Mania Grade: A+
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- Audio Rating: A
- Video Rating: C
- Packaging Rating: B
- Menus Rating: A
- Extras Rating: N/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 J.J. Sabadoz
February 16, 2002
Release Date: May 25, 2000
I want to talk about the show first, as my feelings towards it effect my feelings about the presentation ADV gave us. Neon Genesis Evangelion is very special to me. More so then any other anime. Some people have a book that reached them, or a poem, for me, it was Eva. What's important to me about Eva? The character of Shinji. The first time I watched the series, I noticed a few similarities between him and I.
Some times it was a line, such as one in a later episode; when, at a small party, Misato asks if he's all right, and Shinji replies, "Yeah," and then thinks, 'But why do they have to be so loud.' This is where Eva shines: nuance. Most would ignore that statement, or take it literally; but it has much more reason, as I myself have said it a few times. Another example is in episode four, 'Rain, escape, and afterwards.' It's one of the best realized episodes (in terms of character), and it's very telling of Eva's audience that it is also one of the least popular. Take Shinji's reaction in the theater when he sees the couple; that really hit home for me, because I knew exactly what Shinji was thinking, and feeling. Because of my connection to the character, it's actually hard for me to watch some episodes of the series (such as ep. four) but all through the last two episodes of the series, I just stared, and nodded.
Not many people appreciate Evangelion to it's full extent, because frankly, you have to be an antisocial manic depressive in order to- luckily, I am; and it was with great trepidation that I sat down to watch ADV's DVD of Eva. I won't talk about the principal of the overlays, as that has been run into the ground, but... When I first saw pictures of them, I thought, "well, those look O.K." but having seen them, I was very, very wrong. They do not mesh AT ALL. They stand out like a sore thumb, with a sign taped to it reading, "LOOK AT ME!!!!" The map actually made me laugh. It was really THAT bad. In short, they were more of a distraction them they were a help.
One time that ADV DID use subs to translate signs, they were hard subbed in giant letters. I laugh just thinking about the translation in ep. 4 of a sign for an elevator which was done in giant letters centered horizontally and vertically. What were they thinking?
As for the video quality: ouch. Some people have called it 'soft.' I say that that is the most generous description I have ever heard. The FIRST episode was O.K., and while watching it I thought, 'well, it's certainly better than the VHS. Those people were exaggerating.' Then a few episodes went by. At it's best, the Evangelion disk looks just like the Utena disk. At the end of episode two, I started noticing the jagged lines. It looked, literally, as if I was watching the DVD on pause; and these problems were on practically still scenes! I can't imagine how ADV could have possibly encoded the film THAT badly. The jagged lines continued. I also noticed that when anyone was shrunk so small that their entire body is on the screen, they blur. A lot. In one scene, (ep. 4, again) after Misato talks to Shinji's new school friends and closes the door, she turns, curses Shinji, and kicks the wall. This was the third place on the disk that drove me to laughter.
It looked bad, and I couldn't help wondering, 'how did this get out the door?' Other people have made excuses for ADV, saying that their master was bad. But that doesn't change the fact that the video is bad; and when all is said and done, it all comes down to ADV being at fault. ADV cheaped out at many turns, right down to the cheap Scanavo keepcase:) ADV didn't show this title the respect it deserves, they didn't show their flagship title the respect it deserves, and they didn't show their fans (who would be buying it) the respect they deserve.
Gainax: Thank you for a fantastic, touching show.
ADV: I have nothing nice to say, so I won't say anything at all.
Sony DVP S360, JVC 32' TV, Pioneer VSX D307 Pro-logic receiver