Release Date: March 15, 1997
Running Time: 115 minutes
Director: Anno Hideaki
Death and Rebirth is a 1997 anime feature film written and directed by Hideaki Anno. It is the first film following the success of the Neon Genesis Evangelion television series, and largely a response to the poor reception of its original ending, which took place almost entirely in the psyche of the main characters. The style was said to have been preferred by the director, but was shunned by fans and often attributed to time and budget constraints. So strong was the fan reaction in fact, that the studio was vandalized and the director Anno Hideaki received death threats.
The film is divided into two individual segments: Death and Rebirth.
Death is an hour-long compilation and summary of the first 24 episodes of television series, mostly for uninitiated viewers. Some new scenes were created just for this segment, but were eventually also included in the Director's Cut release of the series. There are two minor re-edits of Death, called Death(true) and Death(true)², which had several scenes either removed or added.
The next segment, Rebirth, is a remake of the final two episodes of the anime series, and begins where episode 24 left off. It focuses on the time between the death of Tabris, the Seventeenth Angel, and the occurrence of the Third Impact. This segment was initially intended to be 40 minutes long, but due to time constraints was released with only 27 minutes completed. As a result the segment (and the film) ends in a cliffhanger following the destruction of New Tokyo-3 by SEELE and the Strategic Self Defense Force.
Rebirth was eventually completed and re-released as The End of Evangelion four months later, which depicts the apocalyptic completion of the Human Instrumentality Project in its entirety. The film, which no longer included the recap of the anime series, was also divided into two parts: Episode 25: Air and Episode 26: My Purest Heart for You (Sincerely Yours).
Revival of Evangelion is a compilation of Death(true)² and The End of Evangelion released in Japan in 2007 as part of a remastered 10-year anniversary box set. It is not available in North America because the series and films are licensed by different North American distributors (ADV Films and Manga Entertainment).