Evangelion 1.0 to screen on 70+ Screens in North America

So, you may be lucky and have a theater close to you showing it. Well, if you live in Canada or California that is.

Funimation has announced that they are screening Evangelion 1.0 on 70+ screens in North America, starting off with Anime Expo in Los Angeles on July 2-5, then moving to Seattle July 3rd (for a week), Houston on July 16th, Phoenix on July 17th (for a week), San Diego Comic Con July 22-26, and then 4 locations in San Diego and Riverside, CA on July 29th.

Then the movie is showing in Boston August 14-17, followed by a screening in 67 Canadian theaters on September 30th.

So we have 67 Canadian locations, 6 California locations, plus Houston, Phoenix, Boston, and Seattle.  Not a very good selection of sites if you live East of the Rocky Mountains in the United States (except for you damn Bostonians).  It’s not even currently scheduled to screen in what seem to be obvious locations such as New York, Washington, D.C., Chicago, or Atlanta (to at least make a trip non-suicidal for those in the east.  I mean, who is going to fly out to San Diego or up to Canada to see a movie?)

So alas, the rest of us will have to wait for the DVD release on November 10th.

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Josh’s Anime Blog Podcast Episode 90

Josh's Anime Blog Podcast Episode 90Josh’s Anime Blog Podcast Episode #90 is now online! In this podcast, I review the movie End of Evangelion.

This week’s Podcast Stats:
Time: 13:51
Download Size: 9.5 MB

Opening theme:
“I Say Yes” by ICHIKO
Opening theme to The Familiar of Zero: The Rider of the Twin Moons

Ending theme:
“Thanatos -If I Can’t Be Yours-” by Loren & Mash
Ending theme to End of Evangelion

Download podcast episode 90

Funimation’s New Show A-Go-Go Day 10 (Part 3): Evangelion 1.0 – You Are (Not) Alone

Evangelion 1.0: You Are (Not) AloneWell, this was the big big one everyone was expecting: Funimation has licensed the first Rebuild of Evangelion movie – Evangelion 1.0: You are (not) Alone.

The press release says that the movie will be released in 2009, but doesn’t say anythinga bout whether Funimatino plans any sort of US theatrical release or not.

The new Evangelion movie is perhaps the most anticipated anime property that had remained unlicensed, and some suggested that it’s licensing cost would be so much that only a traditional movie studio with a history of licensing some anime feature films, such as Sony, could pick it up.

ANN says that this title wraps up Funimation’s licensing spree, though nothing on the Funimation site suggests that they are over just yet (though a comment by a Funimation representative on ANN’s forum suggests that this might be the last announcement, and it’s hard to see how anything could top this announcement).

Update

The Funimation page with the Japanese trailer gives a release date of November 10, 2009.

12 Moments of Anime Day 10 – That's a Ramiel We Can Believe In

Yesterday, I said that the Wilhelmina vs. Sabrac fight was probably the best I saw all year.  However, there is one which would definitely give it a run for it’s money, and that is NERV’s battle against the angel Ramiel in the first reboot movie Evangelion 1.0: You are (not) Alone.

That's one sweet angel

They made sure to spare no expense on the special effects in the movie, especially on the climatic battle with Ramiel, where the creativity of Evangelion really shines through when they present us with the ultra-powerful and morphtastic angel.  This super battle between heavyweights earns Ramiel a spot in the list of 12 Moments of Anime

The 12 Moments of Anime project is the brainchild of CCY.

Evangelion on ABC! OK, not really, but still marginally cool

I’m surprised I didn’t spot this earlier, but there is a brief shot of an Evangelion poster in the 2nd episode of I Survived A Japanese Game Show:

And if you’re blind as a bat and can’t see it:

As I said, I’m surprised I didn’t spot it before since I’ve been trying to keep an eye out for anything like that.  I wouldn’t be shocked if I missed something else too.

Josh's Anime Blog Podcast Episode 73

Josh's Anime Blog Podcast Episode 73Josh’s Anime Blog Podcast Episode #73 is now online! In this podcast, I review the series Neon Genesis Evangelion.

This week’s Podcast Stats:
Time: 16:32
Download Size: 11.4 MB

Opening theme:
“Ever After” by Yozuca
Second opening theme to Girls Bravo

Ending theme:
“Fly Me to the Moon” by Claire
Ending theme to Neon Genesis Evangelion

You can listen to my podcasts in the following ways:

Flash Player: [audio:http://www.joshsanimeblog.com/podcast/JABPEpisode73.mp3%5D

Directly: http://www.joshsanimeblog.com/podcast/JABPEpisode73.mp3

You can also download or add my podcast-only RSS feed to your favorite reader or add my podcast using iTunes.

