Quantity is making up for quality here.
Takahashii | Wageningen, Netherlands | 02/22/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The 5th release in the Platinum serie really had no other choice to be special since it contains the most controversial episodes in the Neon Genesis Evangelion saga, numbers 18 through 20 thus making this release equal to the original Evangelion 0:6 DVD, apart from all the enhancements in picture (fully rehanced/restored) and sound (5.1 sound dubs in Japanese and English) ofcourse. The episodes on this disk are Ambivalence (aka "The Judgement of Life"), Introjection (aka "A Man's fight") and finally Weaving a Story II (aka "Form of the Mind, Form of the Man").
As I already pointed out these episodes were controversial, mostly due to the brutal contents. For example; when Shinji refuses to take out Evangelion unit 3 (which had been re-classified as an Angel) and is being overruled by the dummy-plug system things get very messy. Something which wasn't appreciated by all of its viewers. This DVD tells us that what we've seen back then perhaps wasn't even as bad as some people seem to think ;-)
If you watch the episodes it becomes immediatly clear that we're dealing with a re-mastered product since this DVD also has some new material here and there (note: some scene's only last a couple of seconds and none of it will have the impact of the Director Cuts. Still; it adds up to the experience a lot). When looking at this DVD while only focussing on the 3 episodes I'd say that this is excellent material. The animation quality is very good and so is the audio. Its very refreshing to see and hear that all of the emotion which has been put in the English sound dubs back then (for example: Cmd. Ikari who coldly orders to cut off Unit 0's arm while Rei is still connected, Cmd. Ikari again as he basicly tells Ibuki to stop talking and do as he tells her and even Asuka when she makes an all out attack on the 14th Angel) is still 100% intact, slightly altered but only for the best. The only thing which annoys me, but thats strictly personal, is the "canned" sound when the children talk from within the entryplug. Sometimes its being overdone for my liking.
The extra's on this DVD consist of the always present 12-page booklet (featuring some very good pictures of scene's in these episodes, episode commentaries, Angel details and finally a glossary of common Evangelion topics), the clean opening/ending, an audio commentary with Matt Greenfield (ADV Director, also seen/heard in the previous 2 releases) and Sean McCoy (his panels could be seen during Anime conventions), "The Mythology of Evangelion" (its basicly an interview / documentary with both Matt and Sean who tell us what Evangelion is and explain some of the deeper plots) and finally more animatics; this time all of the episodes on this disk (18 through 20).
I consider the extra's rather bad. The only thing in the extras section which make it a bit interesting are the animatics as far as I'm concerned. These are an absolute *must see* for the fans. Although we've already seen a couple of them on the past releases these are rather special since the episodes themselves are special. These animatics reveal some very interesting details, even if you cannot read Japanese.
The rest of the extras basicly consist of things which we've already experienced (an audio commentary, clean opening/ending, etc.). I particulary didn't like "The Mythology of Evangelion" because it gives me the impression that these 2 people - who aren't even part of the actual creation process of the animation and storyline itself - do seem to think that they can explain what it is all about. Keep in mind that we're talking about a cartoon which had hundreds if not thousands of people debating over its plots. With that in the back of my mind I consider this approach rather silly. But since this is only part 1 I guess we'll have to wait a while before you can form a final impression about it.
So... Is this disc worth it ? If you are a fan then I don't think you can ignore this one because of the animatics. Otherwise I guess it all boils down to personal preference, but do keep in mind that this release offers more material then the original. However, I most certainly wouldn't trade in my original DVD's for these."
The Best of the Series
Lisa Carroll | Florida | 06/20/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"18 - The Judgement of Life/Ambivalence
NERV is finally receiving EVA Unit-03, and eagerly places its new pilot inside for a seemingly routine sync test. But yet again, fate rears its ugly head as Unit-03 is taken over by an Angel, destroying the research facilities and wreaking havoc on Asuka and Rei as they try in vain to stop the rampaging EVA. Now it's up to Shinji to stop the Angel/EVA before it invades NERV HQ - but he'll have to make a decision to fight against someone he doesn't even know, but still feels a strang ebond with as a pilot. Gendo, however, doesn't feel the same, and he will do anything in order to protect the interests of NERV and of SEELE. This is one of the more emotional and disturbing episodes of the series, and was the most effective up to this point. It's simply heartbreaking to see Shinji go through all of this.
19 - A Man's Fight/Introjection
In anger and frustration over seeing the broken and battered body of the Fourth Child, Shinji threatens to blow up Tokyo-3 with the self-destruct sequence of his EVA. When that fails, he tenders his immediate resignation from NERV as an EVA pilot, disgusted by the actions of his father. Shinji's "retirement", however, may be short-lived as another Angel threatens to endanger not only NERV, but all of Tokyo-3 and its innocent civilians in the Geo-Front shelters! Now Shinji must make a choice between his pride and his conscience, but little does he know that his decision will take him down a path from which there is no return. Another wonderful episode, including the infamous second berserker scene, which was almost as disturbing as seeing Shinji destroy Unit 03.
20 - Weaving a Story II: Oral Stage
EVA Unit-01 has once again shown its enigmatic yet incredible power. However, Shinji has completely disappeared, almost without a trace, and NERV must work against time to find a solution to this latest dilemma. Misato and Ritsuko are on edge with each other as the fate of the Third Child hangs in the balance. However, it's more than Shinji's body that is on the line - it is his very soul, as he is forced to look inward and discover his reasons for existence, piloting an EVA, and his lack of hope for the world. From this episode, it's clear to see where things are going. Everything is falling apart. Shinji, Asuka, Rei, Misato, Nerv, and, the world. So many have complained that the show just suddenly switched to this psyco-babble (as many like to call it), but I think that even from the start of the series that it wasn't just another big-robot-fighting anime. Which, people still pass it off as.
Oh, and the Extras are great too. The Meaning of Eva documentary didn't give any new information, since, most likely if you're a fan enough to go out and buy the special edition DVDs, you already wrapped your head around these ideas...But it was entertaining and good to see something rounding it all out."