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Neon Genesis Evangelion: Collection 0.4, Episodes 12-14 [1997] [DVD]
Neon Genesis Evangelion: Collection 0.4, Episodes 12-14 [1997] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Megumi Ogata
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: 19.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Plot Thickens..., 13 Sep 2003
This collection of episodes is very much the transition from Evangelion's first half of sexual humour and incredible action sequences to its darker and more surreal second half where it really hits full throttle. So far, those wondering why everyone refers to this series as "the greatest anime of all-time" may well have been scratching their heads, enjoying what they saw, but never really loving it. Until now. Although the first two episodes on this disc still stick to the Angel of the Week formula, there's a much grimmer feel starting to sink in as the stakes are raised higher. It's obvious now that the show is changing direction, and whilst I said Volume 3 was the calm before the storm, this is like a light shower of rain, and I say that in a good way.
1. The Value of a Miracle Is…
Wow! The introduction of this episode is absolutely wonderful and really unforgettable. The rest of the episode switches from character development to an Angel falling from space directly on top of NERV HQ. It may sound a bit stupid, but it is done in a really exciting way as all three Eva's race to catch it before it wipes NERV off the map permanently. One of the best yet.
2. Angel Invasion
Possibly the most tense episode so far, NERV are faced by an Angel in the form of a microscopic virus that literally invades NERV HQ and sets about contaminating everything. Angel Invasion focuses on Ritsuko who has to race against time to stop the virus whilst being haunted by memories of her dead mother. A very satisfying thriller with very little Shinji, Asuka and Rei that makes for riveting viewing.
3. SEELE, Throne of Souls
After two spectacular episodes of Angel slaying, we change tune completely for an episode that is part series-so-far-recap and the rest an episode dealing with an Eva synchronisation experiment that goes horribly wrong. Admittedly the first half, though very well done, is slightly dull, the second half more than makes up for it as we get a glimpse inside the heads of Shinji and Rei which are beautifully done and reminded me somewhat of the more surreal moments of Akira. Overall, a very good episode with a most intriguing ending.
I would say that this was probably the best Evangelion collection yet, boasting three wonderful episodes that won't fail to disappoint. Now that the series is beginning to get darker and more surreal, I wait with anticipation for Volume 5.

Neon Genesis Evangelion: Collection 0.3 - Episodes 9-11 [DVD] [NTSC]
Neon Genesis Evangelion: Collection 0.3 - Episodes 9-11 [DVD] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Megumi Ogata
Offered by Springwood Media
Price: 6.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Calm Before the Storm, 3 Sep 2003
It's obvious even to the casual anime viewer that these three episodes are the calm patch before the real story fully kicks in, and what an entertaining calm patch these three episodes are. Yes, three episodes, but with a show as good and as rewarding as Evangelion, you definitely get your money's worth. The episodes on this disc are full of humour (sometimes sexual), action and character development and if you've bought the previous two volumes, this is essential as the bridge between those and the next phase in the saga where things start to get darker. But not yet.
1. With One Accord In A Flash
A complete comedy from start to finish, this very silly but nonetheless good episode sees the growing "relationship" between Shinji and Asuka to hilarious effect. It's a "see it to believe it" episode as NERV face an Angel that can duplicate itself that defeats Eva's 01 and 02 first time. The highlight are the two Eva's battling the Angel against classical music, a scene that will stay with you for quite sometime after. If you need cheering up then this is the episode for you.
2. Magma Diver
An episode that manages to balance some very smutty humour with nailbiting action sees NERV's attempts to retrieve an Angel embryo from inside a volcano. Despite some overly silly moments, this is an excellent episode, the battle with the Angel inside the volcano is a really gripping slice of television. The infamous hot springs scene leaves you on a high. Great stuff.
3. In the Still Darkness
The best episode on the set, this well-constructed gem boasts sparkling dialogue and slightly more adult humour than before. There are some great character moments and Shinji, Asuka and Rei's attempts to get into NERV HQ are perfect Evangelion. Admittedly the Angel is dispatched very easily and the Eva's end up in some rather undignified positions, but all is forgiven by the nice fleshing out of secondary characters, Misato and Kaji trapped in a lift together and the fact that there may well be a sabateur in NERV. One of the best so far.
This set of episodes is the perfect way to spend 80 minutes - not very taxing or hard to follow, they're episodes that can easily be watched on their own. Again, the extras aren't good, but the transfer is excellent. Soon however things are going to change in the world of Evangelion, and I can't wait to pick up the next volume.

