Movie Review - Evangelion 1.11 You are (not) alone

Madman, Australia's leading distributor of anime has released a dual language version of Evangelion 1.11: You are [not] Alone on DVD and Blu Ray. Neon Genesis Evangelion is one of the best known and most successful Japanese animation franchises of all time. The original series was was released in 1995 followed by a number of additional movies, manga and an absolute swathe of merchandise including everything from action figures to gambling machines and cigarette lighters to cans of premixed coffee. When aired on SBS in Australia it quickly gained a strong following. Surrounded by shows such as Aeon Flux, MTV's Liquid Television and Eat Carpet it soon became the flagship title of the eclectic bunch.


Neon Genesis Evangelion, and therefore Evangelion 1.11, tells the story of a battle scarred Tokyo-3 and an ongoing war with a mysterious force only known as "Angels". Shinji Ikari, a shy 14 year old boy is reluctantly recruited by his father into NERV, a clandestine operation responsible for the protecting Tokyo's "Geofront" from the Angels. This is completed with the assistance of a number of "Evangelion's" or "Eva's" all of which are piloted by teenagers Shinji, Asuka Langley-Soryu and the enigmatic Rei Ayanami.


Evangelion 1.0 is the first part of a four part movie reboot of the series. Written and directed by series creator and Gainax co-founder Hideaki Anno the movie and soundtrack are mostly true to the series. Some scenes are exact replicas of the original series although there are a number of scenes which have been cut or reworked, one notable scene which has been retouched for the movie is during the first battle where EVA unit-01 goes bezerk before performing a front flip onto the attacking Angel. Anyone who has watched the original series will know exactly which scene I mean. The scenes which have been reworked and retouched are simply stunning, just as is all of the animation in this movie. I watched the Blu Ray version of this film and the picture quality blew the socks off my mind! It is undoubtedly the most beautifully rendered traditional animation I have ever seen. That being said, there are a number of CGI elements although none of them overpower the main animation. The picture is crisp, vibrant and looks as though it is popping off the screen. I remember the original series being this pretty, that is, until I take off my rose coloured glasses. The original series is still great quality animation but this movie is something else altogether.
Left = Original Series       Right=Evangelion 1.11
Anyone familiar with the majority of Gainax series will know that they can sometimes add a number of superfluous scenes that may, or may not, further the storyline or in most cases confuse and befuddle. In it's 2 hour running time this movie squeezes in between 6-8 episodes from the series, recuts and reworks them seamlessly. Minor changes to the story have been made although they feel as though they have been made to help the progression of the story. One significant difference is the introduction of a secondary character who, in the series, wasn't introduced until the third last episode.


This movie really made my jaw drop. It was enjoyable from start to finish and the animation was a pure delight to behold. If you're a NGE fan I highly recommend picking up this DVD, if not... still get it because it is great! Evangelion 2.0 has been released in Japan and was massively successful so fingers crossed for a speedy release here as well.


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