Enjoy!

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

End of Evangelion – Anime Review

The Essentials

End of EvangelionName: End of Evangelion
Genre: Science Fiction
Episodes: N/A
Released: July 19, 1997
Based On: Neon Genesis Evangelion TV series
Director: Hideaki Anno
Produced By: GAINAX, Production I.G., et. al.
US Distribution By: Manga Entertainment

Cast

Character Japanese Cast English Cast
Shinji Ikari: Megumi Ogata Spike Spencer
Rei Ayanami: Megumi Hayashibara Amanda Winn Lee
Asuka Langley Sohryu: Yuko Miyamura Tiffany Grant
Misato Katsuragi: Kotono Mitsuishi Allison Keith
Gendo Ikari: Fumihiko Tachiki Tristan MacAvery
Kozo Fuyutsuki: Motomu Kiyokawa Michael Ross
Maya Ibuki: Miki Nagasawa Amy Seeley
Ritsuko Akagi: Yuriko Yamaguchi Sue Ulu
Keel Lorentz: Mugihito Tom Booker
Kaworu Nagisa: Akira Ishida Aaron Krohn

Review

The End of Evangelion starts off where Episode 24 of the TV series ended. With the destruction of the final angel, SEELE decides to begin the Human Instrumentality Project in the manner that they have planned and starts to assault NERV headquarters with orders to seize EVA unit 01 and kill all the personnel inside the headquarters, especially the EVA pilots.

Meanwhile, Gendo Ikari attempts to use Rei to implement the Human Instrumentality Project in the way he wishes – to see his dead wife, but Rei rejects him and starts Instrumentality on her own. At the same time, Shinji is still in a deep depression about having to kill Kaworu, but is forced into action again due to the SEELE attack, and is ultimately chosen by Rei to decide how and whether the Instrumentality Project should proceed as he finally learns the ultimate truth behind the Second Impact and the angels.

Split into two parts itself, End of Evangelion effectively replaces the last two episodes of the TV series, and Anno takes full opportunity of it being a movie to create a piece that is even more intense and shocking than the TV series was. The first half – called “Episode 25: Air” is structured much like an extra-long Evangelion episode as the series winds down (and, in fact, it was supposed to be the original Episode 25 of the TV series). The second half – called “Episode 26: True Heart For You” is the grand finale and the intensity – and the confusion – reach it’s apex here with the end result of the movie being open to numerous interpretations.

This movie was rather entertaining, though it certainly isn’t for the weak of stomach as it contains quite a bit of disturbing violent and sexual content, some of which I think adds to the movie and some of it is added needlessly. Also, while I think the first “episode” is very well done and executed, the second half seems to stray back into the realm of being excessively abstract and talky, with a very good deal of the time being spent with Shinji as he struggles with himself. I realize that the result of all this inner turmoil is very important to the conclusion, but, again, it seems to be a bit excessive to me.

Despite it’s many weaknesses, though, End of Evangelion appears to be a (more) real ending to Evangelion than the last two episodes of the TV series, though one could even argue about that I’m sure. It may not necessarily be a happy ending per se, or even an ending that you particularly think should have occurred, but it’s execution was, overall, well done.

In it’s technical aspects, the animation appeared to get a slight boost from the TV series while the music and dub acting were essentially the same.

Overall, if you liked Evangelion, you’ll probably like End of Evangelion as well. However, you’ll want to make sure to watch the TV series before checking this out or else you’ll be completely lost.

Score

Animation: 5/5
Story: 4/5
Music: 4/5
English Dubs: 5/5

Overall: 4/5

First Watched: August 2007
Do I Own: No
Do I Recommend: Yes

Neon Genesis Evangelion – Anime Review

The Essentials

Neon Genesis EvangelionName: Neon Genesis Evangelion
Genre: Sci-fi, Action, Fantasy
Episodes: 26
Released: October 4, 1995 – March 27, 1996
Based On: N/A
Director: Hideaki Anno
Produced By: GAINAX
US Distribution By: ADV Films

Major Japanese Cast

Shinji Ikari: Megumi Ogata
Rei Ayanami: Megumi Hayashibara
Asuka Langley Sohryu: Yuko Miyamura
Misato Katsuragi: Kotono Mitsuishi
Gendo Ikari: Fumihiko Tachiki
Kōzō Fuyutsuki: Motomu Kiyokawa
Ritsuko Akagi: Yuriko Yamaguchi
Toji Suzuhara: Tomokazu Seki
Kensuke Aida: Tetsuya Iwanaga
Ryoji Kaji: Kouichi Yamadera
Kaworu Nagisa: Akira Ishida

