Neon Genesis Evangelion Collection 0:1 (Remastered) - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: A-
  • Menus Rating: A-
  • Extras Rating: C+
  • Age Rating: 12 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: ADV Films
  • MSRP: 29.99
  • Running time: 100
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Neon Genesis Evangelion

Neon Genesis Evangelion Collection 0:1 (Remastered)

By Chris Beveridge     December 24, 2001
Release Date: December 24, 2001


Neon Genesis Evangelion Collection 0:1 (Remastered)
© ADV Films


What They Say
In the year 2015, the Angels, huge, tremendously powerful, alien war machines, appear in Tokyo for the second time. The only hope for Mankind's survival lies in the Evangelion, a humanoid fighting machine developed by NERV, a special United Nations agency. Capable of withstanding anything the Angels can dish out, the Evangelion's one drawback lies in the limited number of people able to pilot them. Only a handful of teenagers, all born fourteen years ago, nine months after the Angels first appeared, are able to interface with the Evangelion. One such teenager is Shinji Ikari, whose father heads the NERV team that developed and maintains the Evangelion. Thrust into a maelstrom of battle and events that he does not understand, Shinji is forced to plumb the depths of his own inner resources for the courage and strength to not only fight, but to survive, or risk losing everything. The extraordinarily popular television series that took Japan by storm!

The Review!
For quite some time now, I'm sure the ADV mailbox, staffers and convention representatives have heard the endless question above all others. When is the Eva remaster coming to DVD? Well, it's finally making its way into the distribution channels and should please a great number of people when they find it.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in its original language of Japanese. Not only does it contain the English and Japanese stereo language tracks, but it also contains a Spanish and French stereo language tracks. From what I recall, those two tracks were also in different formats so it took some extra time to get them converted and resynched up with the master video being used for the DVD. Dialogue and sound effects come across very well for this mid 90's TV series with no distortion or dropouts on the two tracks I listened to (English and Japanese). I checked out various portions of the French and Spanish tracks and was pleasantly surprised by how well they were recorded. Frankly, I think the French soundtrack sounds better than the English track in areas I checked out. Eva just seems like it works well in that language.

Video:
This is where the main difference is between the original release, authored by AIX, and this new remastered version, done by MOFC. To add to the mix, discs 2-7 were done by POP/Cinram. So three companies have had their hands on the Evangelion property for authoring so far. On our HDTV, playing between the three (disc 1, 1a and 2), there's definite differences to be seen in all of them. The AIX version looks much worse than it did on our old 36" TV, showing considerably more macroblocking and general fuzziness. Comparing Vol. #2 done by POP to it, it's like night and day. Colors are more solid and vivid and the macroblocking is generally nonexistent outside of a few areas that seem to afflict many shows, such as the dark blue night time skies. Comparing both of those against the MOFC version, the MOFC version is slightly edging out the POP version for quality. Most noticeable are the blues, such as during episode one when we see the ocean whisk by as we see old Tokyo. The blues are much more vivid and fully saturated here.

The removal of the overlays has also helped things look better as we get to see the images as originally presented. The use of soft-subs here should be used as a rallying cry for shows that continue to use overlays. This also means we have the removal of the frame freezes during the end of scene changes that was attempted to remove the jitter from the show. So much like the 2nd through 8th volumes done by POP as edited by Gainax, there's jitter a plenty here when transitions happen.

Packaging:
The cover artwork used for the first volume is a variation of the original VHS release and comes off pretty dark looking. Eva fans will gobble it up regardless of course, but the dark look to it should grab a few eyeballs off of the shelf for those anime fans who have yet to see the title. The back cover contains a couple of menu shots, some scenes and some promotional artwork in addition to the storyline concept stuff. Special features are listed as well as the creative folks behind everything.

Menus:
The menu design for the remastered volume uses the same style as the later volumes, where episode numbers are in a straight downline as opposed to a four corner box of the original mastering. They capture the feel of the Eva synch up screens shown during the series. Selections are made quickly and accurately. My only quibble would be that during the language selection menu, after you change the subtitles it jumps right to the resume film section instead of moving down to the language selections.

Extras:
The only extras on the disc besides the preview trailers for other ADV DVD titles is a brief character bio section that highlights a few of the characters and Angels met during the first four episodes. Nothing really spoiler worthy is revealed during them which is a definite plus.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
As for the show itself? Well, Evangelion has been the discussion (both heated and cool) since its release. The show has as many detractors as it does supporters, but I've found myself in the middle of the road with it since I originally watched the VHS releases. So I've seen the entire series, I get the gist of it, and I miss a lot of the symbolism in it. I can guarantee that there will be a lot of content filled alternate angle reviews of this series by folks who live by it. I enjoy the series a great deal though!

The opening episodes present the setting, which is 2015. Taking place after the mysterious Second Impact, we get introduced to a secret organization, NERV, under the direction of the UN to fight off a series of alien invaders who are invading for no known reason.

The newest pilot, 14 year old Shinji Ikari, is the somewhat outcast son of the organizations chief, Gendo Ikari. To say the two don't get along is an understatement and is a huge part of what will drive things in the future. Thrust into piloting the Evangelion 01 unit, which is being called mankind's last hope against the invading Angels, Shinji deadpans his way through a wide variety of emotions.

Eva is definitely a thinking fans anime that takes the big robots with guns to a new level. There are a lot of reasons why the series is considered an essential part of modern anime history, and this first disc sets up a lot of the great moments to follow as well as having some great ones itself. This disc is highly recommended.

Features
English Language,Japanese Language,French Language,Spanish Language,English Subtitles,Character Bios,Textless opening/ending

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Skyworth 1050P Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.

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