Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone

The cult classic anime rebooted

15 October, 2009 by

A good 10 years ago, an acquaintance of mine spoiled Evangelion for me by summarizing up the entire plot. I’ve never been much of an anime or manga fan, so despite all the hype, I never saw the need to watch the anime. While researching on some topics a few months ago, I happened upon this classic series again. I decided to give the show a chance. It was then that I came to the realization, had I experienced Evangelion 10 years ago, I could have very well ended up growing up as an Otaku today.

For those that require an introduction, Neon Genesis Evangelion is a 26 part animation series created in 1995 through a collaboration between Gainax and Tatsunoko Production. Both highly acclaimed animation studios, Gainax was created by former Studio Ghibli’s Anno Hideaki and Tatsunoko Production is best known overseas for creating Speed Racer.

The cast of Evangelion 1.0.

Disguised as a giant robot anime, Evangelion featured various philosophical themes never seen before in the medium. Written and directed by Anno Hideaki, the show drew inspiration from Christian and Buddhist beliefs. It tackles religious topic and offers an alternate retelling of our world’s mythos. And even though it inspired many other similar animations in the years following, Evangelion remained as the pinnacle anime of its kind.

One of the defining features of Evangelion is that despite being an anime, the show manages to feel incredibly lifelike. To maintain believability, the show incorporates many realistic imagery into its environments. The future technology remains imaginable because of the many familiar sights. From the city streets, to the individual props within each scene, most of what is featured in Evangelion is an accurate recreation of modern Japanese living. Of course, this comes with the side effect of lots product placement.

A realistic future Tokyo, down to the tiniest details.

The critically acclaimed Evangelion has attracted a rabid fanbase. The animation continues to spawn multiple movies, manga and an endless stream of random merchandise. It continues to be one of the most profitable anime franchises to date. Evangelion: 1.0 is the first part of a new reboot of the original TV series, formatted into 4 feature length movies.

I was exposed to this movie just a few months after my infatuation with the television series so my memories of the original series were still fresh. To those who are already familiar with the franchise, Evangelion 1.0 covers the events from the first 6 episodes. The movie stays true to the anime series, even going so far as to accurately recreate it on a scene by scene basis (albeit with much higher production values). The producers have promised that the subsequent movies will offer a complete retelling of the series though.

Another promo image featuring EVA-01.

The new high resolution visuals are definitely beautiful. The movie is a great watch for anyone who requires an introduction to the Evangelion series. If you have already watched the series you might want to pass. You could still enjoy the show, if only to refresh your memory though some might find the lack of new material disappointing. Fans will definitely feel nostalgic throughout the show and if your memory serves you well, you will have an entertaining time comparing the individual scenes.


Supermerlion's Webmaster and Editor-in-Chief. Singaporean Nikkeijin with over 12 years of experience in the media industry. Producer at a Japanese entertainment company. Former Web Developer, Graphic Designer, Multimedia Programmer, Manager and Consultant. Shoots with a Canon 5Dmk2 and Sony RX100-2.