2010 Movie. Director: Hideaki Anno. 100 minutes. DVD, bilingual, $29.98. Distributor: FUNimation.
Sound familiar? Sounds like nothing new? You’re right. Evangelion 1.11 is essentially the same movie as 1.01. And as we all know by now, this reboot is a creative recycling of the first six episodes of the original anime. Why release the same movie again? That is the question.
A lot of online chatter suggests a ploy to squeeze a few more dollars out of this much-revered, yet finished, series. Without a doubt, Evangelion redefined the bio-mecha based anime series. From its visionary mecha designs to its dramatic (over)use of symbolism, which even spawned scholastic analysis, a new direction emerged. To a certain extent, such chatter is correct; this is a common marketing tactic. But 1.11 isn’t exactly the same.
First, we have to recall that this reboot is spot on. With 266 scenes enhanced and new CG technology, it’s visually intoxicating. As I’ve said before, it’s much like rekindling on old flame. You get caught up all over again. Moreover, and perhaps best of all, the plot structure has been tightened up. The artfully creative madness of Hideaki’s detached, emotional, divine, and explosive world is more focused than ever before. The complex relationships between the anxiety-ridden Shinji, his cold father (and director of NERV), and the anti-social Rei Ayanami are now concisely interwoven into the bio-mecha action. So far, this show has definitely lost its emotionally charged and often overly symbolic tangents. And, much to my delight, Shinji isn’t crying all the time!!!
This is just a better Eva experience.
That being said, 1.11 is only a couple of minutes longer than 1.01 due to some additional scenes. It has also been upgraded to Dolby 6.1 HD sound for both English and Japanese tracks, and contains extras omitted from 1.01.
Different, yes. But not by much.
Basically, if you don’t own a copy of this reboot yet. I’d go with 1.11. Better still, get the Blu-Ray copy. And if you don’t have a Blu-Ray player, this isn’t a bad excuse to start your Blu-Ray existence.
But as far as long-standing Eva fans go, I think we’re all just waiting and frankly being teased in anticipation of 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance.