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  Publicity Stills of "Evangelion: 1.0"
(Courtesy from Cathay-Keris Films)

In Japanese With English and Chinese Subtitles
Director: Hideaki Anno
Cast (Voice): Megumi Ogata, Megumi Hayashibara, Kotono Mitsuishi, Yuriko Yamaguchi, Fumihiko Tachiki, Motomu Kiyokawa, Tomokazu Seki, Tetsuya Iwanaga, Jyunko Iwao
1 hr 38 mins
Released By: Cathay-Keris Films & InnoForm Media
Rating: NC-16 (Some Nudity)
Official Website: www.evangelion.co.jp

Opening Day: 13 March 2008


Shinji Ikari, a 14 year old boy, is the main protagonist in this series. Marked by an introspective personality and pronounced in his fear of interacting with others, Shinji is an embodiment of the contemporary post-modern individual characterized as being over stressed from near-constant exposure to the information age. There then are the two heroines situated in his close proximity. White and red, stasis and flux---the contrasting personalities and mood that Rei Ayanami and Asuka radiate are representative symbols that many people immediate associate with the Eva franchise. The character designs produced by Yoshiyuki Sadamoto (author of the comic book adaptation of the same series) has had a profound impact on character designs in subsequent animation series that have followed Evangelion.

The Point (Short Review):

There are two main reasons for folks who are already familiar with the extremely well known Japanese animation (previously available in Dvds and Vcds format) to catch this tale again in the cinema. The first reason would be for the wonder of editing that made the whole story more streamline and with packs a stronger focus in story telling. The second reason would be that watching the reanimated animation on a big screen with superior theatrical sound system makes a whole lot of differences. For those who are not familiar with Evangelion, there isn’t a better jumping pad to get acquainted with this extremely popular franchise than catching this movie.


This Reviewer did watch the anime series once back in the 2002 but found the ending too bizarre and confusing that he left his Vcd series at one dark corner to rot. While he couldn’t gasp the reason for Evangelion’s popularity, he is well aware that this is not your usual Japanese big robots vs alien invaders type of anime and packs with lots of philosophical musing that likely requires repeated viewing to fully appreciate this series. After watching the first series, he did not venture to the following movies that tried to retell the whole finale mess properly. Evangelion 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone marks the first time returning back to the world of Evangelion and Angels.

The Rant (Long review):

It’s likely that you probably heard of the animation Evangelion and even more likely to wonder why is it being reviewed in Moviexclusive as a movie review. The simple reason would be that the popular 1995 - 1996 anime TV series is joining the ranks of other iconic sci-fi movies such as Star Wars and Blade Runner in getting the Redux treatment. Not only that, the ambitious folks behind the whole TV series is planning big and will be releasing the series theatrically in four parts.

The next question would probably be; is the reworks worth watching again?

The answer would be a Yes.

The first thing that stood out was re editing for this story which was almost magical. Basically, most of the sequences, events, monsters and even the framing of a scene were exactly the same as the source material (although it was reported that everything’s been reanimated for the movie) but yet with skillful editing, the story had a more streamline flow and emotions among characters pack a stronger punch than it’s predecessor; creating an almost different story from the original source.

To appreciate what the reediting had done for Evangelion, one would just have to look at the first battle between Shinji’s unit 1 and the first (or third if you are a Evangelion fanatic) Angel. The battle was actually told in two separate parts in the second episode of the Anime and in this movie version, it had been re-edited into one whole action sequence. Comparing both the TV series and movie, the movie was more effective as managed to contain the tension and pacing that the first half had build and unleash the shock / horror immediately for the revelation of the second half without giving it too much time and space for the pressure to fade away.

In this manner, it does not let the audience’s mind to wander too far and help focus on the dilemma and woes of the lead character (Shinji Ikari). Which in turn build a stronger case for viewers to sympathies what Shinji was going through and his constant self questioning that could come across as overbearing whining session in the Tv series.

Another great aspect of condensing the first 6 episodes (20 minutes worth of material each, an estimate total of 120 mins) into a 98 mins movie was removal of those unnecessary padded moments that Anime are often guilty of. That means no more unnecessary humor such as Misato Katsuragi complaining about her wreck car after picking Shinji up or confusing bits such as Unit 01 giving Shinji unexpected protection when there wasn’t anyone operating it.

The next important factors of catching this Re-Animated movie in a cinema (specially for the fans) would be because this enormous robots vs. monsters slug fest requires a gigantic screen and superior sound system (that most of us couldn’t afford at our own home) to tell the story properly.

Coming from the angle of watching Evangelion previously on Vcd format, the reanimation of Evangelion looks impressive on the big screen. The big screen pictures look more vibrant and more spectacular. Particularly the scene where Unit 01 reanimated it’s broken arm during it’s first battle. That scene in the Tv Series left very little impact while the movie made a credible point on how painful it should have felt.

The heat of the giant monsters’ battle also felt more real while seated in a theatre. The surround sound of missiles flying around, crushing of buildings and even school kids chatting noisy at the backgrounds could be picked up in this new version of Evangelion. As again, it helps to bring the audience closer to the respective characters’ situation and events that were going on. Without a doubt, there’s no better way to appreciate all these gigantic robot/monster slug fest than a big screen with big sounds.

Bottom line, what was good in the series had been carefully and lovingly made better for the big screen treatment. Better pacing and better visual/audio effects create an unexpected buzz and interest for Evangelion that even I couldn’t foresee. I for one, am excited to see what the other installments have in store for the youngsters piloting these big gigantic robots (particularly how the story will be retold in the later movies) and I hope that I am not Alone in getting swept by all these excitements.

Movie Rating:

(Best Re-Dux treatment for Anime so far)

Review by Richard Lim Jr


. Vexille (2007)

. Brave Story (2007)

. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2007)

. Paprika (2006)

, Howl's Moving Castle (2004)

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