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Evangelion 1.11

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You are Not Alone - Again

  • Mar 4, 2010

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.

You are Not Alone - Again

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March 04, 2010
Thanks for this review. I saw Evangelion 1.11 on Amazon recently, and was confused because I thought that it was called 1.01, so I thought that I was just wrong all along about the film's title. I have yet to see this, and still haven't gotten around to watch the original series (although I do own it). Assuming you've seen 1.01 and 1.11, which would you recommend? Is it better to just buy 1.11 and skip over 1.01?
March 05, 2010
Yeah this takes a confusing issue and muddles it even more! Absolutely, if you haven't yet purchased 1.01, skip right over it for 1.11 as it's the same film with some lighting adjustments, 2 minutes of additional scenes and a second disc full of bonus material all for the same price. However, and die hard fans would lambaste me for saying this, you may want to hold off on any of the rebuilds until you've seen the originals (especially if they're already in your collection). The rebuilds look nice and the new vocal track is slick but the core of the material itself is still in tact. Thanks for the feedback, my friend.
March 05, 2010
Oh, they used different voice actors for the rebuilds? Yeah, I wasn't going to buy them until I see the original. I'm watching Shigurui on FUNimation.com per Woopak's suggestion, then I'll probably watch NGE. And you're welcome.
March 05, 2010
Yes, but just for the English dub- the original Japanese dialog is of course untouched. Shigurui is good stuff. I just hate watching shows on my PC. A shame cause I could definitely save a lot of loot if I could do it!
March 05, 2010
I don't really like doing it either. The only reason I'm doing so is because I've bought my share of titles that I didn't enjoy, and so they sit on my shelf collecting dust. This way, I can test a series out before buying it. Plus, since I'm watching it on the FUNmiation webstite, I don't feel like I'm cheating the company or watching it illegally. However, four times per episode, an ad pops up and makes you wait fifteen seconds before resuming. But, like you said, it does help save money.
March 04, 2010
Oh my...you mean to say that the next sequel is going to be out? I am definitely in! I am such an EVA fan that I would buy anything about it!
March 04, 2010
It's coming Woop.. Many fans (myself included) thought this was it but it turns out, much to my disappointment when I sat down to check this out last night, instead FUNimation has instead made sure the first film was done to perfection before moving on to the next one. The extras make this worth while but folks who bought 1.01 a few months ago may not want to fork over another $20 spot for this one. Thanks for the feedback my man.
March 17, 2010
Hey...luckily I didn't open the previous release, so I exchanged it for this one. What's the sequel going to be called anyway?
About the reviewer

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Jason Rider (AKA OneNeo on Amazon.com) is the author of the successful children's fantasy novel series The Uncommon Adventures of Tucker O'Doyle from Bellissima Publishing.      … more
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Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone (ヱヴァンゲリヲン新劇場版: 序, Evangerion Shin Gekijōban: Jo?, lit. "Evangelion New Theatrical Version: Beginning") is a 2007 Japanese animated film written and chief directed by Hideaki Anno. It is the first of four films released in the Rebuild of Evangelion tetralogy based on the original anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion. It was produced and co-distributed by Anno's Studio Khara in partnership with Gainax. Hideaki Anno wrote the first movie and is the general director and manager for the entire project. Yoshiyuki Sadamoto provided character designs for the film, while Ikuto Yamashita provided mechanical designs. Both Shinji Higuchi and Tomoki Kyoda provided the film's storyboards.

The plot is largely a point-for-point adaptation of episodes one through six of the original anime. While some scenes and events are replications of the original series, others unfold differently with new or omitted scenes and newly-available 3D CG technology.[7] The film received a positive response from fans, with Hideaki Anno himself calling it a "faithful remake of the original series".[8] The film was ranked 4th highest grossing anime film at the Japanese box office during 2007 earning a total of 2 billion yen.[9]

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Premiere Date: September 1, 2007
Genre: Animation
Studio: Funimation

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