Miura Kyoji, a dedicated kendo student, discovers that his shisho (master) Tate Masanari is a reincarnated Incan warrior named Yawaru who wishes to destroy the world to purify it. Kyoji himself is the warrior Bilka, who foiled Yawaru's plans in their previous lives. Yawaru gathers other awakened spirits to release the powers of nature. Now Kyoji must wrestle with his own fate and decide if he is merely a vessel for the reincarnated soul or if he is truly Miura Kyoji and which will be better able to save the world and the future as he knows it.
Jikuu Tenshou Nazca is a unique show which manages to use an even more outlandish plot element than your standard anime.
Reincarnated Incan warriors.
. . .
During a kendo match, the protagonist Kyoji's sensei Tate awakens to his past life memories, setting in motion the renewal of his apocalyptic past-life designs. He goes about awakening other reincarnated spirits--including our hero--even though half these people worked -against- him the last time.
Maybe he thought they'd be more dissatisfied with modern Japan then they were with ancient Peru?
What makes this absolutely silly is just how many reincarnated Incan warriors can be found in the
same social circle of a Japanese high school. At one point, a newly introduced character who gets caught up in events, declared to be expendable by the villains, also spontaneously awakens as a reincarnated Incan priest. In all honesty, if they'd started turning characters' grandparents and random passersby on the street into reawakened warrior priests, I wouldn't have been surprised. In fact, had they just turned all of Japan into reawakened Incans for a massive apocalyptic battle, it would have made for a more exciting climax.
What's more, you'd expect the characters and their renewed struggle to be tied up in Peru, and thus lead them there. Well, blessedly, it does. . . for like a single episode. Then they go back to Japan. . . because it's anime, and anime can ONLY take place in Japan. Viracocha forbid somebody think outside the island box.
In the show's defense, they -do- make a weak explanation later in the show, but it really doesn't cut it.
Those (extremely cogent) arguments aside, the writing in general wasn't as silly or hairbrained as you'd expect, and I found myself enjoying the battles and story's forward progression. I've seen plenty of popular shows that hit you with goofy scenario after goofy scenario. Comparatively, I'm sure plenty of people can excuse implausible reincarnations.
Animation is very well done. Characters are well designed and animated; I was especially impressed by the quality of character's faces, and was pleased with the stylistic presentation of everything set in present day Japan. People looked and dressed normally, which I consider a plus.
The problem is introduced in the flashbacks.
While the animation is still good quality, the design is horrible. Instead of traditional Incan garments, they wear skin-tight one pieces with tribal accessories. I get the impression the artist's investigation into ancient South American clothing only got as far as Mexican Wrestling. Even where the story was interesting, I found myself distracted and annoyed by just how goofy the villain looked in what I can only imagine to be primitive spandex.
As for the characters: they didn't really leave any strong impressions. There were a couple I liked enough to care when they were in peril--Daimon was likable for being one of the few dynamic characters, who actually faced the ethical dillema of which side he thought was right, and I liked Yuka, who seemed more to me like the story's protagonist than Bilka/Kyoji.
. . .But most of the development was presented disjointedy through past-life flashbacks, and it all felt rather hollow.
The interpersonal relationships didn't feel very deep, the villains seemed to have the most fleshed out motivations, and I found myself mostly indifferent toward the lot of them.
Despite its shortcomings, there is one area in which Nacza not only does well, but excels. Rather than the generic J-Pop or J-Rock that the medium is saturated with, the music is remixed Bach, which works incredibly well.
The OST was reminiscent of Hironobu Sakaguchi, and seems more like something you'd find in a classic RPG than an anime.
That's a good thing.
It gives a grand and serious tone to events which are really too silly to be taken as grand and serious without it. The music managed to draw me into events which probably would have bored me otherwise, and without it I'd probably rate the show lower.
In summation, Nazca is an. . .interesting. . . anime. It does some things well, and a lot of things mediocre, but the final blend was something palatable if not savory. Despite my various complaints, I was, admittedly, never bored.
Viewers who can suspend their disbelief and enjoy things in spite of absurdities will be able to tolerate or even enjoy the show.
But those who like to nitpick over every small implausibility and unliklihood should keep far, -far- away.