Mania Grade: A
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- Audio Rating: A-
- Video Rating: C-
- Packaging Rating: B
- Menus Rating: A-
- Extras Rating: D-
- Age Rating: All
- Region: 2 - Japan
- Released By: Other
- Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Non-Anamorphic Widescreen
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Neon Genesis Evangelion
Evangelion: Death and Rebirth / The End of Evangelion
June 21, 2002
What They Say
This is the French release.The Review!
Picture quality is very grainy, especially in dark scenes. I don't know all the technical terms for dvd artifacts, but these 2 discs seem to have nearly every flaw in the book. Lots of jitter, rainbows, and pixellation, even minor color bleeding. In short, both segments are so bad, they make Manga's much maligned transfer of Wings of H. look like a major technical achievement.
Sound quality, however is excellent. I listened to the film in its English 5.1 track and loved the way the Evas shake the room. Directionality is very noticeable and there is quite a lot of bass, without being too overpowering.
The menus are fairly good as well. Scenes from the movie flash above an easily laid out selection menu. It doesn't match the color scheme of the movie, but it does seem professionally done.
Extras are almost nonexistent. Text files in french introducing the various characters and trailers for the 2 movies. Here I don't know whether to blame Manga or the authoring house, but the pictures for half the characters are mismatched with the names.
Packaging -- a two-sided cardboard case with plastic inserts. The artwork on the front is the same as Manga's US release, unless they change it.
Death and Rebirth
Death is a retelling of the Evangelion TV series. All the major battles and character development sequences are spliced together with no regard to continuity whatsover. Each of the major pilot children arrive on a stage with a musical instrument and introduce their segments of the show while playing classical music, but many of their stories intertwine and suddenly halt while new character threads are added. As a fan of the show it is refreshing to see familiar scenes redrawn with more detailed animation and remixed in such an unexpected non-linear fashion. Unfortunately, anyone that has not seen this series will be completely lost. Most of the original voice actors have returned. Spike Spencer's Shinji (one of the pilots) is dead on, as are the voice actors for Gendo (the commander), Rei (another pilot), Ritsuko (a scientist), and Aoba (a computer operator). Tiffany Grant's Asuka (another pilot) performance is weaker here than the original, but is much better in End of Evangelion. There is a new voice actor for Hyuga, one of the computer operators, who is just plain bad. I won't elaborate except to say he is so jarring compared to the other actors. And he gets a surprisingly large number of lines, most of which made me cringe.
Rebirth is not included on the disc. Instead Manga chopped the 1st 30 minutes off of End of Evangelion and copied them over, with the Rebirth credits dubbed in at the end. I know this is nitpicky, but Rebirth has two or three original scenes and different soundtrack music in several places, and this to me smacks of false advertising.
End of Evanglion is the new conclusion to the television series. The origins of the Evangelions are explained, Shinji's metamorphosis into an adult is realized and everybody dies a nice dramatic horrible death. Dark disturbing imagery abounds and the mysterious 3rd impact that everyone has been trying to avoid, occurs. The movie takes us on a voyage through Shinji's mind and shows us his resolution to humanity's dilemna. The ending is wonderfully ambiguous and encourages the viewer to return again and again. I must mention that all the voice actors, (with the exception of "Hyuga") deliver strong performances in this second movie. Unfortunately, the extremely poor picture quality will lead me to purchase the region one versions in July and September.
One final note. I realize that my test player is not the best quality, but I spot-checked several other region 1, region 2, and region 4 discs on it and could not see the same flaws that showed up on these.
Japanese Language,English Language 5.1
Sampo 620 region free DVD, Toshiba 36 in TV, Denon 2802 receiver, DCM, JBL, and Sony speakers