Director Hideo Anno has returned to the controversial ending of his watershed television series yet again. In these penultimate chapters, he's added entire scenes that help to clarify story points. (The disc contains bot... more »h versions, and is a must-have for Evangelion fans.) Some of the previously unseen footage consists of few seconds of visuals: Rei drawing the Lance of Longinus from the body of Adam, and the Lance's destruction of the 15th Angel. But a lengthy flashback of Asuka pursuing Kaji helps to explain her eventual emotional breakdown. The battle in episode 23 is more powerful and disturbing when the 16th Angel transforms itself into an image of Rei to attack Shinji. Added footage of the graveyard of discarded Evas intensifies the viewer's sense of the hideous truth behind SEELE's schemes. The "sneak peek" of the live action Evangelion film combines early production sketches with patronizing statements from Ben Wooten and Richard Taylor of the special effects studio Weta, about how "exciting" it is to see these images "brought to life"--when animators brought them to life in 1995. (Rated 15 and older: violence, nudity, grotesque imagery, alcohol and tobacco use.) --Charles Solomon« less
"I suppose, since I bought this DVD as soon as it became available that I have finally become a true Eva-Otaku. After all, I already own the DVD set and the films. Somehow, though, I've never thought of myself as one. I find Evangelion a fascinating artistic effort, one that manages to cross cultural lines even as it creates something uniquely Japanese. But I haven't memorized the scripts yet. But in absorbing this new DVD I discovered that I'm still not tired of watching the episodes.A lot of director's cuts really are just collections of deleted material pasted back on. With some frequency, the cuts were made for a valid reason. On occasion, the cuts were made to accomplish something arbitrary (to get a better rating or meet a length requirement). That is the case here. These episodes represent a return to Hideaki Anno's original concept for the series and provide considerable insight into the confusions of the first US release.Episode 21 has been filled out considerably, providing a better picture of the progression that led to the birth of the Evangelions and the inception of NERV. While most of the information can be gleaned elsewhere, this makes the story gel for the view. You will immediately become aware that you are watching a redubbed Japanese product, not a re-localized cut (which is what the original release was. This creates a bit of visual confusion until you adjust, but actually presents considerable new information, as many of the subtitles are different or new.Unfortunately, is also becomes apparent that the entire production has been redubbed and John Swasey has replaced Tristan MacAvery as Gendo Akari. While it isn't Swasey's fault, the acting lacks the edge of the first release, and sometimes the dubbing proceeds on blindly, paying no attention to changes in the subtitles or the Japanese. Minor annoyances when you consider the improved clarity of the episodes.Episode 22 is the first indication that something major has happened. The material reintroduced to the episode focuses on Asuka's development as a character. Introductory material about he has been added, and the fight scene where she suffers a breakdown and failure has been significantly changed. Anno makes much use of echoing images in the series, but what we discover is that the released cut greatly reduced his artistic contribution. With al this restored the story leaps to life as it never had before.Episode 23 continues in this vein. Although the changes are not so dramatic as in 22, Rei's fight scene has also been expanded internally, some material has also been deleted including a bit of brief nudity that also refocuses the intense of another scene. In fact, many of the cuts originally made in both 22 and 23 were made to diffuse some of the latent sexuality of the invasions of both Asuka's and Rei's psyche's. In retrospect, this is a surprising discovery, since Evangelion has always been aimed at a young adult audience, and there is nothing particularly offensive in the new versions.Both versions of the episodes are provided so save popping DVD's in and out. The only additional material is a 15-minute marketing interview about the Evangelion live action film that raises as many misgivings as it does interest.If the remaining episodes in the director's cut series are as changed as these were then this is required viewing. Hideaki Anno's work opens up layers of Evangelion that previously were obscure tot he viewer, especially the English language viewer. I would recommend tracking them down even if you are only a casual watcher of anime. If you have become an Eva-Otaku then ownership is both required and a delight."
The Directors Cut is great, but even more depressing.
