CHANHASSEN, MN — Anime fan Sheldon Ickert recently came to an existential crisis in his life trying to figure out the meaning of End of Evangelion’s DVD menu.
“I got the DVD for End of Evangelion from Netflix since I had just finished watching the original show, hoping it would answer questions I had about the ending of the original series. So I get to the menu and I see the options are ‘Launch,’ ‘Access,’ ‘System Specs’ and ‘Features.’ Okay, I think to myself, that’s kind of clever, making the DVD options themed, and I click on Launch figuring it’s the play button and it goes into this live action Japanese commercial? I think it is anyway, I can’t tell if it’s actually supposed to be part of the movie or not, Eva’s weird like that.”
“So it gets to the movie and it’s set to English, but I wanted to watch it in Japanese with subs. So I go to ‘System Specs’ to look for language options and see my options are Stereo, 6.1 DTS-ES and 5.1 DD-EX. What the hell does that mean? Then I see there’s a button that says ‘Audio Info’ and that says tells me to go to www.chace.com for audio information, but when I typed that it redirects me to bydeluxe.com, which is a website for a totally unrelated production company! Guess I’m picking stereo, I kind of know what that means and it’s probably good enough.”
“So then I go back to the menu, but since I’ve sat through that thing that was maybe a credits scene I want to skip forward in the movie to see if I managed to switch the audio. So I go to ‘Access,’ which I assume is scene selections, and I see I have the options of ‘Episode 25: Air’ and ‘Episode 26: Sincerely Yours/My Pure Heart For You.’ But I don’t want to watch the last two episodes of Neon Genesis Evangelion, I want to watch End of Evangelion! Did I rent the wrong DVD by mistake?”
“Then I go back to the menu and as I go to click on ‘System Specs’ again, the letter ‘t’ falls off of it and I can’t click on it anymore. Then there’s screaming and explosions and the whole screen goes black. After that I just turned my TV off in frustration. People have told me End of Evangelion’s obtuse and hard to watch, but I didn’t think they meant it so literally.”
At present, Sheldon is looking up articles explaining the meaning of End of Evangelion’s DVD menu, and has found none that are remotely helpful or insightful.