>DVD Review – Evangelion, you are (not) that bad

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The new Evangelion movie conveniently packs the first six episodes with beautiful computer animation, exceptional foreshadowing and lots of blood.

Many fans complained that “Evangelion 1.0 – You are (Not) Alone” dilutes all the epic drama of the series. However, the film actually builds on the excitement by shortening all the quiet moments of emotional brooding and moaning.

The story is a simple tale that many anime fans know by heart. Shinji Ikari, a teenage Japanese boy, receives an invitation to help his father in New Tokyo-3. However, he soon learns that his father, Gendo, only invited him to risk his life fighting humongous monsters in a giant robot, known as an Eva.

Of course, a reasonable father wouldn’t want his inexperienced son in battle, but Gendo is hardly reasonable. Shinji refuses at first, until Gendo brings a wounded girl to substitute. Shinji, unwilling to let this girl die in battle, decides to pilot the Eva. Thus begins a tale in which Shinji must risk his life and his sanity by fighting numerous powerful angels.

This is an essential, abridged version of Evangelion that people must see. The one-and-a-half-hour format of the movie actually exemplifies the series’ strengths, by showing only the important parts of the story. As a result, “Evangelion 1.0” portrays a compelling vision of Japan on the verge of an apocalypse. The new film overshadows the TV show version with dull, dark color tones and a completely devastated universe.

“Evangelion 1.0: You are (Not) Alone” exemplifies intense violence. Most of the film’s big-budget visuals are based on the astonishing computer-generated battles, explosions and beautiful monsters. The angels’ death sequences will undoubtedly shock many people with gushing explosions, in which blood literally rains down after every battle.

In spite of the larger-than-life scope of the imagery, the human characters share close bonds in a variety of added conversations with extraordinary backdrops. The new architectural landscapes include skyline bridges hanging from skyscrapers hundreds of stories high. Although much of the dialogue hasn’t changed, the mounting sense of responsibility is propelled with floods of bright red color during a crisis. The few touching moments between Rei and Shinji are cooled with soft, calming color palettes of fuschia and coral blue.

Although I am not a big fan of the new shortened editions of anime shows, anyone who watches anime has to consider watching “Evangelion 1.0” at least once. The massive scale of this production’s high-caliber animation is too captivating to pass up.

(Dub review) With all this said, the English dub is laughably bad. Spike Spencer literally screws up Shinji’s voice with girly-man whines. He sounds as bad as Johnny Yong Bosch when he started dubbing Renton in “Eureka Seven.” The voice actors ruin the mounting scale of the upcoming apocalypse by treating everything like a Saturday morning show.

It’s terrible. Truly terrible.

Image courtesy of photobucket.com

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