The story starts in a fairly disorienting manner and then moves quickly from there. After about 20 minutes of confusion, however, the anime soon finds its feet and I began to be able to follow what was going on. At around 40 minutes in I was actually somewhat interested... and then, the anime falls apart under its own philosophical weight. Apparently, the creators of this anime thought that they could substitute all semblences of plot with random scenes that supposedly have symbolic meaning. A quote from Roger Ebert's movie glossary comes to mind: "If you have to ask what it symbolizes, it didnt."
I have seen this movie several times, and still cannot enjoy the film one iota. I do not believe that it is because I didn't "get" the film; I believe that there is quite simply nothing to get. Certain Neon Genesis Evangelion fanboys have gotten a huge kick out of analyzing the show and attempting to fabricate some sort of interpretation of the events that transpire, but in my opinion this is a futile endeavor. The shows plot was deliberately made incomprehensible for incomprehensibilitys sake; there is no meaning to the show other than to have no meaning whatsoever.
The difference between this film and other virtually indecipherable anime (see: Cat Soup, Paprika) is that End of Evangelion pretentiously demands interpretation.There is nothing to entertain the viewer beyond the movie's pompous symbolism, and this is the film's downfall.
Generally, the animation is pretty damn good. Because of the film's obviously larger budget, End of Evangelion improves on the excellent original character designs with greatly improved fluidity and backgrounds. A sequence near the end, where iridescent crosses spring from Earth, is one of the nicer pieces of eye candy that I have seen. Another highlight is Asuka's central fight midway through the show, which oozes with perfectly stylized violence.
The awesome animation is marred, however, by two dreadfully awful sequences. In one scene, the "anime" is not animated at all. Instead, a person with a low budget camcorder randomly wanders around town, filming things like empty movie theatres. This comes as quite a shock midway through and manages to come across as exceedingly ugly. Many people I have spoke with have tried to defend the scene by citing its symbolic meaning, but all of them have given me different answers. Ultimately, the sequence is a jarring break from the continuity of the animation, and definitely hurts both the show's pacing and overall video quality.
In another scene, there is a horrendously long sequence in which thousands of still frames are flashed across the screen at a mind-numbing rate. Never before have I had to sit through such an obviously expensive, thoroughly pointless, and horrifically painful section in anime.
In general, I found the sound to be pretty much flawless. The music does a pretty good job of setting the mood even as the story is falling apart, and voice acting is still excellent. Sound effects, particularly in Asukas battle, are nicely done.
Some may disagree, but I thought the original characters of Evangelion were excellent. All of them were almost perfectly imperfect, and as a result managed to capture some of the darkest parts of the human soul. While none of the characters were particularly likeable, every single one was captivating in their infinite flaws.These promising characters, however, are pretty much destroyed in the treadmill of an awful story. By the end of the show, just about every single individual has lost his or her humanity; their actions no longer reflect any semblence of logic or compassion. Forget character development - this is an anime about action figures.Because of this, what was arguably Neon Genesis Evangelions greatest strength becomes End of Evangelions biggest fault.
I went into this anime genuinely hoping that at last I would find a little closure to Evangelion. Instead, I got this. Deliberately plotless, the creators apparantly assumed that they could pass off mindless and pointless scenes under the pretense of "art." A huge budget is wasted, a good storyline is desecrated, and one of the most promising animes of 1997 is put to shame. Pretentious and disappointing, End of Evangelion is certainly down there among some of the worst anime that I have seen.
Warning: May Contain Spoilers!!
The proper ending to the anime series that does address plot points mentioned in the show unlike the original two episode ending. The plot points addressed include the eva series, it is mentioned but never shown in the series, and the Adam's embryo which Gendo received from Kaji. He to merge himself and Adam(Adam's soul was carried by Kaworu) with Rei III (the vessel for Lilith's soul) to do a forbidden fusion (fusing two seeds of life). And not to mention some imagery in the opening is finally used like Unit 01 with the wings of light, and you finally figure out what that weird symbol is to. However I am not gonna explain everything for you but this might help out some people.
I love how the movie stays just as dark as the original series (if not darker). Asuka finally pilots Unit 02 again only to be devastatingly defeated and killed by the mass production evas (which have all have Kaworu dummy plugs). Not to mention the imagery is just so bizarre.
And many people thought the ending of this movie was crappy but I actually love it because I don't think should happy, I liked how it ended lukewarm and I mean people criticizing Shinji's crying at the end just need to realize he just went through a lot of stuff that if happened to someone in real life their brain would probably have exploded when they saw the giant Rei.
