Critic's Log - Earthdate: January 23, 2013. Review #31: Evangelion 2.0: You Can (Not) Advance.
Now that I've reviewed Evangelion 1.0, Here is Evangelion 2.0: You Can (Not) Advance, or Evangelion: Break, or Evangelion 2.22. *Hard Sigh* You get the picture. HERE'S EVANGELION 2.0!
Under constant attack by the Angels, NERV introduces two new pilots unto the fold: the mysterious Mari Illustrious Makinami and the intense Asuka Langley Shikinami. Parallel to the incursion, Gendo Ikari and SEELE proceed the secret project that involves both Rei and Shinji.
That's the premise of Evangelion 2.0 and that's all I can explain about the plot. To be technical, this is a Studio Khara production and this is obviously a sequel to Evangelion 1.0 and this sequel does not disappoint but it might play with your expectations if you haven't seen this but have seen the Original series. I can tell you one thing is that the animation in this movie is absolutely gorgeous and some of the action scenes are just epic and a visual treat to animation buffs out there. The 2-D and 3-D integration doesn't disappoint either. The animation alone will simply not disappoint
The music by Shiro Sagisu is another thing that does not disappoint. The soundtrack is EPIC! But I think it's a little too epic, he may have overdone the epic factor in the music because nearly every fight theme sounds like a final battle theme, "The Final Decision We All Must Take" is the highlight song in the movie and it's a great theme that compliments the scene greatly. Besides that, the soundtrack is amazing.
When it comes to voice acting, I will say this once more... The Japanese cast is excellent as always since the original series. Megumi Ogata is great as Shinji (as mixed reactions are probably involved with his character). Megumi Hayashibara as Rei, what more can you ask for? She is perfect as Rei for the show. Yuko Miyamura reprises her role as Asuka and she is wonderful as always. Kotono Mitsuishi is also great as Misato Katsuragi. Kouichi Yamadera reprises his role as Ryoji Kaji, which he still gives Kaji that cool deep voice. Fumihiko Tachiki is still LIKE A BOSS as Gendo Ikari. Last, but not least there's Maaya Sakamoto as Mari Illustrious Makinami and she was terrific as Mari. Like I said, the Japanese cast is excellent. So what about the dub? Like the first movie, the dub is a lot more tolerable than the ADV dub in the Original Series. Spike Spencer is pretty good as Shinji, Brina Palencia is okay as Rei in this movie but I think some parts sound a bit off. Tiffany Grant comes back as Asuka and all I can say is that when I heard she was coming back as Asuka, I only had one word to say. That word was...
To sum up Ms. Grant's performance, it is indeed Wunderbar. I think I'll have a beer for that one. Oh wait, I got a review to finish. ZHE BEER VILL HAVE TO VAIT FICKEN DUMBKOPFS! Allison Keith is once again much better as Misato Katsuragi than the Original Series' dub, Kudos to Ms. Keith. John Swasey is terrific as Gendo Ikari LIKE A BOSS. Trina Nishimura plays a very convincing performance as Mari because as much as I like Sakamoto-san as a seiyu and her role in this movie, Trina Nishimura also gives some credit in screaming her heart out while sounding either pissed off or just going fucking crazy in the heat of battle. Ms. Nishimura did give Mari quite the mouth in a couple for saying lines like "JUST...FUCKING...DIIIE!!!" and "POINT BLANK, SHITHEAD!". Ms. Nishimura doesn't deserve any props for this, but this is one little surprise to the dub for those that get surprised over a few swear words. Performance-wise, Ms. Nishimura was great as Mari and I look forward to hearing more of her in the movies to follow. So there's the good stuff in the cast. Now I'll mention a few that I think sound off, Colleen Clinkenbeard once again doesn't sound right for Dr. Akagi. As much as I like J. Michael Tatum, I was not in favor of him this time in this movie. Why can't anyone get Kaji right in any of the dubs? Besides the good and bad, it's a tolerable dub compared to the Original Series' dub. Please note that I don't think Colleen Clinkenbeard and J.Michael Tatum are terrible voice actors, they are both great if given the roles just right. I will say this one last time, the Japanese Cast is excellent, the Dub is great too, Mike McFarland's ADR direction is just as good as the first movie. Moving on.
