Evangelion 1.0 in English!

It's been 2 years since Evangelion 1.0 premiered in Japanese theaters. In September 2007, Gainax and Studio Khara released the 1st of the Rebuild of Evangelion quadrilogy. North American licensing will still up in the air, at this point. Many Anime fans wondered if ADV could pick up the rights? Perhaps Manga entertainment would paid a shitload of money for the previous movies?

When?

Over a year had passed after its theatrical release and STILL no American Anime company had bought the rights.. It had already been out on DVD in Japan since April, and there were no signs it was even coming to America until Funimation (of all Anime companies) issued a cease and desist order to fansubbers in November 2008. It wasn't until December 31st, 2008 that they official stated they had the domestic rights.

One day in March 2009, with the anticipation of Evangelion 2.0, I finally decided to download and watch Evangelion 1.0. And it was fantastic. ^_^ In May 2009, the Bluray was finally released, and I bought it because I wanted to see the movie in absolute clarity. Funimation, still dragging their feet, finally announced the voice cast around the same day the Bluray released in Japan.

In June 2009, Evangelion 2.0 was released in theaters and earned $5 million in 2 days showing on only 120 screens. Each theater showing the movie earned about $40,000 for those 2 days. [link] It was so successful that Studio Khara now has a blank check for making the final 2 movies in the series. [link] The marketing for Evangelion 2.0 was all over the place in Japan and it worked fantastically.

Evangelion 1.0 under-performing in America

Evangelion 2.0's success is a stark contrast to Funimation's handling of Evangelion 1.0. Evangelion 1.0 has been complete since September, and they've been showing it in several theaters across the states, but it's doing terribly. Their "theatrical" run has made a pathetic $100,000, so far. [link]

There could be other reasons why Evangelion is under performing in the states, though. For me, Evangelion is my Star Wars. It's a cultural icon of my past and has influenced that way I have viewed Anime since then. I think many Japanese people feel the same way, which is why it's such a huge success over there. The shared experience of a generation of Anime fans, reuniting with the new generation.

It doesn't garner the same mass fandom over here, because Evangelion was released when Anime was still quite niche in America. The kids in the know and super fans definitely saw it and probably loved it. The first time I saw the series all the way through, I was a fan for life. But the only way to see it, was the buy the VHS tapes which sold for $30 each and had 2 episodes. That's almost $400. That's way too much for any high school kid to pay. That's really why Anime clubs began..

Evangelion in Chicago

Anyways, Evangelion 1.0 has finally come to America and more specific it's showing in Chicago this whole week at The Music Box. [link]. Some friends and I went down there yesterday. Man, I was so excited!

I don't think they could've been showing a more appropriate complementary movie alongside Evangelion.

I like how Funimation just sent the theater a cheap poster that's not even Movie Poster size.

The Music Box has two theaters inside of it. I wonder if their other theater is just as small as this one. I doubt it could fit more than 200 people, and there were about 30 of us in there. We were all Anime fans. There were several people wearing Evangelion Tshirts too, which was pretty awesome. ^_^

English Dubbed

I really had no idea if they were showing Evangelion with english subtitles or with the english dubbed track. I don't know why, but I was actually surprised it was the English Dub. I was actually pretty thankful because I had already watched the movie in Japanese at least a dozen times that this is actually something new!

Holy Shit! The dub is hysterical. Not just hysterical, but "font-weight: bold, font-size: 20px" hysterical. Funimation's Evangelion 1.0 puts Secret of Crystania to shame. In fact, there are several instances where there are DIRECT quotes from Crystania in Evangelion. "If you're going to do it, do it now!", "You just don't get it, do you?" (Though, I guess those quotes are pretty generic.)  There were so many parts that were embarrassingly goofy, and I just couldn't stop but laugh.

If you thought Shinji was a whiny bitch in the original Dub of the series, Spike Spencer (the voice) brings it to a level you never thought possible. It's so bad, there's no one that could possibly take it seriously. You can't. It's not serious. It can't be serious. His acting has got to be a ridiculous parody.

And it was fantastic that everyone in theater was on the same page. I've never seen a movie where the audience was exactly in sync with the movie. We laughed at the ridiculous acting. We laughed at the parts that were supposed to be funny. And were silent and polite when important stuff was going on. It was like SPAMM, actually.

It's not that bad, though

Overall, the acting is pretty hilarious, but Allison Keith does a fantastic job with Misato. Actually, Brina Palencia is really good as Rei, too, but Misato stands out because she's the one character with the most distinct personality in the entire movie. It's so strong that it really feels like Misato in the main character. She's the Han Solo to Shinji's whiny Luke Skywalker. Which would make Pen Pen Chewbacca... i guess.

Though, her acting is only accented by the rather well done English script. There were really just two parts that seemed lost in translation. Though, that could have been because it was acted poorly. But really, everything else made perfect sense and flowed quite well. They did a great job keeping the script original and better written than the original series. The writers definitely didn't half-ass the script. They left the half-assing to the voice acters.

Evangelion 1.0 really does stand on its own as a movie, but leaves several hints towards the quadrilogy as a whole.

North American DVD Release!

On November 17th, 2009 (3 weeks from now), Evangelion 1.0 will finally be released on DVD in North America. Unfortunately, the Bluray won't be released until Spring 2010. [link]. By then, Evangelion 2.0 should be out on Bluray in Japan.

They're following a similar release schedule for the original Japanese release. The first DVD release was entitled Evangelion 1.01. They cleaned up a couple areas of the film, but in general it was identical to the theatrical release. Later on, with the Bluray release, it was Evangelion 1.11, which contains some new scenes in there somewhere. They fixed a few more areas of the film, and added 3 minutes to the beginning. It is the best-selling Bluray in Japan to date at 49,000 copies (one of which is mine!). [link]

I'll continue to wait for the North American Bluray release. If the DVDs underperform, hopefully they'll still consider the Bluray...




Recent Posts
Recent Featured Posts