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on 30 October 2015
The ultimate anime in my opinion. It tells of the young and flaky Shinji Ikari, who was abandoned by his father while he went to work on giant robots. Years later, he's called back to pilot one and fight giant monsters. Simple, yet there are some many other entities that come together in this show it becomes much more than a mecha anime. Psychoanalysis plays a major role, particularyl in Shinji and Asuka. The animation is a bit junky at the start, due to alleged budget cuts and script changes. The mood of the show changes for the better around episode 16. Things get so much darker as each character in the show begins to crack under the pressure of the seeming inevitable apocalypse. If you're thinking the rebuilds might replace this violent and nihilistic epic, don't. The rebuilds so far consist of: 1) A lot of loudspeaker announcements 2) the fruitless search for Mari's point and 3) Shinji and Kowaru searching for something to do (now with 45% more sexual tension). They may have more eye candy with the addition of CGI but the movies have lost the original impact. This box set contains the 8 discs of the original series, with English dubbing and Japanese with English subtitles. The sub may be cringe-worthy at times, but it does the best it can with the exaggerated cartoon look of the first few episodes. I do recommend this also for the original episodes 25 and 26, with the End of Evangelion this is complete. I think you need to see both to form your own full ending as one couldn't have existed without the other. No matter what the allegations on how it was made, the end result is still a must see. Plus the box itself is so nice to look at.
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on 15 October 2015
Note: This is neither an ending nor a replacement for the original series. Its an in-between theatrical version with a ten minute intermission of the series and a preparation for the later End of Evangelion. I already own that, and was curious to see the re-edited version of the original anime. Its main appeal is that it sums up all of the character's traumas through the episodes, but they are so quick that its hard to keep up on whos being followed now. Another slight disappointment is how much emphasis it lays on Episode 22, 23 and 24, with new footage that just isn't as good as the director's cut(I am referring to episode 23 with Rei's death, the Lilith glimpse as the Eva fails is one of the best shots for me) Another disappointment was that the English translation was re-recorded with script changes. Episode 24's Climax in the original English dubbing is very well edited. In Death and rebirth, all the lines feel too forced. The best parts of it are the new scenes of Shinji, Asuka, Rei and Kaworu playing Pachelbel Kanon in the school auditorium. Simple, quick and perfectly sombre. And the ending of Part one, Death, showing the dead angel in the crater in the sunset, setting the scene back up for the start of the End of Evangelion. This movie doesn't clarify much, but it fixes some of the issues of the series, like cropping Lilith's legs in episode 24 so that it matches episode 23 and 26. I liked it, but if your'e looking for a synopsis of the series or the ending of it, you're better opening the purse strings a little.
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New comers to this series should be advised that this collection of films follows on from the 24th episode of Neon Genesis Evangelion, so to best understand the vast amount of character dynamics and interpersonal relationships - which is essentially the essence of the series - then I'd advise buying the series Ultimate Collection first in order to understand and be completely immersed in the world of Evangelion.

The true meaning of Evangelion is a long and in depth study of the human psyche and the inability to really connect with people, told via an initially complex and weaving narrative. Although the show is recognisable as one of piloted mechas (the Evangelions) fighting against invading Angels of prophesied destruction, these are just a means to an end in conveying the series true motives.

Death and Rebirth is the first of the two films within the set, and is split into two parts. Death, the first mini film, serves as an hour-long recap of the important plot points from the series up to the final two episodes (I'll cover this later) broken down into different chapters reflecting the roles each of the main protagonists played. Although essentially just a recap, Death is thoroughly enjoyable in its own right and even holds up to repeated viewings no matter how many times you've seen the series. Perhaps the most beneficial aspect of Death is that is puts all the events in chronological order, as the time-hoping in the series can be a tad overwhelming on initial viewing. It also condenses the important facts, which were buried like gold nuggets in the series first viewing, to recap the relevant details needed for the second part of the film; Rebirth.

Rebirth is actually the first half of the second Evangelion movie: End of Evangelion. Due to delays in scheduling the release of End of Evangelion had to be pushed back, and so the completed first half of the film (Air) was released alongside Death as Rebirth in order to satisfy fans. Although I'd trade my soul to have seen these movies upon their cinematic release, the abrupt and amazing cliff-hanger ending to Rebirth would no doubt have left me furious knowing I'd have to wait a further couple of months to see the conclusion.

Death and Rebirth: Special Edition is the second disc in the set and serves as a picture in picture version of the film, aimed at providing fans and newcomers with all kinds of background knowledge on the shows characters, plot points, mythology and behind the scenes facts - although these intriguing and extensive bits of information can be viewed separately in the special features. The down side to this is that there is no option to view the film with subtitles, and so in order to avoid the atrocious dubbing I suggest watching the features separately to the film, less you're appreciation be tainted by the appalling English voice cast.

The third disc contains End of Evangelion in its entirety (Air [previously released along side Death as Rebirth, My Purest Heart for You, and One Last Goodbye). End of Evangelion is a difficult one to place in a timeline context as it begins directly after the events of episode 24 of the series, with Air acting as the action packed prelude to episode 25 and My Purest Heart for You occurring simultaneously with episode 26 (but from a different perspective) conveying the psychological analysis of the text, concluding with the amazingly oblique ending, One Last Goodbye, which requires some rational interpretations in addition to a very detailed knowledge of the series and its true meaning. Without these, the finale may come as annoying or simply confounding so I highly recommend once again to view the series first and do A LOT of reading around the subject in order to come away form this with a feeling that your life has been irreversibly changed.

The set is stunningly packaged as a gatefold case, containing fold out posters and glossaries/information guides to help break down some of the series terminology. The discs are simply duplicates of those released individually (and more easily procured) earlier only with new covers to match the box's interior.

If you want to open your mind to something bold, new, utterly original and so rapidly evolving that you don't even notice how from action-packed origins, you've suddenly become immersed in such a dark and brooding event that has changed so many people's views on life (and furthered an idle interest in anime), then this is the best way to go about it. Without flaw, Neon Genesis Evangelion and its features are the ultimate in enlightenment and entertainment.
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on 17 March 2006
Having never seen the critically acclaimed anime from which this is derived, I watched this film with the expectation of gaining some perspective with which to enjoy its companion-piece "End of Evangelion"
this was definitely NOT the case, this film is absolutely indecipherable in its bullet-like ricochetting between time-frames,here 12 months ago, there 3 weeks ago, the other 2 years ago.
I have, as a result, just started watching (and greatly enjoying) the series proper and already I am feeling the effects of this catastrophically unsuccessful distillation of the storyline.
GO AND WATCH THE SERIES, NOT THIS, it's recycled clips of animation from the series has nothing to offer for one who has followed the storyline and to the unitiated it will do *nothing* other than create an impenetrable fog of unrelated plot-points while in one fell swoop, spoil all the surprises of the series as it is MEANT to be watched.
Do yourself a favour and buy the ACTUAL series, its really is fantastic, shortcuts like this will leave you feeling empty, confused and deeply unsatisfied, I absolutely guarantee it.
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on 31 July 2012
Neon Genesis Evangelion: Death and Rebirth is, at best, a short recap of episodes 1-24 of the original TV series, and at worst an impossibly incoherent mess of scenes that mostly happen completely out of chronological order and which totally skips important moments.
It is absolutely not recommended for people new to Neon Genesis Evangelion as a franchise as it goes into almost no detail about anything- important facts that are painfully obvious in the original series are left out completely, and absolutely no character development is seen throughout, and with a series like Neon Genesis Evangelion which is incredibly complex and with a huge focus on character development, it is impossible for a single film to do it any justice.
Despite this, it is a simple way for fans to recap themselves on the events of the original series in a nice two-hour piece- but despite this, Death and Rebirth is easily the worst part of Neon Genesis Evangelion as a whole and not worth buying except for the biggest fans of the franchise.
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on 23 June 2009
This series is supposed to be legendary and for many years I had pondered over the clips and heard about others raving on about how good the series is as the preview to this series makes it seem phenomenal, so I bought the whole lot on a whim and sat down in front of the telly and watched every single episode 1 after another and by the end of the 12th episode I really wanted to kill the whiney little runt and take an axe to every other characters head. As it was cliche after cliche after cliche with the characters there predicaments and their inabilities to function and lusting for something or someone that is so close but so out of reach!!! And the weight of the world rests with one boy the pilot of 01!! I guessed the outcome of the film way before it happened though I truly despise the characters and predominately the 3 episodes where all you had was a dream like state swirling around in the pilot of 01's head about what he should do knowing his responsibility!!

