Neon Genesis Evangelion: Platinum Edition Vol. #4 -

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Mania Grade: B+

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  • 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: 75
  • 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. #4

By Bryan Morton     March 02, 2006
Release Date: August 15, 2005

Neon Genesis Evangelion: Platinum Edition Vol. #4
© ADV Films UK

What They Say
A War of Shadows...

Betrayals and revelations erupt across NERV when Unit 01 falls prey to a
terrifying new Angel. Swallowed by a living shadow, Shinji's mind begins
to collapse as bizarre hallucinations assault his sanity... or are these
visions glimpses of the true reality?

As Ritsuko debates destroying both the Eva and its pilot, Kaji's
allegiance comes into question and Misato finds herself trapped in the
middle. The discovery of what lurks inside a top secret hanger to shake
anyone's faith in Mankind! Prepare to be shocked by the most startling

Episodes Comprise
15 - Those Women Longed for the Touch of Others' Lips, and Thus Invited
Their Kisses
16 - Splitting of the Breast
17 - Fourth CHILD

The Review!
Misato uncovers Kaji's "part-time job", Shinji suffers from an unusual bout of cockiness, and NERV takes on its fourth Eva pilot. All in the latest volume of Neon Genesis Evangelion…

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. Effects during the limited action scenes are more focused on the front soundstage, but are still impressive to listen to. There were no noticeable problems with either track.

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.

As with previous volumes, both a standard keepcase & a silver slipcover are provided with this release. Both covers feature an image of Misato, in her NERV uniform and with her handgun ready for action. 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.

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.

In addition to the usual creditless opening and closing sequences, we get a full-length animatic for episode 15 and a commentary, also for episode 15, from Matt Greenfield (ADR Director) and and Tiffany Grant (Asuka) covering Tiffany's experiences working on the show. More unusual is "That Little Red-Haired Girl", a short film which again features Tiffany Grant and takes a look at the huge collection of Asuka merchandise she's collected since first playing the part of everyone's favourite fiery red-head. None of these extras really stand out as must-see items, unfortunately.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review will contain spoilers)
Kaji's still digging behind-the-scenes of NERV and its related organisations – this time the Marduk Institute, who are allegedly responsible for identifying potential Eva pilots. A trip to Kyoto leads to a contact who’s able to give him the names of the Institute's directors, and the list is depressingly familiar. Misato's also found out about his double-agent role, but is more interested in learning what he knows than in turning him in, and up to a point he's happy to oblige.

Somehow you just know that digging too much into the people behind NERV is going to lead Kaji into nothing but trouble, and now it seems Misato will be dragged along with him. What Kaji tells her and shows her it does bring home how much Gendo is hiding, even from his own people, and starts to push the politics of NERV, SEELE and the Marduk Institute even more to the fore – what are these organisations planning, and who exactly is pulling the strings? We're still not being given much in the way of answers, but the pieces of the puzzle are slowly beginning to fall into place.

Away from the conspiracies, life continues as normal for Shinji and Asuka. There's a fun little scene where a dull weekend leads Asuka to try and pass the time by kissing Shinji – a bottle of mouthwash later she realises that maybe wasn't the best of ideas. More seriously, though, testing of the pilots and their Eva units continues, and Shinji's scores in the Eva synchronisation tests have overtaken both Rei and Asuka. Rei's not particularly bothered, as you'd expect, but it's annoying Asuka no end. Before she gets a chance to do anything about it, a new Angel appears over Tokyo-3 and the three Eva units are scrambled to deal with it. With his test scores leading to a new-found cockiness, Shinji rushes in and tries to deal with the problem himself, but only ends up getting sucked into a a strange shadow projected by the Angel.

This is pretty much it as far as action goes on this volume – what was once Evangelion's backbone is becoming less a part of the show as it progresses and other issues get pushed to the foreground. Even here it's not so much of a battle scene as an excuse to mess with Shinji's head a little (payback for getting so cocky, perhaps) and underline again the point that the Eva units aren't machines – they're living creatures that aren't necessarily fully controllable. The lack of any real combat scenes on this volume may well be a disappointment for action junkies, but it's indicative of where Eva is going with its later episodes – by this stage of the series, the all-action feel that the earlier episodes had is well and truly gone.

The final episode on this release introduces the Fourth Child. NERV's 2nd Branch, based in Nevada is destroyed after a test on the prototype S2 engine intended to power Eva Unit-04, which was being built there, goes wrong. The incident's enough to give the US government cold feet about their involvement with the Eva program, so Unit-03, which was also being built there is sent to Tokyo-3 for completion. A new Eva unit means a new pilot is needed – and the selected person is someone very familiar to Shinji and the others.

This episode was quite strange, as there's really very little that happens. The news of the incident in Nevada breaks, Ritsuko announces who the Fourth Child will be, there's a little bit of introspection & surprise at the decision – and that's about it. It's one of the slowest episodes in the series so far, and not exactly enthralling viewing, although there are a few bits of information given out in it that will prove important later on.

In Summary:
Evangelion's tone continues to change as the series continues, with the general pace slowing down significantly & more and more time being spent on the politics and scheming of NERV and their backers. That won't be to everyone's taste, but there continues to be plenty here to keep most people interested.

Japanese Language 5.1,English Language 5.1,English Subtitles,Episode 15 Full-Length Animatic,Episode 15 Commentary - Tiffany Grant (Asuka) and Matt Greenfield (ADR Director),Clean opening and closing sequences,"That Little Red-Haired Girl"

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


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