Nazca Vol. #3 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

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. #3

By Roman Martel     February 16, 2002
Release Date: May 09, 2000

The Review!
Overall Rating: 4.2 (on a scale of 1-5)
-Disc Ratings-

Sound: 5
Picture: 5
Menu: 4
Presentation: 5
Goodies: 5
Overall: 4.8
-Artistic Ratings-

Animation: 4
Sound: 4
Plot: 2.5
English Acting: 3
Music: 5
Overall: 3.7

Sad to say that it looks like Nazca is spiraling out of control. This is the third disc and we've only got one more to go after this. I'm doubting that they can save the plot and characters from the mediocrity that they have been immersed into. Well, I could be wrong and this can somehow turn out all right by the last disc... but I said the same thing about El Hazard the Alternative World... and that still hurts my brain to think about it. I'm hoping Nazca doesn't end up that bad off. But I don't see it getting any better either.

Technical Review

This disc follows the same standards as the last two DVDs. It's also a Pioneer product so you can expect top of the line here. You get it too. Great picture and audio on this disc. The colors pop off the screen and it looks nice and clear. The menu is fairly simple and easy to use. Nothing flashy (like Trigun or Sol Bianca), but it works fluidly and without a hitch. The cover art is great and has all the info you need to know (I'm really enjoying the cover art for this series). The goodies are just what the doctor ordered. You get two more mini manga. They are the highlight of the whole disc for me. These are great fun, especially if you read them after you view the episodes. It was almost cathartic for me to enjoy the manga making fun of the show... and yet hitting a grain of truth in its comedy. Overall this disc is another technical A grade for Pioneer.

Content Review

Iriyatesse, Iriyatesse, Iriyatesse, Iriyatesse, Iriyatesse, Iriyatesse, Iriyatesse... Ah, I see that you have decided to join me in my ancient Inca prayer to save Nazca. It needs all the help it can get. Now quickly, get into your spandex and stick some feathers in your hair. Good, you're looking like a real Inca now! Let's kneel down and say Iriyatesse, as many times as we can. I've drawn a large image of a Panda on the ground and I think we can really tap into something here... Iriyatesse, Iriyatesse, Iriyatesse, Iriyatesse, Iriyatesse, Iriyatesse, Iriyatesse, Iriyatesse, Iriyatesse'

(At this moment, LadyCat comes in with a large wooden mallet and smashes Roman many, many times.)

You can probably tell by now that I am less than impressed with the way this show is going. But before I go completely off the deep end (we've still got one disc left folks!), I'm gonna try and focus on the good things about this show. Let's start with the animation and style of the show. These episodes of Nazca have remained as good as the previous episodes in the animation department. Some of the scenes look beautiful and are OAV quality, while other scenes look like TV show quality all the way. There are also a few moments of good camera work and some very cool visuals. Unfortunately I can't think of a single example right now. Something about this show makes me forget about it easily. Kinda scary, since at the time of writing this, I had just watched it last night. I do enjoy the character design and the look of the costumes (although I have my doubts about the authenticity of them ;-). Overall the show looks pretty good. The best part is still the opening credits. The combination of the visuals with the music just makes that opening pop out at you.

Speaking of music, this show has kept up in that department too. Not only is the music varied and interesting, but it's used very well in almost every instance. I've already mentioned the opening credits and the use of Bach, but the score for the rest of the show works very well with overall feel of the visuals. I'm definitely impressed with all the music in this show.

The sound design has also remained consistent with the show. Not only in the use of Iriyatesse, but in the "normal" sound effects department as well. There is some great use of ambient, mood setting sound in this show, especially in the flashbacks. They do a good job of bringing the world to life around you.

And now on to the parts I'm not enjoying. Mostly it's the plot and lack of character development. There are two glaring problems with Nazca: the predictable nature of the plot and over focus on the plot itself and not on the characters who are driving it.

In the three episodes on this disc we have lots of things happening... again. The first episode establishes (through lots of flashbacks) the ancient rivalry between Tate and Kyoji and their connection to Yuka and a hint at what happened with Iriyatesse in the past life. This has been the best episode so far. It balanced action well with the plot and giving insight on the main characters. This episode flew by, and I was thinking that maybe, just maybe Nazca was pulling itself together.

I was mistaken. The next episode continues the heavy plot focus and returns our characters to cardboard cut out status. Tate is evil. Kyoji is good and inexperienced. Yuka is torn between them. There are other characters and they remain the cutouts that we have known. It's a shame too because they all could be interesting if there was enough time to develop them. Instead we race ahead with Tate advancing his plans by finding a spiritually strong location to summon Iriyatesse from.

The final episode introduces another new character and shows us a bit about him. As if we didn't have enough cut outs to remember they introduce another one. He's evil and looks to have is own agenda... is he a wild card in the whole mix?!?! I wonder?

Actually, at this point I don't wonder any more. I'm just curious to see who gets toasted at the end... although I'm pretty sure who's doomed and who isn't. The point is, I don't know enough about any of them to really care. My favorite character is Dan, and that's only because he gets a few good lines off here and there. I'm not too crazy about the three mains, they aren't too exciting either. Kyoji seems to be losing his charm the most. Since when did he become Parn from Record of Lodoss War. Heck he even has the same run-straight-at-the-enemy-with-your-sword-raised attack. Except he puts a spin on it by jumping at the same time. I know he's young. I know he's not ready for the whole thing. But I don't believe that he will ever be ready to take on Tate or anyone else. If he "transforms" into a hero at the end.... I might have to vomit all over the screen.

So what I'm left with at the end of this disc is a feeling that Kyoji is a goon for even trying to take on Tate, and that Yuka isn't as strong as I thought she was. Oh yeah and Tate is evil... I'm sure we all got that. Of course things can and will change in the next three episodes... and that's nice and all, but my question is...

How many times can you chant Iriyatesse!?!?!

Now it seems that some of the English voice cast might have also been feeling rather bored at this point too. Much of the enthusiasm I felt in the first episodes is gone from some of the actors. I don't blame them. There isn't much meat to work with here. But some of the actors are still having fun, and are still pulling their weight. Dan's quips are well delivered and got me to laugh. And our purple haired fiend is doing a good job as well (I guess I got used to his voice actor after all). Now it isn't a horrible drop in acting quality, it's just noticeable. Well maybe they'll get back into it when the finale rolls around.

Now I'm hoping for the best here. There is a very, very, very, very small possibility that Nazca could go from a "rent if you feel like it" to a "rent for the ending" type of show... but it would take a miracle from an Inca goddess to pull that off...

So join me in chanting Iriyatesse. Get on your knees in your spandex and form a triangle with your fingers. Let's pray for a miracle or at least a swift death for this... our show... Nazca....

Iriyatesse, Iriyatesse, Iriyatesse, Iriyatesse' Iriyatesse' Iriyatesse' Iriyatesse, Iriyatesse, Iriyatesse, Iriyatesse, Iriyatesse, Iriyatesse...

(LadyCat comes back with her Mallet and smashes Roman lots more times, until he is a flattened Panda in spandex)

Review Equipment
Panasonic A110, Pioneer Elite Pro-107 (45 inch screen), Kenwood THX certified 4.1 receiver, Boston Acoustics (5 speakers and 2 subs)


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