Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo

Ikari Shinji

14 years after third impact, Ikari Shinji awakens to a world he does not remember. He hasn’t aged. Much of Earth is laid in ruins, Nerv has been dismantled, and people who he once protected have turned against him. Befriending the enigmatic Nagisa Kaworu, Shinji continues the fight against the angels and realizes the fighting is far from over, even when it could be against his former allies. The characters’ struggles continue amidst the battles against the angels and each other, spiraling down to what could inevitably be the end of the world. (Source: ANN)

We find ourselves in a conundrum: having primarily written reviews on individual episodes lasting an average of twenty or so minutes each for nearly three years, whenever a film comes around, it’s a struggle to write a review about it. Fully aware that having just finished watching the film without even starting to absorb everything we saw and heard, we won’t be able to do our ultimate thoughts justice in this hastily written review. So instead we’re going to try to keep things as brief and simple as possible, starting with our verdict on the third Evangelion film: It was good. Very good. Everything we were hoping for, and far more than we could have expected.

Ayanami Rei

It occurs to us that back in June 2010 (about three months before we started up RABUJOI), after returning from a trip to Tokyo and having been bombarded with promotional material for the second film, we did just that: keep it simple. That review was just 465 words, back before we had written many reviews. We didn’t re-watch the first two films, but we did re-read our review of the second in preparation for the third. In hindsight, we needn’t have bothered. The third film is all-new, continuing the trend of showing us an Eva we have never seen before, drawing from a dense mythos that has endured and thrived for 16 years now.

Like the Children, the Eva franchise is a teenager, and a moody, fiery one at that. It lashes out and grabs you from the thrilling opening minutes, and as usual, even when we found ourselves as lost and confused in all the sci-fi, crypto-theological techno-babble, elaborate mechanical feats, and apotheothetic explosions as Shinji, we still loved every minute of it. But strip away all the fancy eye candy, and intentionally or not, Anno Hideaki tells a very simple story in this film. It’s about Shinji waking up after an amount of time equal to his entire life, finding that everything is different and nothing makes sense, and being totally unable to deal with that.

Asuka Langley Soryu

With his new friend Nagisa Kaworu (AKA Seele’s Child), Shinji calms down and is able to find a purpose in this new world, only that purpose not only makes him an enemy of his friends, but also threatens to destroy the world rather than save it. Still, even when Kaworu warns him not to, Shinji follows through, makes a bigger mess, and has to be bailed out by Kaworu, who becomes the thirteenth angel. He saves Shinji, and by stopping the fourth impact, saves the world as it stands and everyone in it.

Dejected by the loss of Kaworu, with whom he had bonded so deeply, and aware that his actions have somehow been the cause of everything thus far, Shinji cowers in the darkness of his ejected and soft-landed cockpit plug. He’s afraid to move, to do anything else that will hurt others. But then Asuka finds him, pulls him out, grabs him by the hand and makes him move forward with her. Rei has also landed nearby, and what do you know, the three kids are reunited for the grand finale. After dealing with a world where everything had changed and everyone rejected him, and the only person who didn’t died, Shinji now has a little bit of stability back.

His dad is a distant ass and he never knew his mom, so these two girls, whatever else they might be, are his family.

Rating: 9 (Superior)

Stray Observations:

  • Misato and Ritsuko looked so different and were so cold to Shinji, at first we thought he’d ended up in an alternative universe.
  • Their organization Wille seems to be a counterbalance to NERV.
  • Wille’s flagship, the Wunder, is suitably awesome. It’s the Avenger’s flying aircraft carrier on steroids, and its bridge is just nuts.
  • Mari Makinami Illustrious remains a very mysterious and somewhat one-note character. She’s just kinda around to back Asuka up and fire off quips. We get it; nothin’ fazes you!
  • Rei’s little hut is just as depressing as her old apartment, with many of the same trappings. 
  • It’s a little detail, but we like how Anno stuck with the same design for title cards as the original series, including the series of flashes at the end of the “A-part”.
  • The film was prety light on fanservice, but at this point Asuka’s entire character design is pure fanservice.
  • Turns out Rei is a cloned copy of Shinji’s mother Yui. Like we said…family!
  • Asuka has ceased calling Shinji “idiot”. She’s moved on to “brat.”
  • Gendou is willing to sacrifice everything in order to complete the Human Instrumentality Project and “kill God”. Shit’s heavy, man.
  • Man, there’s nothing quite like hearing that classic preview music at the end. That is how you do a fucking preview.
  • After our initial post-watching excitement, we’ve reduced the rating to 9. The original tv series would probably score a 10 were we to rate it, and at the end of the day none of the new films quite stand on the same level as the original.

