Our special thanks to FUNimation Entertainment for providing CollectionDX with this free DVD copy for review!
All Menus have Evangelion Unit-01 in silhouette against an un-detailed hill/city background, each in a different color. There is no motion in any of the Menus, but a different musical soundtrack from the film plays each time.
Rated “PG-13” by the Motion Picture Association of America
(action violence and some nudity)
This film is the first in a series of four movies known collectively as Rebuild of Evangelion...
In the near future, the world was devastated by a single event known as the Second Impact. This had significant changes on the global climate- creating a perpetual spring/summer all year-long, all of the oceans turned red, bringing even the greatest of nations to their knees, and over half of the world’s human population was killed. Through careful interpretations by a secret organization known as SEELE, the famous Dead Sea Scrolls were found to prophecies the arrival of twelve monstrous creatures called Angels (Shito, “messenger from God”) which could individually bring about another apocalypse, called the Third Impact. A United Nations organization, NERV, was established to find a defense against the Angels before they arrived. They created a secret fortress within & below the metropolis of Tokyo-3, Japan as their headquarters, and constructed several giant armored humanoid life-forms called Evangelion Units, under the direction of NERV’s Supreme-Commander Gendou Ikari.
Fourteen-year-old Shinji Ikari has been chosen to become a candidate to pilot an Evangelion. He is a withdrawn and depressed boy with no close connections to any friends or family, and his father abandoned him eight years earlier without even saying good-bye. The world is suddenly thrust upon him as he is forced to pilot Evangelion Unit-One ("Evangelion Shogouki") in order to prevent the anticipated invasion of the Fourth Angel into Tokyo-3. Shinji is caught completely unawares and is highly reluctant to fight, not having a good reason to do so and being scared. He chooses to fight in Unit-01, but having no prior training, Shinji’s EVA is mauled by the Angel. But then the EVA mysteriously reactivates and brutally beats the Angel on its own until it self-destructs (Shinji being unconscious the entire time)! After recovering from his first battle, Shinji moves in with Lt Colonel Misato Katsuragi (NERV’s tactical officer) since his father still won’t take him in, and soon begins his pilot's training. But even as the Fifth Angel appears weeks later, he still doesn’t understand his motivations for going through the trauma of being a pilot. After disobeying Misato’s orders (but successfully defeating the Angel on his own), Shinji sees no reason to stay at NERV if it causes him nothing but pain and he gets no praise. So he runs away, aimlessly wandering Tokyo-3. Meanwhile, the prototype EVA Unit-Zero ("Evangelion Zerogouki") is finally restored after going berserk during its early activation tests weeks earlier and nearly killing but seriously injuring its own pilot, the quiet & mysterious Rei Ayanami. After being confronted by Misato again, Shinji agrees to pilot once more even if he still doesn’t like it or know why. Now the Sixth Angel appears, but Unit-01 and Shinji are immediately overwhelmed by the ferocity of its massive energy blasts, and a good portion of Tokyo-3 is sacrificed to retrieve the badly-damaged EVA. Not being able to confront the powerful Angel directly at close-range as they usually would, Misato devises a desperate plan to attack it from miles away. Shinji awakens in the hospital with Rei standing over him, but he is too scared to fight. As Operation: Yashima is hours from beginning, Misato finds Shinji still at the hospital. She finally gives him a reason to fight: if an Angel were ever to get into NERV HQ, the Third Impact would occur…
After the End Credits run, Misato voices-over a Preview for the next film in the theatrical series, “Evangelion: 2.0- You Can (Not) Advance”, showing rapid snapshots of scenes from the new movie, and assures us that there will be plenty more fan service!
As a film created in Japan, there are two language tracks available, both available in 5.1 Surround Sound:
- English (DVD-default, dubbed using American actors)
There are also English Subtitles that are provided. However, there is a trick to the subtitles that I did not find in the menu here:
- The first is- what I’ll call- ‘substitution-text subtitles’, which show only when prominent Japanese text appears in the movie. These default to On when the English dialogue audio is activated. (They appear not even a handful of times, and there’s really nothing all that relevant that they describe. However, during the End Credits, the song “Beautiful World” plays and they are best used here to translate the lyrics.)
- The other is a general translation of all spoken words when the Japanese dialogue is activated. With this option, the substitution-text also appears when needed, so you will see both at the same time. (If you want to compare the translations with the English actors’ performances, you can mix the English subtitles with the English dub. There are subtle - though, in my opinion, I would not say significant- differences and they cannot match word-for-word because of the different grammar of the two languages, and how the English dubbing is performed.)
Apparently, the substitution-text subtitles do not appear when the audio is switched to Japanese and the Subtitles in the menu are turned off; however, they default to On when English dub is selected even if the Subtitles have been turned Off. Using your own DVD controller, you can carefully sort through these Audio Options as you see fit. (In other words, it’s a nice feature to have, but it’s hard to understand how it works!) Regardless of which Options you select, the End Credits of the movie will always run in English text.
[There are not separate Closed Captions (CC) for the hearing-impaired. Indeed, CC will not display anything during this DVD.]
The movie is broken down into thirty-three chapters, each specifically set to start at the beginning of a[ny] scene rather than randomly placed.
There are trailers here for other TV series and movies recently being imported by FUNimation (various ratings):
- "Spice and Wolf" (reviewed on Anime.CollectionDX.com)
- "Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid" (reviewed on Anime.CollectionDX.com)
- "Claymore" (reviewed on Anime.CollectionDX.com)
- "Fullmetal Alchemist"
- "Tower of Druaga"
- "Nabari No Ou" (reviewed on Anime.CollectionDX.com)
- "Gunslinger Girl"
Conclusions & Comments
It’s a pretty basic & standard anime DVD we have here, nothing particularly special or important beyond the movie. The movie itself, though, has a significant flaw that has come to my attention after-the-fact. Apparently, the film did not transfer very well to the DVD format, and there is a lightening issue. Where? Well, in every single shot that takes place in darkness! If you watch the battle between Unit-01 and the Fourth Angel in the first 20 minutes, you can barely see anything at all except maybe streetlights, the Angel’s core, and the EVA’s striking neon-green armor highlights... and that’s it! All of those trucks, trains, and power generators seen being assembled before Operation: Yashima? They’re also cloaked in darkness… and it is a blank-state which becomes even more pronounced when I tried to play the DVD on my computer! For dramatic moments which take place at night or in darkened regions, you can’t see many of the details, and can only guess as to what is going on by sound. (My sympathies thus go to the deaf, for they will get nothing out of it at all…) An interesting start to this new series of movies. When it ends, I hope they make a TV series about it- maybe a sequel of som--
Wait- there already was a TV series? When was somebody gonna tell me this-!?
As a long-time fan of Neon Genesis Evangelion, I cannot believe that I actually find myself insulted and disturbed that absolutely no nod or tribute or tip-of-the-hat was made to the franchise which captured my attention so long ago. If you didn’t know about the story before, this is certainly the place to start. But if you didn’t know that the four films are actually an updated version of a popular-yet-controversial 26-episode anime series, you have no idea about many of the details that are being left out and which were fleshed out more thoroughly in 1995. Of the significant changes that are being wrought in this film series which could not possibly be accomplished on a TV series’ budget & time constraints. How a good majority of the movie is nearly shot-for-shot from the series, but was completely repainted and updated for the big-screen. And not only that, but that the series and two previous theatrical sequel movies have already been brought over to English-speaking audiences! Spike Spencer and Allison Keith-Shipp return to fill [perhaps] their most-recognized dubbing roles (Shinji Ikari and Misato Katsuragi, respectively), and there’s no note of that. (For that matter, the entire original Japanese cast was reunited for the four films, and there’s no mention of that significant arrangement either!) There is no acknowledgment, documentary, or even puny text-only notes whatsoever to tell newcomers that this film would not have been possible without the staying-power of its fans on both sides of the Pacific and the dedication of its creators in returning to give us a new light on a classic series. “Evangelion: 1.0- You Are (Not) Alone” is a brilliant remastering of the first six episodes of the TV show (even if a little difficult to see at times), but this single DVD would have you think otherwise… that it’s all just another average, ordinary day in the world of anime.
