Thursday 31 Jul

Power Pyramid - The God Drums

Power Pyramid doesn’t have much patience for nonsense. That appears to be the takeaway from the Oklahoma City quintet’s last 10 months, which brought The God Drums in September, the Insomnia EP in January and its latest, self-titled effort in July.

07/29/2014 | Comments 0

TJ Mayes - "When Love Comes Down"

’50s era rock ’n’ roll had been long overdue for a rebirth. Thankfully, the stockpile of capable luminaries has not been in short supply over the past few years. 

07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Boare - "playdatshit"

The world is in the midst of an electronic music renaissance, and you find most of this boon of producers laying claim to the club-friendly, bass-dropping variety, holing up in the the free-flowing world of hip-hop beatmaking or pitching their tent on the out-there, boundary-pushing EDM camp.
07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Broncho - "Class Historian"

Broncho has never been hurting in the hook department. The success of the trio’s 2011 debut, Can’t Get Past the Lips, was predicated mostly on its ability to marry melodies with kinetic guitar riffs and anarchic energy. Yet we’ve heard nothing to the degree of pure pop catchiness on display in “Class Historian,” the new single from Broncho’s upcoming sophomore album, Just Enough Hip to Be Woman.
07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Manmade Objects - Monuments

No one wants to be forgotten; everyone wants some sort of legacy, a mark they leave behind as they exit this life for whatever lies beyond.

And for as long as there has been death, there have been monuments — whether austere or understated, abstract or concrete, prominent or tucked away in private — erected by the ones they loved to assure that remembrance, at least for a time.
07/15/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · Evangelion: 1.0' reboots '90s...

Evangelion: 1.0' reboots '90s Japanese TV series with symbolic imagery

Mike Robertson October 15th, 2009

Collectively, the Japanese imagination is pretty effing wild. Moving from the "Godzilla" movies to Hayao Miyazaki's crazy mind-scapes to the landmark "Ghost in the Shell" and cultural mashups li...

Collectively, the Japanese imagination is pretty effing wild. Moving from the "Godzilla" movies to Hayao Miyazaki's crazy mind-scapes to the landmark "Ghost in the Shell" and cultural mashups like "Cowboy Bebop," Japanese movies and TV shows exist in their own warped-mirror, pop-culture alternate universe.

"Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone" is a reboot of a popular '90s Japanese TV show in which a teen-aged boy is enlisted to join an elite group of humanoid-robot pilots. Shinji (voiced in the U.S. version by Spike Spencer, a Texan who has made a career voicing Japanese-to-English dubs) is summoned to Tokyo-3 by his father, Gendo (John Swasey, another dubbing regular), the commander of NERV, a secret underground organization created to protect the city from giant creatures called Angels.

Tokyo-3 is a kind of safe-haven fortress for mankind, with buildings that rise through the city's surface when it's safe and submerge again when Angels show up. What the Angels are, where they come from, why they want to destroy humanity and a lot of other background facts are not explained.

Shinji arrives in Tokyo-3 at the same time as a new Angel. He makes it to NERV's subterranean haven with the help of Misato (Allison Keith, ditto), one of Gendo's top people. Shinji is immediately commanded to pilot an Evangelion, a giant humanoid robot created to fight the Angels. With no briefing, no training and no idea what's going on at all, Shinji goes out to fight and immediately gets hurt.

This becomes the basic pattern of action: Shinji fights and then wakes up in the hospital. He gets better at piloting the robot and manages to win against one, but the pressure of defending all humankind from destruction begins to erode his emotional stability.

Eventually, an Angel shows up that can't be killed through close-quarters combat, and Misato comes up with a desperate, long-shot plan to take it out.

"Evangelion: 1.0" has a lot going on. It's full of symbolism " Christian and otherwise " and seems to be (partly) exploring the relationship between individualism and collectivism via themes of sacrifice and the father/son relationship. All Shinji seems to want is his father's approval, but Gendo's only expressed concern is keeping Tokyo-3 from being destroyed. He seems perfectly willing to let Shinji die if need be, and he treats the poor kid like he's just another replaceable part of the Evangelion he pilots.

"Evangelion: 1.0" is just the opening of a series which may include up to five installments. One would think there would be more background given, but the reasons for Tokyo-3 and the Angels are only hinted at in the dialogue. It's a bit disorienting at first, but "Evangelion: 1. 0" is highly entertaining nonetheless. Even though you likely won't know what the eff is going on at all, the animation is gorgeous, the characters are somewhat compelling, and the plot is packed with narrative movement and tension.

The film screens 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. "Mike Robertson

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