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Evangelion 1.11 You Are (Not) Alone - Blu-Ray
Evangelion 1.11 is the definitive home video release of the first rebuild movie of the classic series, Evangelion. Funimation really put out all the stops to promote Evangelion, showcasing the movie at various conventions and theaters across the U.S. and Canada. So is putting up with that cliched emo boy Shinji worth your time and money? Read on and I’ll let you know!
If you’re not familiar with Evangelion, it is the classic Gainax series that really defined the mecha genre, while being mostly NOT about the mecha. Shinji Ikari is our protagonist who is thrown into piloting the Eva 01, thanks to his father dragging him into NERV (saviors of the constantly under attack Japan). Shinji uses the Eva to defeat the attacking Angels, which are hell bent on starting the Third Impact and destroying all mankind. Shinji isn’t alone though, as the quiet Rei Ayanami also is around to pilot Eva 00.
Story & Tech
The story for Evangelion 1.11 follows the the original TV series episodes one through six pretty faithfully, with only subtle changes that the most hardcore and analytical Eva fans will be concerned over, especially towards the end of the film. There’s additional footage in the first fifteen minutes in the film that is added over the 1.01 release from Funimation last November, it’s mostly dialogue and doesn’t necessarily add much but it’s a nice touch. After seeing the Japanese release at Anime-Expo 2008 and the English release at Anime-Expo in 2009, I still didn’t really notice the differences, but your mileage may vary.
Concerning the Blu-Ray release that Funimation put out, there really is nothing to worry about. Since the movie is coming from an HD source, it’s not an upscale and is natively in 1080p and looks stunning on a nice HDTV. This is easily one of the best BD releases for Funimation, if not for anime in general. The colors are vibrant (which were updated for this release) and the action is amazingly smooth, this is the best Evangelion has ever been, and any doubts about Funimation’s ability to produce a great Blu-Ray should be put to rest right now. The menus are beautiful and fit the color theme of the Eva 01, along with solid extras included on the disc as well.
The dub is always going to be a contention for some people, as the majority of the cast is back from the original ADV dub. Spike Spencer delivers his role as Shinji well again, almost comically at times (anytime Shinji screams), but it really fits Shinji’s awkward character well. Rei got a new voice actress and Brina Palencia fills the role well with a very vapid performance, devoid of life, hitting spot on characterizing Rei. Definitely give the dub a shot as not only is the dub solid, but the subtitles can be somewhat difficult to see. I’m not sure this was Funimation’s decision as I remember having this exact same issue when seeing the Japanese release in 2008, because the subtitle text is white with a very faint black stroke, which at certain times during the film will blend into bright backgrounds. It’s not a deal breaker, but it gets annoying at times and I do appreciate the white font color though.
Overall the movie is great and being a remake of such a classic series that has had such a strong resonance with anime and non-anime fans alike, opening the series up to new fans (while updating the visuals to stunning HD at the same time) is fantastic. The only real complaint is that I really want the next film, Evangelion 2.0! Please Funimation, licence it soon so we can see it!
As is, this is a must have for any anime fan with a blu-ray player, much less any blu-ray owner as this really shows off what HD anime can be.
- One of the best looking Blu-ray release for anime yet
- Stays faithful to the original TV series
- Solid Dub
- Subtitles can be difficult to see
- Makes you want Evagelion 2.0!
Evangelion 1.11 was reviewed on a Playstation 3, connected to a Samsung 46” and viewed in 1080p in the English dub. Movie was purchased by the reviewer.