Neon Genesis Evangelion: Collection 0.2 - Episodes 5-8 [DVD]
Neon Genesis Evangelion: Collection 0.2 - Episodes 5-8 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Megumi Ogata
Offered by the-film-factory
Price: 3.99

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Battle Against the Angels Continues, 3 Sep 2003
More consistent than the first collection; funnier; more action. There's a hell of a lot more that can be said about the four episodes on this DVD than that of course, but those are the very bare bones of volume two, and if you liked the first set then you will enjoy this as well, if not more so. The episodes here are easier to get into and are deceptively important, fleshing out characters, introducing the caustic Second Child Asuka and show just why NERV are the only people capable to stop the Angels.
1. Rei, Beyond Her Heart
Despite focusing on the distant, gentle Rei, this episode is a surprisingly humorous one - but don't let that fool you because it goes a long way fleshing out Rei a bit more, but at the same time posing more questions. Why are Gendo and Rei so close, for example? This is really a setup for the following episode, but that doesn't stop it being damned excellent. Sucking you in with a tremendously powerful opening to the edge-of-the-seat finale, it's quite wonderful. Watch out for Shinji's visit to Rei's flat, where everything that could go wrong does, with hilarious consequences.
2. Showdown in Tokyo-3
Admittedly the Angel in this episode resembles a big grain of salt but it still manages to be a seriously formiddable enemy, shown to great effect when Shinji is beaten almost the second he emerges into battle. Moving at a frenetic pace but pausing to feature some lovely Shinji/Rei moments, it's probably the most exciting episode yet, and Misato's plan to defeat the Angel is truly brilliant. The ending won't leave a dry eye in the room.
3. A Human Creation
What seems a filler episode at first glance is impressive for featuring an enemy that isn't an Angel. Admittedly the Jet Alone prototype robot that runs amok is truly a laughable creation but the episode has more than enough tension to stop it becoming forgettable - you'll be biting your nails as you watch Shinji and Misato desperately try to stop the rampaging robot. The episode also shows Shinji and Misato's home-life in greater deal and has some very funny moments provided by Toji and Kensuke. This definitely gets better on each subsequent viewing.
4. Asuka Strikes!
The show's funniest episode so far, in which Shinji, Misato, Toji and Kensuke visit a naval convoy that's transporting Eva 02 to Japan. Here we meet Asuka Langely Sohyru, the German Eva pilot and Second Child. This is a really funny, action-packed episode that also introduces Misato's old flame Kaji and features the most inventive way of destroying an Angel yet. I love the running joke throughout where nearly the entire convoy and it's impressive weaponry get destroyed, much to Kensuke's horror. A really enjoyable and important episode.
So there you have it. Again, the extras are meagre at best, but the menus are quite nice and the transfer is better than it was in the first volume. Evangelion can only get better from here on, and quite frankly I'm going to be watching.

Boogie Pop Phantom: Volume 1 [DVD]
Boogie Pop Phantom: Volume 1 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Roxanne Beck
Offered by Quality Media Supplies Ltd.
Price: 7.25

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Odd. Very, very odd., 22 Aug 2003
Boogie Pop Phantom is not for everyone. It's an anime where everything seems slightly dislocated and unreal - the sepia colours and haze around the screen add to this feeling of disorientation greatly. There are far too many characters, all of whom aren't very originally designed and end up looking the same, but this isn't really a huge problem.
What Boogie Pop Phantom does have is atmosphere, and lots of it. It's also hugely unsettling, the storylines highly original and the animation always of a high standard. Strangely, each one of the 13 episodes focus on a different character, all of whom are somehow related.
The three episodes on this disc are all very strange and all would absolutely terrify children. Mysterious deaths? Check. A guy that pulls bugs out of people and eats them? Check. You need a lot of patience for this show - if you're looking for mecha, action, gunfights and sexy women in revealing outfits then this isn't for you. But for those that like to use your brain and want a good confusing horror anime, then I recommend this. You could watch a lot worse.

Neon Genesis Evangelion: Collection 0.1, Episodes 1-4 [DVD]
Neon Genesis Evangelion: Collection 0.1, Episodes 1-4 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Megumi Ogata

