Friday, January 23, 2004

Evangelion versions... 

If you know a bit about Neon Genesis Evangelion, you probably know that there's like a bazillion versions of the TV series and movies. This post from Asagiri2040 does a nice job of summing it up.

So, to limit it to what's out in the US, the original ADV release of the series is the normal version with the ending credits having the song variations (Fly Me To the Moon by different people), but not the color variations. Not too big a deal.

The Director's Cut versions of the last two DVDs that just came out have the new versions of episodes 22-24 with lots of changes and new footage. There is also episodes 25+26, but they have only very minor changes (as the real changes were for End of Evangelion, with Air being 25 and Yours Sincerely being 26).

So, manga's release of Death & Rebirth does seem to have Death(true)^2, which is the third version of Death. Aparantly it actually has less footage than the original Death, but that had all been scenes originally made for the Director's Cut TV episodes that were thrown into the movie at the last minute, so this is probably the best version (and you won't be missing anything if you have the DC episodes).

The Rebirth stuff is a bit stranger. Instead of the original Rebirth (which was still a little rough), this is basically the first half of End of Evangelion (Air from the Revival version), but with the original Rebirth end credits/song tacked on the end. So it is actually pretty similar to the original and you aren't missing much (but it is still sort of redundant as is identical to Air on Manga's EoE disc, but I suppose it is nice to have the ending)...

Manga's End of Evangelion disc seems to be the regular Revival of Evangelion version (Air and Yours Sincerely).

So, what's left out in Japan at this point? Well, pretty much all of the above has been re-mastered (video cleaned up and 5.1 audio made) with the new Renewal box set. It sounds like it makes a huge different for the TV series, where a lot of the frame jitter when switching scenes has been cleaned up and the TV series in general is the oldest stuff. People seem to be saying the Renewal version of the TV series looks much nicer than the ADV set. The two movies are also aparantly now anamorphicly encoded widescreen.

There is also an extra DVD called Test-Type which contain creditless OP and ED animations with the full-length songs. The ending is just a new floating Rei animation, but aparantly the opening has a bunch of scenes shown that are not anywhere in the TV series or movies.

So, it seems like the full box set in Japan has re-mastered TV 1-26 (along with DC versions of 22-24) and remastered Revival (Death(true)^2/Air/Yours Sincerely), along with one of the discs having a 22-track OST with 5.1 audio. I "think" the Test-Type DVD comes with the set as well.

So, it'll be interesting to see if anything from Renewal eventually comes out. A lot of people have already bought Eva multiple times over the years in various formats, so it'll be interesting to see if it'd sell. There's also the weirdness of ADV having the series while Manga Ent. has the movies. Would I buy any of it? I'm not sure... At this point, I still need to get the End of Evangelion disc (reports of disc issues when it first came out made me a bit skittish a the time) and I'll probably end up getting the two DC discs eventually. Still, I seem to be one of those few people that likes the original ending, so we'll see. Maybe seeing the end of EoE will change my mind.. And for the record, for all that Death is just a recap movie, I found it really enjoyable. A good refresher and I like how it was cut to the cello music...

If you don't care so much about the remastering and just want the semi-definative latest version of the story, it seems like you should do this: Watch episodes 1-21 from ADV's original release (discs 1-6 I think). Watch episodes 22-24 from the two Director's Cut DVDs from ADV. Now, take a breather for a while... Then watch Death from Manga Ent.'s Death and Rebirth DVD (really, this is optional as it is a recap movie, but you may as well, as it'll remind you of everything that happened). Then watch everything on the End of Evangelion disc from Manga Ent. That should pretty much do it! Of course you could also just get the box set and watch the original version of the story, maybe with Death (what I've done so far)...

As people have mentioned, maybe there will be more Eva activity when the live-action movie comes to fruition. For now, I'll be pretty happy with my TV set (which I got for a really good price!). =)

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