Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Movie Review: Evangelion 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone

Today, I watched the first Evangelion movie. It came out in 2007, and it is based on Neon Genesis Evangelion, a popular anime and manga that debuted in the 90s.

I thought it was an enjoyable movie, both for the hardcore Evangelion fans, and viewers that were new to the series.
The movie is an adaptation of the first six episodes of the anime, and although the chronology was slightly altered, it still has the same bright and adventurous cast of colourful characters, the mysterious plot that continues to boggle the mids of viewers both young and old, as well as the mysterious EVAs that we all adore.
This is (Definitely) a Lie.

The movie was still enjoyable; that wasn't a lie. But calling the protagonist "bright and adventurous" would be like saying that tipping an ill-tempered waiter "essential", "expected", and "it would stop global warming". The protagonist is one of the most depressing characters in the history of Japanese entertainment. Shinji Ikari hates his father, and he hates life. He feels forced to pilot the Evangelion, so while the gigantic robot is beating the pulp out of "extraterrestrial" beings called "Angels", you are forced to hear about how Shinji doesn't want to pilot the Evangelion. It's some kind of subliminal messaging. You force yourself to endure the tribulation of hearing words come out of Shinji's mouth, hoping that through some sort of unpredictable plothole, Shinji can accept the universally enigmatic concept known as "life", and get on with destroying more Angels, which is what most of the audience wants to see, especially most of the younger viewers, who have no idea or care regarding the series at all. Some young viewers have had, or have researched some background knowledge regarding the original anime. (bonus points for you if you looked into the amazing secret ending) At least they don't call it Gundam or anything, or complain about how the Evangelions don't combine.

Secondly, the plot. The tongue-in-cheek statement about the EVAs apply to this as well. The plot is the most confusing thing that has been spawned into existence. If Confucius saw it, he would probably have a stoke, forever. Just imagine "Inception" meets "The Sting", except it's in Japanese. Not only would you not understand what they are saying, the Japanese are masters at pulling strings inside your head to alter you emotions or comprehension skills, and it would take an unpredictable genius to come up with an explanation regarding such an intricate and complicated plot that is Evangelion. Most of the plot has to do with Angels and the EVAs, and the rest of the brain-boggling plot has to do with something else (mentioned in the entire previous paragraph) that you will never care about. Second Impact, Angels, SEELE, and EVAs are some keywords that will ring a bell inside anyone who had seen several episodes of the anime. If at any point of the review, you were expecting some answers regarding the enigmas I am complaining about, or even some theories, then prepare for the greatest disappointment of your life. Not only am I incapable of forming any theories that do not contradict the rest of the lore, it would probably confuse other readers with different theories. To sum up the entire paragraph: the lore is confusing and it's a health concern, and anyone who are over 60, or have a heart condition, or mental illnesses, or is not a qualified genius, should not watch this movie expecting explanations. It's a cartoon, for crying out loud. They didn't explain how Daffy Duck is invulnerable to everything except pain. If you want to watch something that gives you all the answers on a silver platter, you should probably go watch Lost or somethi-oh, wait.

This anime leaves you with more questions than answers. To be frank, it's imperfect: which only makes you want to watch it even more. Somehow, despite all the questionable content in this anime, I would say that Evangelion is definitely an essential experience for anyone who wishes to pursue the viewing of other anime or manga, especially if the viewer is interested in robots. Evangelion is part of the real robot genre, and on the other side of the same robot-anime coin, you have the super robot genre, with trademark names such as Mazinger Z, Astro Boy, Combattler V, and the like. Like the name implies, Neon Genesis Evangelion is realistic, like Gundam. You have ammunition, and imperfections in the robots as well as the pilots. I guess a part of the experience is that the movie itself is "realistic", and it can better coax the viewer into its world, allowing the viewer's mind to roam free within the "virtual-reality" of Evangelion, and form his/her own theories, interpretations, and opinions regarding the experience.

On hindsight, I guess I was doing a review on the whole series, or at least, as far as I watched it.
Keep your eyes peeled for my review on the second Evangelion movie, "Evangelion 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance", where you can expect your questions to not be answered.

Overall, I would rate this series 8/10. It was in high-quality, had good fight scenes, and wasted no time in advancing the plot.

If you disagree with my rating, or anything I said in the review, or if you agree with what I said, feel free to comment your opinion, or even make your own blog post about it! I await with anticipation for your feedback regarding this controversial masterpiece.


  1. Yeah i agree, series is 8/10, but i really like the movies. 9/10 at least.

  2. Ive heard a lot abotu this movie! i want to watch it so badly

  3. the first anime blu ray i bougtht was this move .

  4. I can't believe how incredible this movie is.

  5. Watched and really enjoyed the series. Defiantlly watch that!

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