Be sure to also read the review for the two-disc special-edition version, "Evangelion: 1.11- You Are (Not) Alone", written by CDX's own Ginrai!
Comments35 comments posted
But unlike this movie it wasn't boring. (I fell asleep three times watching this video!) Where the TV series kept me glued to my seat and absorbed into their world, this movie just seems to deaden any sense of involvement in the story. I felt with the movie that you were just there to "observe" and not get "involved". Which is weird because it is almost scene for scene to the TV series. Oh well, another testament to "If it ain't broke don't fix it!".
I disagree, but to a point. They had to squeeze six half-hour episodes (@25min each) into a one-and-a-half hour movie. No easy task.
I did feel, though, that the first 20min were a bit rushed and gave us a minimum of info (leaving out a nice character/humor moment for Misato just after they tip the car over and are heading to NERV). In the series, we really start getting useful info in the third episode, where the mystery of everything is still fresh in the first two. But once the Fourth Angel was destroyed, the movie evened out sufficiently for my taste.
The majority of the film, though, I felt delved sooner and more thoroughly into Shinji's mindset of helplessness and despair, which doesn't really start wearing off until after Asuka joined up with him against the then-Seventh Angel and he got a bit more confident (even prideful to a degree).
One of the problems with the series is you need to lighten up a little on the drama and action, which the movie is nothing but a wall of. Really, the only lite moment in the movie is when Shinji meets Pen-Pen (I still LMAO at that, classic!) and that's it. While the big long suspended pans and shots of Shinji wandering Tokyo-3 were whittled down a good share, it isn't lost on the audience that he's gone for a while and is ignorant to the world around him. (Thank goodness they got rid of that awkward/personal moment of Kensuke playing in the grass by himself!)
But, in fairness, the first half really is just a retelling of the first few episodes. The influence of Rebuild, though, truly begins when the Sixth Angel arrives, even if it doesn't diverge significantly from the order of events in the series. I think we'll finally get the good stuff in "Eva 2.0", where there will be far-less room for direct influence shot-for-shot from the series like the first movie is.
I don't think Evangelion was really broken to begin with, but I also don't think the first movie makes it any worse!
I didn't find it so boring but they were all about things they could never do in the original series with budget and FX. For any EVA fan out there you will not be disappointed with Rebuild 2.0 seen it, a departure from 1.0 much more high pace... etc.
Early on, I laughed so much when Asuka was on-screen, so she became one of my favorites. (In my dead Eva fanfic, she was constantly at odds/in competition with Unit-04/A's pilot.) I'm really looking forward to her appearance.
It's interesting- I'm under the impression that in both moe and hentai material, I don't see as much of her as I do poor submissive Rei; it's weird that it's unbalanced there compared to the rest of the marketable Evangelion goods where they're more-or-less on par with each other.
Speaking of which- without revealing any spoilers for those of us who haven't seen it yet- has Mari (from "Eva 2.0") developed much of a following, or is it pretty much still dominated by Rei and Asuka?
If anyone has to watch this series and follow it up for Hentai bootleg to get there rocks off that's just sick. Ya, there is a cuteness following with Rei in Japan but why who knows? That's what Moe references to right? There is also a lot of Evangelion junk items flooding the market as well. Asuka Mermaid figure what the hell is that?! It just cheapens a franchise with unnecessary garbage.
Not once have I ever said I was into Eva hentai regarding the kids, and there's several reasons for that. I want that clear right now. To make even a slight implication is insulting.
I am also not into moe; I do not consider myself that obsessed with Evangelion either (and certainly not with characters).
The only reason I got those two figurines- as I've explained many times before, and will not drag out further- was because they were a striking change from how they are portrayed beyond the series and typical figure releases. Is it possible in the context of the series? Absolutely not. It is moe? Damn right it is. End of story.
