Mecha Monday: Evangelion: 3.33 You Can (Not) Redo

One of the major anime movie releases of the year, Evangelion: 3.33, has finally seen a blu-ray release recently. While I’m fairly experienced in the Evangelion series, I wouldn’t consider myself a huge fan. Still, I definitely enjoyed  the first Rebuild movies, so I was anticipating 3.33 for a while now. I made somewhat of a mistake not re-watching the first two movies before picking this one up, but in some ways I think it gave me a fresh point of view to reassess how good this movie in particular was. Without further ado, let’s get into the nitty gritty.

A shot from the preview at the end of 2.22. Guess what? This didn't even happen in 3.33

A shot from the preview at the end of 2.22. Guess what? This didn’t even happen in 3.33

By the way, expect major spoilers from here on in! You’ve been warned~

Evangelion: 3.33 is the third in a series of 4 movies, intended to be a “Rebuild of Evangelion”, whatever that’s supposed to mean. Directed by Hideaki Anno, the man behind the original TV series and movie End of Evangelion, it definitely has all the charm (and issues) of the old Evangelion series. Still, something about the fresh new animation and art has me excited for each movie, and I feel I enjoy them more as a result.

While the movie started out quite similarly to the original TV series, there have been several dramatic shifts (particularly around 2.22 and now in 3.33) that make the movies most definitely not just a “retelling” of the original Eva story. Of course whether or not the movies and the TV series are connected, or the movie is simply an alternate universe, is up for much debate and likely won’t be solved until the final movie is over and done with.

I’ll just come out with it, then. I thought this movie was pretty boring. I’m not saying that a movie needs shiny lights and action to keep my attention, but I gotta say they definitely don’t hurt. The movie starts with a bang of course, with Asuka and Mari in space battling some enemy units from SEELE. As someone who has not seen 2.22, the previous movie, in quite some time, I was definitely fairly confused during the beginning of this movie.

That being said, I kind of enjoyed it. As Shinji wakes up in this movie, and everything is different, I begin to identify with him a bit. As it turns out, apparently Misato Katsuragi and several other former NERV members have split off into a new group called WILLE, which exists to oppose NERV. Or more specifically, its Evangelions. No one will tell Shinji what’s going on since he woke up, and it’s quite clear that things have changed quite dramatically since he last had consciousness. Eventually during a debriefing some information is dropped to Shinji, however. Fourteen years have passed since the events of the second movie.

Touji's younger sister, Sakura, grew up~ She's cute

Touji’s younger sister, Sakura, grew up~ She’s cute

After some startling revelations, and an incredibly cold reception from people he though were his friends (Misato, Ritsuko, and Asuka), Shinji is left at a loss. He’s been told he’s useless, and that he should never get near an Eva again. Everyone and everything he knew has changed. It’s a pretty crazy situation, really. My sympathy for Shinji reached an all-time high here, since everyone just seemed unreasonably mad at him.

As the movie progresses, Shinji is hijacked (though not against his will) by Rei Ayanami and is led to NERV, where he meets his father again. His father wants him to pilot the Eva Mk13 with a new pilot, a boy named Kaworu Nagisa. Kaworu is a warm fellow and Shinji takes to him quite quickly. Cue a very long section of some big knowledge bombs, including the details of the Human Instrumentality Project, the whereabouts of Ayanami Yui, and the true identity of Ayanami Rei.

The movie then comes to its climax with an interesting battle between Shinji, Asuka, Rei, and Mari. I’ve gotta say, the action definitely looks very impressive in this movie and I quite enjoyed it; I only wish there was a bit more. Shinji was unfortunately led down the wrong path yet again, and made the mistake of almost allowing the Fourth Impact to happen. Luckily Kaworu is not an idiot and ended up sacrificing himself to prevent the Doors of Guf from opening and beginning the Fourth Impact.

What ensued was an impressively red gout of LCL… Or blood, can never be quite sure with the stuff. As the blood clears, and the smoke from the explosion clears, we’re left with a red landscape. The only characters still around are Shinji, who’s left in a mentally unstable catonic state, Asuka, who quickly takes charge of the situation, and Rei, who quietly follows behind. According to Asuka, the only one of the three that has any information on the situation, she’s trying to lead them to where the Lillin are, though right now that doesn’t mean much of anything.

