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I Weep For Cinema

Neon Genesis Evangelion (Episode 1)

After around 2 decades I have finally watched the first episode of NGE, thanks in large part to Netflix. The other part being my complete laziness to not want to do anything else but lay down and turn on something… anything. One of my best friends growing up, Brendan, was obsessed with the show and Japanese culture in general. He got me into DBZ and tried to get me into NGE. He had the models imported from Japan, the soundtrack as startup and shut down sounds on his Windows 98 PC and even imported VHS bootlegs of the show.

So tonight I am diving head first into the first episode and just jotting down some quick assessments, if for no other reason that to make it feel like a legitimate try to get into the series.

Pros:

  • Animations is quite detailed
  • Sound effects where appropriate

Cons:

  • Story cuts back and forth a bit too quickly

 

So, from what I gather the story is a scientist has been working on a giant robot to battle an evil monster bent on destroying humanity. The scientist has a kid who is the only one who can pilot the Giant mech properly, yet the kid is unaware of this and reluctant.

 

The plot and setup seem fine enough and with only 20ish minutes it does cover a lot of intro ground without too much explanation. I am curious to see where it goes from here and I am liking it so far.

The animation seems really well done with that classic early 90’s anime vibe to it. The detail of even the beginning shots of the deserted city and the Robots holding chamber are dripping with some top notch establishing atmosphere. The sound effects also are in exactly the right spots to give a sense of overall world believability and even get you to understand exactly how to feel. One example is the Angel (monster) create a huge wave attack and the power lines are rattling in the wind from the sonic boom, the sound they use to show the force behind the blast just sounds natural as if you were standing right next to it. 

 

The editing is a bit tight however, jumping back and forth from the dad’s conversations in the headquarters, to the boys conversation in the car with his handler a bit too fast paced for me. This might partially feel quick because of watching the subtitled version where reading and trying to look at the visuals can be a difficult task at points.

 

Overall the first episode seems interesting enough to get me to keep going, only if for not finally appeasing Brendan all these years later. I do truly wish I was more open minded to most anime back then and gave something other than DBZ the good ol’ college try instead of turning my nose up to it.