Neon Genesis Evangelion: Platinum Edition Vol. #3 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Audio Rating: A+
  • Video Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: A
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 12 & Up
  • Region: 2 - Europe
  • Released By: ADV Films UK
  • MSRP: £19.99
  • 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: Platinum Edition Vol. #3

By Bryan Morton     July 18, 2005
Release Date: June 20, 2005


Neon Genesis Evangelion: Platinum Edition Vol. #3
© ADV Films UK


What They Say
"Since its debut nearly a decade ago, ...Evangelion has remained one of the most influential and controversial series in the history of Japanese animation."
- NPR's "All Things Considered"

IN THE I OF THE STORM

The war against the Angels comes closer than ever before as new attacks target the individual members of NERV themselves! First a suspicious power failure leaves NERV defenceless, and Shinji, Asuka and Rei must find their way through an underground labyrinth to reach their Evas. Misato's sudden promotion becomes a nightmare as she finds herself responsible for helming NERV's attack on the largest Angel yet, while Ritsuko must race against time to decipher the secrets buried inside the core of the MAGI!

Human dramas on both the small and epic scales intersect in the third thrilling volume of NEON GENESIS EVANGELION - THE PLATINUM EDITION!

Episodes Comprise:
11 - The Day Tokyo-3 Stood Still
12 - She Said, "Don't make others suffer for your personal hatred."
13 - Lilliputian Hitcher
14 - Weaving a Story

The Review!
With this volume, Eva pretty much reaches the end of the 'pure action' episodes and starts to turn more towards the conspiracy side of the series. Whether that's a good or bad thing depends on your point of view.

Audio:
The audio for this release is presented in both English and Japanese 5.1 versions. I listened primarily to the Japanese track, while checking the English track during several key scenes. As with the previous volumes, the new 5.1 mix is a delight to the ears, with plenty of use made of the available channels - snippets of background dialogue come at you from all directions, while the music has also been enhanced. Explosions and such for combat scenes are more focused on the front soundstage, but are still impressive to listen to. There were no noticeable problems with either track.

Video:
Presented in its original 1.33:1 full-frame aspect, the remastered video is clean, clear and colourful, and looks noticeably better than the original DVD release. There were no apparent encoding problems.

Packaging:
As before, you get both a standard keepcase & a silver slipcover with this release. Both covers feature an image of Asuka, posing cheerfully in her plugsuit. Episode titles are listed along one edge of the keepcase's front cover. The back of the slipcover has ADV's promotional blurb, episode titles & screenshots and the disc's technical info panel, while the keepcase has episode descriptions and screenshots. Inside is another 12-page booklet with episode commentaries, profiles of this disc's Angels and a few more screenshots.

Menu:
This volume's menus are the same as those used with previous discs - black text on a plain background, with an inset 'video' of water, backed by a short piece of orchestral music & the sound of running water. Options are presented in the usual ADV style - each episode is selectable from the main menu, with sub-menus available for extras, language set-up and chapter select. The simple layout makes them quick & easy to navigate through.

Extras:
In addition to the usual creditless opening and closing sequences, there are two episode commentaries provided, along with an 18-minute 'documentary' with Matt Greenfield (ADR Director) and Wade Shemell (English 5.1 Mix Supervisor) that looks at the process of creating the show's 5.1 track. This ties in with the commentary for episode 13, which also concentrates on the 5.1 mix. The other commentary is for episode 11 and features Tiffany Grant (Asuka) talking about her experiences on the show. All told, it's a reasonable package of extras if you're a fan of the dub track.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review will contain spoilers)
What started as a fairly peaceful day in New Tokyo-3 soon takes a turn for the worse when a powercut leaves the city, and NERV HQ, without power. When NERV's backup power supplies also fail to produce anything other than minimal supplies, Gendo begins to suspect that someone is probing NERV's capabilities and seeing how they react, but he soon has other things to worry about when an Angel attacks. With Rei, Asuka and Shinji left out on the surface, they must find their way through a warren of underground tunnels to reach their Evas, while Gendo and his staff prepare the giant machines for a manual launch.

