The movie is bloody fantastic. Not just because it’s Evangelion, I’m not that big an Eva fan even though it’s pretty much one of my first mecha anime all the way back about 10 years ago or so. The animation, shock value, story, deaths and battle scenes alone make it really exciting and watchable, adding onto the sense of nostalgia invoked. I was seated beside LianYL, and some random woman who was accompanying her boyfriend. The woman didn’t get the story, no surprise, since it’s a sequel to the first Evangelion movie. Then again, the boyfriend didn’t either. But as I prepared to laugh at them, I realised I didn’t get what the fuck was going on either, besides giant monsters descending to try to destroy Earth multiple times and giant robot monsters saving the day time and ago. In a gory fashion with lots of blood and destruction, topped off with meaningless religious motifs and jargon.
The thing about Eva I don’t like is its pretentiousness, especially in referring to the good old 2000 year old version of Harry Potter. The Japanese find it cool of course, to make lots of references and allusions to the Bible, but it’s sort of as cool as making references to Harry Potter. Yeah it’s funny when done in the style of Gintama or South Park (ooh I love South Park now), but when it takes itself seriously, it becomes cringe-worthy.
Nevertheless, this minor setback aside, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, with its complete revamp of the original animation series. The first movie was roughly a condensed version of the initial part of the series, but the 2nd is where the deviations occur, and boy are they big ones. I shan’t spoil it for you much except Asuka DIESSSSSSS. DIEEEEESSS like the COCKROACH under YOUR CRUSHED SLIPPER. Just kidding, she doesn’t die because she appears in the preview for 3.0 with a giant eyepatch pirate-style. Rei dies too. There’s this cocky new pilot megane character who looks straight from Air Gear, she’s quite funny and beast-like.
The voice-acting is fine, except when they spoke in English. While most of them were OK, much better than the usual standards, Kaji’s seiyuu was horrible English-wise. Rei also becomes a hell lot more responsive in 2.0, I distinctly remember her being little more than a doll from Darker than Black, but now she’s sort of into cooking and matchmaking too. Asuka progresses really fast down the tsundere route and has tonnes of fanservice, but she dies so you can’t fap over dead people. I never liked Misato, she’s a very 90s character, the beer-drinking uncouth adult single woman stereotype.
But the single biggest difference in 2.0 is that Shinji is not a wimp. In fact, Shinji becomes a total clone of Renton from Eureka seveN, while Rei becomes a Eureka. The final battle of the movie was very very E7 in style, with flashy lights and metamorphosis of robots. At the end of the movie, I thought 2.0 was E7 with added gore and Bible names replacing Rock names. That makes it awesome though. There were parts where the Ikari Dad acts like Holland, and pressures RentonShinji into running away, only to return when help is needed. He’s a lot better as a main character now.
The battles and their animation are the best seen in anime I think. I don’t think I’ve seen better animation for mecha. The only ones that comes close are Diebuster, also by Gainax and maybe GitS. The new Angel designs are beautiful aesthetically, and the sheer destruction they bring is pleasing. There’s no longer much emphasis on the Eva weaponry, in fact only the twin-tailed non-Asuka girl uses weapons much and she chuck them aside quickly. Most of the fighting was done hand-to-hand or rather, MOUTH TO FACE.
The funny part about the movie is that it never ends, it’s like there were several points I thought were the ending of the show, mostly after big battles the pilots barely win. But no, suddenly they continue into drama and civilian life again. I was praying that there would be no cliff hangers and that battles would be concluded properly, and my prayers were almost totally answered. Except for the final battle where Shinji wins and then suddenly the credits roll after everyone says OH 3rd IMPACT WOOOOOOO. At this point, 3/4 of the cinema goers left and I had a huge amount of pee stored up but had to stay because I suspected there were more scenes after the credits.
My guess was correct and there was a cliffhanger showing Kaoru stabbing Shinji’s Eva with a lance from the Moon, and then the preview for 3.0 was shown. HAHA LOSER people who left early missed this! My pee stream lasted an exact 60 seconds, I timed it.
The Japanese, besides Ghibli, don’t make good movies in general. Almost all the live action movies are horrible. Most of the animated ones are mediocre, such as Vexille, Steamboy, Brave Story, Shamballa, E7 Pocket Full of Rainbows, the 10000 Naruto/Bleach/Dragon Ball originals etc. Because of this, and the fact that Eva’s actually great, I think Eva 2.0 is sure as high a must-watch.