Volume VI, Issue 1, January 29, 1996
Index:

Neon Genesis Evangelion

The year is 2015 A.D. Fifteen years before, the history books record, the fabled millennial last judgment nearly came when a meteor accelerated to near-light speed struck the Antarctic continent. The half of the human race that was st ill alive a year afterward called it the "Second Impact," recalling the asteroid strike thought to have once rendered the dinosaurs extinct; the force of the Antarctic detonation wobbled the Earth's axis and melted the ice cap, affecting weather patterns worldwide and raising the oceans by 60 meters, submerging the heavily-populated coastal zones.

The Second Impact, however, was said to have been no act of cosmic chance, but the work of a mysterious entities called the "Angels." Their motives and true aims unknown, the Angels have returned after fifteen years to challenge the reconstructed remnant of humanity at Tokyo-3, a newly-built city in Japan's Hakone area designed as a mechanized fortress for the defense of humanity. Underneath Tokyo-3 is the gigantic underground base of NERV, a secret organization under the aegis of the United Nations. Ther e, NERV has developed the Evangelion, a robot designed to defeat the Angels, whose "AT (Absolute Terror) Field" renders ordinary weapons—even nuclear mines—useless.

The Evangelion units, though, can only be piloted by 14 year-olds with certain characteristics, and at the story's beginning, a world-wide search by the mysterious Marduk Institute has found only three: the third being our protagonist, Shinji Ikari, who i s summoned to NERV on the day of the Angels' reappearance by Misato Katsuragi, NERV's Operations Chief and his new guardian. Compounding the problem that Shinji is expected to pilot the Evangelion, whose existence was unknown to him before today, is the f act that NERV's Supreme Commander is his estranged father, Gendou Ikari. The strain on Shinji is immense, but neither he nor the human race have any choice but to fight...

Warning! As you may have already gathered, NEON GENESIS EVANGELION is a series chock-full of mysteries. Just a few of the questions unanswered even in the first third of the series are: who are the Angels, what makes Shinji and the other "Eva" pilots diff erent, what is "Second Impact," and why are the Angels attacking the human race in the first place (although the Angels, in their many forms, resemble the "monster of the week" of classic robot anime, we know nothing about their motivations). Add to that the background of Hebrew lore and mysticism that pervades the show, beginning with the Kabbalistic diagrams in the opening credits (and building with each episode), and you get what some have described as a giant-robot X-FILES.

Directed by Hideaki Anno (GUNBUSTER, NADIA, etc.), NEON GENESIS EVANGELION is Gainax's return to making original anime after a four-year exile. Toshio Okada, Gainax's first president, once said that Gainax is a studio that can't create unless the feeling is right, regardless of how many great ideas they have, and Anno has truly put his feelings into EVANGELION, a series that in many ways reflects his journey out of a depression he felt ever since Gainax's last production, 1991's OTAKU NO VIDEO. "I began t his project with just one thought in mind," said Anno "I mustn't run away." Mysterious as EVANGELION is, it looks like both Anno and Gainax are enjoying making every minute of it (as might be expected, the series is loaded with in-jokes referencing everyt hing from ULTRAMAN to THE PRISONER, with plenty of Gainax's trademark "service shots"), and their work has paid off: it's the most talked-about anime show in Japan right now, and the subject of a fierce bidding war for the U.S. rights. As Wada Mitsuhiro, the translator of tonight's episodes says, though, "See EVANGELION now, no matter what it takes! You can pay Gainax later!"

--Carl Gustav Horn, Guest Writer

Cast of Characters:

SHINJI IKARI:
The "Third Child" found to pilot the Evangelion. A quiet overachiever, psychologically unsuited to his new role.

REI AYANAMI:
The "First Child," extremely withdrawn and severely injured while testing the Eva, she nevertheless trusts Gendou more than his son does.

ASUKA LANGLEY:
The "Second Child," 3/4 German, 1/4 Japanese, born and raised in the U.S.—an outgoing total contrast to Shinji and Rei.

GENDOU IKARI:
The mysterious 48 year-old head of NERV; a cold man in pursuing his mission of protecting the human race.

MISATO KATSURAGI:
Appointed by his Shinji's father as his new guardian, a 29 year-old NERV agent. A boisterous nature covers her fear of emotional hurt.

RITSUKO AKAGI:
30 year-old head of the Evangelion Development Project; a friend of Misato's since school days.

TOUJI SUZUHARA:
14 year-old classmate of Shinji's; rough and direct with his feelings, he speaks in a thick Osaka dialect (Gainax originated in Osaka).

