After the end credits, a trailer for the next film, Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance, was shown.
Shinji Ikari arrives in Tokyo-3, sent for by his father Gendo. As he wanders about town, he is caught in the crossfire between the U.N. army and the fourth Angel (third in the original version), Sachiel. Rescued by Lieutenant Colonel Misato Katsuragi, Shinji is brought to Nerv Headquarters and is guilted by Gendo, who turns out to be Supreme Commander of Nerv, into piloting Evangelion Unit-01 against Sachiel because the pilot of Evangelion unit 00, the mysterious Rei Ayanami, is too injured to pilot. After the initial fight, Shinji is taken in by Misato as her new housemate and enrolled in middle school. The film portrays Shinji's attempts to "settle in" with his newfound life alongside Misato, Rei and the other characters while continuing to defend Tokyo-3 and the world from the coming Angels as the new pilot of Unit-01.
In the climax of the film, the powerful Angel named Ramiel, a giant floating blue octahedron, tries to drill its way down into Nerv HQ. To try to motivate the despondent Shinji, Misato takes him down to the deepest level of the base, Level-EEE in Central Dogma, and showed him a giant white entity crucified to a cross: the Angel Lilith (this Lilith, contrary to its design in the original series, has a face mask like the Angel Sachiel instead of the Seele logo). Misato explains that if ever an Angel were to break through their defenses and reach Lilith, it would bring about the end of all life on Earth. With this information and further encouragement from his new friends in school, Shinji and Rei pilot their Evangelions to kill Ramiel by sniping it using an experimental positron rifle, which requires the entire electrical power output of Japan to function. Rei is nearly burned alive in the battle, but Shinji saves her by prying her out of her damaged Eva, using Unit 01's Progressive Knife to remove the plug cover.
The camera pans upward to the Moon in the sky, then cuts to a new location on the barren lunar surface. In the final scene, a naked Kaworu Nagisa is awakened by Seele on the surface of the Moon. What is apparently blood is splashed across a large swath of the landscape. Kaworu rises from a coffin-like container, which is flanked on each side by four other open coffins on the left and four unopened coffins on the right. In front of him is an unknown white giant who wears the purple Seele "Seven-eyes-of-God" mask, thus closely resembling Lilith's design in the original series; it is surrounded by construction and scaffolding. Kaworu engages in brief, cryptic conversation with one Seele monolith, saying that "the third one" hasn't changed at all and that he looks forward to meeting Shinji. The screen cuts to black with the message "to be continued"...
"Evangelion: 1.01 You Are (Not) Alone: Limited Design Edition" was released on DVD in Japan on April 25, 2008. The "1.01" release contains several minor fine tunings in picture, editing, and sound quality: Anno has stated that "266 shots" have received minor enhancements, though these were all animation refinements with no actually new scenes added. Only 300,000 of these special-edition DVD sets were made. The film was released in a "Normal Edition" on May 21. A Blu-ray Disc release has not been announced at this time.
In less than one week of sales, by April 29 more than 219,000 DVDs of the film were sold, making it the best-selling DVD of 2008 in Japan at that time.Ultimately the special edition release ranked as the 4th best selling DVD in Japan in the first six months of 2008, with the collector's edition set selling an estimated 263,395 copies in that time (of which 219,000 were sold in the first week of its release).
The 1.01 release consists of two discs. The first contains the movie and the script. The second disc contains the "Explanation of Evangelion" feature, which is the full-length movie with text overlays pointing to things and explaining what they are. The second disc also contains music videos and trailers.
Further, including with each of the limited edition DVD sets are films strips from the actual movie containing five frames of animation. These film strips can only be obtained in the limited edition DVD, and the "Rebuild of Evangelion 1.0 All Collection" artbook set, making them desirable to collectors. Many are being auctioned off online, with prices varying depending on what scenes the frames contain. Some frames from important scenes have received bids of over 29,000 yen (over $200). Frames from the famous scene of Rei smiling at the end of the film was bought at auction for 152,000 yen (~$1,460).
At the film's theatrical premiere on September 1, 2007, the film's official Bandai Channel news feed reported full houses and full applause from fans. It took first place at the Japanese box office on its opening weekend, with some 236,158 spending 280 million yen (about US $2.4 million) to watch it.
The film was later released in South Korea (January 24, 2008), Singapore (March 13, 2008), Hong Kong (April 3, 2008), and Taiwan (April 18, 2008). Australian-based Red Ant Enterprises has announced Evangelion 1.0 as one of 35 titles they will bring to Australia throughout 2008 and into 2009. French distributor Dybex has announced it will release Evangelion 1.0 in France, starting with an out of competition screening at the 2008 Annecy International Animated Film Festival.
Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone received the 2008 Tokyo International Anime Fair award for anime of the year; Anno received best director. The film was nominated for Animation of the year at the 2008 Japan Academy Prize.
The score for the film, composed and arranged by Shiro Sagisu, was recorded at Abbey Road Studios with performances by the London Studio Orchestra, as well as a choir. An album featuring full-track selections from the film's score, Shiro SAGISU Music from "Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone", was released on September 26, 2007 with the catalog number KICA-887. This album is akin to a symphonic suite, highlighting Sagisu's compositions without the editing required to fit the film's scenes. The Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone Original Sound Track, with the complete score as heard in the film, including Utada Hikaru's "Beautiful World" and "Fly Me To The Moon," was released on May 25, 2008 with the catalog number KICA-886. Many of the tracks on both soundtracks are rearranged versions of songs from the original series, with piano arrangements being particularly numerous. Among the new compositions is "Angel of Doom" ("EM21_Premix#070705" on the Original Soundtrack), which was used in a promotional clip for the film and can be heard during the fight against Ramiel at the end of the film.