When it comes to characters, Shinji Ikari does whine a bit in this one, but with reasons. Rei Ayanami has resemblence to the plot throughout the movie. Asuka is like her old self except with a few new twists. She doesn't have a thing for Kaji and Thank God that's over with. I thought the whole "14 year old girl having a thing towards a man twice her age" scenario to be unsettling (but there was a reasoning to this in the original series). Another new twist is that in the Rebuild series, her name is Asuka Langley Shikinami instead of Asuka Langley Soryu. I don't know what else is different about her. Her EVA's debut was awesome in this movie though, so she makes quite the introduction in this iteration of the franchise. Misato is an interesting character from time to time just in the Rebuild alone at this point. She was also interesting in the original series as well. Kaji is alright, Mari is a nice addition but her character development is a bit poorly done. I'll admit that for a fictional character, she's kinda hot. Honestly, they could have made her both hot and interesting at the same time. it's not that hard. Even if Mari's character development is a bit weak compared to the others, there is one particular scene that kind of redeems this and it is undeniably Mari's highlight moment in the entire movie.
Please note that if you have not seen this movie, I don't suggest watching this video.
Seeing this scene for the first time gave me chills down my spine and it just blows my balls off. It was awesome first time seeing it, it's still awesome today. Another problem I think some people had was Asuka replacing Toji's role in the Bardiel fight in Rebuild, I personally had not much of a problem with this, It was an interesting twist. However, she is a bit downplayed in this movie compared to the Original Series from Episode 8 to Episode 19. The characters are great, some minor characters are not getting as much development this time around. If there's anything worth mentioning, Kaji's scene with Shinji where he was getting a little too close and Shinji screaming like a girl was priceless and hilarious. I was laughing my ass off laughing out loud after that. With that said, Moving on.
When it comes to story, it's very mesmerizing and that's how the movie works. It mesmerizes viewers as well as blowing them away with awesome action scenes to go with the mesmerizing experience. It starts off nice like any sequel would, then it slows down and then you get some awesome fight scenes and the mesmerize factor doesn't let up until the credits roll. The story is actually interesting even though it's familiar to those that watched the original series, for Rebuild alone, The story is great for a sequel. If "The Beast" wasn't enough. Shinji going "Berserk" with the EVA follows soon after!
Holy shit, my testicles are dropping so hard due to the awesomeness of this scene. *Ding Ding* Testosterone levels are over 9000!
I guarantee you that you will not be the only one that finds this awesome. This movie has Michael Bay by the balls, and this is only an animated film. Up yours Michael Bay for royally screwing Transformers up the ass. Anyway, that awesome scene is followed by a visually stunning pre-apocalyptic scene that looks gorgeous and amazing. What really makes the movie mesmerizing is its atmosphere combined with the soundtrack and visuals as well as a story that's good as a sequel even though it's a remake. If I haven't convinced you enough of how this movie kicks so much ass. Watch the following video and see whether you're convinced or not.
If you got a home theater system and a big-screen TV, you are in for one hell of an experience.
Evangelion 2.0 is available from Funimation
With that all said, Evangelion 2.0 is a mesmerizing sequel to Evangelion 1.0 which some people felt was nothing new except animation and Ramiel's drastic change. Evangelion 2.0 makes up greatly for some minor nitpicking from the first movie, Evangelion 2.0 isn't perfect by all means because there are some slight bumps in the character writing and the story is great too for Rebuild alone but it isn't perfect and it doesn't have to be. This is a sequel that will play with your expectations if you liked the Original Series, for the most part, it is a mostly satisfying sequel to the beginning of the remake of a revolutionary mecha series.
I give Evangelion 2.0: You Can (Not) Advance a 9.5 out of 10, It is EXCELLENT!
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