Neon Genesis Evangelion-Collection 0:4 (Episodes 12-14) (1997)
Menu Animation & Audio
|Year Of Production||1997|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||Hideaki Anno|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
After a week or so of Alfred Hitchcock, followed by some opera and music DVDs, it is somewhat pleasant to return to something as brainless as one of the most successful anime series out of Japan. That is not to diminish the series in any way, but rather to highlight the fact that this is not really serious stuff.
Captain Misato Katsuragi has managed to gain a promotion to the rank of Major, and that makes her just below Commander Gendo Ikari in the chain of command. So when Ikari is away from NERV headquarters heading towards the Antarctic, Misato has to take command when Angel #10, Sahaqiel, appears over the Indian Ocean. Angel #10 has another new approach to inflicting damage upon Tokyo-3 - not only is it trying the sneak approach, but it drops its little AT bombs from the stratosphere and these two things make it difficult to combat. So, Misato's outrageous plan is to use all three EVA units in one co-ordinated defence.
After a whole succession of overt attacks, the Angels approach changes somewhat with the appearance of Angel #11, Ireul. Indeed, this little beastie is so small that no one knows it is there, until some things go a little awry during some EVA tests. Angel #11 is collection of small nano-machines that attack the core of NERV, the MAGI computers that control Tokyo-3. As the nano-angels invade the central core, Ritsuko Akagi has to face the memories of her mother in a severe challenge of her abilities to thwart this Angel invasion.
As a bit of a breather in the series, SEELE is meeting to discuss the fight against the Angels in the light of the alleged invasion of Angel #11, which Commander Ikari denies ever happened. So we get to recap the Angel attacks thus far, as some of the major participants reflect upon their lives in the fight against the Angels.
The transfer is presented in a Full Frame format and is not 16x9 enhanced.
This is a generally good transfer in all respects. Sharpness is very good and is somewhat more solid than the early releases of the series. This is especially noticeable in the solidity of the black lines. Detail is about as good as you can expect in source material of this sort. Shadow detail is obviously a non-issue in this sort of animation. There was nothing in the way of serious grain in the transfer and this results in a generally very clear looking transfer. There did not appear to be any low level noise issues at all.
Whilst I admit to not having watched a Neon Genesis Evangelion DVD for a little while, I was somewhat surprised by how good the colour looked here. The colours were nice and steady, well saturated and rather vibrant. The overall look of the colours certainly seems to have improved over the course of the series. There was nothing in the way of oversaturation here at all, and colour bleed was barely an issue at all. The colour was very good and true to the original content, with all objects being well saturated.
There did not appear to be any significant MPEG artefacts in the transfer, although there was something of a lack of solidity of resolution in pan shots, but I recall this being an issue in the original broadcasts so it is presumably partly a source-related issue. Film-to-video artefacts are pretty much confined to some relatively minor aliasing here and there, which is hardly any sort of distraction at all, and some minor telecine wobble that seems to plague the series. I am guessing that most will not have that much of an issue with it, but on larger screens I would suggest that it would be something more of an issue. There are no really noticeable film artefacts in the transfer.
Each episode on the DVD has the original Japanese credits with the English credits all being shown after the end of Episode 14. Annoyingly there is no time information encoded in the transfer, and therefore the running time stated is a pure estimation based upon rough timing of the programming.
There are two soundtracks on the DVD, being the original Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack and a dubbed English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack. In light of the recent poll result, I reluctantly listened to both soundtracks. I say reluctantly as I really do not enjoy listening to the Japanese dialogue (says he donning his flame-proof suit).
The dialogue was clear and easy to understand throughout the episodes, whichever soundtrack was listened to. Naturally, since we are talking about animation, there are the usual sync issues on display. Also naturally, the English dub has a slightly more noticeable sync problem than the original Japanese soundtrack.
The original music for the series comes from Shiroh Sagisu, and fairly ordinary it is, too. Indeed, if there is one aspect of the series that I find a tad disappointing, it is the relatively weak use of music, and its generally quite repetitive nature.
Both soundtracks are perfectly acceptable efforts, free of any apparent distortions or problems. The higher bit rate used in these soundtracks seems to have been well used to give the sound a bit more space than I recall from the earlier DVDs in the series, and this seems to have aided the dialogue pretty well. The front surround channels are reasonably well used to give some decent presence to the sound but of course there is virtually nothing out of the rear channels at all. The bass channel does not get any work here at all.
|Surround Channel Use|
There is not exactly a terrific package of extras on offer.
Whilst they look quite decent, there is nothing really special about the menus. There is some animation but that is the extent of the enhancement here.
Going by the title of MAGI Data Files, this is actually just five rather shortish pages of text on the characters Ritsuko, Maya, Adam, Angel #10 Sahaqiel and Angel #11 Ireul.
The obligatory collection of promotional trailers for other anime titles both available and coming soon. The package this time offers Bubblegum Crisis 2040, Sin - The Movie, Martian Successor Nadesico, Spriggan and Gasaraki. All are presented in a Full Frame format apart from Spriggan, which is an approximate aspect ratio of 1.78:1. They uniformly come with Dolby Digital 2.0 sound and are not 16x9 enhanced. There is no time information encoded in the trailers, which is annoying. The technical quality is good although Martian Successor Nadesico suffers a little from grain and Gasaraki suffers somewhat from aliasing.
A single page of text to let us know who was responsible for the DVD.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
As far as we can ascertain the only difference between the Region 1 and Region 4 releases is some additional soundtrack options on the Region 1 release. Unless you are in need of French or Spanish soundtracks, there is no essential difference between the two versions.
Neon Genesis Evangelion was the series that probably first exposed many to anime when it was broadcast by SBS some years ago. In the light of a few years since then, and exposure to a lot more anime, the series has not worn exceptionally well. Nonetheless, it remains a nice piece of lightweight stuff which fills in the evening quite nicely. Neon Genesis Evangelion Collection 0:4 is perhaps not the strongest collection of episodes on offer, but still worthwhile considering. The DVD has been afforded a good transfer in most respects, although owners of larger screens might find the minor telecine wobble a little more off-putting than I do. The lack of a decent extras package continues to disappoint.
You might notice that this DVD comes in yet another style of case. I have sadly lost track of exactly how many different types of cases how been tried in Region 4 but frankly few come anywhere near the Amaray case, let alone match it. Now just exactly why must distributors keep trying new styles when there is one obviously superior style? Please, lets standardise on that superior Amaray case.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-515, using S-Video output|
|Display||Sony Trinitron Wega (80cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Energy Speakers: centre EXLC; left and right C-2; rears EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL|