412 of 431 people found the following review helpful
Like many fans out there, you're probably wondering what in the world the 1.11 rebuild of Evangelion is considering the 1.01 release is barely four months old. While FUNimation has confirmed that 1.01 was the beginning of four rebuilt feature film releases, 1.11 isn't the second one but rather 1.01 again with some of its lighting (lack thereof) issues addressed, the addition of 2-minutes of new scenes and a second disc including a bunch of extra material.
Hard facts first: The release is comprised of a two-disc set, with the feature presentation now coming in at comes in at 100-minutes with an appropriate PG-13 rating due to animated action, violence and some ambiguous nudity.
Language options are standard sub & dub fair, which means the viewer is given the option of running the original Japanese dialog track or an English dub, either of which is presented in Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound. The option to turn on English subtitles exists for either language choice as well.
Extras are quite robust and occupy the entire second disc. Included: Rebuild of Evangelion: 1.01 (Shiro Sagisu Version, Joseph-Maurice Ravel Version), "Angel of Doom" Promotional Music Video, News Flashes, Movie Previews: Preview 1 - Color-corrected version, Beautiful World Version 2, Beautiful World Version 2A, and Beautiful World Version 2B.
The story, while straightforward enough in presentation, has been the source of case studies, web-site devotion, even college thesis throughout the years and hence could never be summarized accurately (with dignity) here. However, to reduce it all down to its most basic levels, a young boy by the name of Shinji is thrust into a world beyond comprehension once an attacking "Angel" comes to town. It turns out that Shinji is one of few individuals in the world who possesses the rare ability to pilot the massive synthetic beings/ weapons known as Evangelions.
Reluctantly he allows himself to submit to the whirlwind of life-changing experiences associated with becoming an Evangelion pilot and makes some new friends and discovers more about his own past in the process. Working for a top-secret, underground (literally) organization known as NERV, Shingi's life as an average 14-year-old is forever lost to the reality that his destiny is to be the one to save all of mankind from imminent doom.
So here it is precisely twelve years since this very material graced Japanese movie screens, you may rightfully be wondering what it is that FUNimation is releasing here. The answer is a bit complex, but I'll do my best to set it straight.
Way back in October of 1995, the animated television series Neon Genesis Evangelion made its television debut in Japan. Two years later the work was "rebuilt" into a theatrical release that essentially spliced together the key moments of the tale into a larger, single effort. The mission was a success but kind of like what George Lucas has done with his Star Wars franchise, the creators behind the property always felt as though the technology available at the time wasn't quite where they would have liked it to be to accurately present the tale visually. Hence in 2007, the material was revisited once more, this time not simply remastering from the original film stock, but rather breaking the material down into its raw form so as to correct and readjust even the smallest imperfections such as animation density and errant particles as a result of using film. It was not so much an exercise of splicing new CGI effects and eye-candy into the original material as it was about using modern animation methods to perfect the look and feel of the original material. As an added bonus the CG elements allow for visual flair that was, at the time, quite impossible to achieve.
Hence that brings us back to this, the 1.11 release, which is the second official North American release of this rebuilt movie series (it is scheduled to be presented in 4 parts total, with the third and fourth parts being released together). Obviously, part 1.11 represents the introduction to the story.
If the timeline appears confusing, rest assured that sorting it all out is by no means a prerequisite to enjoying the film. It starts quickly with very little time spent establishing back-story and sweeps the viewer into a truly unique world where the precision and color pallet of modern computer generated animation melds seamlessly with the unique look of hand-drawn cells of yesteryear.
Plot wise, the tale is brisk and wonderfully entertaining with battle sequence on the absolute grandest scale broken up by moments of genuine character-development and emotional attachment. Perhaps the greatest of these being the sexual tension that exists between the lead characters or the appearances of the enigmatic father of young Shinji.
Fans, detractors, and scholars alike have gone to great lengths in drawing parallels and comparisons to Evangelion's symbolism throughout the years and yet agreement to or even knowledge of these theories is by no means necessary to come away from the film with satisfaction.
In fact, it has actually surprised me in revisiting this film (which is actually made up of the first six episodes of the original television series) at how much of an influence Evangelion has had over subsequent Giant Robot anime franchises like RahXephon and Aquarion. The show is rife with familiar archetypes such as the young boy being thrust into the role of humanity's savior, the biomechanical weaponry/ interfaces, the enigmatic villains that refuse to reveal their intentions, the impassive corporation behind it all, and the dysfunctional family structure that makes the antagonist question his very purpose of existence. Evnagelion is essentially the framework from which all others have followed.
The direction is simply wonderful with the structure of the film being more an endless succession of perfectly framed scenes than a random display of visuals. The voice acting is also quite notable whether you choose to enjoy the original Japanese dialog track (which is spectacular by the way) or the freshly dubbed English track featuring the talents of some of FUNimation's finest performers. Either option represents the perfect accompaniment to the impeccable visual work.
In all this release marks the beginning of a franchise that has been deserving of revalidation for quite some time. The approach taken with rebuilding the film from the basic elements must surely have been quite an undertaking for all involved but I can attest that the finished product simply oozes with hints of the level of perfectionism sought out in the process. Amazing things are truly possible when such a revered and definitive property receives the loving caress of modern technology's capabilities. Considering the asking price of the new build isn't much higher than the extra-feature-less 1.01 release, this is the recommended choice.
34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on April 29, 2010
Evangelion 1.11 is without a doubt the best looking anime yet released on blu-ray. In the box is one 50gb blu-ray disc with the main feature (with dual audio tracks for English and Japanese of course), and several special features. Included is a booklet detailing the impetus behind the "rebuild" project, which also details a few scene by scene comparisons (original to rebuild) and character profiles. The main feature is, for me, the main attraction, and funimation doesn't disappoint. Eva looks great. In fact it's never looked better, the team behind rebuild (no longer Gainax for those who want to know), have gone back to the drawing board, literally, to recreate the show in a 16:9 theatrical format. Original key animation was used as a jumping off point for the entire project, which means that while there are many shots that look identical to the original series, there is not in fact any reused material. The end result is a pristine picture that is free from the blemishes that plagued the older Evangelion dvds you may have seen. In short, this is the best looking Evangelion available.
The story itself though, that's a different matter. To those people who haven't watched Evangelion, and just plain don't get what all the fuss is about; welcome! Evangelion 1.11 you are (not) alone is a wonderful place for you to start. To diehard fans of the series I say this; this is not the Evangelion you remember. While all the major events in the first 6 episodes are presented here in the first entry of rebuild, the pace is decidedly faster than the original series. This is probably rebuild's biggest asset and greatest liability at the same time. New fans will probably appreciate the snappy pace of the series, but if you're like me you might find the pace somewhat jarring. The original series was very ... deliberate in its pacing. While I appreciate the fact that Shinji's decision to pilot the Eva came so quickly this go 'round, I miss the flashback sequence detailing his first confrontation with an angel. Originally the viewer is kept in the dark about what happened, in the middle of the first battle Shinji awakens in a hospital in the episode titled "unfamiliar ceiling". A good deal of time goes by before it's revealed exactly what happened with unit 01 and the fourth angel, and the audience reacts with the same shock that Shinji experiences when he begins to remember the outcome of the battle. That moment of revelation is both more powerful and more subtle because it's more removed, in terms of time, from the event. This is the sort of thing that happens throughout the entire disc. Like I said earlier, all the big moments are there, but to me they seem rushed. A lot of the subtlety of the series seems to be getting swept under the rug for the sake of brevity. I still like rebuild 1.11, but I don't yet love it. It's going to be difficult for the rebuild to dislodge my love of the original series, warts and all.
