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[ café reviews ]

EVA-00 goes berserk during a test run, with Rei trapped inside.


Shinseiki Evangelion
(Neon Genesis Evangelion)
Episode 5: Rei, Beyond Her Heart / Rei I

Copyright: 1995 TV Tokyo / GAINAX / NAS (Japan), 1997 AD Vision (North America)
Length: 30 minutes
Rating: Contains Violence, Brief Nudity and Mature Situations, Parental Guidance Suggested
Format: Subtitled/Dubbed (VHS)

Screenplay: Anno Hideaki Director: Ishido Hiroyuki Assistant Director: Otsuka Masahito Producers: Yamamura Atsuko (TV Tokyo) Sugiyama Yutaka Character Design: Sadamoto Yoshiyuki English Version Executive Producer: John Ledford (A.D.V. Films) Translation by: Kimrua Kuni

[ plot summary ]

vhs jacket

Twenty-two days prior to Ikari Shinji's arrival at NERV headquarters in New Tokyo 3, a bold new experiment took place. The first attempt to sychronise with the new prototype EVA-00 unit, with Ayanami Rei as the pilot results in a unforseen accident, and seriously injures Rei. Now, Rei has recovered, and has just completed her first test synchronisation run in the EVA-00 unit. But as the test ends, a new threat appears -- the fourth Angel, and this time, it's drilling through the ground to attack NERV headquarters directly!

Shinji is immediately dispatched to stop the latest threat. But this Angel seems to be able to sense the arrival the EVA-01 unit, and immediately attacks.

[ capsule review ]

I had lost all hope in this series -- but now I'm not so sure. The script writing in Episode 5 had me fascinated with the character of Rei. In many way's she a complete mystery. Why did NERV wipe out her past records? Why does she live in old Tokyo, in a run-down apartment in a condemned area of town? And why does she seem to lack some basic human social skills? The script elements suddenly began to peak my interest, and I found myself paying even closer attention to this series. (One interesting thing to note: in the new manga series, Rei is not injured from an experiment gone bad, but from her first battle with an Angel -- the same Angel that Shinji fought in episode 1 of the TV series. In the manga, Shinji had not yet been introduced to the Evangelions.)

Shinji continues to have an ongoing fascination with Rei, and the writing seems to deliberately try to pace this interest with the level of interest generated in the audience. Consequently, the information is not forthcoming -- at least, not very quickly. Even more mysteries are thrown into the pot -- why does the genetic structural patterns of the Angels seem to correlate with a human's to the tune of 99.8%? And what is the human improvement project that's mentioned?

Rei's character itself is very detached, similar to what we saw of Shinji when he was first training on the EVA unit. But she and Ikari Gendo seem to have a close bond; a bond that does not exist between father and son. This introduces some additional emotional turmoil within Shinji, and also sheds some light into Gendo's character. Perhaps he is not quite as cold as one might think? A big improvement over previous episodes; we'll see if this trend continues. - AN

[ café rating ]

Original: Subbed: Dubbed:
Story: N/A 4 stars N/A
Direction: N/A 4 stars N/A
Acting: N/A 4 stars N/A
Animation: N/A 3 stars N/A
Music: N/A 3 stars N/A
Translation: N/A 4 stars N/A
Overall Rating: N/A 4 stars N/A

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