Mania Grade: NA
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- Audio Rating: N/A
- Video Rating: N/A
- Packaging Rating: N/A
- Menus Rating: N/A
- Extras Rating: N/A
- Age Rating: 13 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
- MSRP: 29.99
- Running time: 75
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Nazca
Nazca Vol. #2
By Roman Martel
February 16, 2002
Release Date: March 14, 2000
Overall Rating: 4.4
(on a scale of 1-5)
Acting: Japanese: 4
The second disc of Nazca has come out. Now, unlike Chris, I found the show to be a little cut and dried in the first disc. I was hoping that with the release of the second disc we would see some really interesting stuff. Well, it seems to have let me down a bit. And while this disc does improve in some areas, the story is still very average. For me the extras were more fun than the series. In fact I think I'm enjoying Gundam Wing on Cartoon Network, more than Nazca. But my faith isn't gone yet. Let's take a look at the disc and see what's going on.
Pioneer shoots back up toward a technical score of 5, with this release. Once again, the audio and picture are excellent (even had a passerby commented on the sound while she walked by during the opening credits). The menu is still great. It works quickly, it's nice and clear, very well done. The presentation on Blood Rivals is also top notch. The cover grabs you right away and true to pioneer standards it tells you all the technical information you need to know. Now the goodies were just plain wonderful. You get two mini-mangas that will just about have you falling off the chair. They are very funny! Each features members of the Nazca cast in SD mode and of course playing caricatures of themselves. It's even read from right to left, like a real manga, for all you purists out there. Enough of the technical stuff... on to the show.
In the three episodes on this disc we get more awakened souls and more furthering of the plot. Kyoji comes to grips with the fact that his teacher and mentor is just plain delusional. Now that he knows that there is no hope for Tate, he dedicates himself to stopping him. Meanwhile two more souls are awakened but which side will they help, Kyoji or Tate?
In the next episode Tate "test fires" Iriyatesse (the ultimate force... not the same one from Oh My Goddess). A new soul awakens and all the combatants come together for an all out battle. At this point, I did a double take and said, "What it's over already?"
The third episode is pretty much non-stop combat and flashbacks. We get to see all the warriors skills unleashed and it's pretty impressive. There are some great spells in this series. The characters all remember past events linking them together their Inca past and of course it makes for some complications. Kyoji and Tate face off. Is this a duel to the death, or is this merely foreshadowing of more to come?
Those are the basic plot summaries. I don't know about you but it seemed that a lot happens on this disc. And it does. We get lots of plot movement and things are definitely heading toward a conclusion. There are just two major problems with the whole thing. The first is that they have this great concept. Reincarnation from Inca warrior into Japanese school kids (for the most part) is a pretty original concept. But they can't seem to find a new way to present the reincarnation story. It's all same old same old. It's pretty clear what's going to happen. At the beginning of each episode you can pretty much tell where it's going and how it will end. There hasn't been a real twist yet. I was hoping that by this point we would have actually had a couple of surprises thrown our way and started getting into some juicy conflicts. (Actually the next disc looks to have a interesting twist... but I think I can pretty much tell you how that will turn out too.)
The next problem is something that I have seen before. It's kinda weird and when I first saw it I couldn't put my finger on the problem. Nazca is suffering from Phantom Menace syndrome. No, it doesn't have Jar Jar or Gungans (I'd probably kill myself if it did). While watching Nazca I was noticing that I was very aware of time passing. And it was going rather slowly too. I wasn't ever sucked into the show. I was very conscious of watching it. I thought that maybe it was the fact that the plot wasn't moving, but that isn't the case. The big problem is that nothing but the plot is moving. Like Phantom Menace, this show is focusing so hard on getting from point A to point B that we are forgetting all the stuff in between that makes a story memorable.
The big thing missing is solid characters. We've got shadow characters that all have "moments" allotted to them and add sliver of depth, but not enough for me to get really excited about. In a story like this, the characters are very, very important. The fact that I can't remember a single characters name, (in either their Incan lives or Japanese lives) just goes to show how little we do know about them. Kyoji and Tate are best developed out of the group, but even they are rather shallow. One of the new "recruits" gets introduced and awakened all in one episode. It's just too much too fast.
How did this happen? I think that the creators just didn't have enough episodes to work with. This plot seems rather large and epic. The plot will take up most of the episodes (or all of them) while the other stuff, including the characters takes the back seat. Again, in a show like this you can't do that. The result is something that passes the time but that you won't really remember later on. Heck, I just watched this disc a couple of nights ago and I can't really remember what happened (I had to skim through it again).
The real high point of this show has been the music. This disc continues that same thread and expands it. I'm enjoying the mixing of all the styles to create moods and style for the show. Whoever mixed the score and picked the music did an excellent job. It really adds to the episodes and makes them that much better.
Everything else has stayed at its score of 4. I will say that the English cast got better in this disc. There was some good emotion going on and some really well acted parts. It's great to see the actors getting into the parts. I wish they had time to do that before they started recording for the show. Imagine, we'd have very good acting in the beginning of the show and by the end we'd be knee deep in some great work. Let's see if they hit a 5 by the forth disc.
Where do I stand on this show now? Well pretty much where I was when I watched the first disc. I'm ambivalent. This isn't a bad show, it's not a good show,; it's just a show. I wasn't in any hurry to get this disc and I won't be drooling to get the next one either. I'm hoping that the plot will get better in the next disc. It's almost too late to do anything about the character issue, but there might be a chance of something. Let me give you an example of what we thought of the show. After it was finished, Ladycat and myself looked at each other, popped in Super Puzzle Fighter 2 Turbo, and had more fun playing that then watching the show.
Your mileage may very, but overall this is still a rental first. I don't think it is essential to my collection but who knows, we still have two more discs.
Hitachi GD-2000 DVD ROM, Cinemaster QI DVD Player (application), Dell Model UltraScan D1025HTX Color Monitor, ACS295 Atltec Lansing Speakers (right, left, Subwoofer)