Neon Genesis Evangelion Vol. #8 -

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Mania Grade: B+

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  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: C
  • 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 Vol. #8

By Paul Jacques     January 10, 2004
Release Date: January 17, 2004

Neon Genesis Evangelion Vol. #8
© ADV Films UK

What They Say
In the deadly calm of the aftermath, the sudden and unexpected arrival of the Fifth Child hits like a hurricane, leaving Shinji at the eye of a whirlwind of activity as he finds a kindred soul in the unearthly Nagisa Kaoru… but does Kaoru really have a soul at all?
Prepare for the shocking conclusion to the most controversial animated series ever produced. Where Angels fear to tread, Shinji must go alone. At last, the circle of life will be completed. He is The Beast That Shouted I at the Heart of the World. It is Final Genesis.

The Review!
Finally, we get to the end, but the end of what?

I listened in alternate Japanese and English episodes, and both stereo streams were good, with no problems detected.

Video is good, with no defects in the transfer process detected, and the same quality level as the previous volumes.

The front box cover has Misato. The rear cover has half a dozen stills from the episodes. The single page insert has a picture of Kaoru. The disc is the usual gloss black printed affair.

Simple blue and red background, looking similar to a control panel. In the background (at the top) you can see a short version of the intro looping. All hot spots worked well. The top menu presents the episode and scene options, as well as the language and “Extras” selections. All-in-all, nothing to get excited about I’m afraid.

Not a whole lot; clean open & close; the bios covering young Asuka, seventeenth Angel Tabris (aka Kaoru), second Angel Lilith.

Content: (please note that this review will contain lots of spoiler)
Episode 24 deals with the aftermath of NERV near destruction. We start with Asuka lying broken (spiritually) in a bath in a wrecked apartment. She has failed in the only thing that gave her life meaning, and now she contemplates her meaningless life, a life as meaningless as her mothers death.

Back in his apartment Shinji goes over what he has seen in Terminal Dogma, and can’t shake off the feeling that Rei and his mother are connected somehow (she is in fact a clone of his mother but with a little extra soul).

Meanwhile Ritsuko is confronted by Ikari about her actions. We then discover that she to – as her mother did before her – has been sleeping with Ikari. And thanks to the SEELE interrogation she knows that Ikari doesn’t love her anymore than he loved her mother.

Shinji is alone, and has no one to talk to about what he has scene in Terminal Dogma. And as he is lightly dipping into his self pity he meets the 5th child, Kaoru, who is sitting by the lake humming Beethoven’s No9 (4th movement). Kaoru is very nice, very understanding and very much the 17th Angel (in disguise)! Only Shinji doesn’t know this, and starts to think of him as his new best friend.

And what is Rei doing while everyone else deals with life after the great battle? Well she doesn’t understand why she is still alive after her death. Or why she feels a kinship to Kaoru. What she doesn’t know that both he and she are clones, bred for a single purpose, and that purpose isn’t necessarily to pilot an EVA.

At long last the SEELE plan is revealed, they have sent the 5th child knowing that it is an Angel, to try and make contact with “Adam” in Terminal Dogma. Their hope is that Ikari will send EAV 01 to do battle and start the third impact. Of course Shinji is very upset that his new buddy is the enemy, and gets right onto stopping Kaoru ASAP. Thus we get to watch another EVA v EVA fight, but this is just a diversionary tactic by Kaoru. We discover that AT field is something that is generated by the soul. Only Kaworu isn’t the only one who can generate an AT field, and out of nowhere Rei appears (without an EVA) to watch the fight. But all is for naught, as Kaoru finally reaches “Adam”, and all he has to do is merge with “Adam” and then the third impact starts and mankind ends. Only “Adam” is really “Lilith” and Kaoru decides that he doesn’t want to merge with Lilith, but instead suggest to Shinji that someone else should (he looks at Rei) instead. And in order to achieve this new objective Kaoru orders Shinji to kill him. Then we have a very, very, long moment (strong classical music is played) as Shinji wrestles with his conscience and the fate of mankind hangs in the balance, before he kills Kaoru.

Episode 25 and 26 is the infamous “crazy” episodes. Shinji suffers a breakdown as his kind heart and conscience gets the better of him. As Shinji has stated before, he can never harm another human being. Killing Angels has been easy, as they do not look like human beings. Only in killing Kaoru, Shinji realizes that Angels are people to, as they have souls. This leads to a static scene show where questions are posed, and answers (or excuses) are given, in very quick succession. All you need understand is that throughout his life Shinji has avoided responsibility for his actions. This is why he can’t get close to other people. And he cannot fulfill his purpose because he is always afraid of what might happen if it goes wrong.

We follow Asuka - prior to her mental breakdown at the start of episode 24 – and see how her conscience has been treating her. She realizes that without EVA piloting abilities she serves no purpose.

Then follows Rei’s introspective examination, as questions are posed by herself as to whether she is real at all (she subconsciously suspects she is a clone) but she is totally in control and answers her own nagging doubts with complete aplomb. And she does this because she was created to carry out a task. In fact she is the only pilot who has a purpose and knows what that is, because Ikari has already told her.

Finally Rei starts the Instrumentality, at the behest of Ikari, which is the merging of all human consciousness. We get flash-forward and flash-back, we see Ritsuko and Misato dead, then alive. And so the main characters minds begin to merge, and they see each other, and how others perceive them. And so more questions are asked, seeking to expose the hole in each persons life (soul), thereby exposing their deepest secrets as to why they do not like themselves. And so after much soul searching (literally), Shinji realizes his own self worth, and decides that the world is a good place to live in after all – he sees what an alternate reality might be - just as long as he believes in himself.

A lot of people really dislike episodes 25-26, because it is full of psycho babble. But if you never understood why the main characters did what they did (motivation) this is where you will gain enlightenment. Of course, the very, very, end is somewhat non conclusive.

In summary:
Wow, we have had 26 episode of action, action, action and finally philosophy. And I’ve enjoyed it all. Only the very end lets this series down, because we don’t actually know what happens next. By leaving the final part of series to focus solely on a single character's journey of self discovery, it neglected to finish the story as a whole. As such I recommend “End of Evangelion” to better understand what actually happens.

Japanese Language,English Language,Spanish Language,English subtitles,Character Bios

Review Equipment
Primary equipment: JVC 28" Pure Flat Wide Screen TV, Pioneer 454 Progressive Scan code free DVD player, Logitech Z-680 THX DD/DTS receiver & Speakers. Secondary equipment: 21” Sony Trinitron monitor, ATI 9700pro & PowerDVD v4, Creative Audigy 2 & headphones.


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