Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion (Mania.com)
Review Date: Monday, December 16, 2002
Release Date: Tuesday, September 24, 2002
The End of Evangelion, one of my favourite animes, has finally been released on DVD. Has the DVD been worth its 3 year wait? Yes, it has.
This review assumes you have seen the TV series to at least Episode 24 or Death.
Audio: For this feature I listened to the Japanese 5.1 Mix. The clarity throughout the movie crisp and clean. The majority of sound came through the front speakers with little audio in the rear. All the voice and background effects blend together seamlessly. The great song that plays in the second half was very clear and powerful. Also, the scratchy record sound during Shinji's flashbacks is done very well.
Video: One of the best transfers I have ever seen. I was disappointed in the quality of the TV DVD's, but this one is infinitely improved. Bright and clear, I only noticed some color bleeding with scenes of Rei in Terminal Dogma since there is a lot of red. Another huge plus is the subtitle font is very easy to read.
Packaging: The overall design is well done. The cover is definitely a draw with Rei's giant head in a sea of LCL with Asuka and Shinji standing on the shore. A well selected piece of artwork. The back cover roughly follows the same format as the TV DVDs. There is a blurb about EVA in general, and then the drawing paragraph about this finale. All the audio and features are nicely laid out in a box in the corner. The insert is a fold out poster that has the cover artwork on one side and the chapter guide and details of the audio tracks on the other. The disc cover is very boring. It looks like a two-sided disc like Death & Rebirth, but sadly it isn't. It seems Manga was planning on putting in more extras. A logo or snapshot would have been better than plain silver.
Menus: The opening menu plays a quick montage of images and voice clips from the movie. This is the only decent menu on the disc. The names of the menu selections follow the TV series format, such as "ACCESS" is the scene selection and "LAUNCH" starts the movie. All the interior menus are screenshots with options laid on top. They are all dull and a little slow.
Extras: This disc has very few extras. It includes trailers of Death & Rebirth and this film. There are no Japanese trailers, which I always have a preference for. Also included is an audio commentary with Amanda Winn Lee, voice director and voice of Rei, Her husband Jason Lee, co-producer and voice of Aoba, and an anime "enthusiast" by the name of Taliesin Jaffe . I'm not a fan of audio commentaries. My only exception is for the Japanese staff, considering this commentary would be infinitely better is it was with Hideaki Anno. In general, there is a lack of effort for extras.
Content: What can I say? This movie is a masterpiece. It is a fitting end to one of the greatest series of all time. The loneliness and pain of being alone is shown amazingly well. This movie has caused much debate, due to the many symbols and plot twists involved. I recommend to watch and let it all sink in.
The movie begins right after Episode 24. I must point out that this is an alternate ending to the series. Some answers are revealed, but with them come even more questions. The movie is split into two 45-minute episodes and has credits at halftime, which was a good idea so that the events settle before the finale. The first episode, titled "Air", is the final steps toward Third Impact. Tokyo-3 is a giant lake and Shinji doesn't want to live. He begs Asuka for help. She is, at the moment, comatose from the Angel Arael's mind probing and her inability to synch with her EVA. Everyone is now questioning what will happen to NERV since final Angel has been defeated. The action begins when the Japanese government regains control of NERV and SEELE decides to relinquish Gendo Ikari's control because of his conflicting plans. First, The MAGI is attacked by the other MAGI supercomputers around the globe. Ritsuko implements the 666 firewall to block their efforts and regain control. Left with little choice, the JapaneseNow here is where Misato gives her speech. I'm glad none of its raw impact got lost in translation. This is a fantastic scene where Misato says in simple understanding what it's like to live. Very potent, especially when she mentions she should have changed the carpet. Will we all think of some mundane thing when the end is near? Meanwhile, Asuka awakens and practically obliterates the military. If you notice this fight is very similar to the battle against the third angel Sachiel in Episode 1. SEELE decides to pull out its ace and sends the S2 Eva Series into the fray. These things are like white vultures and all run on dummy plugs. They are very violent. This is where Rebirth ended, so from this point on its all new. I won't spoil this fight, so enjoy! The episode ends with Shinji bearing the wings of Adam.
The second part, titled "A Pure Heart for You", is Third Impact. Again, I won't spoil this. The style followed is like Episode 25 and 26 of the series, but because it only does this for about fifteen minutes it plays very smoothly. The song that plays during Third Impact is very fitting. It is one of the most depressing lyrics I've ever heard, yet has the most uplifting, catchy beat. This movie will change the way you think. If not, then watch it again. At the very end, watch Asuka's eyes.
Hitachi 43" Widescreen Projection HDTV, Pioneer DVD 525, Pioneer VSX-D511 Reciever, Orbit Micro Home Theatre Systen, dahlquist Subwoofer
Mania Grade: A
Audio Rating: B
Video Rating: A-
Packaging Rating: B-
Menus Rating: C-
Extras Rating: D+
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Manga Entertainment
Running time: 90
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Non-Anamorphic Widescreen
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Neon Genesis Evangelion