disillusions.


[Triggs] Movie Review: Evangelion 1.0 by Triggs
March 21, 2008, 10:04 am
Filed under: Anime

 

We’ve all heard of the movie Rebuild of Evangelion. That’s old news, passed by in Japan a couple of months ago, shaking up the otaku scene there, but only tremors were felt over here.

All that changed when I flipped open the Today Paper and saw a review, giving it 2.5 stars (the fucking noob who reviewed it obviously doesn’t know he’s dealing with the Holy Grail here). So I made a date with a mate, who shall be known only as Pikachu and we set off to catch the grand opening.


Arriving unusually early for my standards, we hopped off to the ticketing booth, discussing about the original anime (which I re-watched the night before for comparison’s sake) and how we’d probably be the only ones in the cinema so we could make as much noise as we wanted.

Oh the irony.

Seems like half of the otaku subculture of Singapore beat us to it and we were left with some pretty loser (Cathay seats are all decent, but sitting in front and getting a neckache is still really loser) front row seats. I decided to be NERV’s number 1 employee by wearing the glow-in-the-dark NERV shirt sold (out) at KKnM sometime back, but as I sat down I realized that there were at least twenty similar shirts scattered throughout the cinema, so much for number 1 employee.

For that matter, the cinema was full even before the advertisements, and the number of latecomers could be counted with your fingers, guess no otaku would want to miss Evangelion on the big screen.

Moving on to the movie review, the movie itself was decent, essentially a high-definition version of Evangelion; if not it’s more or less inseparable from the masterpiece of ten years before. Surround sound changes the whole watching experience, especially evident when the N2 mine went off. The entire movie is a retelling of episodes 1-6, with certain bits cut off, certain bits enhanced (like Unit 01’s spiffy new radioactive-green paint job), certain bits added (I frankly don’t remember so many random machinery transporting power cables here and there. It was cool, but…irrelevant, somewhat), and certain bits maintained in their full glory (Like the boobgrab! MDA didn’t get their hands on it! Great job!)

But what has me, as a long time Eva fanboy, pretty impressed is that they resisted the overwhelming urge to change the storyline. We’ve had so many great books/anime screwed up because the directors had to compress what was originally two days work into two hours (READ: Death Note). The only few notable changes involve Unit 01’s new gattling gun (upgraded from an assault rifle) and the new design scheme for the octahedral angel Ramiel, which will rank somewhere near the top for cool monsters ever produced by the human imagination; man that is one cool monster.

If you intend to download the movie, don’t bother unless you’re a hardcore Eva fan: it’s really not worth the several hundred megabytes of space as the show is merely a retelling of the story. Instead, you should go down to the cinema to taste the atmosphere yourself. To quote tj_han, “…never before has there been such a huge density of nerds and otaku in the waiting area of a mainstream theatre…” When Unit 01 emerged, everyone cheered. When Rei made her appearance, the cheers were deafening. When Pikachu and I started talking about similarities and differences to the anime, we were invited to a twenty-something strong discussion group sitting behind us (all this during the movie, by the way.)

 

It is a personal policy of mine to sit through the credits for all movies. This way I get to sample the soundtrack, watch for hidden stuff after the credits (cultivated especially after Shrek), and most importantly avoid the congestion while leaving the cinema. It was no different, that day, except I had a nicer soundtrack to listen to: Beautiful World by Utada Hikaru is an awesome song, but has been blogged about too much for its own good; as such I’ll leave it untouched.

To my surprise (and horror), no one budged from their seats. In fact, there were sing-alongs to Beautiful World. That was when Pikachu told me that they were all waiting for the trailer for Evangelion 2.0. Right…so Shrek did have its impact on the showbiz scene.

As a literature student, the title also struck me as highly significant (partially because lit students tend to over-read things but that’s beside the point). Hideaki Anno himself said that the current generation are watching too many mass-produced anime with next to no content and even less creativity (i.e.: Naruto/Bleach). Indeed, as anime becomes increasingly mainstreamed, these mass-produced ones will no doubt rake up more fans, owing to their unjustified and undeserved popularity. As the title of ‘otaku’ gets dragged even further and further into the mud, true believers will find themselves pressured, persecuted, and bombarded on all sides, seemingly abandoned and isolated.

However, it is unlikely a Narutard will watch the movie; the Today Paper gave it 2.5 and he is unaware of the phenomenon ten years past called Neon Genesis Evangelion. Therefore this is a chance for la resistance members to gather and discover that they aren’t the only ones left standing.

God was in his heaven, but all was not right with the world. God rebuilt Evangelion, and assured us that truly, we are (Not) alone.

P.S.: If you haven’t watched it yet, please do go down and support it, such that Cathay will be encouraged to bring the other three movies to us. The don’t care about the saving the otaku subculture in Singapore, but it does care about nice profit margins.

 

Btw: Crest is a god

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