interesting to see how the story progresses. Already there are some predictable outcomes, but it is entertaining. I hope the series explores the dynamics between characters that aren't reincarnated with those who are.
All in all, the series shows promise. I will definitely pick up the next volume when it is released.
Panasonic DVD P10, Sony 32" Television, Pioneer VSX-D1S Dolby Surround Sound Receiver, 5 Speaker set up w/ Sub Woofer, Monster Cable Speaker cables, S-Video Cable
Mania Grade: A-
Audio Rating: B
Video Rating: A
Packaging Rating: B
Menus Rating: A
Extras Rating: N/A
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
Running time: 100
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2