In-depth Film Research Project
1. Evangelion 1.0 (Studio Khara), 2007, Dir. Hideaki Anno
This Japanese Anime (Animated) film reached the top of the Japanese box office on its first week, spending $2.8 million. The film was ranked as the 4th highest grossing anime film at the Japanese box office in 2007, earning approximately 2 billion yen (US $18.7 million) during its theatrical run. This film became the highest grossing film of the Evangelion series. This film is a re-make of the original Anime TV series Neon Genesis Evangelion made in 1997. The film itself has several Japanese Pop-culture references and although the plot is simplistic (aliens vs. humans) it is made complex with several references to religion and morality and consequences of decisions.
2.Evangelion 2.0 (Studio Khara), 2009, Dir.Hideaki Anno
The sequel to Evangelion 1.0, this film is set directly after the events of the first movie. It gained more fan praise than the first movie and won first place in the Animation category of the French Lyon Asian Film Festival.
Characteristics/Themes and Ideologies
Neon Genesis Evangelion is originally a manga and an animated TV-series made in Japan in the 1990s. The basic storyline is set in the future (2015) after the mysterious “second impact” which killed off a large part of the human population. Some time after the impact Earth was attacked by powerful monstrous beings known as “angels”. The story is complex and simple at the same time. The basic plot is a battle between humanity and aliens, with a lot of references to the earlier Japanese Super Robot genre (Mazinger Z, Tetsujin) as well as kabbalistic/religious symbols and psychology, which gives it a lot of character (as well as room for interpretations as everything is not explained). Themes of individuality, consciousness, freedom,choice and responsibility are heavily relied upon for the most part of the movie.There is also the usual anime mix of cuteness and violence, but beware because Evangelion is not for children. Also, the imaginative work is really something as I personally think it really reflects Hideaki Anno’s imagination. There are a lot of allusions to Freudian Psychology, e.g The Oedipus Complex is seen to its full effect.
Historical Settings/ References and Production/Economic Context
As the film is set in the future in 2015 on the re-built city of Tokyo called Tokyo-3, there aren’t very many historical mirrors in the film. References to old Japanese pop-culture from the 80’s are made sparingly.
Pre-Production and Economic Context
Hideaki Anno re-watched the entire TV anime series to re-create the whole series and add some elements and tweaks to make it into a successful movie franchise, as he was no longer constrained by technological and budget limitations.
I can apply the Auteur framework when it comes to studying this film.