Mania Grade: A-
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- Audio Rating: A
- Video Rating: A
- Packaging Rating: A
- Menus Rating: A
- Extras Rating: N/A
- Age Rating: 13 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
- MSRP: 29.99
- Running time: 100
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Nazca
Nazca Vol. #1
By Justin Emerson
February 16, 2002
Release Date: January 10, 2000
I had heard some cool stuff about this series from several people, so I thought I'd try it. They mentioned stuff about the Incas and I started having "Mysterious Cities of Gold" flashbacks from when I was 7 or 8, so I figured it might just be fun for nostalgic value. As it turns out, this is a really, really good disc.
I'm sure you've all read the synopsis, and it does a fairly good job of describing the premise, so I won't repeat it here.
The Video on the disc is typical Pioneer quality. For those who don't know, that means very close to perfect, if not perfect itself. During the intro sequences there was some banding with the clouds ("banding" is a term used to describe how when there's a color gradient, sometimes you get "bands" of colors instead of a smooth transition) but I'm not sure if that is there in the actual show or not, or whether it's an artifact, which I doubt since it's exactly the same in all three episodes.
The Audio is very good, it has great directional effects, as well as clear voices and good music. However, as I was listening to this under headphones since it was only stereo to begin with, I noticed that a few of the effects were backwards, like on the English track when Tate is being charged at by his opponent, the guy's battle cry comes from the wrong speaker. The actual voice acting I'll discuss under Content, but there are no serious issues with the Audio, aside from the fact that Pioneer didn't remix it in 5.1 ^_^ Fat chance...
The Packaging is very attractive and functional. The cover art is very detailed and colorful, and definitely grabs your eye. The back side has the synopsis along with some very cool pictures and a great background (the image of the bird drawn in the ground). Inside there's an insert with chapter stops, a very welcome feature.
The Menus are an improvement over some very recent offerings, not having any problem distinguishing what language or subtitle setting is selected. There's also an image gallery like on many Pioneer discs, and it's nice but other than that there are no other extras (although I didn't look for any Easter Eggs). The movement and selection is fast and responsive, the only thing is that there's no background music, which I always thought was a nice touch.
The Content is actually pretty cool. The basic plot seems to have gotten some inspiration from a previous show animated in Japan that I know some of you may have seen back in the day ^_^ but it's storyline is all its own. Innovative and compelling, it pits former Master against Student, Friend against Friend, Love against Duty. So far I dig it, and I can't wait for the next volume. My only question is why there's only 3 episodes on the disc, as I had heard that there were 13 episodes total (though I could be wrong) so I thought Pioneer would follow the same format as Lain and do a 4-3-3-3 episode schedule. Oh well, it was still very entertaining and I'm eagerly awaiting the next volume.
The Voice acting is very good, surprisingly even on the dub track. I watched the whole thing through with Japanese audio and then watch the majority of it again in English (with subtitles still on so I could see what they changed) and not only is the translation true to the original (or the subtitles true to the dub, which is doubtful) but the acting is very good. I think they picked very good voices for each character, except I don't like the voices they chose for Tate/Yawaru or Shisagawa (I think, can't quite remember his name, but the weird pale psycho guy). Other than that I'm very happy with the dub, which from me is a very good compliment!
This is a very cool TV series, and I strongly recommend this to anyone who likes fantasy/sword fighting type stuff or a very intriguing storyline.
DVD-ROM Drive with a Sigma Design RealMagic Hollywood+ with the Cambridge Soundworks DTT2500 5.1 Desktop Theater