Neon Genesis Evangelion Collection 0:1 (Mania.com)
Review Date: Saturday, February 16, 2002
Release Date: Thursday, May 25, 2000
First of all let me say that I have been waiting for Neon Genesis to be released on DVD for some time, as I'm sure most of us have. I am a great fan of the series and a bit of a purist.
The audio on the Enlgish track is quite fine with nice bass extention, and clear dialogue. However there was very little surround activity to speak of. Many places would have been more than appropriate, such as having the cicadas chirping from the rears in episodes 3 and 4, or any effects in the battle scenes. There was also lacking directionality. Everything, just like the VHS, has a very mono feel. The Japanese track was a little worse than the English one. It seemed to have less bass and tinnier overall sound. I guess ADV really wanted to jazz the American release up a bit.
Video on the DVD was very nice. I detected no blatant errors upon first viewing. Somthing new, however, has reared its ugly head in the video of this disc; ADV's use of superposing CG images over the Japanese text in many places and replacing it with Enlgish. This is actually fairly effective in a few places, but in others it really looks hokey and shoddily done. The sign on Shinji's door in one scene reads "Shinji's Lovely Suite" and in the next with Misato it's back to Japanese. One scene is edited not to pan down in this edition like it does in the original so that the sign can be read in English. This had better not be the start of a trend here. Having poor dub jobs is one thing, but actually changing the video for us poor Americans is another. I might even tend to agree that in the VHS's the scenes with huge lists of Japanese text that remains on the screen for 5 seconds with English titles imposed over it is a little silly, but sometimes there is not even a need to translate it in the first place. Just leave it alone ADV! If this continues, later in the series it will become quite annoying. For instance the scenes when Asuaka is being "Mind raped" and we start seeing German text will just not be executed correctly in the English. The scenes when we see the newspaper clippings about Shinji's mother's death and the events surrounding it will also not look right. It is a poorly executed technique that needs to be stopped before other anime houses get any bad ideas. I wouldn't mind being given the choice between the two as different angles in the setup, but altering the original content and not giving us a choice is wrong.
The menus were a nice surprise. They have to be my favorite aside from Cowboy Bebop. It captures the style of the show nicely.
There isn't much to say about packaging. It's a standard Amaray with nice, yet familiar looking graphics. Fairly uninspired.
Evangelion is what really got me into anime in the first place. It still remains my favorite show. It has themes on religion, life and death, and relationships. Many scenes strike at me very hard while others drive me to laughter. For someone who is just getting into anime I can't recommend this series any higher.
Television: Sony Trinitron 27'', Receiver: Sony STR-DB830, Speakers: Bose 301, 201 and VCC center channel, DVD player: Pioneer 606D
Mania Grade: A+
Audio Rating: B-
Video Rating: A/C
Packaging Rating: B
Menus Rating: A
Extras Rating: N/A
Age Rating: 12 & Up
Region: All Region DVD
Released By: ADV Films
Running time: 100
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Neon Genesis Evangelion