Besides, you wanna talk about fan service? We got to see two underage kids completely naked in this movie. You're telling me that this isn't in the same vein as the Lynn-Minmei shower scene from "DYRL"? The difference is, these two are underage. Even though the show had such context before, I actually found myself glancing away when Rei was changing into her suit. (A shame that's the first time we've seen how the suits come apart to be put on/taken off, dammit!)
I forget about the naked kid scene where Shinji embarrassed himself in front of Misato I took that as Japanese silly humor and Rei behind the curtain getting into the plug suit, that's to tease the boys. I don't get the whole fan service thing with the Japanese & Anime, it's like Playboy to them?
I had to look it up on Wikipedia a few years ago to make sense of it as well. "Fan service" is not a term linked only to Evangelion; indeed, it is industry-wide...
As I understand it, "fan service" would be like making fun of a series or movie within the context of it by introducing sexually-charged themes & events. As Wiki states, if there is a story involving some co-ed characters who are usually in a stressful career (arguably, like a samurai 'n such), there is usually no time for, um... 'play' amongst them within the context of the series/movie. However, if there was a scene or entire episode dedicated to a day of relaxing in a hot spring or a bathhouse (or whatever the terms are), then you have them removing clothing for bathing. This is "fan service": seeing [typically] females with as little clothing as possible where ordinarily they would not be portrayed as such.
Example: after defeating the then-8th Angel inside the volcano, Misato takes Asuka and Shinji to a hot spring, and we get to see all of them naked. That scene, specifically, is fan service in the context/world of Evangelion.
So, when Misato promised us "more fan service", it meant that we (the audience) would intentionally get to see more goods to pander and titillate our senses. Of course, whether her continuous promise was an intentional joke or not by Gainax, I cannot say, since we didn't get all that much fan service per-episode. Think of it more as a tease and/or joke- to trick us into watching the next episode to see if there really was more fan service.
It's a common misconception that "fan service" specifically refers to female nudity.
"Fan service" means any element of an anime (or any other show or movie) meant solely to excite/interest/gratify the hardcore fanbase of a property. Something that's not integral to the plot.
X2 X-Men United when Mystique goes through Stryker's computer files and we can see a list of mutants' names taken from the comic series.
X-Men 3 The Last Stand when Juggernaut says "I'm the Juggernaut,bitch!" to reference the youtube viral video.
Star Trek reboot when the red shirt dies,also when the new actors say cliche quotes like "I'm giving it all she's got."
Batman Brave and the Bold's JSA episode where Batman,in flashbacks,is drawn the way he looked in his first comic book,purple gloves and all. Actually almost every episode of this show has some obscure reference. "Meet me on the corner of Haney and Aparo."
And of course,all the anime shows where the hot girls of the series spend an episode bouncing around in the hot springs or what have you.
As I understood it, fan service is something that the audience wants more of, and the production company gives little hints or whiffs of it, regardless of the regular theme(s) of the show/movie/comic. But, you're saying that it doesn't have to be related specifically to sexual themes?
For some reason,English speaking fans almost always mean nudity/cleavage/whatever when they say "fan service",but no it doesn't have to be sexual.
Ah. Well, considering I didn't know what it meant to begin with, it's easy to understand how I got confused. Thanks for clearing that up.
So, then... what would fan service in Evangelion be? Just Unit-01 going berserk? Or did Misato break her promise just about every time!?
Yeah,Misato's using "fan service" to mean showing the female characters nude,and the running joke is that it never happens.
Okay. I thought it was something like that for a while, but not knowing the meaning of "fan service", the 'joke' was usually lost on me.
Thanks for the great review, I watched the original series back when it was airing on TV. As much as I enjoyed the quality/design & high production values of the show, I was eventually put-off by all of the ridiculous & disturbed spiritual/philosophical musings of the shows creators. The cool thing about these new versions is that they seem to focus less on the mumbo-jumbo, which I personally don't enjoy, but the rest seems to be intact with high quality animation/audio & more attention given to the actual mechs, their support network & the physics behind them.
They do move it away from the psycho-drama of the series a little, and a hair more into the giant robot genre that it's actually supposed to be a part of.
I am surprised, though, that they don't outright state that the EVAs are biological, specifically by showing Unit-01 without its head armor on. You're telling me that Shinji just kinda... stares at a blank wall the whole time Unit-01 is berserk? C'mon! He got shook to hell, and then his robot looked back at him! You wanna scare a kid, that's how you do it! But it comes across in "Eva 1.0" as him simply being fearful of losing a battle or feeling the EVA's physical pain rather than really being afraid of being locked inside this monstrosity.
One thing I really liked was the humbling moment of seeing Shinji slowly bring Unit-01 to its feet and actually crawl it across the ground after the Sixth Angel fired. See him struggling to work those levers and his mind. That, to me, was very humanizing for the EVAs' personalities in general, and reminded me that they are big and heavy and their movement is based directly on the mood of the pilot and the environment around it. They're not always fast, agile, muscular fighters, and are capable of being slowed down. Very awesome to see that intentionally-undignified movement.
I also liked that they actually nail down that a core is the 'only known weakness' of all the Angels. It was usually coincidence that that was the killing spot in the series (some Angels were defeated by not hitting it), but they never outright said it, so the confirmation was nice.
What they need to do in the next one, though, is say where/how AT Fields work. They simply exist in the series, but there's no real explanation until way later on how they manifest. To me, that was one of the big things that made Evangelion a super robot show rather than real robot, and if they can give a little more exposition, it might wear away that feeling.
As to the spiritual/philosophical stuff, I didn't mind it all that much, and it did keep me intrigued back then as-to what kind of ending would come. They're still using "angels", "Lilith" and the Dead Sea Scrolls, so we're not rid of it yet; certainly not from the brief conversation in the last scene with SEELE-01!
Question: in the series, did they ever outright state how many Angels were going to be appearing, or was it all guess work? 'Cause Cmdr. Ikari says there's eight more after this, and I don't remember there being a number mentioned early on, or them knowing exactly when the next one would appear.
I much prefer the TV series as the movie uses both 2D and 3D CG which IMO doesn't work as well to capture the grit and darkness of the original cel animated TV series. Still, I await to see the second and beyond films.
I was neutral on the use of CGI, though it certainly helped the wow-effect with the Sixth Angel. I am wondering, though, if they're gonna switch the EVAs from all-2D eventually to all-3D (like has happened with Transformers since "TFEnergon")...?
They won't do a total switch for 2D to 3D. The Japanese are super talented with traditional cell animation it would be a shame. I haven't yet seen any 3D from them yet that is impressive like here in the West. Plus, in the trailer for Evangelion 3.0 they show scenes with the latest EVA units 6 & 8...
Yes but the 2D you see in the movie is actually CG as well.
Traditional cel animation means cels and paint.
Yo, a lot of the scenes were old animation from the original series repainted or enhanced that would be considered traditional 2D animation no CG. Yes, there are scenes where there is 2D and 3D mix made to look like traditional cell animation with paint overs. 3D computer renders movements much more fluid. 2D traditional cell animation hand rendered is more obvious to the eye. EX: the city and more detailed components like the trains were 3D the EVA's were hand drawn. I think there a couple CG scenes of unit 00 toward the end...
In "Eva: 1.0", I can tick off at least three times where Unit-01 was replaced by CGI, though none of them involve actually moving it:
The rest of the time, the CGI involves technical readouts, vehicles being moved around before the Operation, static backgrounds, Tokyo-3 converting (either process), Un Fighters (sometimes), and- of course- the Fifth and Sixth Angels.
I'm confused-what sort of "nod" towards the original show were you expecting? I think it's pretty obvious that "Evangelion" the movie was based on "Evangelion" the show.
I guess I'm just too used to American-style DVDs that have gobs of behind-the-scenes stuff in them...
