Kahala gets 'Evangelion' limited run


POSTED: Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Ever since “;Neon Genesis Evangelion”; proved it could be a successful cash cow, the franchise's caretakers, Gainax, have been milking it for all it's worth.

Consider what's come ever since the last episode aired on Japanese TV in March 1996: The first 24 episodes were re-edited into the film “;Death and Rebirth”;; a film that offered an alternative ending to the series, “;End of Evangelion,”; was released soon after that; the series was re-released on DVD with two different versions of episodes 21 to 24; and a manga version of the series continued plodding along, with two spinoffs, “;Angelic Days”; and “;The Shinji Ikari Raising Project,”; being released along the way.

Emerging from all this were perhaps two of the most iconic anime characters to grace the screen: the blue-haired enigma Rei Ayanami and foreign exchange student Asuka Langley Soryu.

We know they're iconic because they've had a gazillion collectible figures, statues and other assorted swag made of them — some of which actually make sense in the context of the series (the obligatory school uniform versions) and some which just seem meant to highlight their character designs (a Mermaid Rei and Asuka statue? Really?).

Where this discussion begins to get relevant to local anime fans' interests is in the latest franchise reboot, four films retelling the series' story (yet again) in the “;Rebuild of Evangelion”; project.

Some of you might have had a chance to see the first film, “;Evangelion 1.0: You Are (Not) Alone,”; which had a single showing at the Hawaii International Film Festival Spring Showcase in April.

In case you missed that screening, though, here's another chance ... or more specifically, a series of chances. “;Eva 1.0”; is returning for a limited engagement starting Friday at the Consolidated Kahala 8 theaters and running for one week.

The version that will be screening is Funimation's English dub, featuring Spike Spencer as Shinji, Allison Keith as Shinji's caretaker Misato and former Kawaii Kon guest Brina Palencia as Rei.

Since “;Eva 1.0”; covers only the beginning of the story, and that part is probably the least controversial of the entire franchise, this will all seem familiar: Teen Shinji Ikari is enlisted by his distant father to pilot one of the Evangelion robots in the battle against invading Angels that threaten Earth. Rei plays a significant part in this film, but for your first glimpse of Asuka, you'll just have to wait for whenever Funimation picks up “;Evangelion 2.0: You Can (Not) Advance.”;

Show times were not available as of press time, but I'll update my Twitter feed as soon as that information shows up online.



» Aiea Library Anime Club: 3 p.m. Saturday at the library, 99-143 Moanalua Road. This month, librarian Diane Masaki will be screening part 1 of “;D.Gray Man.”; For more information or to RSVP, e-mail Masaki at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).