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REVIEW: Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion




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PurpleWarrior13



Joined: 05 Sep 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:47 pm Reply with quote
Technically ADV never had this movie. Manga Entertainment did, but they brought back ADV’s cast through Amanda Winn Lee’s Gaijin Productions.
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Ethe



Joined: 10 Jun 2017
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:27 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
And though her battle ends in failure, she falls with arms held high, selfhood maintained even as her body is broken.


Huh, that's an interesting way to look at it that I hadn't really considered before. Can't say I agree with it, though. In fact, Asuka's death is one of the reasons why I can't say for sure whether I like this movie or not.

Mind you, I think Asuka's death is beautifully written, but it ultimately clashes with the hopeful message of the movie. I don't see her final moments as her maintaining her sense of self-hood, but rather a regression. I see one of the most tragic, hopeless, and devastating deaths in all of anime (and I don't even like the character that much). I see a girl who for a moment thought she had overcome her inner struggles, but who, in the the blink of an eye, has all that confidence striped away from her. The badass Asuka that was destroying Evas left and right is reduced to this:



Once again, she's a crying, helpless child.

Her last moments are a mix pure rage and pointless struggling, before being brutally mutilated. No hope for salvation whatsoever.

All of Asuka's problems stemmed from her mother ignoring her, choking her, and begging her to die alongside her. And for a moment, EoE makes us that think that Asuka has overcome the trauma those events caused her; it makes us think that she's ready to live life again. But what ends up happening is exactly what her crazy mother wished for: they both die together. It's a hopeless and beautifully tragic irony that muddles the positive message EoE tries to convey in the end.

This movie wanted me to feel hopeful, but it didn't work for me, especially since Asuka being revived in the final scene felt cheap after that gruesome but wonderfully written and thematically meaningful death.

So yeah. I like Asuka's death and I like the message of the movie. It's just that those two things don't go well together.
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pachy_boy



Joined: 09 Mar 2006
Posts: 1098
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 3:07 pm Reply with quote
The End of Evangelion is not just one of my favorite anime movies, it's one of my favorite movies period. I always feel combative/defensive whenever anyone says this movie was unnecessary, and one could be perfectly happy with the series as-is, including its last two episodes. Sorry, but that's absolutely not true whatsoever--and pretentious as this may sound, I feel that's considerably more fact than opinion.

When I first watched the series all the way through to its last two episodes, my primary thought was--"interesting", and not much else. I've said this somewhere before--don't tell me I don't understand what those last two episodes were trying to do, but two episodes of philosophical abstraction don't cut it as a story ending to the story I was following. That last shot of the ensemble cast applauding "congratulations" was clearly meant to imply a happy-feeling type of ending, but a part of me had always felt it was deceitful. These people (souls?) were floating high above a clearly desecrated Earth. Regardless of the message of hope the finale was trying to impart, I didn't feel satisfied whatsoever unless I knew--not what "really" happened, but what really happened.

And that's what I got and more with the movie, what I consider to be its true ending. There's too much to appreciate--such as seeing Asuka recover from her break in spirit, fight as a warrior one last time, and although she dies cruelly she still died a warrior, which I vastly prefer to the last time we see her for real in Episode 23.

Yes The End of Evangelion is horrific and cruel, but there's also a strange beauty to it, especially in its second half. It should've been clear just from the series alone that the story was heading in a dark direction to begin with, and this movie's bleakness was undeniable earned despite what some fans would've preferred. No matter how many times I've rewatched it (countless times, really, even without watching the series first), I'm always taken for an emotional roller-coaster ride and feel an imparted cathartic sense by the end of it. We may not know where Shinji and Asuka go from where they are, but if the original DVD cover is any indication (as well as a certain Sadamoto artwork of the two characters in the aftermath) it seems that one way or another they'll be fine enough all things considered. I got way more out of this movie than I ever did the last two episodes, and this movie is what officially made me an Evangelion fan to begin with, and made me officially appreciate the last two episodes. And if you hate this movie, it's still worth having watched it just to confirm your preference for the last two episodes as your favorite ending.