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Incredible, 20 Aug 2003
What can I say that countless others have said before? Not much really, because Neon Genesis Evangelion is amazing, magnificent, awe-inspiring. But then you probably knew this already. I'm more or less an anime novice and have used the internet to sample episodes before I buy them on DVD and the very first episode of Evangelion sold me hook line and sinker. Never have I seen such a confident, impressive, twenty-five minutes of animation - and that was the first episode? So now as I begin my Evangelion DVD collection, here are my thoughts on the four episodes contained on this disc.
1. Angel Attack
Wow. What an amazing episode! Angel Attack will convert the unconverted in a second. Funny, dramatic, intense...there aren't enough adjectives to describe how good this episode is. It introduces us to the main character Shinji Ikari and NERV, all introduced with confidence. I especially like Misato. Great stuff all round.
2. The Beast
As good as, if not better than Angel Attack and boasting an absolutely stunning Eva/Angel fight that will leave your jaw hanging open in amazement. There's a lot of character development in this one, and it doesn't disappoint once. The beer in Misato's fridge is great!
3. A Transfer
More of an angsty episode, but that's no bad thing as Shinji goes back to school and gets beaten up. We meet more characters in this and see just how unstable Shinji actually is in the climatic Angel fight. The Angel is slightly disappointing, but don't let that detract from the awesome action scene as Shinji goes beserk in Eva 01 with Toji and Kensuke inside with him! An excellent episode by all means.
4. The Hedgehog's Dilemma
A much more quiet and subdued episode that focues mainly on Shinji. No action, but that hardly matters because this introspective piece is really very good indeed and the perfect counter-point to the three that proceeded it.
As excellent as these four episodes are, the DVD transfer isn't terribly good. The picture jumps at each cut, but this calms down and isn't really noticeable, so don't let that put you off buying this DVD because by episode eight it's totally gone. The picture quality and sound are great though. Yes, the extras are rubbish but it should be the episode you're buying this for.
A most worthwhile purchase all in all. Neon Genesis Evangelion Collection 1 is definately recommended.

Smallville: The Complete First Season [2001] [DVD]
Smallville: The Complete First Season [2001] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Tom Welling
Offered by Helgy
Price: 11.97

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not flawless, but a very promising start, 14 July 2003
Season One of Smallville is by all accounts, excellent. It's not perfect and a lot of promise goes untapped, but the majority of the 21 episodes contained on this set are really very good stuff indeed. Admittedly the show is still finding its feet, but many of the first few episodes are very strong - it helps the show immensely that it has a spectacular pilot episode, that introduces all the characters in style and sets up the formula for the following six episodes: someone is infected with Kryptonite, gets powers, Clark defeats them. It's a solid formula, but one that could easily drag and get very boring very quickly. A good thing then that the subsequent episodes change gear slightly and go off in their own direction.
The characters first. There are some great ones, like Clark obviously, played to perfection by Tom Welling who, to his credit, is slightly beaten by Michael Rosenbaum's Lex who I can't praise enough. Chloe Sullivan is a very likeable girl, and Lana Lang the perfect foil for Clark. Pete shows a lot of promise but doesn't get enough screentime, whilst irritating jock Whitney Fordman is terrible, with not a single redeeming feature.
The episodes range in quality, from the absolutely amazing (Crush, Tempest) to the downright terrible (Craving, Reaper) and the average, unremarkable fare (X-Ray, Shimmer). But even the worst episodes display great acting and jaw-dropping special effects that must rank as some of the best on TV at the moment. Season Two may have more classics than One, but then One has episodes like Cool - an excellent episode where a jock is turned into a heat-vampire after falling into an icy Kryptonite lake and goes after Chloe; Zero - the season's darkest episode where a old friend of Lex seemingly returns from the dead seeking revenge; Nicodemus - a marvellously entertaining piece where some of the regulars get to act out of character after being squirted by a malignant flower; Leech - in which Clark's powers are transferred to another student at his school; Hourglass - where an old man gets a second chance at life thanks to meteor rocks and a woman predicts the futures of Clark and Lex; Crush - an unsettling tale of obsession and a lot of Chloe; Obscura - a disturbing episode where Lana sees through the eyes of a serial killer after a gas explosion and the marvellous season finale Tempest. And I haven't even mentioned Rogue, Stray, Jitters or Drone.
The season does slip up. The ridiculous four-episode arc with the atrocious Kelly Brooke in, whilst the Lana/Whitney relationship becomes tiresome quickly, but this is a recommended set of episodes. Sadly, you have to wait until next season to see some truly astounding stuff, but I haven't seen any other show besides The X Files to have such a strong and highly watchable first season.

Date With the Night
Date With the Night
Offered by jack_bauer_twentyfour
Price: 1.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Best song yet?, 22 Mar 2003
This review is from: Date With the Night (Audio CD)
I've heard this song on the radio a few times and I must say, it's the best Yeah Yeah Yeahs song yet. It's a disco-tinged stomper with a great chorus, and Karen O's banshee-like vocals reach ear-splitting levels, while the guitars slither and wail. The band have advanced musically, and the sound is much beefier than on the Machine single and their self-titled EP. It's still the Yeah Yeah Yeahs of course, and I can't wait for their new album.

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