- "Death" and "Evangelion: Death" redirect here. For the soundtrack Evangelion: Death, see Evangelion: Death (soundtrack).
Evangelion: Death and Rebirth (新世紀エヴァンゲリオン 劇場版 DEATH & REBIRTH シト新生, "Shin seiki Evangerion Gekijō-ban: Shito Shinsei") is the first movie in the Neon Genesis Evangelion franchise. It consists of two parts, Death and Rebirth, respectively. It was released, along with the follow-up, The End of Evangelion, in response to the success of the TV series and strong demand by fans for another ending. It has since been re-edited and re-released several times.
In Japan, between its release and October 1997, Death and Rebirth grossed 1.1 billion yen.
The first part, Death, is a 70-minute long edit of the first 24 episodes of Neon Genesis Evangelion, with additional footage not seen in the original broadcast (the footage would be later reintegrated into the Japanese Laserdisc and the American and European Platinum Collection releases of the series, as "Director's Cut" versions of episodes 21 to 24).
Death was later re-edited when Death & Rebirth premiered on the Japanese "WOWOW" satellite TV network, and renamed Death(true), which omitted much of the new footage. Death was finalized with the release of the film Revival of Evangelion, and named Death(true)². This version is identical to Death(true) with the exception of a couple of new shots never before seen in either prior incarnation (this new footage is also integrated into the Japanese Laserdisc and the American and European Platinum Collection releases of the series).
Evangelion: Death is a recap of the first 24 episodes of Neon Genesis Evangelion, lasting 70 minutes in length, and was released on March 15, 1997, along with Rebirth. It is shown in the format of a string quartet, each focusing on one of four characters: Shinji, Asuka, Rei, and Kaworu.
The theatrical release of Death showed extra footage that had never been seen previously. This footage was later released as extra footage for episodes 21' through 24'. A second theatrical release, airing on Japanese Satellite TV on January 2, 1998, was retitled Death(true) and excluded the extra footage from the initial release. A third and final theatrical release, called Death(true)², was shown on March 7, 1998, along with Revival of Evangelion.
Rebirth is the unfinished version of the first portion of Episode 25'. It was released in the theatres along with Death on March 15, 1997, and consists of 27 minutes of entirely new animation that would eventually form the first third of the film The End of Evangelion released four months later. Because of time constraints, Rebirth only covers the initial preparations of the Human Instrumentality Project and the invasion of the Geofront by SEELE, ending with the arrival of the Mass Production Evangelions (in The End of Evangelion, the final version of episode 25' concludes with the end of Asuka's fight with the Mass Production Evas).
The ending of Rebirth featured the song "Tamashii No Rufuran" by Yoko Takahashi. Unlike the U.S. release of Rebirth on DVD, which was an exact copy of the first 27 minutes of Episode 25', the Rebirth that was seen in Japanese theatres had a different Japanese dub, different BGM in certain places, has an extra cut not found in Episode 25' and some that are missing or had their order rearranged.
Differences between Neon Genesis Evangelion: Rebirth and The End of Evangelion
Due to Rebirth being a prototype version of Episode 25', there are numerous differences between the two versions, most of them cosmetic.
- Asuka's vitals on her hospital monitor move significantly faster in Rebirth.
- The eyecatch for the episode is :REBIRTH in the original version and 25 Air in the final release.
- The Magi display is paler in Rebirth.
- The scene where the JSSDF tanks turn to fire upon NERV HQ is significantly modified in Ep. 25':
- In Rebirth, the tanks are mobile with enclosed caterpillar tracks. In Ep. 25', the tanks are stationary with three large wheels on each side.
- The tanks turn consecutively and fire two shots in Rebirth. In Ep. 25' they turn simultaneously and fire three shots.
- The trees in the foreground are different.
- The panning from left to right of the Command Deck after the loss of observation posts is slower in Rebirth.
- The shot of Rei floating in a tube of LCL pans upwards in Rebirth and lasts slightly longer than in Ep. 25'.
