November 10 2000

Ninja Review: Evangelion on DVD.

Like an angel without a sense of mercy,
Rise, young boy, to the heavens as a legend!

Ninjatron is going to talk about Neon Genesis Evangelion Collection 0:1 on DVD.

The story:

I'm not going to give too much of the story away, because I think everyone should experience it for themselves. Also I have only seen the first 4 episodes of the series which comprise this disk (at the time of this writing). So, if you send me anything with spoilers, you will be destroyed.

In 2015, 15 years after a meteor struck the Earth, mysterious creatures called Angels threaten the human race. Only a secret agency called NERV and their giant robots called the Evangelions can stop them. These giant robots are piloted by 14 year olds, including the whiny voiced hero, Shinji Ikari, son of NERV head honcho Gendo Ikari. There are also some cute girls in skin-tight body suits, of course.

Sound familiar? Just by going with this description, it probably should, since there are about a million other anime series about robots and kids and monsters and babes and the like. But Eva is so much more than that. Its got deep characters with real problems and a story line that will stretch you brain to the limit and challenge your beliefs. The giant robots are not used as a gimmick to sell toys. It's the crew at NERV and the group of emotionally dysfunctional teenaged pilots who really move the story. For this reason it has become one of the most popular and influential anime series of all time.

Unit 1
Giant Robots are cool.
Rei
The popular and mysterious Rei.

Essentially Evangelion is probably best described by saying that if aliens and giant robots really existed and fought each other sometime in the future, chances are it would look a lot like this.

Some say that Eva is too complicated and that they don't get it. To this, I say "GOOD"! I am sick of the cookie-cutter Disney animation with the same simple plots. Sure they look pretty, but where is the true innovation? It's been said that know one really knows for sure that Eva is all about, and I welcome such a challenge.

This volume only has the first 4 episodes, so there's not a lot to chew on just yet as it's more of an introduction. The first episode starts without really setting up the situation, but just give it some time and the key plot points will reveal themselves. I find this kind of viewing experience much more rewarding, as it's satisfying to put together the puzzle pieces in your mind (and even more satisfying to find out if you're wrong).

That all said, you do get action packed robot-smackdown scenes and the lovely NERV captain Misato Katsuragi is quite babe-alicious, so it's got all of the bases covered in the stereotypical anime respect. It also has the most incredible opening sequence I've ever seen with a most excellent theme song.

Misato
I told you she was babe-alicious.
Angel
Hey. Catch.

The Disc

I know that a lot of die hard Eva fans were disappointed with this disk. Personally, I'm pretty happy with it. Yeah, the picture quality isn't crystal clear and there's not a lot in the way of extras besides a bunch of trailers for other anime published by A.D.V. Films, but what it all boils down to is that I paid $40 for this DVD, which includes 4 episodes in 4 languages, where as Eva on VHS would cost me about $30 for 2 episodes in 1 language.

If you're anything like me, you'll want to watch all anime in its original Japanese with English subtitles. However, unlike some anime fans, I don't mind English dubs at all and it's nice to have a choice. The English voices are pretty good if you can get past Shinji, who sounds like an older man trying to sound like a kid. The menus are cool, and look like NERV computer layouts. There are also a few short bios, which give a bit of insight into some of the characters without spoiling too much.

Conclusion

If you like anime and have a DVD player, you should probably have this. If you already own Eva on VHS, there's not really much of a reason to buy this other than the fact that DVDs last longer without deterioration. If you're new to the series, as I was when I bought it, you can do no wrong by adding this to your collection.

So, boy, stand tall and embrace the fire of legend,
Embrace the universe like a blazing star!

Sayonara.

Eva DVD Cover

One last hope for salvation

Shinji Ikari

Shinji, the hero.

Gendou

Shinji's dad, Gendo.

Misato

Did you know...
that animation, and especially Evangelion, is a popular topic of discussion while drinking in Japan? According to Ryo Mizuno, creator of the acclaimed series "Record of Lodoss War", it's true! Kids, don't try this at home!

EVA unit 1

The mecha design is very unique and cool.

Tokyo 3

The city of Tokyo 3.

Misato is hot

Miss Misato, you can pick me up any day.

Eva close up

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