Evangelion 2.0 Cinema Impressions

Evangelion 2.0

So finally, after 9 months of the movie being out and me generally avoiding the spoilers (or ignoring them), I got to watch Evangelion 2.0 in full cinematic glory.

First off, the story is finally diverging from the TV series and generally I like this new direction.

Shinji is lot more hot-blooded this time round. I was expecting to go “fuck yeah, Asuka” for the movie, but it was pretty much “fuck yeah, Shinji” a lot more. The parts when he faced off the Eighth and the Tenth Angels was more from Gurren Lagann than Evangelion. Seriously, I went like “Is this really Shinji?!” a lot of times in the movie. Overall, I think his character’s really changed for the best and while it’s weird to say this, but Neo-Shinji really earns my respect for his actions.

Evangelion 2.0

Oh god, Asuka’s new test plugsuit!

This version of Asuka is a lot more… tragic compared to the TV series. She’s still the same obstinate person from the TV series, but she opens up a lot more this time round. There was two really tender scenes in the movie, firstly when Asuka has a sleepless night and crawls beside Shinji, and one more while she was talking to Misato about how she always thought being alone was fine, but ever since meeting the others, she started thinking that being with others can be nice as well. I almost cried a bit then. Maybe it’s also the lack of screentime as well, but Rebuild Asuka also comes off a little less overbearing as well. Too bad she’s the unlucky Unit 03 test pilot this time :(.

Rebuild Rei is possibly the most extreme change of characterization so far, with her starting to develop real emotions for Shinji and actually taking action to “make him feel warm and fuzzy”. Man, that elevator faceoff between Asuka and Rei was pretty legendary as well. I was like “oh wow, is this Rei?!”. Plus, she’s actually smiling a lot more now! Probably a huge change for Rei fans to take in. And Shinji x Rei fans are probably going to talk about the final 30 mins of the movie for years to come.

Evangelion 2.0

Very casual

New character Mari, very convincingly voiced by Maaya Sakamoto (she has the best English of the whole Japanese cast!!), is truly a force-of-nature on her own. An attention stealer at every scenes she appear, she has feral quality to her that makes even certain doom seem like casual everyday life for her. But thankfully, she never steals the thunder out of from the old cast, which was something I was hoping not to happen. Still, she is different and unique enough that she does deserve a place in the Evangelion pilot roster.

Overall, the new character dynamics makes them a lot more “human” than previously, especially Asuka with her. I really like this version of Asuka, as she is more honest to herself. Rei is finally starting to have a real character of her own, instead of being the idealized doll of the series. Mari is proves to be an interesting addition to the whole series and we have yet to see her true role in the big picture. Finally, Shinji is pretty much turning in to Simon, a good or bad change depending on how you like the original series.

Other aspects of the movie I’d like to mention out is the technical quality. While the first movie had a lot recycled scenes from the TV series, 2.0 is where the new vision of Evangelion truly shines through. The Angels look extremely amazing, awe-inspiring yet threatening at the same time. The Eighth and the Ninth was truly visual eyecandy, not to mention 8th was done in by a Inazuma Kick homage by Asuka. Tokyo 3 is a less sterile city as well, thanks to the addition of the scenes that show how daily life around the city is like. While minor, it makes the city feel more alive and adds to the “ugh, ouch” scenes where parts of the city is destroyed. Oh and the part where Kaji brings the gang out for a trip to a Marine Life Restoration Center also makes the world of Eva feel very post-apocalyptic as well.

Another is the accompaniment music pieces chosen for two important scenes of the movie. Firstly, Kyou no Hi ha Sayonara played during the destruction of Unit 03 was truly a mindfuck. On the other hand, Tsubasa wo Kudasai was a profound choice for the climax of the movie. On one hand, it was pretty awesome, on another hand, I felt it was rather LOLRANDOM. I had thought it was a weird the OST had those tracks in it, but now… yeah, I can see why.

I’d really like to rewatch the whole thing again, but the epic cockblocking censorship of the local screening copies don’t really make it worth it. Well, the Blu-Ray’s coming out in 2 months time! That’s an acceptable waiting time. Hoping to get an Asuka scene for the filmstrip this time.

18 Comments

  1. Sailor Star Dust Said,

    March 14, 2010 @ 1:28 am

    To anybody reading this: SPOILERS naturally, you’ve been warned.

    Hey there. I replied quite awhile ago to your Re-Take thread(s), good to see your blog is still around and everything.

    I was able to see a crappy camrip of 2.0, but even from that I thought the film was amazing (though I am going to hold off for DVD/Blu-Ray when it comes to Q and Final because I do NOT want spoilers for those).

    I thought “Today is the day for Goodbye” (Asuka’s song) and “Please Give me Wings” (Rei’s) were VERY fitting, especially when you take the lyrics into account (Asuka’s about “We’ll meet again one day”, Rei’s about “I want to flap my wings and fly into the sky free of sorrow”) seem to be either foreshadowing (in Asuka’s case, I’m sure she and Shinji will meet up again in some form, possibly a mix “I’m bitter that happened but I can’t help my feelings you idiot” for Asuka, think Asuka’s behavior in EoE/Re-Take but MAYBE a bit more “mature” in how see deals with things.) OR what flat-out happened in this installment (Rei gaining freedom from her restrictive life of being a good doll for Gendo, however brief or extended her freedom is, that’s yet to be seen).

