Reviewby Allen Divers, Jan 10th 2002
Neon Genesis Evangelion
Collection 0:7 DVD
It is 2015, 15 years since the second impact that destroyed much of the population of the Earth. The Angels have begun to attack and only NERV with its Evangelions can save the planet. All is not as safe as it seems as, one after another, dark secrets bubble to the surface. There seem to be more questions than answers as the Angels continue to attack.
SEELE, the council behind NERV, begins to question key personnel to discover Gendo Ikari's true agenda. As he is questioned, Fuyutsuki looks back at the creation of NERV, starting with his introduction to Yui Ikari. Moving quickly to the future, the growth of NERV is explained and an intricate web of contact between the main characters is established. Back in the present, another Angel attacks leaving Asuka traumatized and unable to continue as a pilot. Just as it seems that the worst is over, another attack and Rei appears to make the ultimate sacrifice. Ritsuko, overcome with guilt summons Shinji and Misato to a secret chamber to reveal yet another dark secret.
It's often been said of Evangelion that if you feel your life is horrible; just watch this series to feel better. Its not that it is in anyway uplifting, its more the fact that every character in this series is so screwed up that you will instantly feel better about your own life and troubles. This has proven itself consistently with the later releases of the series on DVD. This series continues to not hold back as each character is slowly dealt serious blows to their own view of reality. Shinji, Misato, Asuka and even Ritsuko grow ever more isolated as events continue to slowly destroy their resolve. Religious fanatics should be forewarned: a lot of Evangelion is about questioning theological faith and long held beliefs.
Visually, Evangelion remains stunning and beautiful. The imagery pulls emotion from you by changing to fit the mood of the scene. The DVD plays well with keeping it crisp and clean, removing most film scratches that can distract from the imagery. When the color fades out, people often think it's a problem with the DVD when instead it is actually trying to sway the mood of the viewer for dramatic effect.
The story grows more serious in tone, and the voice acting follows through well. Both the English and Japanese casts do a good job of conveying the emotions of the cast as they all sink deeper in despair. Even Misato who was so carefree in the first part of the series, borders somewhere on the level of despair and hysterics. This acting goes a long way of portraying the downfall of the whole series. Without it, the mood would not be set correctly.
This series of episodes go a long way to introducing a lot of the back-story that has only been hinted at in past episodes. The exploration still has an outsider's feel, since it follows the recollection of many of the side characters, instead of a major player like Gendo Ikari. There is a definite push to show that Gendo still hides more secrets than is shared here. Asuka even gets more of a background push, which serves more to show how far she has fallen into despair than give us any real character growth. Even up to the end of the disc, you as a viewer are hoping for some sort of relief for each of the characters.
The characters and storyline of Evangelion would give Sigmund Freud complexes. Unless you've been watching this series from the beginning, it would be hard to follow. This is not a series that a casual viewer can get any enjoyment from and she definitely can't just jump right in. The storyline and the issues that are explored take honest effort from the viewer to follow. With one more DVD in this collection to finish up the 26 episode run, we are left with more questions than answers from this latest release.
Overall (dub) : B
Overall (sub) : B
Animation : A
Art : B
Music : B
+ Soul searching story keeps the viewer involved
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