In 1995, Hideaki Anno—fresh out of rehabilitation caused by problems during the production of Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water—started work on what was originally planned to be a mecha otaku's ultimate dream. Following his increasing disappointment in and hatred for the otaku community, issues in his personal life, and Gainax's financial troubles, Anno transformed the show into the infamously brutal and often depressing deconstruction of the Super Robot genre (and quite a few common anime tropes) that is Neon Genesis Evangelion.Fast forward to 2007—Hideaki Anno is happily married, as rich as Howard Hughes, and arguably more respected than ever before by virtue of having created what is arguably the most popular and influential anime franchise of the decade. What does Anno do? He decides to revisit the work that made his name—only without the depression influencing the story. Anno makes plans to re-tell the story of the Evangelion saga by giving his Byronic Hero cast a second chance (literally or figuratively), making them somewhat more emotionally stable, and actually giving them hope and light at the end of the tunnel. (It doesn't hurt that he's got a massive theatrical budget to help him out.)Thus begins the salvation of Shinji Ikari, Rei Ayanami, and Asuka Langley Shikinami in the four-film saga called Rebuild of Evangelion (of which two have already been released), directed by Kazuya Tsurumaki of FLCL fame.The films in this series are as follows:
- Evangelion: 1.0 Jo (Beginning)
- You Are (Not) Alone.
- Evangelion: 2.0 Ha (Breaking)
- You Can (Not) Advance.
- Evangelion: 3.0 Q* or "kyu", if you like; see Idiosyncratic Episode Naming below(Quickening)
- Evangelion: Final* If the supplementary book in the 1.11 Special Edition was right, this should be released at the same time as 3.0. Given that the 3.0 trailer made no mention of it, though, and given how much money the first two movies made, this plan may have changed.
Currently, Evangelion 1.0 and 2.0 have released here in America. I have no heard any solid release dates for 3.0.