69 of 75 people found the following review helpful
In 2006, Japanese fans and anime fans of "Neon Genesis Evangelion" received exciting news that in the Summer of 2007, the first of four Evangelion films based on the anime television series would be released in theaters. According to news reports, Evangelion creator Hideaki Anno watched the series from beginning to end and wanted to fix up a lot of questions and debates that fans had over the television series and most importantly, incorporate today's new CG technology for the film versions. Even furthering the excitement is that the original crew and cast have signed on to work on the new film.
So, with mass promotion in Japan, "Evangelion 1.01 - You Are (Not) Alone" became the #1 film in Japan making over $14.6 million (US), surpassing "The End of Evangelion" which brought in $14.5 million (US). A limited edition DVD was released in Japan in 2008 which came with a script, music videos and an "Explanation of Evangelion" feature and needless to say, fans paid dearly for this limited edition DVD release (only 300,000 were made). A Blu-ray and DVD release titled "Evangelion 1.11' which included a re-transfer of the film plus three additional minutes was released in May 2009 and is currently the best selling Blu-ray release in Japan and now the Blu-ray and DVD release of "Evangelion 1.11 - You Are (Not) Alone" has been released in the US.
With many Americans waiting for "Evangelion 1.11' Blu-ray release, suffice to say, the film was released with a very short run at limited theaters and made over $100,000 and was screened at the anime convention Anime Expo in 2009 with great fanfare.
"Evangelion: 1.11 - You Are (Not) Alone" is a film that takes the first six episodes of the TV series and features new animation and CG and a few different storyline details of certain characters but for the most part, creator Hideaki Anno made sure the film was faithful to the anime series. The major difference between "Evangelion 1.01' and "Evangelion 1.11' is that the latter includes three minutes of extra footage (spread out during the first 15 minutes of the film) and scenes that were darker can now be seen much better. Also, the Blu-ray edition boasts video and audio in HD and also comes with special features which 1.01 on DVD was barebones.
"Evangelion 1.11 - You Are (Not) Alone" is featured in 1080p High Definition. I had the opportunity to compare the Blu-ray to the 1.01 DVD release from FUNimation Entertainment from last fall and I can tell you right now that this Blu-ray looks fantastic. Detail is much more apparent and the vibrancy of the colors of the film literally pop onscreen. The CG animation is top notch and overall, Gainax definitely went all out in creating a fantastic anime full of detail, vibrant colors and staying faithful to the anime series but making sure everything is updated and looks amazing.
The DVD looks good but the main difference was that 1.01 was taken from a 35mm film transfer while the Blu-ray release was taken from the original High Definition digital file. Not to say that the two look like night and day but there is a significant difference in terms of how vibrant and sharper the animation looks on Blu-ray. "Evangelion 1.11 - You Are (Not) Alone" looks absolutely beautiful!
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
As for audio, I know how I was appreciative of the Dolby Digital 5.1 for "Evangelion 1.01 - You Are (Not) Alone" but for "Evangelion 1.11 - You Are (Not) Alone", you get a Dolby TrueHD 6.1 English and Japanese lossless soundtrack and there are MAJOR differences between the lossless soundtrack and its DVD counterpart. On lossless, there is good use of the various channels for this film. From hearing the music and main character vocal coming from the center and front channels, you will then hear the loudspeakers through the surround channels and then the rear surround channels carry audio that is different. For example, in one scene in which Shinji is asking out of his mecha, you hear the main characters and vocals through the center and front channels, loud speakers and musical instruments on the surround and on the rear surround channel, you hear Shinji screaming in agony behind you.
There is a huge difference between the lossless audio track and the Dolby Digital 5.1 track from the DVD. Personally, the lossless audio is just phenomenal, how it is so immersive and envelops the soundscape from all directions was fantastic. And I am so happy to find out that the Japanese audio track is lossless as well. Something that fans have wanted from anime on Blu-ray!
As for the dubbing, personally, I have never listened to the original ADV Films English dubs, so I can't comment on how the newer voice dubs are with the original but from what I hear from friends and have read, fans were more than grateful for the English voice dubbing for "Evangelion 1.01'. As for the Japanese voice acting, I've always felt the voice acting was solid. Both tracks are similar for the most part in terms of audio featured on a certain channel but I did notice that the Japanese lossless track took advantage of the space. For example, in the beginning you will see Shinji, his father and the scientist in a large open space. In the Japanese lossless audio track, the sense of emptiness in that area and the echoing can be heard quite well on the lossless Japanese audio track. But I also feel that the English dub was a slight more louder than its Japanese counterpart. So overall, both lossless audio soundtracks are well-done.
As for subtitles, the subtitles on the Blu-ray are in English only.
"Evangelion: 1.11 - You Are (Not) Alone" contains the following special features:
* Rebuild of Evangelion 1.01 - (15:14) This segment features two versions of the pre-rendered 3D compared to the final cut. The two versions are the Shiro Sagisu Version and the Joseph-Maurice Ravel Version and both music are different from one another but the segment is the same.
* Angel of Doom Promotion - (2:20) A music montage video from scenes taken from the film.
* News Flasher - (:55) Text teasers for "Evangelion 1.11 - You Are (Not) Alone).
* Movie Previews - The movie previews contain the Preview 1 (Color Corrected Version), three versions of the "Fly Me to the Moon" and three versions of the "Beautiful World" themes (sung by Hikaru Utada).
* FUNimation Entertainment Trailers
When I first heard that the rebuild of "Neon Genesis Evangelion" would take place and that these new films would be based on the television series, I wasn't so surprised because the series is so popular that it would definitely generate an extreme amount of money for GAINAX. But one thing that I was not looking forward and what drove me crazy about the TV series was the character of Shinji Ikari. Back in the mid-90's, I can easily remember how his whining really tested my patience and looking back, he was such an anti-hero, mainly because he was "emo" most of the time. Always negative, always in a bit of depression and funk as he always felt people didn't care about him (and yes, I know that Hideaki Anno was clinically depressed when he was creating this film and parts of show was based on his depression) but it did get on my nerves at the time.
But here we are nearly 15 years later and watching "Evangelion 1.11 - You Are (Not) Alone" and after it was all done, I was excited and hoping the second film would come out stateside very soon. Yes, Shinji still whines and is still depressed but the fact is the film is structured a bit differently from the anime TV series and somehow, the pacing is much easier to take for the viewer with the film version and felt that the screenplay for the first film, the quality of the animation and artistic backgrounds and the music all worked together fantastically.
In a way, some part of me wants to rewatch first six episodes of the television series to find out the key differences (it's been 14 years and I can't recall too much from the television series except certain key scenes and the final episodes) were but personally, I found myself happy and content with this film that I look forward to seeing how Anno and the GAINAX crew tweak the next three films (and I can't wait until the final film). But for the most part, I felt that the film, the voice acting, the animation, the art and everything else about the film was well done and fantastic.
As for the Blu-ray release, this release was just fantastic. I felt the Eva 1.01 DVD release was good but after watching this Blu-ray release, "Evangelion: 1.11 - You Are (Not) Alone" is just fantastic and just an overall exciting release. Fantastic picture quality, as well as phenomenal lossless Japanese audio.
As for the PG-13 rating, yes, "Evangelion 1.11' has its share of violence and nudity, so this is not a series that you want to have your little kids around watching at all. But overall, in the end, it was great to see Evangelion again but this time with the much improved reboot. Nearly 15-years-later, it was definitely great to see Evangelion again but this time in a film sporting newer animation, CG, artwork and a solid screenplay and soundtrack. But most importantly, done in the way that the director Hideaki Anno had wanted but also what the fans have wanted as well. And after I watched the film, I can tell you that I loved it! The action, the drama is still intact. Things may be a little different but still, fans of the original series will definitely enjoy this film release.