The action scenes are excellent and do make up for some of the downfalls of this movie and I really cant say this enough that they are some of the best action sequences I've seen in any series, best thing to do would be to find out what episodes have all the violence and just watch them. However by the time I had got to the end I really felt cheated by a series that had excellent prospects in my eyes, but in my defense I am a bigger fan of movies and short series and your old school anime like cyber city oedo 808 etc but if you do like this then maybe give Zeoraima Project Hades 1 & 2 a try as they are the prequels to Evangelion and are more in the classic style to this series.
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on 23 February 2003
Well, as you'd expect this picks up where the first DVD finished, giving us a lot more character development as the series begins to settle down with itself. If you are going to watch this series I really would recommend the subtitles over the dubbing; the voice actors just aren't up to scratch on the US dub, and the Japanese voice cast is now famous for their superb performances.
In reply to a reviewer of the first DVD, there is much religious symbolism which does contain meaning, especially when you consider the outset of the humans against the angels bears a contrast to literature such as Paradise Lost, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell and in a more metaphorical sense Frankenstein. The names of the angels are in relation to the dead sea, people who prophesized the events of the programme which forces us to question the prosperity of afte even in a world dominated by technology. Also the series never took an exclusivly christian religious approach; the existence of Lillith and the Lillim is taken from Jewish religion, showing that Hideaki Anno had a much broader scope in what he wanted to debate and try to achieve.
Putting all this aside all I will say that these earlier episodes try to captivate the characters of the show in a lighter mood to how they appear later on, and introduces the remainder of the main characters. It is hardly what I would call light relief, but engaging and interesting and definately merits the viewers attention. In short, if you are interested in this series I would not hesitate to invest in it, you will not be disappointed. I would siggest purchasing and viewing the series before the films if you want a better understaing of the charcters than you can glean from watching the summary and conclusive movies.
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on 3 October 2002
Death & Rebirth is the first of the two evangelion movies that came about once the series had finished. Episodes 25 & 26 brought about an anti-climax to the series, where those episodes focused on Shinji's shattered mind, death & rebirth picks up the action from episode 24.
Death & Rebirth is actually 2 movies in one. Death is an compilation of the entire series and serves as an introduction to the evangelion series. It also includes new clips and it doesn't put things in a canonical order but instead has segments focusing on each character.
Finally there is Rebirth, this is what all evangelion fans have been waiting for, the continuation of the evangelion saga. While its incredibly short, around the length of one episode of NG:E. But with the cliff-hanger at the end, it'll make u sure to come back and see the next episode
the extra features on this disc i'll worth the price alone, the mokuji feature gives u all information all matters of the eva series and theres a preview of the next movie 'end of evangelion'
in the end this movie is great and i would recommend it to any evangelion fan. however if u want to see the climax to the evangelion saga and the completion of the human instrumentality project and third impact, this isn't for you. thats what 'end of evangelion' is for.
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on 3 August 2005
This new movie boxset means you can now build the ultimate Evangelion collection along with the Platinum editions of the TV series that are now available.
The set is in a three disc gatefold that is housed in a slip case.
The Evangelion movies were released after the TV series came to it's confusing and disappointing conclusion. Death and Rebirth is essential a compilation of episodes 1-24 and provides the prelude to the End of Evangelion movie that replaces episodes 25 & 26.
Having the two movies together is helpful as you shouldn't try and watch End of Evangelion unless you have either the TV series or the first movie recently as too much will be unexplained because as you probably know Neon Genesis Evangelion is a very complex show.
End of Evangelion starts with the NERV headquaters being attacked as SEELE tries to capture the EVA units and their pilots so start the next evolution of mankind. The battle scene between Asuka and the prototype EVA units is fantastic, dramatic as it is gory. But when we get into the 'episode 26' part of End of Evangelion the story becomes less straight forward and the deep philosophy begins and the film ends with a long and drawn out sequence with Shinji and Asuka which finishes very abruptly. To me this provides a slightly more satisfactory but still disappointing end to one of the greatest anime series ever.
End of Evangelion pushes the boundaries of film making and story telling and that's one of the reasons why I love anime so much and this sort of vision is very rarely seen anywhere else. It's just that I think End of Evangelion goes too deep for it's own good sometimes.
But despite my reservations you will not be disappointed with the discs. The video transfers are absolutely pixel perfect - just stunning. The actions scenes are so fluid and crisp, these are some of the best transfers I have ever seen. Plus you get decent soundtracks especially on End of Evangelion, which even gets DTS 6.1, and makes good use of all the extra speakers with some good surround and sub effects.
There some worthwhile extras available too especially the commentaries which provide some insight into what's going on on screen.
If you don't already own one or either of the movies on DVD then definitely buy this box set, otherwise it probably isn't worth it although big EVA fans may want to upgrade anyway.
Overall an excellent presentation of a stunning but deeply flawed film, if you're an anime fan End of Evangelion needs to be in your collection regardless of what you think of it.
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on 27 August 2003
The evangelion series (spelling) was one of the first anime shows i watched, It's been a few years since i first watched evangelion and it's still my fave of all the anime i watched. evangelion is about a team of 14 year olds who have joined a company called NERV and now have to fight mysterious beings called angels giant mechs called evangelions or for short eva. and that's about the basics of it
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