Andrew Cross | Minneapolis, Minnesota United States | 01/16/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I love 'Evangelion' and I have watched it several times over the years since its release. I enjoy discussing with friends what the show is about and I am one of those people who liked both endings of the series. I pretty much love everything about it, but only a few themes of the show make it less enjoyable then it could be for me and these Directors' Cuts make one point stand out.For how great Eva is, for how well it digs into the emotions and personalities of its characters, 'Evangelion' gets very depressing by the end of it. When the show hits its 20th episode, almost all the humor has been put to the side. It gets very serious and very thought provoking. Watching Asuka (played by Tiffany Grant at her best) get torn down and fall into a wreck is gut wrenching to watch. The added scenes make this even harder to watch, but you just can't help but stare and listen. The added scenes of Rei II's (Amanda Winn-Lee) death are fascinating and almost feel out of place after years of seeing the original version.In all, the added scenes make the show even better, but also make it harder to watch. To me, this is not the kind of show you can just sit down on a lazy Sunday afternoon and watch in your bathrobe. It's the kind of show you watch when you want to be moved and not stop thinking about it for a week. You watch 'Evangelion' when you want to feel something. Unfortunately, some of those feelings won't be pleasant and will make you sad, but that is the whole point in the first place."
Clearer plot, fearsome interview
A. Wagner Chaudhary | NY | 03/03/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you need an excuse to buy this, tell yourself it's a present for that *real* otaku in your life, that's all ... but you don't need an excuse. You need this if you are still dissatisfied with, or puzzled by, Evangelion. I pre-ordered it (not for me, no, it was a present ...), half-expecting to be disappointed -- instead we were dead silent, other than the occasional muttered "that's new" & some snorting at the subtitles, which are, shall we say, less than smoothly done this time around. Lots of clarification. Lots of back story. Lots of new images. Yes, I've pre-ordered the next one (but it's a present, really).Evangelion is dark, no question, but for truly depressing viewing, watch the preview of the live-action version: a long dreary interview with two guys from Weta, interspersed with sketches of the characters. Shriek in terror at the characters' new & improved names. Throw up your arms, or possibly your lunch, at the pronunciation of Eva & of Evangelion (had they actually seen the anime?). And find a body language expert to explain what it means when X is droning on & on, & Y is sitting quietly beside him doing some very peculiar things indeed with his hands."
Total Disappointment in a 100% New Re-Dub!
the_gern | Rome, NY United States | 01/12/2004
(1 out of 5 stars)
"ADV completely re-dubbed the English for no needed reason on this DVD, with significant changes to the voice actors. Tristan MacAvery >DOES NOT< reprise his role as Gendo Ikari - which just plain and simple ruins it. There are several voice changes with the minor Tech Assistants as well. The stupid thing is that Gendo, the Techs, and all the others had >NO NEW< or changed lines from the series!!! The approximately 5% of new scenes for this Director's Cut >HAD< the original character (Asuka, Kaji, Fuyutsuki) voice actors reprising their roles - These new scenes plus the old dub track for the other 95% >WOULD< have been perfection - but they blew it!The new scenes flush out some back story on Fuyutsuki and a small bit on Kaji and Asuka, expanded EVA fight scene on Rei's saving of Shinji, and why Kaji was...There are some minor changes to the visuals on some scenes such as the Terminal Dogma grave yard, the dummy plug tank, and Rei's mind chat with the Angel.This DVD does also include the 3 original dubbed/subbed (no French or Spanish) series shows (without the new scenes), and a chat with Weta Workshop on the proposed Live Action Evangelion Movie."
This is a "best buy"... sort off
Takahashii | Wageningen, Netherlands | 09/15/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"...but not because this DVD is the best around. Its the best at the moment because you get more for your money with this one than with the original 0-6 release. It holds both the original and the director cut episodes and features some extra's with regards to the (possible) upcoming Evangelion live movie as well as some audio commentary (even though I find those things awfull myself; its just people chatting while the cartoon is running, most of the times they don't even pay attention at all to what is happening).
So where money is concerned this would be your best choice at the moment. But if you simply like the series without being a "die-hard" fan then I'd advice you to steer clear of this one and get the original instead.
When watching this DVD I only used the English sub and even though it has some very nice extra's when it comes to the Director Cut episodes (the guys from SEELE really sound more creapy) it can be an annoying experience in the overall. Some of the main characters (Ikari, Ibuki and the "long haired" collegue of Huga) got totally changed voices. Although Ikari's voice isn't as annoying the others are just totally wrong choices. In some cases it really does not reflect the personage.
If you're just looking for something new on the Evangelion front then I'd really advice you to wait for the moment where the currently being released platinum collection reaches this number. Its almost as if the released movies and Director cuts were the tests for the Platinum series. Everything which the movie or director cut lacks (wrong voices, weird animation) is totally made up in the Platinum series. That is truly a "blast from the past" re-run."