Like many, I became rather obsessed with the ultimate mecha-kaiju crossover series Neon Genesis Evangelion in its multiple incarnations and offshoots (including its still-running manga version by artist Yoshiyuki Sadamoto), as its creators (especially writer/director Hideaki Anno) fought with inadequate funding in a Quixotic desire to get the ambitious story to where they wanted it to be. Despite funding limitations and some corner-cutting, the metaphorically (and metaphysically) complex show worked, the limitations were arguably used as stylistic and thematic drivers, and offered a unique and profound experience that was like nothing else.
Luckily, whether viewers understood what was happening or not, the show was a great success, especially in retrospect, which allowed Anno and colleagues to progressively toy with it.
Now, of course, the story of Shinji Ikari, Asuka Langley Soryu, Rei Ayanami and the other members of Nerv — as they struggle against an invasion of monstrous “Angels” using huge bio-mechanical “fighting machines” called EVAs — is being re-build. The story is being re-produced as a series of better-funded films, two of which have appeared so far: Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone [aka Evangerion shin gekijôban: Jo] (Japan-2007; dir. Masayuki, Kazuya Tsurumaki, Hideaki Anno) and Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance [aka Evangerion shin gekijôban: Ha] (Japan-2009; dir. Masayuki, Kazuya Tsurumaki). More are imminent.
I’ve been waiting for the first film to appear on DVD in the West, and though initially advertised as available quite some time ago, it never actually appeared then. I assume this delay was caused by a change of plans in the marketing department or some such thing, as it was subsequently given a cinema release (albeit limited) in the States. It opened on July 17. Anyway, here is the trailer for English language North American release version:
The DVD release is due on November 17, 2009. I think this will be one I want on Blu-Ray.
Meanwhile, for the record, here is the trailer for Evangelion 2.0: You Can (Not) Advance: