Rebuild Of Evangelion, or Evangelion Shin Gekijōban, is a 4-part movie series retelling the story of the EPIC anime series Shin Seiki Evangelion, a.k.a. Neon Genesis Evangelion. Part one, You Are (Not) Alone, premiered 2 years ago in Japan and quickly made a mark for itself. And at long last, it is coming to the U.S.!
The impending Region-1 DVD release of Rebuild Of Evangelion has this series top-of-mind lately. In fact, I've been inspired to take another stab at a synopsis. It's pretty tough though... discussing the most salient points of the series would involve major spoilers. Anyway; here goes--
Setting: The near future. The Dead Sea Scrolls foretell a coming apocalypse- Angels will be sent down by God to usher in the end of Humanity. The scrolls tell of 3 major events in the history of Humanity:
The First Impact, or creation of mankind.
The Second Impact, or warning that the final countdown has begun.
And The Third Impact, which will be The End.
A multi-national group of scientists, religious scholars, and historians takes the prophecy seriously, and they have been preparing. And then one day, a cataclysmic event occurs that wipes out nearly half of Humanity-- The Second Impact.
The doomsday clock is now ticking.
With the foretold Angel Attack quickly approaching, he multi-national group, called NERV, steps up it's efforts to stop the apocalypse. Their main tactic- to create a trio of gigantic, super-powered humanoid robots to fight against the angels, and hopefully stave off the apocalypse. As their work progresses, many nations view their efforts as a misguided waste of resources, until one day, the truth is thrown into their faces. A gigantic, fearsome being descends to rain destruction down on the city surrounding NERV headquarters.
The Angels are real. The Prophecy is true.
After the best efforts of the military are shown to be ineffectual (not even atomic bombs will work against the angels), the U.N. decides that NERV had it right all along. The economic and military resources of every nation on Earth are channeled to NERV. The world unites to support NERV in its desperate, last-ditched effort to stop the unstoppable.
The first episode of the series opens during this first Angel attack. A teenage kid named Shinji is on his way to join his estranged father, who happens to be one of the guys leading NERV. And then the shit hits the fan. Long story short, Shinji is pressured into becoming the reluctant pilot of one of the aforementioned Super-Robots (called Evangelions, or 'EVAs' for short). The EVAs are used by NERV to fight against each of the angels that comes to end humanity. And meanwhile, a complicated web of sub-plots is slowly revealed, coming to a head in the series' jarring and shocking conclusion.
This series truly is worthy of the label 'Classic'. Disguised as a Giant Robot show, Evangelion is in reality a complex, no-holds-barred study of the human condition and our yearning for connection. It also presents a realistic portrayal of our tradgic tendency to sometimes sabotage our own attempts at connection. I recommend checking the series out; it really is an amazing ride. Or at the least, check out Rebuild Of Evangelion- You Are (Not) Alone, Available from Funimation this Fall.
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