Neon Genesis Evangelion
was an anime series created by Hideaki Anno
, a rather mysterious and reclusive director
who has declined most interviews and has been likened to Alan Moore in his attempt to up-end a major genre
. Where Moore doesn't want to work on anything Watchmen-related
, Anno has returned to NGE in a very major way with Rebuild of Evangelion
, a tetralogy of films to re-tell the original story and present a new ending (again).
Though the original goal was a television series, the character designer for the series-to-be, Yoshiyuki Sadamoto
, released the first "stages" of the related manga
in December of 1994. The idea was that the manga would create support for the TV show, which was made into a 26-episode series that ran from October 4, 1995 to March 27, 1996. By the end of the series, the manga was not yet done with the original storyline.
The manga mirrors the series, with it's own tangents and deviations from the TV series
(SPOILERS), and it's still going, due to gaps of years between the release of some volumes. Volume 12 was released in Japan at the end of March, 2010
, with the 13th and final volume to come out in the near future, approaching the 15 year anniversary of end of the series first televised run.
As for the TV series, Anno was unhappy with way the series ended due to finances and censorship, and he had episodes 21-26 re-worked for commercial release. Each episode was remastered and cuts were reincorporated into the episodes. But the revisions don't end there. A series of three movies provided a new summary of the series, as well as alternative endings
. There were further edits, with director Masayuki
tweaking the summary movie (titled Death) for three different releases. And there is even a possible draft ending that wasn't filmed
. All this resulted in ongoing debates about which is the real ending
Even before the movies, there was a lot of commotion around the vague ending of the series, and Anno's comments toward otaku
, those who obsessed over specific interests (most commonly anime and manga). A supposed "anime industry dropout" posted a text-only document that claimed to expose various behind-the-scenes secrets surrounding the Evangelion TV airing, Director Anno, Okada Toshio (Gainax founding member)
, and other Gainax/Neon Genesis Evangelion topics that were only rumors to this point. The document was in Japanese, and some fans translated the non-ranty parts
, which provide an interesting look back at the world around Anno, Gainax and Evangelion.
Hideaki Anno took a break from animation, which had been his professional world since 1982
. He directed an unusual dramatic film called Love & Pop
), filmed almost entirely on hand-held digital cameras from various vintage points (in a bowl of soup, on a pair of chopsticks and attached to a model train). (See: on YouTube in parts
], with English subs and a squished aspect ratio.) A couple years later, he directed a live action
version of Cutey Honey
in film form
In 1999, the reclusive Hideaki Anno agreed to return to his hometown and teach school children about animation
. The 38 minute video shows a reluctant Anno get excited about animation again
(YT playlist). Even if you don't know (or particularly care about) the world of NGE or anime in general, it's a personal look at a rather private (yet publicly known) individual, including a visit with his parents and former class-mates.
Anno didn't stay away from anime forever
, returning in 1999 as the series writer for Kareshi Kanojo no Jijō
(His and Her Circumstances
in English), which was originally a manga series
. Then he was the supervising director for Petite Princess Yucie
Then on February 17, 2007, Hideaki Anno released a statement about Evangelion returning to film
. September 1st of that same year, Evangelion 1.0: You Are (Not) Alone
(SPOILERS) was released in Japan. As with previous NGE material, the movie was re-released as Evangelion 1.01 "with 266 enhancements"
, on DVD and back into theaters, and later remastered and re-released as version 1.11
. The second of four films was released on June 27, 2009 in Japan
, and elsewhere in the world in the following months. Again, the video release was re-numbered to version 2.22
, digitally remastered and with additional "readjustments." The final two films have no proposed release dates as of yet.
If the whole Neon Genesis Evangelion complex seems too complex, 303 Magazine has a good summary and review through 2.0
. If you want more, try out the following fansites: NERV Archives
, the extensive Eva Geeks wiki
, general ephemera and translated material at The Evangelion Otaku Page
, and detailed notes, cross-references and analysis of the first four episodes on Eva Commentary
. Of course, with details you'll get spoilers.
And in the "maybe, sometime" file: a few words and visuals from the Live Action NGE project
that stalled out in 2003.
Video tidbits: opening
, full series
, Death and Rebirth
, The End of Evangelion
; Classic AMVs
: Rammstein's "Engel"
by Kevin Caldwell
, and Evangelion Opus
(Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody (Live)", edited by Shonen Productions
); New AMVs
(featuring footage of the new films): Shadox Our Future
(Celldweller - The Wings of Icarus, Digital summer - Morphine AMV), Jagdmeister
(Rammstein's "Waidmanns Heil," edited by Cenit