Major English Cast

Shinji Ikari: Spike Spencer
Rei Ayanami: Amanda Winn
Asuka Langley Sohryu: Tiffany Grant
Misato Katsuragi: Allison Keith
Gendo Ikari: Tristan MacAvery
Kōzō Fuyutsuki: Guil Lunde
Ritsuko Akagi: Sue Ulu
Toji Suzuhara: Joe Pisano
Kensuke Aida: Kurt Stoll
Ryoji Kaji: Aaron Krohn
Kaworu Nagisa: Kyle Sturdivant

Scores

Animation: 9/10 (x 4 = 36 pts)
Story: 9/10 (x 4 = 36 pts)
Music: 9/10 (x 4 = 36 pts)
Coherence/Story Arc: 8/10 (x 2 = 16 pts)
English Dubs: 10/10 (x1 = 10 pts)
Gut Score: 8/10 (x 5 = 40 pts)

Total: 174/200 (87%)

Review

Neon Genesis Evangelion, or just Evangelion, is a story about a boy, Shinji, who is pressured by his father into piloting a bio-mechanical mecha called Eva in order to defend Tokyo-3 against invading alien beings known as angels, along with two other pilots, Rei and Asuka. Defeating the angels is essential, for if the angels defeat the Evas, they will cause a repeat of the “second impact” – a large explosion which killed half of the earth’s population, popularly blamed on an asteroid impact but actually caused by one of the angels.

However, as the series progresses, and as Shinji, Rei, and Asuka keep having to fend off angel after angel, more is learned about the nature of the evas. However, battling the angels is hardly the only part of Evangelion, as many of the characters suffer from several different types of personality disorders as well as having broken and strained relationships with other characters.

Most of the focus is saved for the three pilots, however: Shinji, who suffers from chronic depression and low self-esteem; Asuka, who is quite proud yet is extremely agitated with the fact that she can’t perform in the evas as well as Shinji, especially as she looks at Shinji’s depression and low self-esteem with disgust; and Rei, who is the most mysterious of the three and who tends to be emotionless and is even uncertain of who she is and what she wants.

Evangelion is an action packed psychological thriller which may not be for everyone, considering the intensity and violence in the series. Besides the psychological part of the show, Evangelion eventually unwraps a pretty intricate mystery behind the evas, the angels, and the organizations which help Japan and the UN fight off the angels: NERV and SEELE.

One of the biggest things Evangelion is known for, however, is it’s ending – or lack thereof, as the ending to the TV series leaves things quite wide open as to what happens in the end. Despite this, Evangelion still plays itself out an an excellent and entertaining series. Most of the technical aspects of the show are also excellent, with good animation for it’s time and with a dub which is one of the best I’ve heard.

If you can stand a little (OK, a lot) of violence and some gruesomeness, and you want to watch an excellent series, give Evangelion a shot.

First Watched: January – March 2006
Do I Own: Yes
Do I Recommend: Yes

Angelic Layer on Anime Network on Demand

Angelic LayerOK, I know there is a lot of stuff on demand, but If I ever see anything that I like or have reviewed, I’ll try to point it out. Starting today, August 10th, Anime on Demand is starting a weekly release of Angelic Layer episodes on it’s video on demand service.

As a result, episode 2 will be available August 17th, episode 3 on August 24th, episode 4 on August 31st, etc. Each episode is available for four weeks, so you’ll actually have four episodes available at a time to watch.

Of course It’s sad that I watched an episode of an Anime on video on demand despite the fact that I own it, but I kind of see it this way: it’s uncut and commercial free when it’s on demand anyway, so I don’t really lose anything, and there just seems to be something about watching an anime you like coming across your TV cable than coming out of your DVD player. Perhaps its the feeling of relief that you’re not the only person who knows about or likes that series (even though Angelic Layer is moderately popular anyway).

Of course, Angelic Layer may be the only series that I’ve completed before that I’ll see on Anime Network VOD just because it’s one of the few ADV series I’ve seen (despite the fact that they’re the largest anime licenser. Geneon/Pioneer wins hands down as the company I’ve viewed the most products from).

Other ADV products I’ve seen are The Place Promised in our Early Days and Neon Genesis Evangelion (so basically 3 out of 32 series I’ve completed). However, I have started renting Kaleido Star, which is also ADV and which is also on anime network VOD. I just haven’t caught up to it yet. I am also starting to watch This Ugly Yet Beautiful World on Anime Network VOD, though I’m not sure when episode 3 is coming, since it’s not on the release schedule for August.

The only issue I have with VOD is that, since I only got it starting a couple months ago, most series are still in the middile – there are very few series which have actually started since I’ve gotten it, and most of the ones I’ve seen the first episode of, I’ve either disliked or are lukewarm on it.