- When Misato observes security footage of a depressed Shinji, Ep. 25' removes a shot from Rebirth that shows a worried Misato with Hyuga.
- After Fuyutsuki asks Gendo to say hi to Yui for him, the shot of him standing is slightly longer in Ep. 25'.
- The bakelite that Misato pumps into NERV HQ looks noticeably smoother in Ep. 25', and some of the streams flow from different places than in Rebirth.
- The shots of bakelite filling a corridor and dead NERV personnel on a staircase are reversed in Ep. 25'.
- The shot of JSSDF troops observing the attack on NERV contains several differences:
- The flora are conspicuously different.
- The radar dish is smaller and out of focus in Ep. 25'.
- The missile explosions are white in Rebirth and yellow in Ep. 25'
- Staying true to the original TV show's formula, Ep. 25' adds an eyecatch showing its secondary title, "Love is destructive."
- The cut of Rei turning her head as Gendo calls for her is faster in Rebirth.
- Misato's firefight with the JSSDF is several seconds shorter in Rebirth than in Ep. 25'.
- The N2 explosion is pink in Rebirth and white in Ep. 25'.
- The NERV HQ pyramid emits sparks upon being hit by the N2 explosion in Ep. 25'.
- The shot of the bridge beside NERV HQ features an explosion next to it in Ep. 25'.
- The shot of missiles raining down on the Geofront features different lighting effects in Rebirth and several white lights in the water that are absent in Ep. 25'.
- When Asuka lies within EVA Unit-02, the screen shakes periodically in Rebirth to show that depth charges are being detonated in the lake. In Ep. 25', these tremors are absent.
- The shot of Asuka opening her eyes is shorter in Rebirth.
- Ep. 25' adds a shot of a young Asuka grabbing her mother's hand as the real Asuka recovers from her catatonic state.
- The shot of EVA 02 emerging from the lake is slightly longer in Rebirth, while Ep. 25' adds some buildings in the background.
- In Rebirth, EVA 02 is not being fired upon as it throws the NERV frigate that it's holding. Ep. 25' also adds burnt trees in the foreground, changes the water from white to blue, and provides a more detailed smoke effect.
- In Rebirth, the VTOL that EVA 02 roundhouses do not fire upon her.
- The shot of the Mass Production Evangelions descending from their carriers is shorter in Rebirth.
- The shot of the Mass Production Evangelions circling EVA 02 is several seconds longer in Rebirth and fades to black rather than cutting to Fuyutsuki.
- This shot is also where Rebirth ends, rolling the credits after fading to black.
Screened on the 2nd of January, 1998 on the Japanese Satellite TV channel WoWoW, this version of Evangelion: Death was re-edited personally by Masayuki. It appears that Masayuki really didn't want to include all the excerpts of the new scenes from episode 21 to 24 because he removed some of them from this new version of Evangelion: Death. This version has only been released on home video once, with the Archives of Evangelion DVD set from 2013.
This is yet another edit of Death, releasing on the 7th of March, 1998. It added some of the excluded scenes from the previous version back into the film and the sound mixing is a bit different in some scenes of the film. This version is used in the Manga Entertainment home video release of Death and Rebirth, and is also the version available on Netflix.
- The film's Japanese title, シト新生 ("SHITO shinsei"), can be read two different ways due to the utilization of katakana for the first half. 新生, "shinsei", means "rebirth". SHITO could be 死と ("shi to"), "death and", as per the English title. However, SHITO is also 使徒 ("shito"), what the Angels are called in Japanese (literally "apostle").
Notes and references
- December 1997 NewType, p.90
- http://www.animeondvd.com/reviews2/disc_reviews/1532.php AnimeOnDVD
- http://www.themanime.org/viewreview.php?id=304 THEM Anime Reviews
- Neon Genesis Evangelion: Death & Rebirth at IMDb
- Neon Genesis Evangelion: Death & Rebirth at MusicBrainz
- Neon Genesis Evangelion: Death & Rebirth at the Anime News Network
- Anime Jump! review