Evangelion 1.0: You Are (Not) Alone – Anime Review

The Essentials

Evangelion 1.0: You Are (Not) AloneName: Evangelion 1.0: You Are (Not) Alone, Evangelion New Theatrical Version: Prephase
Genre: Science Fiction, Action
Episodes: N/A
Released: September 1, 2007
Based On: Remake of Neon Genesis Evangelion TV series
Director: Hideaki Anno
Produced By: Khara
US Distribution: N/A

Major Japanese Cast

Shinji Ikari: Megumi Ogata
Rei Ayanami: Megumi Hayashibara
Misato Katsuragi: Kotono Mitsuishi
Gendou Ikari: Fumihiko Tachiki
Ritsuko Akagi: Yuriko Yamaguchi
Kouzou Fuyutsuki: Motomu Kiyokawa
Maya Ibuki: Miki Nagasawa
Kaworu: Akira Ishida

Major English Cast

N/A

Score

Animation: 9/10 (x 4 = 36 pts)
Story: 9/10 (x 4 = 36 pts)
Music: 8/10 (x 4 = 32 pts)
Coherence/Story Arc: N/A
English Dubs: N/A
Gut Score: 9/10 (x 5 = 45 pts)

Total: 149/170 (87.6%)

Review

Evangelion 1.0: You Are (Not) Alone is the first of four movies in the Rebuild of Evangelion project.  Evangelion 1.0 is about a boy, Shinji Akari, who is guilted by his father and commander of NERV, Gendou, into piloting a giant mecha that Gendou created called Evangelion.  The purpose of the Evangelions are to defeat strange alien attackers called angels whom threaten the existence of mankind.

Shinji must battle with himself, and his caretaker Misato, in trying to figure out why exactly he is there at NERV and whether he wishes to remain there and pilot the Evangelions, while also dealing with both his estranged father as well as Rei, the other Evangelion pilot who is largely unable to pilot her mecha due to injuries during a test on her Evangelion unit.

Meanwhile, Gendo and the organization that oversees NERV, SEELE, appear to know much more about the angels, what they are, and where they come from than they lead others to believe.  This is all in the name of achieving the mystically named Human Instrumentality Project, which is the ultimate goal of SEELE.

The animation for the Evangelions and angels – especially the final angel in this movie – are spectacular, though the style of the movie tends towards having duller and darker colors, so the movie isn’t as bright as it could be.   Meanwhile, the story seems to hold up pretty well and still leaves a lot to look forward to in the 3 sequels that are to follow.

There is still a lot of mysteries in the motivations of many of the characters, which is to be expected in the first part of four of a series, but from what we know about the characters, their motivations seem realistic and well done.

There are two primary negatives with this movie I thought, however.

First was that if you’ve seen the TV series, then you aren’t going to get a lot of new material by watching this.  While you are teased at the end by possible new events occurring in the 2nd movie, there is little new in this movie except maybe a bit here and there.  The main thing one gains by watching this is modern animation quality and redone Operation Yashima sequence.

The second negative was the fact that the music is basically what it was in the TV series.  I guess if there was anything the creators of the movies could afford to change, it was the music, but maybe it too is too iconic to make too many changes to.  There are some added tracks to the soundtrack, though (I think).

Overall, if you’re new to the Evangelion franchise, I think this is an excellent introduction.  If you’ve already seen the TV series, then this movie may be worth a watch for the improvements in animation quality, but don’t expect to see a lot new.

First Watched: April 2008
Do I Own: No
Do I Recommend: Yes

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