The original Neon Genesis Evangelion was released in 1995, and ever since it has grown to be the most influential anime in its genre. While Neon Genesis Evangelion isn’t as popular in the United States as it is in its native Japan, science fiction movies like Pacific Rim probably wouldn’t exist without it. Back in 2009, series writer/animator Hideaki Anno re-imagined his seminal anime series with the Rebuild of Evangelion project, or, as it’s known in Japan, Evangelion: New Theatrical Edition. The films have been growing a small but vocal cult following here in the States who should be happy that the third installment in the reboot series is coming soon to a theater near you.
As reported on Crunchy Roll, Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo will hit U.S. theaters in limited release starting on January 10, 2014. However, the American home video release will be delayed until sometime in late 2014. While Evangelion 3.0 might be coming to your town, most people won’t get an opportunity to see it until it hits Blu-ray/DVD. Eleven Arts and FUNimation will be releasing the third installment in a new English dub, with a majority of the original animated series’ English-speaking voice cast returning. This comes as good news to anyone who grew up with Neon Genesis Evangelion on VHS and DVD.
FUNimation also released a new theatrical promo that mainly features fan-favorite Asuka Langley Soryu, pilot of Eva Unit-02. The promo shows off the epic action that Evangelion is known for, as well as new characters and situations. While Asuka was integral to the original series, her role was drastically reduced in the first and second reboot films. Considering how much she pops up in the promotional material, it’s likely that Asuka will have a bigger role in the third movie.
Hideaki Anno has been developing the Rebuild of Evangelion reboot project since 2002, with the goal of producing four new movies in the franchise. After the release of the original TV series, Anno made two sequel films, Evangelion: Death and Rebirth and The End of Evangelion, neither of which were as highly praised as the TV series. In 2009, Anno and Studio Khara launched Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone, with its sequel Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance in 2010. The fourth and final film in the series, Evangelion: Final, is expected to be released in the States in the winter of 2015.
While the Rebuild of Evangelion reboot films feature the original characters from the iconic TV show, there are some notable additions to the cast of characters. Not only does the reboot take advantage of new CGI technology, it also features new scenes, settings, and different outcomes for its characters and narrative. In some ways, it’s a completely new series. It’s so different that you can just jump right in and watch the reboot without the aid of the originals.
Neon Genesis Evangelion takes place many years after a global catastrophe called Third Impact. With the world in environmental imbalance, large demons called Angels emerge from the Earth’s core and outer space to finish what Third Impact started. The Earth’s nations pool their resources to build giant robots called Evas to fight off the Angels, but only teenagers can pilot them, making them the world’s only hope for survival. Simply put, it’s kind of like Pacific Rim, but with teenagers, and more dramatic and serious.
Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo will hit theaters in a touring limited release starting on January 10. Check out the theater listings here. If the film isn’t playing in your town, you can request a special local screening from Eleven Arts.