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Blu-ray Review

DVD cover

1.11 - You Are (Not) Alone


Starring (voice): Kotono Mitsuishi, Megumi Hayashibara and Megumi Ogata
Manga Entertainment
RRP: £22.99
Certificate: 15
Available 26 April 2010

2015 and it has been nearly 15 years since the event that has come to be known as the Second Impact, which instantly annihilated half of Earth's population. In the wake of this catastrophe the Angels came, whose power could only be match by that of the giant mecha Evangelions. Only those with the appropriate DNA are able to pilot these awesome machines and one of these individuals is 14-year-old Shinji Ikari, who answers a summons from his estranged father to travel to the newly rebuilt city of Tokyo-3. Little does Shinji know that he is about to be thrown straight into the fight against the Angels…

Evangelion: 1.11 You Are (Not) Alone (2009 - 1 hr, 40 min, 57 sec) is a partial reboot of the popular anime series. The film was written and directed by Anno, with character designs by Yoshiyuki Sadamoto and mechanical designs by Ikuto Yamashita.

The original 26 episode show - Neon Genesis Evangelion - had a bit of a chequered history; broadcast in 1995 it became an almost overnight success but ran into trouble with fans about the way the ending was handled. The company re-gigged the last few episodes and included a new ending but this was even more obscure than the first.

The show revolved around the relationship between Shinji, his emotionally distant father and his fellow pilot Rei, who seems to have been more in favour with his father. Shinji’s desire for his father’s attention drove a lot of the conflict between Rei and himself and would lead our young protagonist to make some very rash decisions. It was also the general tone of the show, which contributed to its success; the dour and almost hopeless predicament which humanity found itself in did not immediately give any hope that they would survive.

So, why go to all the trouble of remaking the show in the form of four new films? Firstly, no matter how great a fan you were of the show, few could argue that the animation did it justice and secondly it gives Anno another shot at providing an ending that fans will like.

Of course, there are some problems in this enterprise. For a start Evangelion 1.11 covers the first six episodes of the show, so some of the story has been jettisoned. In his new incarnation Shinji is even less appealing than he was in the series and he was a bit of a whiner then. The exploration of his relationship between him, his father and Rei has also been cut back, making his motivations less understandable.This is likely only to worry fans of the series, if you haven’t seen it you should still check out the Blu-ray, why? Because the finished result looks and sounds stunning. I remember seeing Akira for the first time and the quality of the animation had the same effect on me. This could easily be a reference disc for your player. The colours are strong and crisp with a real sharpness to the cell drawings.

This is usually the part of the review when we bemoan the lack of a good Japanese audio track, however both the English and the Japanese tracks are Dolby TrueHD 6.1.

Having spent so much time and effort making the film look spectacular, I’m at a loss to understand why the extras fail to deliver anything similar. What you do get is Rebuild of Evangelion 1.01 (15 min, 47 sec) both the Shino Sagisu and Joseph-Maurice Ravel versions. Both versions show, with no narration, how the animation was created and upgraded, though why you would need two of the same thing is a mystery. Next up is the Angel of Doom Promotional Video (2 min, 20 sec) which is just a selection of clips from the show set to music. The rest of the extras consist of news video bites and trailers.

The release comes in a number of flavours with both a standard and collectors edition, I can only comment on the standard, which was the one supplied, but if you are thinking of buying it go for the Collectors Edition, its only a few quid more but you get a DVD copy of Evangelion 1.01, plus a few other bits and pieces.

So, it’s a great looking disc shame about the extras.


Charles Packer

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