My personal comments on the dub--I grew up with the ADV version of the series, but putting that aside the Netflix dub still did a great job with it (my only complaint being the terms "second children" and "third children", which make zero sense in English which they surely must have realized would confuse viewers), and I'll admit I think the actor for Shinji turned out a better fit than Spike Spencer, even though I still like Spencer's protrayal. Anyway, they made an equally solid effort with this movie, but if I had to draw any significant comparison between this and the Manga version (not ADV, although it still used most of the same original cast) it's thus--it is the moment where Shinji asks Rei, "what are dreams?" The whole entire dialogue exchange that follows it--I strongly feel the Manga version had a more poetic flow/beat to it. It was a part of what always took me along for the dreamlike ride before I was rhythmically eased back into reality which lead to the endling's strangely cathartic tone. For these same sequences, the dialogue interchange in the Netflix dub version felt far more blunt by comparison--which I guess is truer to the original Japanese, which was Netflix's intent with Evangelion from the get-go. There is nothing wrong with that, and again the Netflix dub was a solid effort--but for me this masterpiece of a movie (I genuinely mean that) was my personal ultimate test in which English version I'm going back to, and it's really helped me make up my mind, but I'm just speaking for myself. Still, should an American blu-ray release ever happen anytime in the future, I would hope it includes both English tracks.


Last edited by pachy_boy on Thu Jul 11, 2019 3:28 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Sailor Star Dust



Joined: 18 Aug 2010
Posts: 162
Location: US and A
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 3:26 pm Reply with quote
The death threats were actually about Death and Rebirth, not end of TV (as you can see, most were praising the film): https://wiki.evageeks.org/End_of_Evangelion_Death_Threats

I'm just a little shocked to see those old Eva common misconceptions still making their rounds in this day and age, I guess.

Besides that, this was a really beautiful review for EoE. Really a good read! Smile As I've gotten older, I find myself moreso preferring the metaphysical TV end to what was happening in reality/also metaphysical Instrumentality of EoE's one more final (heh), but both beautifully fit their respective pieces of the puzzle. ("I want to see them again, because I believe my feelings were real." Arrow "Congratulations!" I'll refrain my crazy butt from arguing for literal end concurrency here, hah, but on a narrative level, both ends have always beautifully fit.)
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H. Guderian



Joined: 29 Jan 2014
Posts: 1144
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 4:53 pm Reply with quote
Since we're passing out A+ ratings...

Article quality: A+

I can always talk about Eva, but I'll see you fine folks on the convention scene to do so.
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R. Kasahara
Collector ExtraordinaireCollector Extraordinaire


Joined: 19 Feb 2013
Posts: 232
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:31 pm Reply with quote
Great review. EoE is one of my favorite movies, and this did it justice without spoiling everything for those who may be new to it.

Quote:
as she drags the half-conscience teen towards battle

Very interesting typo!

Ethe wrote:
All of Asuka's problems stemmed from her mother ignoring her, choking her, and begging her to die alongside her.

I hadn't thought about connecting Shinji's choking Asuka with her mother doing the same until I saw your comment here. Maybe this is at least a part of what her "Disgusting" line is about, and plays back into the idea that Shinji hasn't grown from his experiences after all.
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BadNewsBlues



Joined: 21 Sep 2014
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:39 pm Reply with quote
pachy_boy wrote:
And if you hate this movie, it's still worth having watched it just to confirm your preference for the last two episodes as your favorite ending.


I was always under the pretense that the ending to the TV show was widely hated to the point the people who liked it would be in a considerable minority..
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killjoy_the



Joined: 30 May 2015
Posts: 1907
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:16 pm Reply with quote
EoE is my favorite movie ever (granted I'm not much of a movie person). Really great review, Nick, glad you wrote this. I teared up a little through your Komm susser paragraph but also I'm a crybaby.
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GeorgeC



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 757
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:10 pm Reply with quote
PurpleWarrior13 wrote:
Technically ADV never had this movie. Manga Entertainment did, but they brought back ADV’s cast through Amanda Winn Lee’s Gaijin Productions.


