(© Khara / GAINAX)
Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone, a film based on the megahit TV series Neon Genesis Evangelion, was released in Japan in September 2007. The popularity of the legendary anime series has shown no sign of declining in the decade since it was broadcast from 1995 to 1996, and You Are (Not) Alone is the first in a series of completely new films that begins in the same way as the original TV series but will reach an entirely different ending.
The story unfolds in the city of Tokyo-3 after a catastrophe called the Second Impact. Humankind, which is on the road to recovery, is being attacked by terrifying beings known as Angels. Only the giant biomechanical humanoid weapons known as Evangelions are capable of taking on these invincible enemies that no missile can destroy. The protagonist of the story, middle school student Ikari Shinji, has been chosen to pilot one of the Evangelions. Along with his classmate and fellow pilot Ayanami Rei, he engages in deadly battles to defend humankind from the Angels.
"Evangelion is a tale of repetition," says Anno Hideaki, the general director of the series. "The protagonist meets the same fate time and again, but he gets back on his feet every time. It�s a story about the will to take a step forward, no matter how small."
The series portrays Shinji's psychology in detail: his lack of self-confidence; his despair at his inability to get along with his friends; his conflict with his father, who invented the Evangelions. Even as he trembles in terror in the face of combat, Shinji tries hard to muster up some courage by repeating to himself, "I mustn�t run away." He also agonizes over the question of why, of all people, he was chosen as a pilot.
More films following Shinji's adventures are scheduled to be released in the coming years.
(Updated in December 2007)