I always shoot for 2-disc sets, and I was expecting something along those lines here. Rebuild is an event, and should be treated as such on both sides of the Pacific, even if it isn't as big over here. In Japan their release had tons of info on their DVDs, but we had nothing of particular interest.
I mean, Miyazaki's "Spirited Away" (one of my favs) had an hour-long documentary all in Japanese with English subtitles about just about every facet of the production, including off-the-clock/break-time moments. If there had been something like that in this DVD, that alone would have been acceptable. Instead, FUNimation just treats this as any ordinary anime movie, with an air of casualness that's disturbing to me.
How did ADV Films treat the Platinum Edition of the series, as far as extras? Or Manga Ent. for the two sequel movies?
"Rebuild is an event, and should be treated as such on both sides of the Pacific" I totally agree! It's a real pity that there's zero special features.
You do know that there's a 1.1 version coming, both in DVD and Blu-Ray? That will probably have all the extras.
Misdirection and deception are two of my favorite tools when making a review...
I already ran all this over with Josh, and he says that FUNimation will get us a sampler for "Evangelion: 1.11- You Are (Not) Alone", which I will also be covering. Supposedly it has a cleaner transfer of the film, with several more minutes of new animation never seen in theaters (a 'Director's Cut' if you wish), and gives up some sort of extras (though I'm not clear on what specifically since it was only recently announced).
"Evangelion: 1.11" comes out in March.
I'm still not exactly sure what 'misdirection and deception' have to do with reviewing toys or movies. What's the down-side of saying something to the effect of 'there's another version of this movie coming out later, let's see if the shortcomings of this release will be rectified, and I will keep you updated?' The downside to employing deception(?) in your text is the very real prospect of confusing and frustrating your reader. (my comments are in the spirit of constructive criticism, tho, so tell me to get lost if you like:))
Well, I don't outright lie.
I prefer more to leave the question open-ended. That's the "deceptive" part.
"Misdirection" would be saying I don't know what is going to happen next when I actually do. For example, here I already know that there will be a "1.11", but in the review, I don't say anything at all. Besides, all they have to do is read the comments and it's all spoiled.
In writing these reviews and shooting the vids, I always make them as if they are brand new, with no knowledge of what is to come next (unless it's, like, over 10 years old-or-something). A few times on YouTube, people have asked me how long ago I shot something (Bulkhead was the most-recent example) when it has actually been, like a few months after it had come out.
It makes these reviews timeless, and it's just more fun for me this way. =D
I spent $25 at Best Buy for the DVD was more money online, and I also wish there was more bang for the buck! Like extra's and stuff like you said. I won't buy another version. It was poor of them to not include and extra DVD or something for that price. I won't buy a 1.1 version in the future. Too bad. I hope they release 2.0 sooner instead of a two year wait. Because that is such a better movie.
I'm more annoyed at the crappy quality (like the fight with the angel that you can't even see) than I am at there not being extras. It's the way of DVD releases; don't buy the first one, because you know that there will be a second release with all the extra stuff. It's an industry ploy to get more mileage, and money, out of a single movie.
The other ploy they're using is Blu-Ray. They put more features on it than the Standard DVDs, so they're trying to drag you over. Yes, the world is transitioning over to Blu-Ray eventually, but that doesn't mean us Standard users gotta lose out in the meantime!
Question: can Standard DVDs play on Blu-Ray players?
Yeah, I've never heard of this transition error before, and it was quite annoying. Has that happened before to many other movies [that aren't bootlegs]?
No, I don't believe standard DVDs play on blue-ray players.
I don't remember this 'error' on anything else. I've gotten bootlegs on the streets of Manhattan that were better quality than the Evangelion DVD. In fact, the bootleg of this that I watched was almost better quality than the official one, you could actually see things, but the bright parts were a little too white, and no English. That doesn't say much for the official release, the effort they put into it, their quality control, or their concern for fans.
Off the top of my head I can't name any,but yeah I've seen DVDs where the night scenes were too dark. Of course,that sort of thing is bound to happen when you couldn't care less about your product or your fanbase.