13 thoughts on “Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo”

  1. There was fanservice in this film?! I was so confused I didn’t notice any fanservice.

    1. Rei is shown naked from behind, and both Rei, Mari and Asuka are wearing tight, form-fitting plug suits. It’s not exactly raunchy, but it does fit the loose definition.

      1. Ah, I see. I do suppose that Shinji walking in on Rei may constitute fanservice but in terms of the plug-suits, don’t Shinji and Kaworu wear them as well?

  2. Did you see the same movie? Because, I’m fan of Evangelion for years and this movie was terrible. I didn’t like. Everybody hates Shinji for third impact? Puuff, Asuka and the others childers with the same aged, my GOD, this idea so stupid. Masterpiece? Where? Master piece original anime, only one.

    1. If you’re saying our effluent love of this film is unreasonable and inexplicable considering how inferior it is to the original Eva…guilty as charged~

    2. Everyone has a right to hate Shinji for 3rd Impact, whether he did it deliberately or not. They were stewing in their own feelings of resentment for 14 years and it all built up to this. Misato probably feels guilty for encouraging Shinji at the end of the second movie but she’s probably found peace with herself by passing on the entire blame to Shinji. Remember, 14 years is a considerable amount of time. A lot of things can pass through a person’s mind in a day, much more so in 14 years. As for the “Curse of the EVA”, I thinks it was a bad idea as well but I think she has matured, if not externally then surely emotionally and mentally.

      1. Thanks for your thoughts. We actually don’t mind everyone hating Shinji when he suddenly comes back…he is after all the source of a lot of their problems. It’s just a rough hand to be dealt Shinji, since as we said, 14yrs is twice as long as he’s been alive. I thought Asuka’s character design was much more grizzled, even if she didn’t age as much as she should have.

    3. yeah, the gimmick about the Eva curse was really tacky and obviously forced because Japan doesn’t take interests in mature characters when it comes to anime. The new design for the airships and clothing are beyond ridiculous too based on what was originally established by the series. And then we have Shinji going to his old ways again… Redundant and nonsensical is what 3.0 was; it fails at so many levels it makes me want cry.

  3. for me is more like a 3/10.

    1.0 ans 2.0 are required watching, but the end result is that 3.0 might have been better off as a stand-alone movie, since it does not make very good use of the previous material, nor does it cover any expectations one might have had coming from them. It would not stand on its own legs either way.

    The enigmatic Kaworu who very briefly appeared the previous installments serves as a temporary relief for the mind of our protagonist, who at this time it has become clear is the only character with more than two dimensions in the movie

    When even that very protagonist shows signs of unnecessarily lowering himself to the level of stupidity apparently shared by all in this movie, there just isn’t a reason to care any more. Thanks to the plot-moving stupidity now also found in Shinji, another Impact explosion is about to occur nearing the end, and with the frequency of which these impacts occur it might be a good idea to include a spot for them in the weather forecast. All that remains after this is the wait for the inevitable stopping of said impact, following a disappointingly predictable routine now.

    Possibly worse is it if one has watched the original TV-drama, as one realizes that nearly none of the crucial elements that held the story together have been transferred to this new rendition. When some of its principal characters become mere shells of their former selves (quite literally for Rei who by far suffer the most in this category) and don’t interact on any meaningful level, disappointment will only set itself in harder.

    3.0 is simply the complete destruction of several years of work, and all the expectation of the Evangelion fans. Hideaki Anno, like George Lucas did previously, has destroyed in one movement a legendary legacy.

  4. I am extremely surprised at the number of people who where confused or disappointed at this film. I am confused as to whether or not we just saw the same movie. If this movie is confusing then Evangelion is not the series for you, stick to something lighter and easier to digest. EVA has always been for the hardcore anime fans and 3.0 delivered a mind-blowing epic storyline with absolutely amazing visuals.

    It was a surprise that the story took a different turn, but it was pleasant because its new material for the true EVA fans. Do you really just want to keep watching a remake of the old series crammed into an 1hr with better graphics? Not only is this new material, but it is executed extremely well, and I am sure the true EVA fans can appreciate. The storyline is so deep and touches elements of philosophy, psychology, and spirituality. It’s understandable that many people simply cannot fully grasp all the depth that is contained in this film.

  5. i think its an awesome series…well poor shinji cause everyone put all the blame on him..well something doesnt change from those who willing to do anything even people told them not to do so…LOL ..anyway thankss japan..4 these great anime…really love it

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