Neon Genesis Evangelion: Death And Rebirth
Released By: ADV
Release Date: 7/30/02
Special Notes: Review originally published here
NOTE: This review is a continuation of my reviews of this series. If you have not seen any of the volumes or my previous reviews, you risk spoilers by continuing.
When the TV series of Evangelion ended, it left almost everyone in a state of confusion as to what the state of the world was and how it continued on from there. Anticipating this, the Project Eva team created two OVAs to help out. The first of which is actually a two part movie known as “Death & Rebirth” which honestly, I should’ve watched from the beginning because it’s definitely a whole lot more intresting than the TV series ever was!
As I said, “Death and Rebirth” is actually a two part movie. The first part is simply known as “Death” and in this movie, we get to spend an entire hour doing nothing but recap what happened in the entire television series. That’s all this movie is and while they do leave out some good tidbits (such as the Shinji/Askua kiss) almost everything you need to know is in this movie. While I can’t say that people who have never seen the TV series won’t be slightly confused, it’s not like you’ll be any more confused than if you had just watched the TV series.
The second movie that is given to us is actually the most intresting and captivating showing of Evangelion out of the entire series but it’s too short!!! The second movie is simply known as “Rebirth” and it applies to a lot of things that happen within this OVA but I can’t tell you about a lot of them, you just gotta trust me here and why wouldn’t you? After all… have I ever led you astray when it comes to anime??
In this movie, we pick up right where the TV series left off. With Shinji still wallowing in a well of self pity and Askua still completely cationic, SEELE is absolutely livid at NERV and has decided that they want to eliminate them in order to start the third impact and force the next step of human evolution. NERV isn’t really keen on this happening (or they just don’t want to die) and so the battle is on! Bullets are flying as Misato desperately tries to keep the Eva pilots safe.
The Good and the Bad
Both “Death” and “Rebirth” both have their good and bad points and so I need to talk about them separately in order to make them make sense. First with “Death”, I’ll admit that I was pretty bored by it. After watching eight volumes of the series, I really didn’t need to sit through an hour long recap but I can’t really complain about that because for someone who didn’t watch the series or someone who waited a long time in between the series and the movie, that recap would’ve done an excellent job at getting people caught up who needed it.
The only really bad part about “Death” though is how they left out a couple of scenes from the series that I absolutely loved such as the Shinji/Asuka kiss. That scene alone was absolutely wonderful and deserved to be put in because it showed the growing relationship between the pilots even though they were busy fighting against it almost as hard as they were fighting the Angels.
As for “Rebirth”… like I said before, this was the most intresting and captivating showing I’ve seen thus far. It was absolutely wonderful and totally brought me in with the story and the characters. I can’t reveal too much without giving away major spoilers but I will say that there are only a couple of small complaints I have with it.
The first would be the blood level. While I’m not squeamish about blood in anime, I know that many people are and in this one the violence does reach some pretty high levels as people within NERV are shot and killed rather indiscriminately. You will see men and women alike shot and killed with blood flying. You will see pools of blood forming and you will see bullets coming at the young pilots. If any of this makes you uncomfortable or squeamish, you might want to skip this movie because you will be seeing it a lot.
The second complaint I have about this movie is forced marketing! What I mean by that is that there is another movie after this one to finish the series known as “End of Evangelion”. I have no problem with that but the thing is that this movie ends on a cliffhanger forcing you to buy/rent that movie so that you can see how it ends! I absolutely can’t stand it when any movies (but anime especially) decides to do that because I think it’s a very cheap way to earn more money off of fans who happen to love what they watch.
The soundtrack to “Death” is almost entirely classical which I don’t mind because I happen to be a fan of classical music and they make some wonderful choices here with J.S. Bach and Pachebel. Even better is when they decided to completely nix those horrible opening and closing themes!
The soundtrack in “Rebirth” is a bit harder than classical but it’s still very good. It blends into the background perfectly and really helps to bring you into the scenes a bit more and make you sit on the edge of your seat, waiting to see what is going to happen next. Well done!
Lots of extras on this disc which I thought were pretty intresting including: “End of Evangelion” trailer, an audio commentary track, MAGI files (which serves as a basic glossary of terms used in the movie). Also included within the MAGI files is all the information that is included within the Mokuji interactive feature (similar to the pop up info features in movies such as Spider Man and Daredevil) since you can’t use this feature if you decide to watch the movie in Japanese.
Overall I would totally recommend this to anyone who wants to get involved in the Evangelion series. The entire TV series was boring beyond belief but this movie makes up for it! If you have a basic understanding of what the series is about, you can completely skip the TV series and go straight to this movie to find out what you need to know.