The next Angel to attack Tokyo-3 is the largest yet, and seems set to bombard the city from orbit before simply dropping itself onto NERV HQ. If it's allowed to do that, it'll mean complete devastation for the area around the city. With Gendo and Fuyutsuki in Antarctica, it's up the newly-promoted Major Katsuragi to control NERV's response. While the Magi are recommending evacuation as the only viable option, Misato has a plan - to use the Evas to simply catch the Angel as it falls on the city. Even when the Magi rate her plan as having only a 0.0001% chance of success, it quickly becomes clear she's not going to let Tokyo-3 be destroyed on her watch.

From the largest Angel yet to the smallest, as a microscopic Angel manages to infiltrate NERV and begins to multiply, corroding metal and infecting organic matter as it goes. With the Angel able to evolve at a frightening rate, NERV's staff are unable to prevent it from infecting the Magi in much the same way that a virus would infect a normal computer. Some emergency hacking is able to slow the spread of the Angel through the system, giving Ritsuko some time to program more effective countermeasures into the system. Thanks to her mother's involvement in creating the three supercomputers, Ritsuko has a better understanding of the MAGI that anyone suspects.

The first three episodes on the disc seem to round out the more action-oriented portion of the series, with the battle scenes here being comparatively brief compared to earlier in the series, while more pointers are given to the plans being developed behind the scenes. Character development isn't forgotten either, as both Misato and Shinji get to convey their reasons for fighting against the Angels - for Misato, it's to avenge the death of her father during Second Impact 15 years earlier, while for Shinji it's simply a matter of trying to get some words of praise out of his father. The scene in episode 12 where he finally gets to hear the phrase "Well done" is one of the few where I could genuinely feel sorry for the kid, rather than just seeing him as a whining brat.

The final episode on the disc is a strange beast - part recap episode, as the Human Instrumentality Committee reviews NERV's progress against the Angels that have appeared so far while questioning Gendo's commitment to their plans; part surreal vision, as Rei delivers a monologue about the world through her eyes, accompanied by some unusual imagery and flashbacks; and part new material, as the three Eva pilots carry out some further synchronisation testing on the Evas. Each part here seems to foreshadow events later in the series - the Committee and SEELE form the core of the conspiracy side of Evangelion's story and will soon come to play a very large part in proceedings, while with the benefit of hindsight I can see that Rei's monologue points towards events right at the end of the series. The final part of the episode is more traditional in tone, and covers a few events that will have more immediate repercussions.

The introduction of SEELE and the continuing revelations about events behind the scenes does mean that something has to give as that aspect of the show gets more and more screen time, and it's the action side that takes the greatest hit here. There's also not quite as much comedy as there was before. Whether this is a good thing or not will vary from person to person depending on what you watch the show for, but the end result is that you need to pay a bit more attention than before to get the most out these episodes. A few of the minor characters get to pick up a reasonable amount of screen time here, which is good to see.

In Sumamry:
These episodes didn't grab me quite as much as the previous volumes - the switch in emphasis away from the all-action side of things & a cutting back in the comedy scenes takes the series away from being completely "my kind of thing", although with the benefit of having seen the show before, some of the foreshadowing that's going on here makes a lot more sense than it did first time around. Evangelion is still doing a good job of covering all the bases and continues to be well worth watching.

Features
Japanese 5.1 Language,English 5.1 Language,English Subtitles,Clean Opening and Closing Animations,Episode 11 Commentary - Tiffany Grant (Asuka),Episode 13 Commentary - Matt Greenfield (ADR Director) and Wade Shemwell (English 5.1 Mix Supervisor),English Remix Process Featurette

Review Equipment
Panasonic TX-W28R30P 28" widescreen TV; Pioneer DV-626D player; Acoustic Solutions DS-222 5.1 speaker system.

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