Sean Wong September 5, 2007
I titled this a “pre-impression” because I have not actually viewed the movie yet. This is just a perspective on what I’ve seen through the trailers, read about it on the net, and my knowledge of the Evangelion franchise in general.
It is well-known in the anime circles that Evangelion has been a multi-billion dollar financial success for GAINAX. Taking full advantage of this, they are still making new Evangelion merchandise, including PVC models, video games, and manga; there has even been an announcement for a live-action Evangelion movie, of which the details have not been verified. Their latest move has been “Rebuild of Evangelion,” which is going to be a series of four movies. According to Wikipedia, the “first three movies will be an alternate retelling of the TV series, including many new scenes, settings, backgrounds, and characters and using new 3D CG technology, and the fourth film presenting a completely new conclusion to the story.” Notable changes include some redesigns of the Eva models and the introduction of a new character to the Evangelion universe. Another change is that Hikaru Utada is going to be singing the new theme, “Beautiful World” (Sorry, no more “Cruel Angel’s Thesis) as well as the ever-familiar ending song, “Fly Me to the Moon.” The first movie was released on the first of this month, and all seven opening-day showings sold out to standing-room-only audiences. The second movie is scheduled for release next year, and the following two movies (which will be shown together) have not had a definite schedule for release yet. As of this writing, there has been no word of these movies being released internationally (but it’s just a matter of time).
This just goes to show you that the Evangelion franchise is still going strong. Though at this point, it seems that all GAINAX is doing is milking the decade-old franchise for all it’s worth. (It looks like it’s working.) Personally, I myself am hyped up for these movies. While I would not say that Evangelion is the greatest anime in the world, as some may say it is, it is the series that brought me into anime, and consequently, there is a special place in my heart for it. Looking at the trailers, the animation looks much more beautiful than the series (which is a given, since the series is about eleven years old), but whether this will only be a prettier version of Evangelion, who can say (besides those who have already seen the first movie)? I am glad they are doing more than just touching it up because I doubt that any of us want to see another summary (a la “Death”). I am interested in seeing how the changes like the new character will affect the plot as well as the new ending to the story. At any rate, I think this is something worth looking out for, for both old fans of Evangelion and those who have never heard of it before.