Honestly I could put the words "what the fuck?" and it's still be a functional review of this. I was so confused I started watching Josh Allen highlights afterwards. I literally had to get it out of my head to even try to understand this shit or fathom that I just watched it. I'm thoroughly confused.
Story: hard to describe something that doesn't exist. I guess this is post episode 24 and basically shits happening they want the EVA. it starts you off with Shinji jerking off and nutting to Asuka naked in a hospital bed. Yea. It then continues and right after it seems like it'll tie together, it becomes an absolute mess. I mean it's just filled with sex and violence and god knowns how many scenes of Rei Ayanami butt ass naked. Anyways, I have no idea about what just happemed. I got one godawful ending then I get another one out of the alternate ending.
Animation: well it seems to have gotten a lot better. I mean those scenes with the wings on the EVA over earth are really nice. But besides that there's way too much nudity, too many scenes of objects sprouting out of other objects(holy fuck I want new eyeballs), and of course violence. It just became so confusing. It was trying to do too much at once there's a scene on one setting then another oh Rei is naked no now Misato is naked and she's fucking someone. It's a clusterfuck.
Sound: yea somehow tears have sounds. Sound effects were shit and there were scenes literally a minute long of characters saying the same thing but barely audible.
Characters: it's like they made the characters I disliked worse. For some reason all the females are horny, Asuka is in an almost comatose state half of it, and Shinji gets even worse. He's both now a an even bigger pussy and as I stated previously straddled his strudel to naked Asuka. Man that was not the intro I wanted. All it does is make characters more convoluted and I have no idea what type of stuff this was supposed to add.
honestly, I prefer the more ambiguous ending. That scene of Rei face sprouting out of other faces will haunt me. Forever. But yea it's garbage and unless you wanna see some Rei racks, not worth a glance
They went so deep they got lost in the dark.
So. I didnt like the series too much(not a mecha/whimpy character fan), but it was OK, not counting the disgrace of an ending it had. I had a lot of second thoughts(and third and forth and so on) about watching the replacement ending.
To my surprize it actually starts out decent, a lot of action, strong pictures, darkness. Some scenes are among the most poweful ones in existence. And now the sad, confusing part:
But nothing makes sense. Its just a random slideshow of pictures so artistic that I now need a few shots of Jagermeister to clear the bullshit out of my head.
And thats all that is to it. The whole ending is just an incoherent mess of a slideshow and any explanation is just guessing. They wanted to make it memorable. They did. You see, two types of endings are memorable: the really good ones(FMAB, Code Geass) and the really bad ones(Berserk...). If the second part of the movie actually gave us an explanation and they went for something simpler instead of the grandiose chaos we got, it would have been good. They actually got my hopes up after the first 45 minutes. But instead they went on an acid trip. The second part of to movie is on par with the horrible last episodes of the series.
I know that Evangelion is considered general culture when it comes to anime, but excluding the talent they had to orchestrate separate scenes from it, the whole thing is a mess. And the ending is painful. We basically get a sad-ish ending, but who the hell knows.
General culture or not, I urge people to stay away from the Evangelion series. Even if you like the mecha genre. The psychology is overextended(overrated) and boring, the story is a mess and the ending is just a waste of time.
Dont watch it. You have been warned!
The following review has topics and videos that are not suitable for children. Unless you are one of the "Children" chosen to pilot an EVA.
Critic's Log: Earthdate - May 21, 2012. Review #5: Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End Of Evangelion
If you have read my review of Neon Genesis Evangelion (The TV Series) and its movie Death and Rebirth, Well this is it. This is the big one. This is THE END OF EVANGELION.
This is the movie that either replaces the ending entirely, it can also be viewed as an alternate ending, and it can also be viewed alongside the final 2 episodes of the show, which I pretend it doesn't exist. This was a highly anticipated anime feature film for its time and the experience is unforgettable. Either you were mesmerized by its visuals, or you absolutely loathed its Artistic approach. Either way, this is a love/hate type of series. Here is The End of Evangelion.
Third Impact has been prevented and the planet is saved. NERV unexpectedly finds itself under attack. Gendo starts to set up his main goal, and SEELE launches a massive raid towards Tokyo-3 in order to conclude their main goal at any cost. NERV must now fight its most fearsome opponent: Humanity itself.
I apologize if this is slightly spoilerific, but that was just a little plot summary for this review concerning this movie. If there's anything I should warn you about, there is an off-screen masturbation scene right in the first 2 or 3 minutes of the film.
Congratulations Anno-san! You just disturbed your viewers in the first couple of minutes of the film.