The movie ends with the 3 pilots together, Asuka, Shinji, and Rei. I liked that.

The movie ends with the 3 pilots together, Asuka, Shinji, and Rei. I liked that.

For a movie that was an hour and a half long, it felt like it went by too quickly. I had a real feeling of “That’s it?” as I got to the end. It seems like absolutely nothing from the 2nd movie was answered, and instead you’re left with a big gaping “What?”. Of course, that’s not totally true. Kaworu’s plot relevance came and went, the Human Instrumentality Project was explained, Rei and Yui’s identities were firmly established… A lot of things happened.

Unfortunately, for anyone familiar with the Evangelion series, none of this was very new information. As 3.33 took a significant departure from the TV series, I expected some more answers to the original material, instead of answers to questions I (and many other viewers, I’m sure!) already knew the answers to.

Unfortunately, I’m left in a giant sea of “What” as I finished the movie, and that’s how it’s going to be until the fourth and final movie sees release. As far as the content in the movie went, like I mentioned before, it was a lot of boring talking. There were a few neat action sequences, but for the most part it was Shinji’s mental breakdown and retreading some old information. For a new viewer it was probably a lot more interesting, but for anyone well-versed in the original series it’s not.

Kaworu, Shinji's new best friend. Truth be told, they were quite chummy in the movie... Too bad he died.

Kaworu, Shinji’s new best friend. Truth be told, they were quite chummy in the movie… Too bad he died.

As far as the characters go, some changed, some stayed the same. Shinji, who was beginning to become more stable, is suddenly thrust into a world he knows nothing about, a world where anyone who cared for him suddenly… Doesn’t. He makes one friend in this crazy new world, and the guy goes and dies. It’s not a happy time for Shinji. Poor guy, he tries but nothing really ever goes well for himself. As for Asuka, a lot has happened since 2.22. She has somehow come back to life (though everyone knew she didn’t die considering the preview at the end of 2.22) sporting an eye patch, but is otherwise the same as ever.

She definitely knows more about the current situation than any of the other 3 main pilots, considering Rei is essentially a doll, and Shinji was in a coma. She’s still awkward with expressing her feelings, but I enjoyed her character somewhat. I liked how she started calling Shinji “stupid” as she normally does. However, once he starts rebelling and stops doing what they tell him to do, she starts calling him a “brat”. It’s interesting and somewhat reflects the change in their relationship in this movie. That being said, it’s obvious that Asuka still cares for Shinji considering the end of the movie. She’s miffed at him for being useless, but she’s the one to take him out of the pod, clean him up, and lead him to (supposed) safety. What a nice girl~

Mari~ She's the best, of course. And it's not just because of the glasses (though that helps)!

Mari~ She’s the best, of course. And it’s not just because of the glasses (though that helps)!

I’m a huge fan of Mari, the new girl introduced in the Rebuild movies. She hasn’t done much, but she somehow managed to be the most interesting character in this movie. Probably the only self-assured character in the entire movie, and she’s just fun. She’s a great partner to Asuka since Asuka seems too uptight a lot of the time. Their dynamic throughout the movie was interesting, if unexplored. Additionally, her motives and just who she is, is also unexplained as of yet, so I’m hoping there’s a good deal left to her character.

The music, animation, and art was all well and good. The characters were okay, if a little mysterious because the situation that Shinji found himself in was very hectic and crazy. There wasn’t much time for him to acclimate to his surroundings at WILLE. He did get such an opportunity at NERV, but obviously the characters are going to be different. As far as the plot went, well there are definitely more questions than answers now. As a viewer I’m fairly unsatisfied, but I’m hoping for a very exciting conclusion to the series. Well, for now I’ll forget about it since the next movie will release on blu-ray quite far in the future from now.

Pros:

— Looks very nice!

— Raises a lot of new interesting questions for the plot

— Mari is great, Asuka is pretty good too

Cons:

— Shinji retains the status of “Sometimes I just wanna punch this guy in the face”

— Unfortunately no new questions about the Rebuild movies were answered. The viewer was dropped into a new world with very little info

— Ultimately fairly boring for anyone that knows the EVA TV series

Rating:

rating40

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Kaushik

I write about anime and stuff. Giant robots are pretty cool, too.

Kaushik

I write about anime and stuff. Giant robots are pretty cool, too.

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