The third film is definitely the one with the most mixed reviews. In a way, it makes sense. Evangelion 2.0’s ending shook the foundation of the rebuild franchise in a lot of ways and it was up to the next film in over to respond to it. How Evangelion 3.0 responded to 2.0’s conclusion didn’t really satisfy viewers of it in anyway at first. It just gave more plot elements without providing much of anything in how everything got that way. New questions were asked without giving any answers to what was given. I am of a couple minds too because I can see this point, but I am in the minority of people who really appreciate the film for what it is. I mean, it’s a setup movie for 3.0+1.0. 3.0 is also Evangelion, so it never goes with audience expectations. Anno and Evangelion do what they want.
The disc release of Evangelion 3.0 took forever to come out. Especially since it was first viewed in theaters in small bits of showings in 2013. There was a bit of a problem with the subtitles show in theaters from the reactions that Studio Khara saw from the small number of showings. For four years, people who pre ordered Evangelion 3.0 never got their release until it appeared one day out of the blue. It showed up in a light blue slip cover that kind of looks like Rei’s hair color. At least that is my interpretation if we go with Asuka’s color being the color of 2.0. The blue is a much softer color that feels much more appealing and comfier. Only took four long and painful years to ever come out and I thought it was worth it.
Evangelion 3.0: You Can (Not) Redo is a film that takes place exactly 14 years after 2.0. Everything has changed. The world was once again almost completely destroyed. After some cool theatrics with Asuka in space to recover Evangelion Unit 1 and is taken to power the ship called the Wunder, a ship controlled by the organization that opposes Nerv called Wille, Shinji wakes up in a place that he doesn’t remember angry and wondering where Rei was. Surely, he saved her right? In fact, all he gets is anger from everyone. Misato refuses to speak to him, Asuka hasn’t aged at all a lot like Shinji who is the same kid from before. A collar around his neck, Shinji escapes from the Wunder with a mysterious Rei immediately afterwards.
All of that was in the first 25 or so minutes and you can see why some people didn’t like this film. There is a distinct lack of communication in it. Shinji doesn’t know where he is, no one tells him above the bare minimum, no one wants to talk to him, we don’t see the majority of the Evangelion cast after the beginning, and so many other things. For instance, the movie could have been resolved a bit better if people actually talked to Shinji instead of ignoring him. I really liked the opening though. It really puts the viewers in the mind frame of Shinji because we don’t know what is going on either. Also, the isolation is clearly the point here. With Shinji being alone and his most vulnerable, he is suffering the consequences of his actions for reasons he doesn’t know about. Shinji faces the long isolation of being so single minded and people not approving him. Still don’t know anything about Mari yet though.
It’s possible to feel the isolation in the film when Shinji is brought to Nerv again, which is what really sells me on that theme. Nerv is so desolate because there is only a handful of people including a version of Rei that is like a robot, this mysterious boy named Kaworu, Gendo, Fuyutski, and Shinji himself. Shinji tries to talk to Rei or get her involved with any sort of conversation, but she can’t and it angers him. Even the familiar is different and wrong. There is nothing here for him. In the end, there is only Kaworu to talk to in their very many piano duos and conversations where the two start to connect. Especially the very large and revealing conversation when Kaworu shows Shinji what is left of Tokyo 3. As in, there is nothing.
Of it that combines into the final battle sequence at the end of 3.0. Kaworu giving Shinji a piece of hope in that, by piloting unit 13 and taking the spears out of Adam to remake the world. With Rei in her unit 8 with them, all they have to do is walk on the piles and piles of skulls waiting to see what happens. Of course, Asuka and Mari show up in their own units followed by the Wunder to stop the incident. There is an epic fight sequence with Asuka vs the pair in Unit 13 and Mari vs Rei in Unit 8. In the end, the fourth impact almost starts because of how desperate Shinji is to redo his destruction of the world. Luckily, everything stops in the end and Asuka is left dragging the depressed Shinji and emotionless Rei away from the remainders of that combat scene. A lot of good, complex, and emotional things going on. Also, finally Gendo Ikari is finally framed as the final villain of the franchise itself. Wild.
Visually, Evangelion 3.0 was the most visually impressive rebuild film at that time. I mean, that makes sense, right? Technology just moves forward and that’s all that just the name of the game for all of these things. The motion captured and roto scoped characters and Evangelion movements were more well done, there was a lot more things going on in terms of craziness with lots of still shots as usual when they are needed and the action kicking ass when they need to. Anno also had a lot more of his indulgences into it too with more Space Battleship Yamato with eva hybrid things in the beginning with flying ships and things like that. I love it all. I love when a creator makes a thing for themselves and it connects with people. So I love this film more because Anno got to see and do more here.
In the end, I really liked Evangelion 3.0. I am in the minority camp for that for liking it, but it’s a good emotional piece of film. Just going to say it now, I don’t care as much of pieces of media have plot holes as long as they get the whole experience correct. Evangelion 3.0 has that experience down pact. That feel of loneliness and being stuck in a place and wanting to do something to get out of it. You Can (Not) Redo captures that. So what if everything could have been avoided or resolved very quickly if characters talk to each other. Imagine this, a series that looks at how communication between people did that. Have you heard of Evangelion before? Especially since people being mad against other people is always going to be an irrational thing. So yes, I am going to give Evangelion 3.0 the ranking of a good watch. Come at me. Anyway, I guess I will see you all on Friday for 3.0+1.0.