Reviews: Platinum Thinpak

Platinum ThinpakPlatinum ThinpakEvangelion is quite possibly the most repackaged anime series out there, and it will continue to be so for some time to come. Initially spread across 13 VHS tapes in it's initial English release, fans stood to spend upwards of $390 to collect the show. Several years later, Evangelion was released across 8 DVDs, coming in at about $240 total. Several years after that, Platinum came out, for about $210 total. At which point, we thought it was over. And then the Platinum Thinpak was announced, which would run for $90. Each successive release is noticeably cheaper, offing more for the dollar. From only 2 episodes on a single language format VHS tape to 5 bilingual episodes per DVD, consumer video releases of anime have come quite a long way, as anyone can tell, but it is still quite saddening that some of us find ourselves perpetually purchasing that which we already have. Each time poses the same question, is this new version really worth it? It's a difficult question to answer, a complex one that has no simple answer. There are a number of factors to include, including the degree of one's fandom, the degree which one can spend their money frivolously, and finally, what versions one has already purchased.

I shouldn't have to tell you a thing about Evangelion. Presumably, you know what it is, and you've probably already seen it a couple of times to date. If you are a casual fan, and you already own a release of the series that suits your needs, then you're probably fine with what you have. But if you are one who is a dedicated fan, then the quality of your videos is most likely of consideration to you and your level of enjoyment when watching Evangelion. Money as also another thing to be concerned about. You could spend the same money purchasing another series, rather than on one you already own. If you have the money to spare, and you don't mind spending it on something you already have, then you might give something like this consideration. And depending on the release of Evangelion you already have, you might put more or less consideration into this. Those who might only have VHS tapes of Evangelion should put more thought into this than those that have DVDs.

Aside from dropped Spanish and French audio tracks, the initial Platinum release was a complete improvement over the previous DVD release, which was in turn a complete improvement over the VHS. But when comparing the Platinum Edition with the Platinum Thinpak, there are a few things to be concerned with. First of all, the Thinpak does not include any of the booklets, which contained a lot of content that many would benefit from reading. Also, the Thinpak does not include any of the bonus features from the initial Platinum release. There are no audio commentaries, and the few video features are not present. But to be honest, these features are of little interest, and with little repeat value, especially to the more knowledgeable and invested fan. The Platinum Thinpak is extremely compact, occupying about a third of the size as the full set of Platinum DVDs. All things considered, the condensed Thinpak is without a doubt the better value, but the question still remains, "Is it worth it?".

Platinum, whether we're talking about the initial release or the Thinpak, is definitely something for any serious Evangelion fan to think about picking up. It has vastly improved audio and video, and is without the frame jitter of previous releases that many found fault with. It needs to be said that Platinum is as if experiencing Evangelion for the first time, and it is a delight to see a show 10 years old appear new again. For new fans, the Thinpak is a tremendous opportunity to pick up and get exposed to Evangelion. For the older fans that didn't pick up the initial Platinum release, the Thinpak is the reward for abstaining. For those that have the original Platinum DVDs and are still interested, I would suggest looking for a good deal, but to definitely consider picking this up. It's small, compact, and without any of the frills of the full sized release. It's expedient, and the definitive release of the show to date. Having all the releases to date, the Thinpak is the one I am most pleased with, and the one I reach for when I want to kick back and watch a little Gainax magic. Chances are, the Platinum Thinpak will be a good buy for you, and I hope you are as pleased to have it sitting on your shelf as I myself am.

Have something cool that's Evangelion related?
Email Aaron about it at theevamonkey@evamonkey.com.