Neon Genesis Evangelion: Death & Rebirth

UK Distributor:  Manga Entertainment (DVD Only)

BBFC Certificate:  15

Suggested Retail Price (SRP):  £19.99 (now deleted)

Running Time:  115 mins (approx.)

Audio Options:  English 5.1, English 2.0, Japanese 2.0

Subtitles:  English, Portuguese

Reviewer:  Rich (Webmaster)


Note:  This version of the film is now deleted.  However, the film is still available in the Neon Genesis Evangelion Movies Boxset from Manga Entertainment

Following what some termed as a disappointing ending to the Neon Genesis Evangelion series, disgruntled fans were heartened with news that Hideaki Anno’s original, but unmade, ending was to be released as a film.  The film was supposed to provide an alternative to the final two episodes of the series, which were mainly still image montages produced amid rumours of tough budget and time restraints.

Unfortunately, the long awaited ending was postponed further in favour of the scene setting double bill of Death and Rebirth.

Death and Rebirth is an unusual feature, basically comprising of clips of the important events from the series.  These are strung together with classical music and some experimental visuals, with just a few tantalising minutes of new footage thrown in for good measure.

It works and it doesn’t.

Compressing all the important information and best scenes from an action packed and deeply involving and confusing story such as Evangelion was always going to be hard.  Hideaki Anno has made a pretty good job of it, dropping the contrived ‘do you remember the time we…’ scenarios of most ‘review’ episodes (poncy term for rehashing old footage) in favour of a more arty approach, using the series trademark classical music and some experimental montages to bridge the gaps in the narrative.  He effectively manages to set the scene for the long awaited true ending (The End of Evangelion, see section) without giving much away as to what will happen.

Unfortunately the broken narrative flow and subsequent omission of important character development hinders the film considerably, especially for people new to the series.  There are moments where the aftermath of important events are left out, in one of the most obvious examples of this an Eva pilot’s body is carried out from the broken remains of an Eva and no reference is made to whether they are alive or dead.

This is a major drawback and to be honest unless you have watched the series (or some of it), Death and Rebirth will leave you immensely confused.  However, if you have watched the series then Death and Rebirth is an interesting and useful recap of events that sets the scene well for the ending.

Death and Rebirth is animated well and the remastered sound is a great plus, also credit must be given to Manga Video who have not only included an audio commentary but also copious notes as to the terms, events and characters in the Evangelion saga on the DVD.  They have also included a useful interactive menu that can be used to call upon this information during the film, which is a great example of someone truly assessing the flaws in something and attempting to combat them.

A note that must be made is that the added scenes are far more violent than the constraints of a TV series would have allowed, and events do get very gory and very shocking towards the end of the film.

In all this is great for Evangelion fans that have seen the series and want a quick fix before watching The End of Evangelion, for the casual viewer it can be confusing (although the menus and notes do help) and will also give away major events from the series so should be approached with caution.

Best Bit:  The shocking new scenes.

Worst Bit: The frequent loss of continuity.


Feature:   Extras:

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