Neon Genesis Evangelion Collection 0:6 (of 8) (Mania.com)
Review Date: Tuesday, April 17, 2001
Release Date: Tuesday, April 17, 2001
What They Say
The first test of the new Eva turns into a disaster as the giant bio-humanoid goes insane and proceeds to run amok! When the combined efforts of Asuka and Rei fail to stop the berserk monster, Shinji must face it alone in Unit 01....
But his compassion for the fellow human trapped inside the beast becomes his undoing. As Gendo unleashes the monstrous power of Unit 01's autopilot, it becomes horribly apparent that the Evas are far more than just machines.
Volume six arrives and reminds us just how messed up the end of this series gets. This is only the tip of the iceberg folks...
For our primary review, we listened to this in its original language, Japanese. Frankly, there's not enough time in the day to watch this series in all four languages on it and still review everything we get on a weekly basis, but I really love that they do include the multiple languages. The Japanese track sounds good for what it is, with clean dialogue and no noticeable distortions. The music sounds quite good, with some really powerful scenes on this disc making good use of it.
As the episodes have progressed, things continue to look better and better. While there's still a bit of a washed out feel in some scenes, others look great. Some of the softness in a few scenes also look intentional, especially when compared to some of the more clean and clear looking sequences. Rainbows don't show up to our eyes and only a few minor isolated instances of line noise during a camera pan here and there. Colors look good and blacks look solid. The only area where we noticed some grain/compression artifacts is during some of the night blue sky scenes.
Ah, the mad raving Unit 01 cover. Another in a series of fairly dark looking covers, but this one works particularly well with the episodes in this volume. The reverse side follows the previous pattern with some nice animation shots and a decent episode summary, though we are getting into an area where episode summaries barely scratch the surface. The insert provides a great looking picture of the Eva making its way across the landscape with the hint of a blood red river flowing by it. Pretty nice overall.
The menus are the same as previous volumes, so they're pretty functional and in the style of the show's computer screens. Access times are very quick and since there's not a lot of levels to it, very easy to navigate. So why the low grade? Same as the last volume. For some reason, at least on my deck, the main menu takes an entire cycle of music before it becomes available for input. Fairly annoying in my book. Returning to the main menu did not have this problem though.
The extras this time around are character bios as seen on earlier discs. Due to other discs giving away spoilers in bios such as these, we're skipping them (and yes, we've seen this series before, but we forget a lot of things and can still be re-surprised).
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
In my mind, we're now entering the phase where Evangelion gets a lot harder to review. And honestly, even having seen it once previously, seeing things again are still leaving me confused and unsure, much like the first time. The other problem is that almost anything becomes something of a spoiler or requires pages and pages of content review. Suffice to say I'm hoping for some real in-depth alternate angles.
The latest Evangelion unit has finally arrived and Misato and Ritsuko head off to the testing area to put it through its paces. Testing goes fairly well with everything working as it should be. While back at home, tensions are running a bit high for everyone except Shinji who continues to be unaware of who the new pilot is. Ayanami knows, Asuka knows... everyone seems to know but him. Of course, the observant viewer knows that it's his friend Toji from school.
As the testing progresses, Toji heads off to start up his duty as the pilot of Unit 03 at the testing base. Things start off flowing up to spec, but then quite suddenly it all goes wrong. The Eva unit rejects the pilot and ends up developing a life of its own. Gendo quickly assigns it the status of an Angel and orders the other pilots to destroy it. They're all unsure on some level, but even still Shinji hasn't learned that Toji's the pilot.
The new Eva Angel continues its rampage across the countryside as it heads towards the NERV headquarters. When it finally comes into view, it takes down both Unit 00 and Unit 02 fairly easily, leaving Shinji to deal with it. He's quickly apprehensive as the partially ejected plug is visible and demands to know if the pilots still alive. His father instructs him to ignore the pilot and destroy the Angel. A one sided shouting match of Shinji versus his father ensues and only heightens when Gendo instructs Shinji's plug to be deactivated and the dummy plug to be used instead.
Lacking control, Shinji watches in horror as his Eva strikes against the Eva Angel, crushing it with ferocious speed and strength, blood splaying from the unit across the streets, buildings and everywhere else. It's one of those truly violent scenes that works so effectively in this series. And the sequence when the dummy plug controlled Unit 01 is kneeling there over the body of Unit 03, the entry plug in its bloody hands, and then crumples it, it's simply something you can feel coming from Shinji's screams over it.
Shinji's spiral really begins here as his conflict with his father only grows alongside his resentment and hatred, which is visualized in an almost emotional segment via his thoughts later on. The outer layers of what is Shinji begin to be peeled away here and to varying levels, those around him as well. The characters continue to live in interesting ways with the most visible changes being Asuka and Misato.
These episodes really wrapped up my attention and set it spinning here. Everytime you think you know exactly what's going to come next, there's either a minor or a major twist that works so well that you wonder how you could have missed it. My passion continues to be rekindled for Eva as it progresses towards its end.
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Character Bios
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Pioneer 414 codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.
Mania Grade: A-
Audio Rating: B+
Video Rating: A-
Packaging Rating: B+
Menus Rating: C-
Extras Rating: C
Age Rating: 12 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: ADV Films
Running time: 75
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Neon Genesis Evangelion