To be technical. This is a Gainax production and they really made quite the impression for most people. The first half is very good. The spectacular action scenes present from the TV show go full force and all out in this first half. Asuka rising from the lake was the most epic action scene in the series. This leads into a gut wrenching twist of events during the last 10 minutes of the first half and hell is starting to break loose. The second half starts out nicely until Shinji gives up. After Shinji gives up, we are given philosophical, metaphorical, artistic, and ambiguous imagery and dialogue for the next 10 minutes until Third Impact begins. The human race appears to be raptured and then we get a glimpse of a really odd but interesting live-action scene of the film, I kind of understand the reason for the live-action clip but the meaning is a bit ambiguous. After the live-action scene, we finally start seeing the series wrap up into a somewhat interesting set up for the final scene.
If you wonder why I am not mentioning much detail about all this. Because this is another mindboggling mind frag ending filled in with this philosophical psychological metaphorical mindboggling IMAGERY that is a bit hard to decipher which makes this ending a bit ambiguous just like the TV show's ending, but more visual. The Final Scene is both hard to accept and is ambiguous. Shinji and Asuka are the only ones left in the world (how Asuka came back is hinted a little bit before the final scene, but still confusing) Shinji decides to strangle Asuka and then he starts breaking down, and that is how Neon Genesis Evangelion ends. The ending sure has a lot to chew on, but I can't say the second half's story isn't much since all the imagery makes the story hard to analyze.
The animation in this movie is a huge upgrade to the show. It looks twice as better than the show and the obvious reason is that the movie has a bigger budget than the TV show (which had a hard time keeping up with the budget). It is done well for its time, and the action scenes are spectacular in this movie. Gainax really went balls to the wall in 1997 and this movie proved it by then.
The live action scene was a ballsy approach, but I don't know how that would help the movie in any means.
When it comes to voice acting, The Japanese cast goes all out here. They have reached their peak with the characters in this movie. The English dub is nowhere at the same level. The dub is below hit and miss than the TV Show. I have watched this movie both dubbed and subtitled. I did not enjoy the dubbed version that much.
I also have something technical to bring up in this movie regarding language tracks, there is a cartoonish sound effect added in the dub in some scenes. It added nothing to the movie and it felt out of place. ADR Director Amanda Winn-Lee (who was the voice of Rei in the Original series and this movie) thought it would be a good idea to add this cartoonish sound effect, I could not accept this at all. If you want to know what sound effect I'm talking about, find the scene where Misato kills a JSSDF soldier in the first half of the movie. Also, some sound effects that came from the Evangelions also are different in the dub. Fine by me... But Manga Entertainment sure had the balls to include all that in the 5.1 Japanese audio track and leave the Stereo 2.0 Track with the original sound effects intact with no additions so forth. I am not kidding, compare the 5.1 and 2.0 Japanese tracks and hear it for yourself. I was a bit cheated by Manga Entertainment with their treatment of this movie.
The music by Shiro Sagisu is haunting and mesmerizing on most notes. It really fit the atmosphere of the movie. Komm, Susser Todd was a really interesting one to hear, because when the world starts, we hear a happy sounding catchy tune that is about suicide. The music is great during its first half and great during its mindfuck of a second half.
Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End Of Evangelion was availiable by Manga Entertainment and is out of print.
With all that said, The End of Evangelion is a visual feast. But it is not everyone's cup of tea. There are some things to like and some things not to like. When it comes to Evangelion. It is an anime that gives you a kind of feeling that can go in different ways, some will say it is awesome, some would say it is brilliant. Some people will love it, some people will hate it. All I can say is that this anime is ambitious and unique. It is ambitious that it puts in Action, Philosophy, Psychological intrigue, religious symbolism, and metaphors. It is unique that they tie in these elements and put them in with the relationships of these characters. This show is not all about giant robots, or action. It's about these characters that go through a lot of things and the show really displays that humans are fragile, whether it's mentally or physically. This is probably a safe bet that that is series' biggest strength, its weakness is probably that it has too much ambition. Is this an anime that will interest you into a psychology class? Maybe. Is this anime the greatest ever made? Not at all, I don't think it is worthy of being graded a 10 out of 10. Is this anime overrated? Yes, but I don't think it's terrible. I like it. I have already said this in my review of the TV show. This was my real gateway to anime, Pokémon was the first, but that was an Americanized version and I don't think it really counts much. This pretty much wraps up my trilogy of reviews of the Classic Neon Genesis Evangelion series from The TV show to the movie conclusion. I will review the remakes sometime in the future.
I give Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion a 8.6 out of 10. It is VERY GOOD!
Feel free to comment below and shine like a legend.