Neon Genesis Evangelion Death & Rebirth

The long awaited Neon Genesis Evangelion had finally arrived! After ordering the DVD from Anime Nation, I was anxious to see what Hideki Anno had in store for me. I rip the package open and pop the disc into my computer. Anticipation can hardly be contained as the first scene begins to play. And what a great scene it is! Manga Entertainment did a superb job of localizing Death and Rebirth. No fewer than three voices are translated in the opening dialogue, and all are being spoken at the same time. Emotions run wild as an angel of light graces the screen and detonates Second Impact. What a great start to the movie.

After the initial impact, things take an easier pace. In order to give the viewers a sense of retrospect, scenes occur in the forms of flashbacks. A clever frame, a simple music practice, sets the order of things. All voice acting was re-dubbed and retains the excellence from the original series. Nearly all of the actors from the original series reprised their roles. The replacements did an excellent job of covering the parts unable to be done. Unfortunately, the replacement voice actors, no matter how well of a job they do, are not as widely accepted as the originals. Their voices feel unfamiliar and foreign; viewers can’t form the same connection with them in one movie as they could the originals that had 26 episodes. Some of the returning voice actors sound changed, almost like they forgot the emotions of the original series. After the first few segments, viewers (and I) had already eased back into acceptance. All we could do was sit back and let the story unfold.

The entirely new segment, Rebirth, fits easily into the Eva storyline. Complex characters and confusing situations are all too familiar to veteran Eva watchers. Symbolism abounds everywhere and leads to one of the deepest and most open-ended stories ever told. Hidden meanings are everywhere and whether or not their creator intended it, they are substantial. Gendou Ikari can be seen as God with Shinji as a symbolic Jesus. This is one of many hotly debated theories. Every person who sees Death & Rebirth derives something for himself or herself. This is Anno at his height, the pinnacle of anime.

Of course, when making such a huge splash with story, one must include tremendous waves of music. Some of the most beautiful music ever heard is played within Death & Rebirth. Palchebel’s Canon, thought to be the most beautiful song ever written, is played not once, but twice within Death. Fully orchestrated music alongside familiar Eva tracks introduces something new, while leaving us in comfortable surroundings.

Neon Genesis Evangelion Death & Rebirth is not for everyone. Some viewers find the story too complex and misconstruing. Others find it to be the apex of anime. Love it or hate it, Death & Rebirth is definitely something everyone should watch. I had hours of playback after the movie thanks to the interactive menu and audio commentaries on the Omega side of the disc. I’m sure everyone will connect with on of the characters within Death & Rebirth. Don’t miss out on this controversial blockbuster.

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October 13th, 2007 at 4:54 pm | Anime Reviews | Subscribe to comments | Respond? | Trackback?

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