Evangelion: 1.11 You Are [Not] Alone (Evangerion shin...: Jo) (Blu-ray) (2007)
Featurette-Rebuild of Evangelion (15.47) (Two Soundtracks)
Music Video-Angel of Doom (2.20)
Featurette-News Flashes (.55) x 3
Featurette-Beautiful World (1.36) x 3
|Year Of Production||2007|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
Japanese Dolby TrueHD 6.1 ES Matrix (4608Kb/s)
English Dolby TrueHD 6.1 ES Matrix (4608Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.78:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Re-building an anime from the ground up gives the filmmakers free reign to carry out a creative overhaul of the product, improving scenes that looked drab or dull and, through editing and insertion, to make a new and hopefully better product. This is perhaps not the place to argue the key question - is this rebuild just a chance to extract further hard earned dollars from the wallets of Evangelion fans, or a genuine effort to improve and re-define the classic anime and to clean up the untidy endings of the original series. That debate is best left for the next Supanova as fans with wildly different views gather to slug it out.
Being only an occasional fan of the original series I can really only judge the product that appears on this Madman Entertainment Blu-ray. For new converts to the show this is some seriously good anime which only suffers from the long time between further instalments.
To go back; Neon Genesis Evangelion is regarded as the classic giant robot anime series. The series ran for 26 episodes from 1995 to 1996 and introduced the world to the enduring characters of Shinji Ikari, Misato Kasuragi and Rei Ayanami, all of whom would become staples of cosplay competitions from Tokyo to Los Angeles. The robots are amazing and huge but one of the fascinations with the series is the complexity and prickly natures of the leads. Shinji is not cut out for heroism, Rei is hopelessly withdrawn into her mission in life and Misato is diffident and abrupt. And don't get me started on the father!
The re-build of Evangelion, titled the unwieldy Evangelion 1.11 You Are (Not) Alone, sees the first 6 of the 26 episodes melted down, changed and translated into a new and interesting experience. Creator Hideaki Anno has tried to make a film that would satisfy hard core fans and yet entrance a whole new generation of viewers not previously exposed to the Evangelion world.
So how do you actually "rebuild" an anime? Lots of ways, it seems, but trying to find out exactly what was done is no easy task. The Blu-ray case states that it is "now extended and enhanced with never before seen animation and 266 visual and audio improvements." The "extended" part probably refers to the fact that the film was already recently released on DVD but has been tinkered with and added to since that release. As to the rest, it is not so clear. The perfect place to start would have been an informative Making of but there is no such beast to be found here. Instead there is a reasonably lengthy featurette called Rebuild of Evangelion which contains only animatics and other work, some apparently comparative, backed with music instead of any commentary. So the product falls to be judged on its own merits.
Fortunately, the film is a pretty exciting and complex anime. The characters, as pointed out above, are often unlikeable. The pace of the story is swift and the animation and action scenes vibrant and exciting.
Plot? For the uninitiated, this can be pretty complex. In the not so distant future teenager Shinji Ikari is summonsed to Tokyo 3 to meet a girl. When he arrives the city is attacked by a giant creature and Shinji almost bites the big one. He is saved by his contact, the fast talking tough and sexy Misato who fills in a bit of the back-story. Tokyo 3 is one of the last remaining cities on Earth. The devastation started when the World was almost destroyed by a meteor attack known as the Second Impact. The giant creature that almost stomped Shinji was an Angel, varied and frightening creatures from beyond, who have come to Earth with the seeming sole purpose of wiping out the rest of humanity. Angels, Genesis, just enjoy the show and don't worry too much about all the religious associations.
The Angel is impervious to military attack and all seems lost. That's where Shinji comes in. His father, a cold and imperious man who has been living apart from his son, is the head of NERV, an organisation devoted to defeating the Angels. NERV has a secret weapon, the Evangelion, giant robots controlled by human pilots; child pilots as it turns out. Shinji is pressured into piloting an Eva, partly because of sympathy for the enigmatic teenage Rei, seemingly seriously injured after piloting her Eva. Unwilling, frightened and alone Shinji wins the day.
The start of a glorious career piloting Eva - a reconciliation with his father- melting the heart of Rei? Hardly, for this is Evangelion and the path to destiny is paved with heartbreak.
This first of four episodes seems satisfying enough on its own although the wait until the next one - Evangelion: You Shall (Not) Advance - may be a while. Although the film has been released to great success in the cinema and on home theatrical formats in Japan, the Region B release date is not yet clear. Bring it on!
Evangelion 1.11 You Are (Not) Alone is presented on Blu-ray in a 1.78:1 transfer that is a sight to behold.
The colours are rich and vibrant and the animation seamless. The anime style is "shaggy hair, pointy noses" done with fairly simple lines, but the lines are clear and clean and there is no evidence of colour bleeding. The picture is very sharp. Compression and noise are non-existent. Given the humble origins of the TV series the rebuild must have taken some time and effort!
There are subtitles in English which are clear and easy to read.
There are two soundtracks, both lossless. Both are described as True HD 6.1. I listened to the English dub and the original Japanese. Both are good strong tracks. The English track didn't have noticeable audio sync issues and was easy to watch and hear. It is much of a muchness choosing between the two and viewers shouldn't be ashamed of Going Western. In terms of voice acting I prefer the Japanese Shinji but by the same token the English voiced Misato is less ditzy and more appealing. Your choice.
The soundtrack is well produced and well spread across all channels with an appealing depth and sense of immersion. The sub-woofer gets a lot of use but doesn't dominate proceedings.
The music by Sagisu Shiro is a mixed bag. The main theme is strong and there is some appealing music throughout, but there are also some odd choices, such as some jaunty music which jars against the on-screen action.
|Surround Channel Use|
As said, the extras for this release are seriously lacking. There is nothing which goes through the story or the rebuild, nothing which explains the mythos of Evangelion.
More an art-house piece than a useful feature this is a selection of moments in differing levels of completion, some which appear to have been drawn from the original TV series and others which look like they are almost finished. The selection is backed by either the original score or , for some reason, the Bolero. Watchable but unhelpful.
Music from the film with images.
Some very brief advertising material.
Almost identical trailers
My review copy didn't come with the book. Perhaps a reader can tell me whether it sheds light on the Rebuild.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The version of the film and the extras is identical to the Region A version. Buy local!
Evangelion 1.11 You Are (Not) Alone is an intriguing mix of complicated and sometimes annoying characters, with hang-ups aplenty and with giant mecha action that rocks the room.
Not having been a great fan of the original is no bar to enjoying this film and the transfer does justice to the story.
Pity that the extras are so thin.
|DVD||Cambridge 650BD (All Regions), using HDMI output|
|Display||Sony VPL-VW80 Projector on 110" Screen. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.|
|Amplification||Pioneer SC-LX 81 7.1|
|Speakers||Aaron ATS-5 7.1|