At some points in our life we will watch something so profound that it connects with us at that time, speaks to us most at a moment more than any other time in our life and stays with us.
As it goes it was said that Evangelion was first conceived as a somewhat normal weekly Mecha TV series until the mid point where it took a drastic turn due to it’s creator Hideaki Anno suffering from depression. He put this event of his life into the series as things began to fall apart for it with it’s budget and used the character of Shinji Ikari to represent what he was going through. “I mustn’t run away, I mustn’t run away!”. – Shinji
The series ended, over budget, unable to fully depict it’s ending with animation and became more of an analyses of Shinji through flash backs and unfinished animation with Shinji’s eventual redemption of self by claiming he wanted to live in the “real world”. Most people were unhappy that a series that was building to so much ended on such an uneventful two part episode. No action, no depiction of third impact (except through Shinji’s mind). I personally liked it, I found it to be a powerful piece and very effecting, particularly this piece of dialogue “A person who truly hates himself cannot love others”.
In these Evangelion animated Movies I get the sense that Shinji is a stronger character this time around. The Shinji of the TV series was a product of it’s time. This time round it’s Evangelion but different. As Mentioned, Shinji is stronger. Not only that but he is closer to Rei and Asuka. Asuka is likeable, Gendo seems actually nicer in this movie and almost has dinner with Shinji, Rei too is a more emotional person and pushing Gendo to eat with his son. I wonder why characters are nicer towards Shinji this time? Could it be related to the previous third impact?
The animation is beautiful and looks amazing on the big screen. We get to see Tokyo 3 (Hakone) a little more active with bustling streets. I don’t know how the heck they can clean up the mess left after battles with Angels each time though.
There is a new character too called Mari who looks like a female version of Gendo. Sorry for putting that thought out there to those of you who had a thing for her. She’s crazy and an excellent Eva pilot. She even goes berserker in some kind of beast mode in her Eva.
The big events such as the Unit 03 being infected by an Angel are almost the same except for the emotional whammy of Asuka being it’s pilot instead of Toji which was pretty horrifying to watch as Shinji’s Unit 01’s dummy plug kicks in and tears the angel apart, finally crushing the pilot plug of Asuka with it’s teeth. This time Shinji knows who’s inside, however when the dummy plug activates he is completely oblivious to what’s happening.
The final battle with the angel Zeruel is excellent and the epic music (The Final Decision We All Must Take) that was heard in numerous trailers for this kicks into gear here. Rei is eaten by an Angel but Shinji defeats Zeruel and takes Rei back which starts Third impact. The end.
Kaworu appears after the credits at the end of 2.0 and stops Third impact from happening. He floats down from the sky with the Eva Unit 06, controlling it much like he controlled unit 02 in the series. Does this now mean they know he is an Angel? He tells Shinji that he will make him happy this time. This could mean that movie 3 and 4 are going to be radically different.
There is a brief preview of the next movie which I can’t wait for. We see Asuka back too in Pirate fashion. Usually Japanese Cinema audiences are silent as they leave the theater but the crowd was a buzz with talk after this movie. I too was pretty hyped leaving and couldn’t help smiling. Of all the summer movies I saw this was the best one and the one that actually gave you something to think about, to chew on while leaving with anticipation of the next sequel.
I consider Neon Gensis Evangelion to be one of the greatest Japanese Animations ever made. As I see it, this is leading to the fourth incarnation of the events of the series ending. These include the original TV series, The End of Evangelion, the Manga and Rebuild. It seems to be rehashing the same popular series each time and I do hope it would go outside the boundaries more, showing events after the end. But I think “Rebuild of Evangelion” is going to radically change what’s going to come. I can’t wait.
Favorite Quote: “This time it will be different, I’ll make you experience paradise” – Kaworu