Neon Genesis Evangelion Vol. #1 Test-Type -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: NA

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  • Audio Rating: A-
  • Video Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: All
  • Region: 2 - Japan
  • Released By: Starchild/King Records
  • MSRP: ¥1,500
  • Running time: 24
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Neon Genesis Evangelion

Neon Genesis Evangelion Vol. #1 Test-Type

By Chris Beveridge     March 31, 2003
Release Date: March 26, 2003

Neon Genesis Evangelion Vol. #1 Test-Type
© Starchild/King Records

What They Say
"Evangelion that no one has ever seen".

"Neon Genesis Evangelion" will be released with digital re-mastering! This re-mastered version will include both 5.1ch sound and ordinary stereo sound system, with the dialogues that were originally planned, but never made it to the actual anime. There's a visual bonus that you can't see anywhere else!

Story: Year 2015. Mysterious gigantic figures called "Shito" appear in front of the human race. All the weapons and armaments available in the human world proved no effect on this mysterious invader. Their last hope was the "Android Evangelion", created by NERV...

This DVD contains episode 1, "Angel Attack".

Visual bonus: Full size opening "Zankokuna Tenshi no These" and full size ending theme "Fly me to the Moon", edited by Masayuki deputy director.

The Review!
Several years since the Japanese first released Evangelion on DVD, it?s revival time. And since there?s always a question of whether a new remaster is worth it, Gainax goes the extra mile and releases a sample to win over converts.

One of the big selling points of this release is that they?ve taken the original audio stems and have created a fresh new 5.1 remix for the show. While they also include the original stereo mix (a smart move, especially for comparisons sake), the 5.1 remix here is amazingly solid. I hadn?t expected much from it since many stereo mixes just aren?t done with much depth, but this release really utilizes the full 5.1 channels well. The opening song itself will have most people hooked as it masterfully manages to create a full enveloping sound mix as opposed to something spacey and hollow. Dialogue throughout the program is mostly to the forward soundstage, though with added clarity and positioning, but the sound effects and music use the rear speakers much more effectively.

Of course, the other side to the remaster comes in the video itself. After ADV?s attempt at fixing some of the problems with their first release of the first volume, they opted to go back to the original prints they had, complete with the jitter you?d get during scene transitions. For some people, the jitter is extremely jarring and takes them out of the show. For others, it?s not that big of a deal. With this remaster, they?ve managed to eliminate almost all of the jitter and make it flow naturally, something the ADV attempt didn?t manage. In addition to that, they?ve reworked the colors and it now has a much more vivid and fully saturated feel to it, a feel that almost gives it fresh new life. There?s still some jitter in a few transitions that?s very minor and still some areas where the animation shows its roots that you just don?t see in the pure digital stuff these days, but overall this remaster is really amazing.

Going with one of the classic images, this keepcase cover has an image of Shinji holding an unconscious and bandaged Rei in his arms while the Unit 01 is in the cloudy background. The back cover proclaims all the changes and gives some basic information to the show while the insert lists the street dates and what to expect with the upcoming release.

The main menu utilizes the cover artwork from the keepcase in a nice sized window while along the right side all the features are selectable. It?s not a deep menu by any sense since all the selections are here, so access times are nice and fast and the layout is good for what?s essentially a demo disc.

As if the show itself isn?t enough, they?ve gone and added a few extras here. The opening sequence is given a new Full Opening, which runs in 5.1 and provides images from the entire series and the films. There?s also a Full Ending in 5.1 which is really nice in how it brings in the live action footage with the animation. There?s also two small single screens that provide the credits for those who worked on these new pieces.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
I?ll fully insert my foot in my mouth here. When I first heard about this release, I didn?t have really high expectations, particularly in the audio department. But I was pretty much wowed by this release and loved how fresh and new this episode came out. It?s like it got a new lease on life and was really strutting its stuff.

Is it worth the full upgrade though with the big box set that?s coming out? At this point in time, I?m completely unsure. The lack of information regarding the movies is what?s keeping me from being completely on board about it, since if they?re remastered but still 4:3, I?d likely pass. But the hint of an anamorphic transfer being created, particularly for the second movie, and I?d be on board as fast as could be.

If Evangelion is your life, and you disliked how the region ones came out and thought the region twos were godlike, this is a no-brainer for you to pick up. If they maintain the quality level throughout the entire series during its remaster, it?s going to be one great looking series. But for those on the fence, I can?t offer up much help here as I?m pretty much in the same position. Hopefully as more information comes out however, those of us in this position will be able to make an informed decision.

Japanese 5.1 Language,Japanese 2.0 Language,Full Opening Sequence,Full Ending Sequence

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Panasonic RP-82 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.


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