That is correct.
Gainax wanted more money than ADV was willing or able to pay which is why Death&Rebirth and End of Evangelion ended up with Manga Video.
Manga Video specialized in licensing feature films like Ghost in the Shell and shorter OVA series like Orguss II and Macross Plus. As far as I know, the only long TV shows they licensed and co-released were the GiTS Stand Alone Complex TV series which they did with Bandai as a production partner for the home video releases in North America.

Manga never released a properly remastered Platinum edition of the original Eva films on DVD in the Statues. The only releases I'm aware of were the first editions and those sold out fairly quickly and once the license ended, Manga never re-licensed the original Eva films. (ADV Films had the license to the original Evangelion TV series for far longer and released the far-superior Renewal/remaster of Evangelion as the Platinum Edition in North America. The PE itself had at least 3 separate releases on DVD.) I don't care about Death&Rebirth because they're compilation films (and really add NOTHING substantial to the storyline) but End of Evangelion is the true ending to the TV series as far as I'm concerned.

The original 3 Eva films were bundled on the Blu ray release of the Neon Genesis Evangelion TV series in Japan -- which is OOP now and didn't have English subtitles or the original English audio track.
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GATSU



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2019 9:33 am Reply with quote
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Cardcaptor Takato



Joined: 27 Jan 2018
Posts: 1583
PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2019 1:39 pm Reply with quote
As someone who has always loved the TV series ending, I have a lot of mixed feelings about the End of Eva but I love the film as a whole. I feel like the second part of it is stronger than the first half which I always had issues with some actions by the characters in the first part. Like I just always found it hard to believe that spoiler[NERV would have a harder time fighting against fellow humans than the Angels and the reason they gave for it never came across as convincing to me]. I also agree with the above post that Asuka's spoiler[death does feel a bit cheapened by her revival even if it thematically makes sense for the finale.]

I think where End of Eva really shines is in the second part which ironically feels like an extension of the abstract philosophical exploration of the supposedly hated TV series finale, right down to the creatively unique mix of live action footage. I also agree with the above post about Shinji and Rei's dialog during the Komm Susser Tod scene being one of the most inspiring and thought provoking moments in the series and in all of anime in general. Ultimately I feel both endings compliment each other as the TV series provides the necessary emotional catharsis we needed while the movie provides the necessary answers to the questions around lore while simultaneously providing more questions about what all of it means. And both endings succeed by getting the viewers to think and reflect on our live and challenge ourselves and encourage passionate discussion over their hemes and message.
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Marzan



Joined: 29 Mar 2009
Posts: 402
PostPosted: Sun Jul 14, 2019 10:16 am Reply with quote
First of all let me start by saying that this is one of the best reviews I've read here in recent times. Really well written and heartfelt too.

On a personal level, it took a long time for me to see E of E after the original series. Must have been 3 or 4 years before I could get hold of it. As a result, I always had a hard time accepting it as a "real" ending. It felt like a concession to the critics, "you want an ending? Yoou want a real action packed ending? We'll give you a one!" I specially did not like the scene with Misato kissing Shinji. While I understood the reasons why Misato did what she did, I still felt it was strangely out of place.

With time, I've not only accepted E of E, but grown to appreciate it as the absolutely incredible film that it is, one of the finest examples of the medium and a fitting ending to NGE. I'm happy that Netflix has made this great film to a greater audience.
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Arale Kurashiki



Joined: 24 Aug 2015
Posts: 560
PostPosted: Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:43 am Reply with quote
Never even understood why people would argue which ending is better since you should obviously be watching them both anyway.
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Cardcaptor Takato



Joined: 27 Jan 2018
Posts: 1583
PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2019 9:28 pm Reply with quote
Arale Kurashiki wrote:
Never even understood why people would argue which ending is better since you should obviously be watching them both anyway.
I think it was understandable back in the day when fans didn't know if anything would ever get resolved, but complaining about the TV series ending feels like beating a dead horse at this point.
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Mr. sickVisionz



Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 2040
PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 12:47 pm Reply with quote
Ahh, EoE. I bought this a couple of weeks after buying the show on box set. I couldn't get into it. Too much visual metaphor for me. I didn't understand what I was seeing on a literal level that nothing in the TV show ever came remotely close to.

Definitely a cool looking movie though. I'll probably never see another exploding space vagina on film.
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