    I felt Asuka was somewhat under-developed compared to the rest of the cast (at least a little more insight on her would have been nice) but we do have 2 more films to go, so I’m not too concerned.

    And maybe it’s just me, but something about Asuka being the Bardiel victim and Shinji refusing to fight gave me Re-Take vibes. I honestly don’t know why, it’s just the feeling I got. *Shrug*

    In regards to Shinji and Rei, yes they’ve really grown compared to 1.0, although I think the final 30 minutes was more of Eva-01 and Shinji working as one deal (think Eva-02 and Asuka in EoE) than JUST Shinji, especially considering whenever Shinji said something, Yui would roar or react accordingly… But hopefully Ritsuko will explain just what’s going on with that as well as the Mari and Shinji’s eyes glowing business (a side-effect of the Eva going berserk with the pilot still active, I guess? We’ll see.) when Q starts or something.

    Anxiously awaiting Q and Final,

    Sailor Star Dust/SSD

  2. ashot01 Said,

    March 14, 2010 @ 5:29 am

    Glad to see Shinji reaching 1/10th of the GAR Simon reached in Lagann-hen.

  3. skyhack Said,

    March 14, 2010 @ 11:36 am

    Too bad I can’t stand Eva.

  4. melty Said,

    March 14, 2010 @ 12:13 pm

    The best EVA movie so far! Can’t wait for the blu-ray! Its great to see the characters change so much from the series! Cheers to GAINAX for such a great movie and especially for changing Shinji from whiny, pitiful boy to kick ass!

  5. Wrathkal Said,

    March 15, 2010 @ 12:10 am

    No comment about what Kaoru says at the end?

  6. hurin Said,

    March 15, 2010 @ 11:31 am

    I am so much looking forward to this. It can’t be 26 may soon enough. Hopefully we won’t have to wait 10 month for the Funimation edition this time.
    I see how they need to include an english dub. But the dub of the original series was one of the worst in existance. Every time I see someone complain of how wimpy Shinji is. I just know they listened to the dub rather than read the subtitles. It was a big disappointment to me when I heard they would bring back the same voice actor.

  7. melty Said,

    March 15, 2010 @ 12:36 pm

    @Wrathkal
    You mean the part where Kaoru says “This time I will make you happy” or something around those lines? Hard to see how that comment and the other comment when he was on the moon referring to Gendo as father fits in all of it. Related to series in some way?

  8. Myssa Rei Said,

    March 15, 2010 @ 4:53 pm

    Melty & Wrathkal: It gives more fuel to the fire concerning the theory that Rebuild shares the same timeline as the TV series though.

  9. Kurogane Shiroikaze Said,

    March 15, 2010 @ 6:32 pm

    Might be a big red herring though. Or Anno actually taking a leaf out of RE-TAKE’s take on Evangelion. Now that would be kinda awesome if it was.

  10. Myssa Rei Said,

    March 15, 2010 @ 6:50 pm

    Kurogane: Well, while EVA has been known for having about 70% Symbolic padding, it’s far too obvious to ignore given how *every time* Kaworu opens his mouth he alludes to events having happened before, like another turn of a cycle. We’ll just have to see if things continue with the 3rd movie.

  11. melty Said,

    March 15, 2010 @ 7:50 pm

    ……..I guess we have to wait for the 3rd, hopefully with more answers.
    @Kurogane: RE-TAKE? That would be nice.

  12. Wrathkal Said,

    March 15, 2010 @ 9:57 pm

    Well that’s true, but in SG, the whispers of ‘GAAAAAYYYYYY….’ in the theater were very audible when he spouted the line.

  13. melty Said,

    March 16, 2010 @ 12:09 am

    @Wrathkal: LOL!

  14. Myssa Rei Said,

    March 16, 2010 @ 7:09 pm

    Wrathkal: I never watched it in a cinema setting, but I didn’t get anything even vaguely homoerotic from Kaworu this time around (which is funny, since homo overtones should first come to mind). Just… a sense of foreboding I guess.

  15. Emmanuel Said,

    March 16, 2010 @ 11:21 pm

    Where can i wach the movie?? i been waiting for it for a longg ass time. Now finaly i have the chance to watch it. Please help me here.

  16. melty Said,

    March 17, 2010 @ 12:32 pm

    Hopefully its still at the Curve or at TGV Sunway. Better be quick!

  17. lulalala Said,

    March 18, 2010 @ 12:05 am

    Though the two insert songs do correspond to the story, I still reckon a different melody/composition (maybe more Yoko Kanno’ish) would be better. I couldn’t really concentrate during the first insert song because the contract was too strong/random. It destroyed the emotion I felt when I was watching the same scene on the TV series. Another place where the music piece does not feel like EVA is at the scene when they show the daily life in Tokyo-3. Can’t explain it, hopefully someone can concur me.

  18. Sailor Star Dust Said,

    April 4, 2010 @ 11:58 pm

    Kaworu’s line of “father” is more likely than not a mix of sarcasm and a Japanere culture reference on Kaworu’s part. Japanese kids tend to call their close friend’s parents “father”, “mother” and such. Though Kaworu’s delivery did seem possibly sarcastic at any rate.

    Regarding the rest of Kaworu’s lines, I doubt it’s sequel theory. Rebuild’s events seems to be a loop of sorts, if anything (3I: Shinji saving Rei just as Gendo wishes to reunite with Yui, who Rei’s a clone of.).

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