Neon Genesis Evangelion: Platinum Edition Vol. #6 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Audio Rating: A+
  • Video Rating: A+
  • Packaging Rating: A
  • Menus Rating: A
  • Extras Rating: A-
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: ADV Films
  • MSRP: 29.98
  • Running time: 175
  • 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. #6

By Derek Guder     May 25, 2005
Release Date: March 15, 2005


Neon Genesis Evangelion: Platinum Edition Vol. #6
© ADV Films


What They Say
As SEELE mercilessly interrogates NERV personel, the secret workings or NERV are revealed, and a complex triple-cross leaves the fate of mankind hanging in the balance. Once again, the Evangelions must defend the Earth from the Angels, but with one of the pilots out of action, another must make a terrible sacrifice. As the survivors sift through the wreckage, a guilt-ridden Ritsuko summons Shinji and Misato for a horrifying revelation! The end of the world is night in the sixth collection of Neon Genesis Evangelion: Platinum.

The Review!
The series is nearing the end and we get three of the most thought-provoking episodes in both their originally aired and director’s cut formats.

Audio:

This is the first volume that I didn’t watch in both English and Japanese. The English dub still just doesn’t work for me at all and after five volumes I figured it was better to just give it a rest instead of complaining about it yet again. Besides, I wanted to watch the original and director’s cuts all the way through and as much as I adore the show, I didn’t really want to watch the same three episodes four times in a row.

So I only watched it through in my preferred Japanese, and it was a treat as always. The sounds remain sharp and distinct and uses the new 5.1 remix to create an engaging sound-stage. For some reason, I noticed the richness of the opening again on this volume; maybe it was just because I was more relaxed when watching it.

Everything I’ve had to say about the previous volumes hold true: listening to this show remixed into 5.1 has been a joy and I relished the entire cast’s performance.

Video:

Again, the same goes for the video. The remastering has made such a marked change in quality that I still whole-heartedly recommend re-purchasing the show if you can. The colors are crisp, clear and vibrant and the GAINAX frame-jitter is gone. All those minor bits that used to buy me while I was trying to enjoy the show have been wiped away with the new release.

Packaging:

The packaging is the same standard format the other volumes have followed, with Gendo on the cover this time. We have the metallic slip-case and then the DVD case with an insert booklet.

The booklet focuses on the changes made for the director’s cuts, appropriately enough. It mentions some of the scenes that are on the subsequent and final volume of the show, but it does have a great deal of insight into the How’s and Why’s of the new scenes, giving fans some context regarding their addition. It’s not quite as revealing as some previous ones, but makes a very nice complement to go through after watching the episodes. It also completes the Glossary that has run through several volumes.

Menu:

The menus also follow the same format and maintain the dignified atmosphere I’ve come to love. Nice, simply and fast, with sharp design.

Extras:

On this volume we have another commentary track with Matt Greenfield, Tiffany Grant and Sean McCoy on episode 22 as well as animatics for episode 23. As with the last volume, Sean’s addition to the commentary track does a great deal to revitalize it. He still doesn’t seem to really have the time or opportunity to put forth any truly stunning revelations, but he does pepper the track with very interesting asides and bits of information. I still would have liked some of back-and-forth debate between McCoy and Carl Horn, but the commentary track does have some interesting content in it.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)

This volume is where the depth of the NERV/SEELE conspiracy really begins to show. Evangelion is one of those anime where each volume you want to say “This is where things start to really heat up!” and it almost always true. In this volume we get more deep, dark secrets than ever before – we just don’t really get any explanations for any of them.

The first episode on the disc delves into the pasts of the major personalities at NERV. The usual air of mystery and the hint of unspoken truths remain, but seeing a young Gendo and Yui Ikari coming together while Fuyutsuki looks on disapprovingly reveals quite a lot. Through the device of Fuyutsuki being kidnapped and interrogated by the SEELE committee, we get a glimpse of the real history of the organization we had assumed was simple established to protect mankind. And through every snapshot of NERV personnel’s lives, Gendo’s unabashed arrogance and single-minded devotion shines through, driving everyone around him.

The following episode centers on the deeps psychological scars that Asuka has carried throughout the series, barely hidden under her aggressive and confrontational nature. She suffers the pain of becoming a woman – a potential mother – and her synch ratio drops dramatically. Unable to relate or open up to anyone, not even her precious Evangelion, Asuka’s mind is laid bare when an angel mentally infiltrates her from orbit. Gendo refuses to send Shinji and Unit 01 to save her and instead removes the Lance of Longinus from the giant below HQ and uses Unit 00 to throw it into space, destroying the angel. Asuka never really recovers from this defilement and after seeing her deepest secrets it’s quite clear why she’s been so abrasive throughout the series. It also brings her weakness and desperate desire for help into sharper focus.

The final episode on this volume turns its attention to Rei. Asuka is now unable to even move her Eva so when a new angel appears only Rei is available to fight against it. When it begins to absorb the biological components of the Evangelion and even infects her mind, Gendo allows Shinji to be launched to help. However, Rei contains the angel within herself and self-destructs instead of allowing Shinji to be infected as well. Later, she seems to have miraculously survived but is strangely cold and distant. Ritsuko, seemingly ridden with guilt and anger after her own cold interrogation by SEELE, reveals the truth to Misato and Shinji, showing them the chamber where Rei has been made and remade as needed – and where soulless Rei-clones float around the apparatus for the dummy plug system.

In Summary:

I have to admit, this was my first time actually getting a chance to watch the director’s cut episodes. I had bought the DVDs but never actually got a chance to watch them before the Platinum edition was announced so I just put them off again and again. Now I was finally able to sit down and watch both the original on-air and director’s cut versions back-to-back and some of the changes are quite striking.

While you’re not going to find all the answers you might be looking for, the new scenes, shots and compositions do flesh things out a bit. Episode 21 with the look at NERV’s past and formation has a number of new shots of Fuyustuki, greatly deepening and broadening his character. It brings a test of reality to the show’s history and transforms him from a silent second-in-command figure into something much closer to a father-figure. The other most significant new scenes can be find during the fight with the Angel in the final episode. A few new shots and several entirely new sequences transformed a simple fight that served as a background for Rei’s thoughts to a deeply disturbing conflict. As mentioned in the booklet, many of these new scenes served to introduce elements and images used during the movies and they share the same viscerally unnerving quality.

Evangelion is definitely something I can watch time and time again, picking out new minor details or re-affirming theories and suppositions created to answer the mysteries the creators left all throughout the series. This penultimate volume has some of the scenes and answers that serve as fodder for so many theories and explanations and guesses. Kaji’s death alone is surrounded by conspiracies and mysteries second only to Kennedy’s. Add in the glimpses we get at Gendo, Misato, Ritsuko, Rei, Asuka, Fuyutski and even Shinji’s mother Yui and this may very honestly be the most thought-provoking volumes in the series. Aside from the last one, of course.

Features
Japanese 5.1 Language,English 5.1 Language,English Subtitles,One-of-a-kind numbered decal,Profile booklet filled with screen shots, Japanese commentaries and character profiles,Episode: 01 commentary by ADR director Matt Greenfield,Episode: 02 commentary by Matt Greenfield and Spike Spencer ("Shinji"),Clean opening and closing animation

Review Equipment
Panasonic CT27SX12AF 27" flat-screen TV; Koss KD365 DVD player; Onkyo TX-SR501 receiver; RCA 6-piece home theater speaker package; Component video and optical audio connections

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