Neon Genesis Evangelion Collection 0:1 (Mania.com)
Review Date: Saturday, February 16, 2002
Release Date: Thursday, May 25, 2000
Let's get one thing straight right now: I have NEVER seen Eva before. I bought this series purely out of curiosity to find out what all the buzz was about. Therefore, you are getting the impressions of an Eva newbie.
I cannot convey to you how much this series impressed me when I first saw it. The first episode, which introduces protagonist Shinji Ikari and sets things up, isn't stellar. I did find all the talk about Angels and bio-synthetic organism interesting, but nothing that floored me yet. Of course, being the first episode it does have the inheriently boring task of setting up the series. Not many shows have been able to floor me with the first episode, so Eva's lackluster start is forgivable. The first episode ended with Shinji gravely injured while in mortal combat with an Angel, the giant creatures that terrorize Tokyo 3.
Then came the second episode. In what seemed like a gigantic cop-out, the episode begins with the Angel somehow defeated and Shinji in recovery. Most of the episode deals with Shinji's reaction and adjustment to the strange new world that is NERV, a secret organization that has built the Evangelion, giant mechs that are humanity's last hope. However, just when the lack of narrative clarity was starting to grate on my nerves, we are treated to an absolutely stunning battle sequences that reveals how Shinji beat the Angel. After that, I was hooked.
The remaining two episodes offer more insight into Eva's world, but leave more questions than answers. The Eva's themselves are something of a mystery, and the Angels are a complete unknown. What the Angels want is left up to our imagination. Meanwhile, the head of NERV seems to be operating on hi own agenda, and then there is the mysterious second Eva pilot, Rei, who is only seen in heavy bandages. Hopefully, the rest of the series will offer insight into all these mysteries, and trying to figure out what's going on is part of the joy of the show.
At the end of the show, my first thought was "I want more," which is the highest praise I can offer a show. Before Eva, only Cowboy Bebop, Escaflowne, and Gundam Wing elicted that response from me.
However, I do have one flaw with the disk, which ADV has already fixed. My copy being a present, I got the original disk instead of the remaster. All I can say is, this thing NEEDS that remaster. It looks like a secondhand video or something. Other than that, I found absolutely nothing wrong with Eva. I even like the dub.
If you are one of the few like me who haven't seen this show yet, get it. I hear a box is due out soon, and I can't imagine it being a waste of money.
KHL DVD 221; RCA 19" TV
Mania Grade: A
Audio Rating: A
Video Rating: B-
Packaging Rating: A
Menus Rating: A
Extras Rating: B
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