Evangelion: 1.11 You Are (Not) Alone Blu-ray Review

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Reviewed by Cas Harlow, 24th June 2010.
Evangelion is the new ‘diet’ reworking of the epic and seminal 80s anime Neon Genesis Evangelion, 1.11: You Are (Not) Alone representing the first of four planned chapters that are supposed to mark the definitive take on the saga. Although the original material was capable of being viewed on several different levels, Evangelion lite emphasises the action and spectacle above all else. And even though it is largely a cell-by-cell copy of the original (albeit polished up and peppered with the latest CGI), it comes across as a much more accessible – and thus enjoyable – version of the story.

On Region B UK Blu-ray we get demo-quality video and audio, but a lacklustre set of extras (the Japanese release came with the alternate Theatrical Cut whereas all we get are basically several music video promos). Fans of the Neon Genesis Evangelion franchise will probably be unable to stay away, even if they are essentially being sold a boiled-down, polished-up largely scene-specifically-identical version of what they most likely already own. And, honestly, most fans will probably enjoy seeing their beloved anime getting a fresh lick of paint and a shot of adrenaline to the heart.

Newcomers will find this a good introduction to the dauntingly expansive franchise (and also, potentially, anime itself) as it promotes the cool stuff (giant robots and The Biggest Sniper Rifle Ever) and really delivers on the action front, without getting too bogged down in the more convoluted emotional drama that both enhanced and detracted from the original series. But be prepared to wait some time for the next instalment – let alone the eventual conclusion (and subsequent, inevitable, director’s cuts). Evangelion 1.11: You Are (Not) Alone is just the first of a series of movies that will, as a whole (on the evidence shown thus far), be recommended viewing.
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