"Evangelion: 1.11 - You Are (Not) Alone" is in the top 3 for best anime release on Blu-ray. This release is absolutely fantastic and I definitely recommend this film in HD!
52 of 57 people found the following review helpful
on February 2, 2010
I've been a big fan of Neon Genesis Evangelion for many years. I've watched all the original series (and barely made it out alive from 25-26) and absolutely love The End of Evangelion. When I found out they were remaking the series, I was both excited and concerned, but it turns out my fears were alleviated when I finally got to see Evangelion: You Are (Not) Alone.
Gainax took the first few episodes of the series, cleaned up the story, and redrew all the art, amazingly integrated CGI (especially compared to its poor modern usage in anime) and used a movie budget to make something that looks GOOD to watch in 1080p. If you're as big an Eva fan as I am, or even if you just liked some of the series, I'd definitely recommend Evangelion 1.11. They've changed enough of it to flow better in a straight 110 minutes of run time and I didn't want to stop watching for a second.
Now, the real question begins: When will 2.11 escape to the United States?
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
This is going to be a hard review to write. You see, "Evangelion 1.0: You are (Not) Alone", the first in a four part "Rebuild of Evangelion" series of films, is an almost exact duplication of the first several episodes of one of the greatest science fiction series of all time. So, having seen the original Neon Genesis Evangelion several times do I rate this remake as a standalone for people who aren't familiar with the show or for the hardcore Eva faithful who are going to watch this anyway? I'll try my best to do both. Since I already reviewed the series I won't get into why I love it as much as I do (see the NGE link above, mine's the one with the goofy video on it), but I'll tell you what did and didn't work for me this time around.
For the Eva curious, here's a quick synopsis. "Evangelion" focuses on a sort of special forces organization known as NERV, who specialize in making giant robots (Evangelions) who are able to battle strange gigantic beings known as Angels. These Angels attack the city of Tokyo 3 and conventional weapons are completely ineffective against them. Thus, the Japanese government is forced to rely on NERV to prevent the Angels from destroying mankind. Shinji Ikari and Rei Ayanami are two of the only children who are able to pilot the Evas and the story picks up on Shinji's first day on the job where he is forced to sub for an injured Rei and is rushed straight into battle where his Eva promptly falls on it's face and gets pummeled. His strained relationship with his father (the director of NERV), tendency to wallow in self pity, and inability to connect with his coworkers make for an uncomfortable work environment. Colonel Misato Katsuragi attempts to take Shinji under her wing and into her house while Rei rejects meaningful contact with him altogether. The story about self-worth, interpersonal relationships, and the things that drive us to be who we are will play out in the minds of the protagonists, in the halls of NERV headquarters, and on the battlefield facing impossible odds as mankind's last hope. This is just the beginning of one of the deepest and most epic science fiction stories ever told.
The differences between this film and the early episodes of the television series are annoyingly few. I realize that a similar thing was done with the first two volumes of Hellsing Ultimate, but there were still enough differences in art, animation, flair, and story to warrant the remake. This borders on tricking Eva fans into buying the same thing twice. The first hour or so appears to be literal reanimation of the storyboards from the original work, dialogue and all. The character models are all identical to the show, the score is largely unchanged, even the first two battles play out almost exactly the same as before. Of the things that were cut, the most annoying was the explanation of Tokyo 3's government: the Magi. The concept of government by multiple artificial intelligences is a very interesting idea, but one only mentioned in passing in this first film. Newcomers won't even have a clue what they are talking about. There is also a shortage of quality character development. There are just too many characters to introduce and not enough time to sort them out here. Eva simply seems to translate better to a continuous series than to the film medium. A first movie -even those that are part of a larger story- should be largely self-contained and open to all comers. This format makes Eva come off as a victim of lazy storytelling and bad pacing. Maybe once all of the films are released the new big picture will make up for it, but I don't really see this movie converting many new fans. For now, I'm not impressed with "Rebuild of Evangelion" as a new Eva brand.
