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Blu-ray Review

DVD cover

Evangelion 2:22
You Can (Not) Advance


Starring (voice): Kotono Mitsuishi, Maaya Sakamoto, Megumi Hayashibara and Megumi Ogata
Manga Entertainment
RRP: £22.99
Certificate: 15
Available 20 June 2011

2015 and it has been nearly 15 years since the event that has come to be known as the Second Impact, which instantly annihilated half of Earth's population. In the wake of this catastrophe the Angels came, whose power could only be match by that of the giant mecha Evangelions. Only those with the appropriate DNA are able to pilot these awesome machines and one of these individuals is 14-year-old Shinji Ikari, who answers a summons from his estranged father to travel to the newly rebuilt city of Tokyo-3. Having fought bravely against the Angels, Shiji is getting disenchanted with all the killing, but then he is not the only pilot available...

Evangelion 2.22 You Can (Not) Advance (2009 - 1 hr, 52 min, 18 sec) is the second instalment of the re-imagined movies based on the original show Neon Genesis Evangelion. The film was directed by Kazuya Tsurumaki and Masayuki, and written by Hideaki Anno and represents the second of four projected films.

Purists and rabid fans of the original series may take umbrage at the changes made to both characters and plot in the re-imagining, however, what changes that have been made have generally improved on the, now ten year old, original. The general attitude of more of the characters remains dour and introspective, but with a re-gigging of the plot elements this makes more sense than it did originally, where the mostly negative attitudes appeared to be in place for effect.

Evangelion was always about mecha thrills and this second film has three well-choreographed battles. More surprising is the amount of time given over to the plot. Shinji, having piloted the original Evangelion to victory, now becomes one of three. What should be a bonus becomes a problem when the three pilots clash. Made to live together the rift between the three does not bode well for their ability to function as a team.

The story follows both the kids, in and out of school, and the adults, who oversee and control the base. The tensions inherent in their rivalry keep the plot humming along nicely while we wait for the next, beautifully animated, battle scene.

On a good spec TV, Evangelion looks just short of spectacular; the 1.85:1 is detailed with a pin sharp picture. The audio complements the animation with either a Japanese or English Dolby TrueHD track with optional subtitles. The audio track shows good separation and very clear dialogue.

The extras are pretty good for this second film, kicking off with a full length commentary, well sort of. Normally these things either tell you what you’re looking at on the screen of just gush about how much fun it was to work on the project. This commentary is somewhat different. Mike McFarland, the ADR director, hosts a combination of interviews with the English vocal cast which delve into almost every aspect of working on the show, making it a worthy addition to the disc.

Rebuild of Evangelion (22 min, 27 sec) shows, without comment, how the robots were, via the magic of computers, updated for their twenty-first century outing. I Would Give Anything (4 min, 55 sec) replays one of the central songs - odd as you would only have to bookmark its position to achieve the same results.

The disc wraps up with four omitted scenes, an original trailer, the train channel spot, Japanese TV spots and ads for the Blu -ay and DVD editions as well as a couple of other trailers. That's adverts to you and me.

It’s an impressive release which should even impress critics of the changes made, especially as it looks and sounds so good.


Charles Packer

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