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Neon Genesis Evangelion Collection 0:1 (1995)

Director: Hideaki Anno, Hideaki Anno
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: A.D.V. Films
Genre: Anime, Mecha
Running Time: 120 min.
Languages: English, Spanish, French, Japanese
Subtitles: English
    see additional details...

In a world that's only just achieved recovery from a global-wide catastrophe 15 years before, humanity is under attack yet again, this time by gigantic creatures called Angels. Human kind's best and only weapon against the Angles are huge, robotic mecha known as Evas, but the origin of the weapons are shrouded in political secrecy and moral ambiguity - and they can only be piloted by young teenagers. To this end, 14 year old Shinji Ikari arrives in Tokyo-3, summoned by his father to pilot an Evangelion for the salvation of humanity. But can Shinji overcome the sadness and anxiety wrought by years of cold indifference from his powerful father, and can the mysterious Evas truly be controlled? ~ Cammila Albertson, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

These other reviews don't seem to get it.... by Hexmedia April 18, 2005 - 11:51 PM PDT
5 out of 7 members found this review helpful
By far the BEST anime series ever made - it is nothing close to another mere sci-fi mecha fighting plot. If you read the other summaries you get a pretty good idea of the outer shell of the plot - but they fail to note how philisophical this piece really is. It is not just people using Mecha to fight things called angels -
*it is about how humans have become so technologically advanced, that they are actually able to fight the angels of armegeddon when God sends them to earth
*It is also about the disconnectedness of humans to ourselves and eachother, and how we cannot wage outer wars until the wars within our own souls are won.
*It is about what it means to be human, have a soul, and a purpose in a world of constant conflict.
*It contains amazing biblical and religious references and forces you to examine the nature of god and our future relationship to him/her
*not to mention TONS of plot twists, surprises and life-changing revelations!

The mechas (evas) are NOT machines in this series like other unoriginal series - they are creatures cloned from angels that are merely contained by a metal shell to make them controllable by humans.

I am disappointed that viewers missed these important points and decided to put Evangelion into a category that It absolutely does not fit - NGE is in a category all its own and for me, set the bar for how anime should be made, made me re-evaluate my spirituality, and made me appreciate this wonderful medium that very few directors utilize to get the most important messages across to viewers.

Gripping and thought-provoking if somewhat confusing series. by JTurner1 May 28, 2004 - 6:26 AM PDT
6 out of 6 members found this review helpful
I first learned about Neon Genesis Evangelion while I was watching Nadia: The Secret Of Blue Water. It was, after all, done by the same team (animation studio GAINAX, director Hideaki Anno, and character designer Yoshiyuki Sadamoto), and it shares similar elements and themes to be found in the former show - the most striking is learning how to deal with one's inner demons of angst, rage, and pain. But unlike Nadia, Evangelion is a much darker (and essentially sadder) story, and is decidedly Hideaki Anno's personal work, as he claims to have made the TV series after four years of depression.

The characters that populate this show are neither perfect heroes or despicable villains, but real people dealing with tangible emotions and (admittingly fantastical) life-threatening situations. Regrettably, they're not always likable either. The main protagonist, fourteen year-old Shinji Ikari, is a shy, introverted young boy who has a hate relationship with his unsympathetic, cold, calculating father (the worst anybody could ever imagine having). Rei Ayanami, another 14-year old, is a rather odd female who constantly questions her purpose in life and appears to have no understanding of human emotions. And then there's Asuka Langley Sohryu, a bad-tempered, argumentative, arrogant brat who makes the way Nadia was badly rewritten in the useless filler episodes seem pleasant in comparison - she is constantly bitchy and appears to take pleasure in taking her problems out on Shinji (and anyone else, in general). All three children are dealing with their own struggles in various ways - Shinji is passive, Rei is aloof, while Asuka is really mean. Even Misato Katsuragi, probably the only real character I found myself liking, deals with loneliness by seeking others out. The interactions between the characters is not always pleasant, but they're intriguing to watch (and sometimes funny), yet each of their stories eventually lead to tragedy.

All this is set against post-apocalyptic Tokyo-3, where alien-like monsters called "Angels" continually threaten the metropolis. Only the three children can stand up to them, by way of piloting their Evangelions - giant, supercharged robots that look impressive enough to be mistaken for a child's toy. But who is the cause for the troubles at Tokyo 3? Are the angels really evil? Or is there a far worse plot going on?

Questions like this are asked throughout the show, yet it will take a lot of mind-bending to answer some of them. This is one of the show's weaknesses. While the storyline has none of extraneous, stupid, out-of-character antics that the infamous island episodes of Nadia suffered from, the plot is rather confusing to follow and difficult to interpret. The last two episodes are interesting therapy-like episodes about Shinji learning to get rid of his inner demons, but they do little to tie up the loose ends of this convoluted tale. (Hideaki Anno was reported to have had a major breakdown during production, which is probably why the show doesn't end as strongly as it starts.)

Despite its flaws, Evangelion is a gripping TV-series that is worth checking out with plenty of fantastic artistry and action sequences. Just be warned that there are a lot of puzzling scenarios one will have to deal with.

ADV Film's 8 DVD release is passable, at best. The video quality is acceptable, and the audio quality, menus, and box designs are decently done. For a bonus, there are four language tracks: English, Japanese, Spanish, and French. I listened to the dub for my primary listening session, and it's good but not great, featuring some early line readings that come off as annoying but strong vocal performances that sink deeper into character as the story moves on. The only thing the DVD set lacks is extras. All it has are character bios, which are very helpful but hardly enough to pass. Some behind-the-scenes featurettes would have been nice. Otherwise, this set is not bad for a watch.

The dissenting view by MrBunBun September 18, 2003 - 4:43 AM PDT
5 out of 8 members found this review helpful
This is not a series that you will be on the fence about. It seems you either love it or you hate it. And I don't love it.

If you like mecha, if you *really* like mecha, then this is your holy grail.

I tried watching episodes of this several times and even saw parts of both 'final movies'. I honestly cannot believe people can put up with all the pretentiousness of this anime. This series moves very slowly for me.

I get _so bored_ watching this. There are too many scenes (for instance, almost all of Shinji's "dream" sequences) that are just drawn out, over-the-top and/or ridiculous. I know these scenes are supposed to be deep or experimental, but they come off to me like a bad attempt at an 'art-house' movie.

I did, however, LOVE Kare Kano (His and Her Circumstances), which was the director's follow-up series. That series is awesome and through the artwork and themes, you can tell the series are related. Kare Kano ctually plays with similar themes (adolescence, fitting in, alienation).

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