Hideaki Anno had already captured the minds of millions when his most popular series Neon Genesis Evangelion was produced way back in 1995-1996. In 2007, he started the Rebuild of Evangelion, a series of movies that would reaffirm and branch off of the original series, hence, a rebuild. Today I’ll look at his first film, 1.0 (later to be released as a special edition, 1.11), and see if it meets his grand intent of pleasing fans and drawing in a wider audience with better visuals, music, and hopefully, an improved story.
2015. Tokyo-3 is the only remaining city in Japan after the Second Impact devastates the world. The lone city is not at peace, however, as gigantically scary extraterrestrial life forms known as Angels seek to exterminate the human race. As young boy who has not seen his father for over eight years, Shinji Ikari is called to NERV, an organization assembled to take down the Angels, where he will be piloting Evangelion Unit 01. Ikari’s father, the head of NERV, demands Shinji’s combat against the Angels; choose to not fight, and the already-injured and mysterious pilot 00 Rei Ayanami will be forced to. Getting himself into much more trouble than a robot fight, Evangelion 1.11 features the first three Angel clashes in remastered HD quality.
As far as changes go, this movie is almost an exact adaptation of the first eight or so episodes from the original series. As such you can check out my Neon Genesis Evangelion review here for a more in-depth review. The movie does a great job at recapping the old material, but of course, it drops quite a few scenes for time’s sake. Veterans of Evangelion might be disappointed with this, despite the new, incredibly detailing scenes that were added, but to newcomers it gets straight to the point.
The characters are also the exact same, with the exception of Shinji Ikari receiving less annoying dialogue. He just seems like a troubled 10 year-old instead of some rude brat when he refuses to fight at times.
For pacing, the show is rather rugged. It’s almost always on the edge of its seat, seeming like a string of intensity instead of a smooth-running film.
Another reason fans were let down was because it just didn’t feel like Eva. Everything is clear-cut and dialogue is cleaned up, making for fewer interpretive scenes and lessening the overall enigmatic effect. For unfamiliar people, this is a good thing, but for those who had seen the original, it doesn’t maintain the shady and “distorted” Evangelion quality.
I was pleased to hear that all of the main characters and some of the side were portrayed by the same English and Japanese voice actors. Props to FUNimation for the great dubbing!
The music is top-notch, though most of the tracks are just pulled from NGE. Model examples include “Decisive Battle” and “Angel Attack,” two of the main battle themes of the show. The ending, “Beautiful World” by Utada Hikaru, is simply a beautiful song, no joke. It was a cool way to end the film. I listen to it off and on as one of my alarms – it’s a great way to start the day!
Studio Khara revives the original series with amazingballz visuals! CG for the Angels, specifically the complete makeover of the 6th Angel (blue diamond one), is brilliantly done. Architecture is clean, for when Tokyo-3 goes into Angel alert, the sunrise combined with the colossal rising and falling buildings is a splendor. And of course, the Eva Units’ new computer graphics are glorious!
For a 2007 film, it easily rivals and surpasses most of the animated films of today. Fans will be pleased, as I was for sure. However, since it only encompasses the first quarter of the show, this will raise more questions than answers for newcomers to the franchise. Though it lacks footage and original atmosphere, Evangelion: 1.11 You Are (Not) Alone manages to be a great reaffirmation of the old anime, and masterful edition to the Evangelion series.
I hoped you enjoyed my quick few thoughts over the Rebuild of Evangelion’s first film! Drop a comment below if you had similar or different thoughts, because I love reading them ~ Until next time, this has been
– Takuto, your host