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: B
  • Extras Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 12 & Up
  • Region: 2 - Europe
  • Released By: ADV Films UK
  • MSRP: 19.99
  • 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 Bryan Morton     June 21, 2006
Release Date: December 26, 2005


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


What They Say
Fallen Angels

As SEELE mercilessly interrogates NERV personnel, the secret workings of 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 nigh in the sixth searing collection of Neon Genesis Evangelion: Platinum Edition!

Episodes Comprise
On-air and Director's Cut versions of:
21 - He was aware that he was still a child
22 - Don't Be
23 - Rei III

The Review!
One disc, two versions of the story, as Eva starts to build to its climax.

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. Effects during combat scenes are more focused on the front soundstage, but they're 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 with previous volumes, both a standard keepcase & a silver slipcover are provided with this release. Both covers feature an image of Gendo, with his trademark fingers-on-glasses pose and deadly serious expression. 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, a glossary of terms used in the series 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:
This volume follows the pattern set by the previous discs in the series, with clean versions of the opening and closing sequences, an episode commentary " this time for episode 22, featuring Matt Greenfield (ADR Director), Tiffany Grant (Asuka) and Sean McCoy " and a full-length animatic for episode 23.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review will contain spoilers)
The first thing to point out about this disc is that, despite the running time, you're only really getting three episodes " although each is provided in its original broadcast version, and the later "Director's Cut" version. Both versions are essentially the same, as at least with these episodes the DC episodes don't mess with the story in any significant way " they just add some additional scenes and dialogue, clean up the animation in some places, and try to tie things in a little better with the events of End of Evangelion. As such, I'm not going to go into the gory detail of the differences " let's just say that in my opinion, you're better watching the DC versions and treating the original "On Air" versions as a little bit of history. With that out of the way, let's move on...

NERV's Intelligence Division has finally twigged on that Kaji's been working for others, and thanks to Misato's past history with him she's top of their list of possible accomplices. While she's co-operating with their investigation, Fuyutsuki's a very unwilling subject of an interrogation by SEELE, who are concerned that Ikari's work with the Evangelions is going beyond what they'd planned for him to do. They're particularly interested in his past & the circumstances surrounding NERV's formation.

Most of this episode is done as flashbacks, going back to Gendo's first meetings with Fuyutsuki and Yui Ikari, through SEELE's early involvement in their work, Second Impact, and the eventual formation of NERV " a lot of which seems to have happened as a result of Gendo's machinations. It's the first time we get to see a lot of the backstory of Evangelion, so from that point of view it's essential viewing, but compared to earlier parts of the series it's quite slow moving. The political manoeuvring that the story is built around also doesn't really grab the attention very well, and after explaining so much a few more issues are thrown into the mix, so by the end of the episode you're not really any the wiser than you were at the start.

Episode 22 begins with another trip into the past, this time looking at Asuka's history and why she's turned out to be as competitive as she is. It's a trait that could prove to be her downfall - with Shinji having passed her in skill and ability lately, her own ability to synch with her Eva has been on a downward trend as her long-buried feelings of inadequacy begin to come back to the surface. When yet another Angel attacks Tokyo-3 & launches a psychological attack against her, Asuka's mind finally gives in and it falls to Rei to save the day.

Her exposed mental frailties mean that she becomes next to worthless as an Eva pilot " not that Gendo cares. As he puts it, she can at least be a decoy, and after Shinji's last act of rebellion he's determined not to use Unit01 unless absolutely necessary.

I've always felt that Asuka, as annoying as she can be at times, is by far the most interesting and multi-faceted character in Evangelion, and it was good to finally see where her facade of arrogance came from " while seeing her psychological problems cruelly exposed by the Angel attack was one of those rare moments in this series where you could truly feel sorry for one of the characters.

By the end of the disc, 16 Angels have attacked, just one is still to come, and both SEELE and Gendo seem to be slavering in anticipation of what's to come, although it seems for different reasons. The audience is still left wondering just what's being planned, as well " by this stage of a series (three episodes to go) I'd prefer to have a few more pointer as to who is planning what, but other than continuing vague references to the Human Instrumentality Project (Gendo's aim) and the mass-production of new Eva models being underway (SEELE's project) there's precious little to go on other than a strong feeling that the aims of the two groups aren't going to be compatible.

In Summary:
This is another good volume of Evangelion. There's a decent mix of action and quieter moments, with some good character work (especially for Asuka) and plenty of revelations about what's been going on behind the scenes " while enough is left unexplained for there to be plenty for the final three episodes to get through. It can be a little frustrating to be so far into a series and still be in the dark to how events look to play out, but the ride is still enjoyable, and that's what really counts.

Features
Japanese Language 5.1,English Language 5.1,English Subtitles,Clean Opening Animation,Clean Closing Animation,Commentary for Episode 22 by Matt Greenfield (ADR Director) Tiffany Grant (Asuka) and Sean McCoy,Animatic for Episode 23

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

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