KENSUKE AIDA:
Another 14 year-old classmate of Shinji's; a military otaku who carries a video camera with him everywhere he goes.

RYOUJI KAJI:
Part of NERV's Section Three in Germany; comes to Japan with Asuka. Has a history with both Ritsuko and Misato.




News Bytes & CAA Announcements

Anime Expo '96
The fifth annual Anime Expo will take place at the Anaheim Marriott Hotel and the Anaheim Convention Center from June 28 to June 30. Among the guests of honor is Hiroyuki Kitazume, the character designer for Gundam ZZ. More guests will be announced. AX ‘96 will feature the usual convention programs such as a Fan Music Video Contest, video and film showings, an exhibit hall, an auction, autograph sessions, and a masquerade. Membership purchased before April 15, 1996 will cost $35.

Tenchi Muyo Screensaver
Software Sculptors is scheduled to release a Tenchi Muyo screensaver in January, 1996. This product will have both English and Japanese videos in their Video Jukebox section. For more information, use your favorite web browser to check out http://www.pa nix.com/~sculptor.

Robotech 2-CD Soundtrack
Streamline recently released a 2-disc Robotech Perfect Soundtrack Album, which contains 66 tracks with a total running time of 146 minutes. The background music disc contains 42 tracks, and the vocal disc contains 24 tracks. The soundtrack features voca ls by Reba West (Minmei), Three Dog Night, Michael Bradley, Joanne Harris, etc.

NEW CAA T-SHIRTS
The new Cal-Animage Alpha T-Shirts are here. Silk screen, color, 100% pre-shrunk cotton, these T-shirts are are hot! CAA member Steve Siu was very reluctant to give us his design of Karin from DNA2, but you will be glad that he did, because she now ador ns the back of the every new CAA T-shirt in full size six color glory. On the front, Miki and Yuu from Marmalade Boy, of course, making this T a "must buy!" T-shirt prices are $12 for members at the showings. If you live in the continental US or Canad a and you would like a spiffy new CAA T-Shirt, please make a check to Cal-Animage Alpha ($18 for 1 T, $33 for 2 Ts, $48 for 3 Ts, and $63 for 4 Ts shipping cost has already been added to these prices), and mail it and along with your size preferen ce and mailing address to:

Cal-Animage Alpha
P.O. Box 4263
Berkeley, CA 94704-0263

Cal-Animage Alpha is a non-profit student run organization. All money from T-shirt sales goes back into CAA's budget. (P.S. If you live outside of the continental US or Canada and would still like a T-shirt mail us and we will see what we can work out.)

CAA Takes Your Requests!
If a certain CD, OVA, Movie, or video game (pertaining to ANIME), would like to be reviewed, sufficient requests via e-mail will be considered. Mail animage@ocf.berkeley.edu

Weekly Showing to be Decided by Member Vote
This semester we have three choices for the weekly showing, Kimagure Orange Road, Future Boy Conan, and last semester's showing--Marmalade Boy. Please listen to announcements for voting procedures.

--Compiled by David Zeng


Weekly Showing Overviews

This year, members will be able to vote and choose their weekly showing. Three tough candidates this year. . . Will the popular Kimagure Orange Road make a comeback with a ne w audience and reminiscent supporters, or will the two romantic comedies split the vote allowing Hayao Miyazaki's Future Boy Conan to win?

Future Boy Conan

In the year 2008, civilization as we know it comes to an end when a great war, fought with weapons deadlier than nuclear ones, devastates the planet. Still, even in the wreckage remnants of humanity have managed to survive. Among them is a young boy, Cona n, who has grown up nearly alone on a remote island and has known nothing but peace. His idyllic existence comes to an end when one day, a mysterious girl named Lana washes up on the beach. She is not unaccompanied for long, though, as some very unpleasan t and dangerous people come looking for her. Thus begins the first great adventure of Future Boy Conan...

The 1978 series Future Boy Conan was an early effort by famed animator Hayao Miyazaki. With its celebration of nature, aviation, and good old-fashioned adventure, this series is quintessentially Miyazaki, with elements later seen in such classics as Nausi caa and Laputa.

