Mania Grade: A-
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- Audio Rating: A
- Video Rating: A
- Packaging Rating: A-
- Menus Rating: A-
- Extras Rating: A-
- Age Rating: 12 & Up
- Region: All Region DVD
- 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
By Chris Beveridge
May 25, 2000
Release Date: May 25, 2000
Neon Genesis Evangelion Collection 0:1
What They Say
© ADV Films
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 Eva coming to DVD? Well, it's finally arrived and should please a great number of people.
One of the holdups for the disc was surely the amount of audio efforts involved. 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.
ADV went the extra mile here and encoded this as a dual layered (DVD-9) disc. With the extra space, they put it to good use with the video. I could find no moire or rainbow effects and the few instances of line noise were so minimal, you could tell that they worked hard to try to eliminate the majority of it. While the video won't look as great as something coming directly off of a digital source, this is probably the best it's looked since it was first released here in the US. Each episode contains the full openings and endings. Odd episodes contain the opening lyrics in English while even episodes have them in romanji. And yes, they are hard matted onto the video, which is probably the only way that they can deal with it with four language tracks on the disc. For a catalog title, even one of Eva's stature, this is to be expected.
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.
The menus are also very well designed, and very much in the Eva style. 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. You have the option to play each individual episode or play them all at once, which I believe simply skips the openings and endings since selecting just episode 1 by itself plays the entire disc.
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.
One thing that some folks will wonder about right away is the credits. The end of each episodes contains the English language credits, but at the end of the fourth episode, it's followed by the full credits for each episode on the disc for all the languages.
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.
English Language,Japanese Language,French Language,Spanish Language,English Subtitles,Character Bios
Toshiba CF36H50 36" TV, Pioneer 414 codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster S-Video cable and Sony speakers.