Top positive review
28 people found this helpful
A must buy for both life-long fans and newcomers
on 28 April 2010
In Summer 2006, Hideaki Anno, one of Japan's finest animation directors, announced to the world that he was going back to his famous creation, NEON GENESIS EVANGELION (1995-1996), and re-tell the story in THE REBUILD OF EVANGELION, a tetralogy of movies. The first three would be an alternative version of the series with new animation, settings and characters, while the fourth film would have an completely different end. The reaction was mixed - "why go back and re-tell an anime that is so beloved?"
Some people think EVANGELION has become a cash-cow. But that's not true. Anno is re-telling EVANGELION because he wants to make it look and sound better, and allow newcomers of anime to watch it with life-long fans. He also wants to present the EVANGELION in the way he couldn't back in the mid-1990's.
I'm going to get a major flak for saying this, although EVANGELION has a powerful and fantastic storyline, moments of pure genius and great characters (Rei Ayanami is my all-time favourite anime character, alongside Yuki Nagato from the HARUHI SUZUMIYA franchise), it's not a perfect series. Anno had a very ambitious vision for his creation. But GAINAX, who produced the anime, did not received much money nor time to make the episodes they wanted. When the episodes were failing to meet their deadlines, the budget began to decline, and eariler footage started to get re-use alot. The combination of increasing re-use footage and little new animation mid-way through the series was turning the production into a disaster, which was probably one of the reasons why Anno suffered a nervous breakdown.
EVANGELION then ended with two controversial endings, the final two TV episodes which had fans left either confused or enraged, and the theatrical version THE END OF EVANGELION (1997), in which it had the action-packed finale that the fans wanted but was still confusing and downright depressing.
EVA 1.0: YOU ARE (NOT) ALONE (2007) is a partial remake of the first six episodes of the TV series. But Anno has not edited the footage together and give it a CGI makeover. Before production started, he formed a new anime studio called Studio Khara, reunited nearly all of the cast and crew from the TV series, and re-animated the scenes so it can not only look good on the big-screen, but also blend well with the new footage and 3DCG animation.
It's been about six years since I last saw the series, and I must say I was very impress with this film. The EVA vs. Angel battles truly do look epic and exciting. Some of the scenes from the first six episodes, like Shinji meeting his father before piloting the EVA for the first time, or his encounter with Rei at her apartment, are intact. There are some new scenes, of course. But you'll have to get the Blu-Ray or DVD to see what they are!
From what I heard, the next three films are going to be increasingly different, leading to a conclusion that will hopefully won't be as confusing as the TV series one, nor depressing as THE END OF EVA. All I can say is, roll on the next three REBUILD OF EVANGELION films, Anno and Khara!
Reviewer: Ben David W