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Neon Genesis Evangelion: Death and Rebirth Anime Review

Neon Genesis Evangelion: Death and Rebirth Box Art

Neon Genesis Evangelion: Death and Rebirth

3.5 stars / Theatrical Movie / Sci-fi / 13-up

Bottom Line

Not a very good addition to the Evangelion saga, but it artistically retells the whole series.

It’s Like...

...An Evangelion TV recap crossed with a concert recital, plus an End of Evangelion teaser.

Vital Stats

Original Title

新世紀エヴァンゲリオン: DEATH / REBIRTH

Romanized Title

Shinseiki Evangerion: Death / Rebirth

Literal Translation

New Century Evangelion: Death / Rebirth

Animation Studio


US Release By

Manga Entertainment


Mech/science fiction, Drama

Series Type

Theatrical Movie


115 minutes

Production Date


What's In It


Look For

Objectionable Content

  • Violence: 2 (moderate)
  • Nudity: 0 (none)
  • Sex: 3 (significant)
  • Language: 1 (mild)

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Plot Synopsis

Death and Rebirth is the start of the epic conclusion to the Evangelion story. Death and Rebirth sums up the story of Evangelion, with a heavy emphasis on each character and how each of them has impacted the Eva saga. Each character has his or her own segment, which is linked by an instrument recital. Death and Rebirth also contains the first 15 minutes of End of Evangelion.

Reader Review

I am a huge fan of the Evangelion series. I bought Death and Rebirth, expecting something new and exciting. The series left off dull with a confusing ending that needed more. Hopefully, Death and Rebirth would create something new for the series. But, it failed to do so.

Death and Rebirth is pretty much a movie to watch for those who could not afford the series. This recaps the Evangelion story in a comprehensible way, but well done. The scenes are well executed and interesting. The instrumental music accompanying the scenes add an odd mood that really gets to you and intrigues you throughout the movie. Each character has his or her own segment, which is a pretty much a compilation of scenes that are assisted by dialogue to help you understand why these people are important. But, these parts are missing the real juice from the series that made the characters so lifelike when you actually watched the series.

The whole production has a real emotional feel to it, whether you have seen the series or not. The animation is clear and precise, and adds to everything you would expect from an Evangelion movie. Heavy symbolism is used, most likely to make the film seem more artistic. The symbolism makes you think for a moment, wondering how this all ties in to the series. The mech action is great and very compelling. The mech designs are original and the way the Eva crew describes their functions are easy enough to understand for anyone.

All the characters are back, but not with the same effects. Some of the characters only in the series for one episode will have little to no significance to the viewer if he or she hasn't seen the series. Asuka, Rei, and Shinji are summed up quite well, but lack the deep character they were granted in the series. You don't feel the same way about the characters in the movie as you do with them in the series.

Death and Rebirth also contains the first 15 minutes of End of Evangelion (after an annoying intermission!). They show some sexual development with Shinji, and some feelings toward Asuka. But, for those who haven't seen the series, Shinji will just seem like a pervert, instead of a growing individual. The 15 minutes end shortly and leave you wanting more. I guess this was the scheme so you want End of Eva more.

All and all, this isn't a bad anime, and there's not much really to say about it. For those who don't want to buy the whole series, this is a good substitution. But, I would highly recommend seeing the whole series. Pretty much, this film was made to hold people off until End of Evangelion came out. Death and Rebirth's only main purpose is to look good in your DVD collection between the whole series and End of Eva. Don't jump on it.

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Notes and Trivia

Originally split into two movies, the US video release combines them and adds some additional footage as well.

US DVD Review

This is a double sided DVD, the first side with the movie, second with extra features. Special features include audio commentary by Amanda Winn Lee (voice of Rei and English language director), an index of the Eva's, Angels, and characters, a photo gallery, the original Japanese trailers, and Manga previews, including a trailer to the End of Evangelion. There is also links to the Manga website and a Manga Fan club.

Other Info

  • Letterbox format
  • 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround (English)
  • English/Japanese Stereo
  • Subtitles/Onscreen text

Parental Guide

It has some very mature themes, but most children under the age of 13 wouldn't understand it.

Violence: 2 - Nothin really bad, just the Eva's get bloodied up a bit.

Nudity: 0 - Nothing.

Sex/Mature Themes: 3 - A bunch or mature themes, including an implied scene of masturbation.

Language: 1 - Very mild language. Nothing more than "damn" or "hell".


Available in North America from Manga on bilingual DVD (buy from RightStuf or AnimeNation). Formerly also available on subtitled or dubbed VHS.

Looking to buy? Try these stores: RightStuf (search) | AnimeNation | Amazon