I must say, I’m impressed. From all the stories I heard about this movie, I expected it to be filled with mainstream action, emo and screaming. After the public rage against the two rather weird final episodes of the series, I thought that Anno Hideaki would play it safe to please the fans, and go with something mainstream. Instead, he went along with the public for episode 25, but then happily decided to make the twenty-sixth episode into what the original end of the series would have been if it was given enough budget: strange, absurd, confusing and a work of art.
Let me get one thing straight, though: the End of Evangelion is very flawed in terms of storytelling. Almost nothing is explained, and some major scenes hugely lack in coherency. Don’t expect anything in the second half of this movie to make sense. The bad guys never get any explanation about their actions, and neither do we know where these other eleven angels came from. Episode 25 also starts out really disappointing, when it basically shows all of the new scenes of Death and Rebirth once more, making me wonder about the point of that movie in the first place. It then continues with the usual action-plot that just couldn’t grab my interest, with your occasional disturbing graphical scene and a bit of screaming here and there.
This movie starts to get really interesting with the arrival of episode 26 though, when the characters start talking to each other. It’s here where everything of the series comes together and this series slowly turns into a piece of art. A lot of things will end up not making any sense, but it turns into quite an interesting watch, that in my opinion beats the original finale of the series. The storytelling for this series may be messed up, but the dialogue between the characters is excellent.
Overall, if you hated movies like Tamala 2011 or Cat Soup, then you should stay away from this series, but otherwise the End of Evangelion served its purpose to give a satisfying ending to the original series. I feel that if this would have been a major action-packed ending, it would have failed, since Neon Genesis Evangelion was supposed to be strange and complex to begin with. Episode 26 fits Neon Genesis Evangelion perfectly, although it will be annoying to get through episode 25 to get there.