If you do pick this up, there are some good points. There is some great-looking CG spliced into the film, usually mechanical stuff, weapons, and computer systems, but it looks very cool. This iteration is also making a conscious effort to foreshadow, which raises my curiosity of what's to come. The third Angel encounter is a beauty; easily the highlight of the film. Ramiel (the 5th Angel) is the third battle and the most impressive. Appearing again as a massive floating octahedron crystal, this time around it morphs into a number of visually dazzling forms and puts out some insane destruction. The visuals are top-notch and the scenes manage an intensity not even found in the series at this point in spite of the fact that I already knew exactly how it ended. If only they had put this amount of creativity and work into the preceding hour. The movie ends on an intriguing and unexpected note that will be meaningless to those new to the series, but may well rock Eva fans.
I was tempted to rate this lower because of the fact that hardly anything important has changed in this retelling of the Neon Genesis Evangelion tale. But the fact of the matter is I can hardly fault something too much for being too close to one the greatest anime properties ever. After all, this is better than yet another unnecessary boxed-set release and there is the promise of a new ending to the saga, which few fans will be able to resist. So we're stuck with re-re-re-re-rewatching Evangelion, this time in a movie format with a little bit of extra here and there for the time being. It had better be worth it.
22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on January 19, 2013
I purchased this title because I enjoyed the television series. Seeing the price, I knew it was crazy not to buy it. Don't let the rating fool you, this movie is great. However, I have problems with the packaging. The Blu Ray I was sent looks nothing like the pictures on the product page. The cardboard cover hides how flimsy and disgusting the packaging is. It is one of those new Blu Ray cases with "economic" holes cut into it. I should have expected this for the price. However, this is not the worst part. The packaging promises a twenty page booklet is included. However, the only thing inside the flimsy case was a survey to Funimation. The false advertising was a real dealbreaker for me. I would be able to accept a flimsy packaging for what I paid, but changing the packaging and removing the booklet without even changing the back cover to reflect this makes me upset. Please rate this up so everyone who purchases this product will not be duped like I was.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on April 3, 2013
Its a great movie. The problem is when you check the back of the package you notice you are suppose to get a 20-page guidebook. Well.. you don't get it. The problem doesn't end there. The package overall looks cheap. As for the artwork on it. It looks like a bootleg to be completely honest. It suppose to be glossy and reflective. It like a foil card would be best way to describe it. The one that you actually get looks like someone put the actual item's cover on copy machine and glued it on the one you received. So bottom line you get the movie you want which is great but the package is...bad and misleading.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 27, 2011
I had never seen anything Evangelion related, or read about it, before I popped this in to watch it. The blu-ray was very good, picture quality-wise. The film itself however just didn't really grab me. It wasn't bad at all, and I am mildly interested in seeing the second one. It seemed like you could definitely see that it was a very truncated form of it's original self. At least that's how it came across to me. It seemed to move forward fairly quickly without much explanation of anything that was going on and then it just ended.
Still, if you are a fan of this, then I would highly recommend the blu-ray as the price is good and the quality of the release is high.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 2, 2011
Holy crap was this a beast of a movie! I had seen some episodes of the anime but I was too young to understand. After watching this, I've begun to understand a bit more (apparently the movies are trying to make things more clear) and I've had an awesome time enjoying the movie itself. Evangelion 1.11 You Are [Not] Alone has a perfect blend of action, humor, and drama! Not to mention the animation is excellent, everything looks so clear! A definite must for fans of the original series, those who weren't that familiar with the anime series (me) or for anyone who just wants to watch a very good anime.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 31, 2013
It doesn't include the 20 page booklet!!! Misleading!!!! I'm writing a complain for this! Totally unacceptable! I wouldn't recommend this to anyone!