--by Leon Lin


Kimagure Orange Road

Kyosuke Kasuga is not your normal 15 year-old transfer student. He and his twin sisters have psychic powers which have been the cause of many problems for the family. Loneliness would have been poor Kyosuke's lot had he not met a kindred spirit—the myster ious, beautiful, and talented Madoka Ayukawa. Kyosuke falls madly in love with her, and Madoka finds herself slowly attracted to the hapless ESPer. Their relationship, however, has one major stumbling block...Madoka's best friend Hikaru Hiyama, who develo ps a full-blown, frightening crush on her "daaaarling" Kyosuke! What will our indecisive, pathetic hero do?

The romantic comedy Kimagure Orange Road (or, popularly, KOR) was based on Izumi Matsumoto's manga. Though the show is almost a decade old, its memorable characters and situations have made it one of anime's enduring classics.

--by Leon Lin

Marmalade Boy

All right you Marmalade Boy freaks, are you ready for another season of chaos and coincidence?! Well prepare yourself because Miki, Yuu, and all their friends are back for another season of enthralling plot twists and nail biting cliff hangers. For thos e of you wondering why so many people are excited over a show which sounds like it will go best with tea and toast, sit back and join Miki and the wackiness that inevitably surrounds her. It all started when Miki's parents went off on a trip to Hawaii, d ecided to divorce and remarry a couple, the Matsuras, whom they met on the cruise. On the plus side, the Matsuras have a handsome son named Yuu, now all six of them live in the same house and things haven't been the same since! It's easy to join in the fun, thanks to flashbacks and well written Konshuu synopses, but beware. . . you'll want more! So whether you are a first time MB'er or a bonafide Marmalade addict, remember to vote Marmalade Boy for this semester's weekly showing.

--by Ankan Bhaumik


SignOFF

--Suizi Lin, CAA President
Hi y'all. Welcome back to another semester filled with the most hilariously dramatic action-packed non-commercial anime... all brought to you by Cal-Animage Alpha and your membership fee.

***** (BUY MEMBERSHIP) *****

Hope you enjoyed your break and didn't go into a complete anime withdrawal, but if you did, we're here to get you doped up again. Yes, once again, every freakin' Monday night, we, the dedicated officers of CAA, are here to provide entertainment for the l onely (like me), those looking for a cheap date (like me), the procrastinators (like me), and the rest of you anime addicts - the fans (especially like me).

**** (BUY MEMBERSHIP FOR YOUR MOM) ****

Go check out the video library list, you'll be pleasantly surprised to find brand new titles... including MARMALADE BOY!!! Check out Services and all the affordable CD titles. Don't worry, your order will come during the semester and not at the end. BU Y MEMBERSHIP from the membership table, and while you're there check out the brand new eye candy T-shirt. Remember, your membership fee helps to pay for the ever so popular Konshuu, publicity, the room, and video library.

*** (BUY MEMBERSHIP FOR YOUR SIGNIFICANT OTHER) *

This semester, we've implemented a new policy so that sudden scheduling changes will not occur. So for all of you disgruntled fans of last semester, don't worry... be happy. We've also brought back the "viewer's choice" for the weekly showing. So for t he first showing, we'll preview the choices and in the second showing, MEMBERS will get to vote for their favorite... so if you want to influence the votes...

** (BUY MEMBERSHIP FOR YOUR 300 + LECTURE CLASS AND YOUR DORM) **

Good luck with the rest of your semester and remember: if you ever need a study break, come on down Monday night to see the showing, rent a video, buy CDs, or just watch me make a fool out of myself in front of you for another semester. Byiee!!!

"ANIME FANS! It's fun to stay at the C-A-A!"

-Suizi O. Lin,
Cal-Animage Alpha
President


Next Up:


Cal-Animage Konshuu

Volume VI, Issue 1

Please direct all correspondence and submissions to Cal-Animage Alpha, P.O. Box 4263, Berkeley, CA 94704; animage@ocf.berkeley.edu
(c) 1994 Cal-Animage Alpha Chapter. Legalese: All artwork, copyrights, and trademarks remain the property of their respective owners. All articles belong to their respective writers. See the Sather Gate signboard for updates.

Publications Head:
Michael Huang
Konshuu Coordinator:
Leon Lin
Layout Editor:
Albert Ho
Graphic Scanning/Processing:
Brendan Bolles
Technical Editor:
David Bautista
Copy Editor:
Marlon Chen
NewsCoordinator:
David Zeng
CAA Artist:
Long Vo
Overlord Emiritus:
Keith "P." Casner
Staff Writers:
Weldon Chen
Randall M! Gee
Anthony Yan
On-Line Konshuu Editor:
Ankan Bhaumik

Last Modified: Tuesday, March 31, 1998

Cal Animage (animage@server.berkeley.edu)