News & Updates

Gainax releases Sadamoto’s Evangelion manga in full color.

Posted: March 25th, 2014 by Aaron Clark

Gainax has released the first stage of Yoshiyuki Sadamoto’s Evangelion manga to the ComicWalker platform in full color.  Also, they’ve released a substantial portion of the first stage for free through their online viewer.  Details are sparse, so it’s uncertain as to whether they plan on doing more than just the first stage, but it is definitely interesting to see a comic published nearly 20 years ago (geez!) updated with a splash of color.  You may recall that the first few pages of the first stage did originally come in color, as well as a stage in the second volume.  I doubt I’m alone in having wanted to see more of the comic in color.

UPDATE: Sailor Star Dust on Eva Geeks has pointed out that after downloading the Comic Walker app, it defaulted to English and she was able to access the English translated version of the colored comic, so at the very least, it is also being made available in English.  Very cool.

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Hakone to issue Evangelion license plates

Posted: March 11th, 2014 by Aaron Clark

In an effort to encourage tourism and capitalize on its ties to Evangelion, the town of Hakone will soon be issuing Evangelion-themed license plates to residents.  You may know that in Evangelion, Tokyo-3 is located where Hakone used to be.

I’m reminded of something one of my friends said of their first trip to Japan.  He said that as soon as you get off the plane, Evangelion is everywhere, as if it has become the unofficial mascot of Japan.

Hakone has already put together a kind of map and tour of locations of Tokyo-3 and their corresponding locations in real life Hakone.  And there are a number of other examples of how Evangelion is everywhere in Japan.  You’ve got entire stores that sell Evangelion merchandise, the Evangelion Racing Team, Evangelion car charging stations, an entire Evangelion attraction at Fuji-Q Highland… they’ve even used Evangelion to promote horse racing.  And that’s just naming a few.

If this trend continues, I’ll have to put together a convention panel titled “Japan loves Evangelion too much”.

Source: Asahi Shimbun

A short review of Hayao Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises

Posted: March 10th, 2014 by Aaron Clark

As a boy, Jiro dreamed of flying, however due to his near-sightedness, he would never be a pilot.  He resolved that if he couldn’t fly planes, he would design them instead.  Hayao Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises tells the fictionalized story of Jiro Horikoshi, who designed a number of Japanese fighter planes during World War II.

And, by the way, Jiro is voiced by Hideaki Anno, Evangelion’s writer and director.

In typical fashion, Miyazaki tells the story with gentle confidence.  The film is skillfully and beautifully animated, with wonderful use of blues and greens, depicting scenes of sky and ground.  The film isn’t loud or flashy.  It has a wonderful sense of quiet dreaminess, an almost surreality.  There are a number of scenes where Jiro dreams of flying, or dreams of meeting a revered Italian plane designer.  And in the real world, it is depicted with hints of fantasy, an earthquake that ripples the land like water, explosions and fire whose audio composition are of strange, though effective, human vocal origin.

The Wind Rises is a nice, sweet film about the bittersweet reality that the beautiful planes that one designs and builds to soar through the sky must unfortunately be used for war and destruction, to fly off never to return.  It’s less of a typical fantastic Miyazaki film like Princess Mononoke or Spirited Away.  It’s almost like a live action film, with just enough qualities to merit being made in animation.  I don’t see myself watching The Wind Rises over and over the way I could with some other Miyazaki or Ghibli works, however I can see myself a few years down the road saying “You know, that was a nice film, I think I’d like to watch that again sometime”.

You can now buy Misato’s shoulder holster.

Posted: March 5th, 2014 by Aaron Clark

In the past I’ve complained about some of the unnecessary Evangelion merchandise that has been made in relation to Evangelion.  I’ve joked that they scraped the barrel and then sold that too.  But, every so often, they get it right and make something that hardcore nerds actually want.  In collaboration with Evangelion character designer and manga-ka Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, they are producing a shoulder holster that can hold a real gun (or airsoft) or can be reconfigured to just hold a cell-phone.  In the anime, you didn’t get much detail of it, however in the manga, Sadamoto illustrated it in full, so they’re basing it around that.  It’s selling for 52,500 yen, which isn’t cheap, but it’s what you would expect from a mostly hand-made specialty item.  I don’t know about the rest of you, but I think this is pretty rad.

More images, info, and links at Crunchroll.

A Human Work, a free Evangelion concept album

Posted: February 14th, 2014 by Aaron Clark

I really enjoy seeing fan-produced concept and tribute music dedicated to Evangelion.  It’s interesting to see how people take a (predominantly) visual medium like animation and break it apart and reinterpret it through an aural medium like music.  In this case, we have an ambient concept album called “A Human Work” by Kyle Edwards.  Through a short set of six tracks, Kyle reinterprets music and samples from Evangelion to explore the show’s themes, in particular, the theme of fear.  There are indeed points in the middle of the album that perfectly capture the disturbing and unsettling aspects of the show.  As a whole, the album takes the listener from the abstract, to the unsettling, and then back out again with some calming melodies at the end.  I’m not a huge fan of ambient electronic music, but I think it’s worth giving a listen if you’re into electronic or ambient.  It is free after all, so why not?

