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3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
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on 14 July 2004
Ever since I started watching anime (which has not been all that long), I have been curious about some of the big series. Like the nearly infinite number of Gundam's, the Lodoss series, and, of course, Evangelion. The latter has such universal popularity that I finally decided to try it. Put off by the price of the episodes I was attracted to this DVD, because of its two features, 'Death' was a recap of the series, and 'Rebirth' would provide some insight into its ending and meaning.
As usual, I was being optimistic. My first viewing of 'Death' left me feeling that I had just experienced one of those shorts that were titled '26,000 Years of Art in 60 Seconds.' It does indeed recap the high points of the series, but as a crazed rollercoaster ride - with flashbacks. Don't get me wrong, I liked it. However, I felt that I had watched something incredibly momentous yet utterly inexplicable. Certainly, Evangelion is quite a bit more than the sci-fi, kid-in-a-robot series that I thought it was. In fact, it deals with a surprising breadth of issues. From emotional trauma to the future evolution of the human race.
What I did not realize until I read some reviews is that 'Rebirth' is actually the starting episode of 'The End of Evangelion.' As such, I was unprepared for an apocalyptic vision of the attack on NERV headquarters, complete with the new EVA circling above like vultures. The action and emotional pitch are intense, really a step beyond most of the films I had seen before. Lacking any guideposts though, I found it difficult to piece together the story behind the action. And, as in the companion piece, creator Hideaki Anno shows no mercy to the viewer.
However, the DVD includes an entire encyclopedia of Evangelion knowledge called the 'Mokuji Interactive Feature.' This ingeniously flashes the names of people and things that I might want to know about, and provides a great deal of background data about them. Another useful tool was an excellent running commentary on 'Rebirth' by Amanda Winn Lee (the English language Director) and friends. I'm not a great fan of commentaries, but this was excellent, and pointed out many things I would otherwise have missed.
What this DVD did was whet my appetite and draw me into the Evangelion world. It impressed me with both the fine artwork and characters that are far more than cardboard heroes. It convinced me that I wanted to see the rest of 'The End of Evangelion' and all the previous episodes as well. So for me this DVD was a great success, although I will tell anyone who asks that they would be a lot less confused if they just broke down and bought the series DVD's. This production is probably better suited to those who are already fans of the series and are willing to keep freezing the action to examine the plentiful little details.
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on 30 September 2002
Finally "death and rebirth" has been released in the UK. Many fans of the evangelion series will already own this and "end of evangelion" dvd 2 in 1 package released abroad.
However, if you're one of the people who have watched all 13 videos of eva and are expecting the alternate ending that everyone dreamed of, then you are going to be disappointed. Death and Rebirth is merely a recap on the videos of eva but with some key extra scenes put in. This is basically the first half of the evangelion movie (which was only made because fans were disappointed with the tv series ending(video 13).The full movie is in two parts, "evangelion death and rebirth"(recap on the tv series) and "end of evangelion."(the alternate ending anime which should have been released in summer 1998! but never was!)
When i say a recap on the series that is being kind, all death and rebirth shows is each one of the angels being destroyed with some narrative text and some extra footage. If you are a hardcore eva fan then it is worth having, but if you liked eva and just want to see the alternate ending, then wait for End of evangelion which should be released soon.
1 thing though, if you have never watched any of the eva videos do not buy this, it will literally make your brain hurt trying to comprehend what is happening. Eva is one of the most complex and deeply involving animes of all time, to understand eva, it must be watched in full, with a professor of philosophy standing beside you ready to answer any questions you have about the meaning of life. My advice would be to wait till end of evangelion is realeased, trust me, it is worth waiting for!
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on 20 October 2002
but Manga have finally come through and I've gota say they've done good.
"Evangelion: Death and Rebirth" was first released theatrically in japan in 1997 a couple of months ahead of the release of "The end of Evangelion". Subsequently there were various different versions of "Death" cut but this is the original version.
I've never really understood the point in this film. "Death" isn't really a recap of the series, it has too many omissions. It just doesn't stand up on it's own if you haven't at least seen the series (it helps if your quite familiar with the series). It says very little new, most of the material is covered a lot better by episode 25 and 26, if not with quite the budget. For me "Death" is a story crafted out of bits and pieces, it's a companion piece to episode 1 - 24 as oposed to being a recap. "Death" would of worked better if it dropped "Rebirth", was made after "The End of Evangelion" and had some more new material so it would it would work as a companion to the whole saga.
All that said "Death" does what it sets out to do pretty well. There is some new material, at least one scene that was cut from the series, A few re-animated scenes and a little new music. It's well cut together and it's surprisingly watchable for a feature length clip show.
So onto the even more pointless "Rebirth" (I wish I could emphasise those quotation marks more). "Rebirth" is the first twenty odd minutes of "The End of Evangelion". It's nothing more than a deluxe trailer. All this adds is a screen in the middle saying "Rebirth" and different credits with different music. Now I quite like "The End" but that doesn't negate the fact that all "Rebirth" is, is the first twenty minute of another film. I was hoping rebirth would be a story that led up to the start of the next film from the end of episode 24.
I might have rated this DVD two or possibly three but this is everything that an anime DVD release should be. It's refreshing since Anime is so often make no use of the DVD format. The menus are some of the best presented I've seen on any DVD and easily the best on any anime DVD, they're like little pieces in their own right. You get just about every Trailer for "Death and Rebirth". There is also some genuinely interesting background information.
Japanese voice acting as with the rest of Evangelion is excellent and there are real subtitles as opposed to dubtitles (When the subtitles are the English audio script). However even if your like me and prefer to watch things in their original language you really should watch it in English too. The English language soundtrack is quite an impressive feat. The series was dubbed in to English by ADV's own dubbing crew so it wasn't very likely Manga could get them to Dub the films for them so you would expect a completely different set of voices. Despite the Dub being handled by another company many of the actors have reprised their roles from the series with only a handful of exceptions. It's nice to see such care in an English dub. The audio gives you some insight into the film but what I found more interesting was the insight into what went into making the English version. I found it very reassuring to hear that those who made the English dub take pride in their work. I haven't had an opportunity to watch this in 5.1 yet so I can't really comment on that.
Yet another thing that impressed me is that there are no digital overlays, none at all. When there is writing in Japanese the translated writing is on a soft subtitle that can be turned off. Even the credits are left untouched with an English version after the film. This might seem like a minor thing but it's yet another example of the care that has been put into this.
I'm really not the bigest fan of "Death and Rebirth" but kudos to Manga for releasing such a well produced DVD and those responsible for the production deserve a huge thank you for the care they've taken. This is how all anime releases should be.
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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 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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on 3 October 2003
The first half is just composed of small clips from the series. I thought it was pathetic. If you haven't seen the series then this is no substitute and if you have then this is just like some kind of pathetic mental recap.
The second half of Death And Rebirth is basically the first half of The End Of Evangelion.
This "film" is nothing more than regurgitated footage from the series and an advanced preview of The End Of....
Whether you've seen anything of Neon Genesis or not: Steer clear of this garbage!!!
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on 2 October 2002
This an great film! The start of the End of Evangelion! The film is split into 2 sections "Death" and "Rebirth". The "Death" section is an overview of the entire TV series, which is great! But the "Rebirth" section set everything in motion for the finale in "End of Evangelion" (an DVD coming soon). Overall this movie is an great anime experience for the hard core Eva fan or the starting viewer. I can't wait the for EoE!
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on 25 February 2015
Neon Genesis Evangelion, is by none, one of Japans best Manga/Anime/Movie franchises.

I am a big fan of Mecha Anime, even though this series is a little different, as the EVAs are actually genetically altered living creatures with armour added, essentially, but are piloted by a human.

I recommend this to anyone that enjoys something completely original, strange, and pretty damn violent, & Awesome.
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on 20 November 2014
If you've seen the show, do not and I repeat DO NOT buy this. I decided to give it two stars because I suppose it achieves its rather pointless purpose but also includes a nice poster with the main cast on it.

The movie is essentially a compilation, telling you about the characters and events at a rather fast pace. Oh, and it's a preview. It just hastily edits together all of this crap to give you an abridged version of the show, but that makes it unenjoyable and gives you no reason to care for the characters or the events that occur later in 'The End of Evangelion. It provides nothing new (except some weird stuff with instruments) and is jarring with how hastily put together it all is.
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on 19 February 2003
After the confusing and twisted episodes 25 and 26 which were very unlogical, irracional and very criticised by the fans.
Hideaki Anno decides to create a new ending for the amazing anime series.
The dvd is devided into two parts.
Death: death is the summary of all the series from episodes 1 to 24, and it describes all the most important characters, but it may be a spoiler if you havent seen the series.
Rebirth: is the beggining of the end. This is the new ending, or part of the new ending made by Hideaki Anno.
Rebirth gets very disturbing and ironic as the final enemy is man, and we see that the weapons that were once used to save humanity, will be the weapons that which purpose was to destroy it.
Overall i think this film is mostly for fans that watched the whole series because it may be very difficult to understand.
This film has some fighting scenes, but the most important, and the reason i find it so amazing, is that it deals with human dilemas and how human society mind works. It also exposes the different character personalities and their problems.
I really recomend it if you are a fan and you have watched the entire series.
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