Some other Evangelion fan music worth checking out:

Evangelion University, Live Action Webseries Pilot

Posted: February 13th, 2014 by Aaron Clark

Brendan Steere, a filmmaker in New York, recently released a short pilot for a live action Evangelion webseries called Evangelion University.  The show strips the Evas, Angels, and general sci-fi elements out, and re-imagines it as a 90s-era college dramedy.  If someone were to pitch you that concept, you would probably be pessimistic like I was.  However, I was pleasantly surprised by Eva-U.  Once you get past its 90s music and the awkwardness of (mostly) white actors with Japanese names, it’s really not that bad.  The audio editing needs some work, but the cinematography is good, most of the actors hit pretty close to the mark, and there are a few good laughs, especially with Asuka’s introduction at the very end.

I contacted Brendan on Twitter, as I was curious if he plans to make more episodes.  He said that they have a season mapped out, but it really depends on the pilot’s reception, and whether people want it or not.  So if you like it, be sure to show your support.

It’s also worth mentioning, Brendan is/was also in the band Free Parking! which did the tribute album “Asuka”.

Evangelion 3.33 DVD and Blu-ray Release Delayed

Posted: December 18th, 2013 by Aaron Clark

According to Funimation’s blog, the DVD and Blu-ray release of Evangelion 3.33 has been delayed to an unspecified date due to an “overwhelming theatrical demand”.

Now, I know some of you out there are looking forward to seeing it in a theater, but I know even more of you are looking forward to buying it on video.  I am considering going to a screening, mostly for the social aspects, but honestly, I am disappointed that the theatrical run is drawing things out further.  I am of the opinion that the only real worth the theatrical exhibition of anime has is in qualifying for the Academy Awards, and so far there are no screenings in Los Angeles county, so it doesn’t look like it will qualify.  Historically, anime has always been a specialty interest built around home video, and even that’s changing as things move towards digital distribution.  Theatrical to me just seems very frivolous, expending energy and resources trying to be something that you are not.  I just feel like fans have waited long enough for a legitimate release of this film, and they don’t need anything else prolonging it, especially when screenings have historically been very spread out.  Last time around, the closest paid screening for me of 2.22 was in New York City, which is about 4 hours and multiple tolls away.  This time around, there’s a screening in DC that I am considering.

AMV Spotlight: ErMac Studios

Posted: December 16th, 2013 by Aaron Clark

I’ve been spending some of my time lately going through and organizing my Eva files, and while I was looking through my archive of AMVs, one editor stood out that I felt like highlighting.  Justin Emerson, who went by ErMaC, has been out of the AMV circle for close to a decade.  When he retired, he cited a progression where the time involvement to achieve his vision was becoming greater and greater.  That’s something I’ve experienced myself in the past with generating fan content.  You want to make something, but the time required just isn’t responsibly spent on a fan work.

The thing about his videos is that he still has me convinced, even after all these years, that Nine Inch Nails is in some ways a better fit for Neon Genesis Evangelion than it’s actual soundtrack.  I don’t mean Sagisu Shiro any disrespect, but ErMaC’s videos like Closer To God and The End Of Me showed me just how well Nine Inch Nails’ industrial sound and raw unfiltered emotion could complement the expressiveness that is interwoven throughout Neon Genesis Evangelion.  I’m reminded of the alternative soundtracks for Neon Genesis Evangelion and The End of Evangelion that Carl Horn included with Viz’s release of Sadamoto’s Evangelion manga (which included tracks from Nine Inch Nails), as well as Carl’s review of The End of Evangelion, whose title “My Empire of Dirt”, comes from “Hurt” off of “The Downward Spiral”.  There are a number of other great AMVs that have explored the resonance that Evangelion and Nine Inch Nails have with one another, but ErMaC’s still stick out to me even after all these years.

Another of his Evangelion AMVs that I feel is worth mentioning is Soul of an Angel, which is less of a thematic or conceptual video, and more of a visual composition that experiments with layering, stills, and editing to music.  It’s not what I would consider a must-watch, but it’s one that’s still a personal favorite.

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End of Evangelion audio commentary with Rocco and Garrett of Mega64

Posted: November 27th, 2013 by Aaron Clark

I’ve been a fan of Mega64 for a number of years now, and I’ve noticed and enjoyed that some of them are also fans of Evangelion.  Whether it’s Garrett hosting a spoilercast for Evangelion 3.33, Rocco vlogging about his Evangelion figures, or Shawn getting fed up with Evangelion and losing his shit, I always enjoy seeing the intersection of two fandoms.

For Thanksgiving this year, Rocco and Garrett have put out an audio commentary for The End of Evangelion.  I’m not expecting their usual shenanigans, but I’ll enjoy it all the same.  There’s a real lack of good audio commentary where Evangelion is concerned, so I’m hoping this will help fill the void for you.

Download Rocco and Garrett’s audio commentary for The End of Evangelion:

Evangelion 3.0 feature in Otaku USA by Eva Monkey

Posted: November 26th, 2013 by Aaron Clark

I’m pleased to report that the February 2014 issue of Otaku USA magazine is now on newsstands.  I wrote the cover feature for the issue, so please give it a read if you’re able.  It was an exciting and challenging opportunity for me, the only things I’ve had published have been in my university’s student paper.  Being able to go into a bookstore and purchase something you contributed to is a cool experience.  As for the article itself, the main question I found myself asking was “how do I write an article about something which has a substantial twist 6 minutes in?”.  Evangelion 3.0 is not what you’re expecting, and to reveal too much about that would lessen the experience.  I’m hoping there will be some opportunity to write a proper review of the film in the future.  I feel like I have a lot to say about Eva 3.0, more so than with the previous two installments.  If you give the article a read, please let me know what you think.

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