Posted by psgels on 29 May 2010 with categories: Anime Reviews




I did not like the first Rebuild of Evangelion because, well… it was a recap. I’ve got a big problem with movies that do nothing other than follow the exact same scenario as their predecessor, it should be a format for trying out new things, experimenting and just going all out with wild ideas.

Anyway, the second movie however follows its own scenario, which makes it a lot more enjoyable to watch. It combines the build-up of the first movie, a few things here from the TV-series and a bunch of other things that are completely new. A lot of the “monster of the week” angels of the TV-series were dropped, and instead the action focuses much more on the three lead characters. At the same time, we get an array of new characters, and the new twists that this movie pulls are definitely interesting. The final two movies do have a bit of work to do to cover up for the seeming techno- and myth-babble of this episode, but at this point there is no reason why they shouldn’t be able to do that.

The thing I liked most about this movie was the artistic direction during the action-scenes, which was with no doubt fantastic. The action, the use of colours, the soundtrack. Everything was a feast for the senses. This is just one of those movies with unique and awesome graphics. I also liked how the creators discovered that you can get pretty neat effects when you play a piece of soundtrack for a scene that at first sight doesn’t fit it at all. At the same time though, surprisingly little has been done to blend in the CG with the traditional animation outside of the action-scenes.

My biggest issue with this movie was the characterization, though. It’s just unrefined and rushed. Asuka’s development is just way too quick and sudden, and the quiet moments in the movies, which should be used to build characters, make use of too many shallow cliches. You know, the cliches that you see in dozens of high school shows already. The focus on cooking has been done to death by now, Shinji’s friends have degenerated into these typical high school “best friends”. Characters also really like to describe themselves with cliched one-liners, and these small things just keep piling up.

So yeah, this is pretty much a movie that kicks ass during the climaxes but is a bit tedious to watch during the quiet parts. This is one part of balance and characterization that the next two movies really have to get better if they really want the Rebuild of Evangelion to be remembered ten years from now.

Storytelling: 8/10 – A bit of myth-babble does not take away imaginative twists on the original Evangelion with clear attempts to make the story even more interesting in the next couple of movies.
Characters: 7/10 – Nice ideas, but the characterization is too shallow and there are too many cliches.
Production-Values: 9/10 – Magnificent during the action scenes. I would have given 10/10 here if it wasn’t for the obtrusive CG at times.
Setting: 8/10 – Nice potential, interesting ideas.

Suggestions:
Ghost in the Shell II: Innocence
Bonen no Xamdou
Princess Mononoke

13 Responses

  1. Bruce says:

    I agree with you that the character development was way too rushed.

    However, the fact that they chose to rush through the equivalent of half the TV series in one movie hopefully means that the next two movies will provide the real meat of the Rebuild movies.

  2. MsteaK says:

    Indeed. The characterization was lackluster. Although the rest was a complete blast to watch.

  3. fool says:

    I got so excited after watching it last night I couldn’t sleep O__o

    I’m tempted to say that the feelings of shallowness are because it’s actually a lot more lighthearted and positive than the original series, and much more so than the subtle changes they made to the tone of the first Rebuild. And the lighthearted stuff is a lot more cliche than all that shocking and draining stuff from the original.

  4. HENRCAST says:

    I too think that the characterization is a huge issue, specially considering that the what sold me to the original Tv series and made it my favorite one out there were the characters.

  5. fedek says:

    I think is a refreshing, new way to look evangelion, with less psychobabble, and more cliches. But the awesomeness value, makes for it, in my opinion deserves a 90/100. beacause it does not try to be like the first series, but a more optimistic way to see the evangelion verse.

  6. Shippoyasha says:

    I kinda agree and disagree with you at the same time, psgels.

    I agree on: Too much mumbo jumbo. Granted, Evangelion stands out because of the mystery, but when it is put to words, it feels more like preaching out the story than letting it naturally flow. That I can completely agree with.

    Disagree on: Characters being rote and standard. I mean it IS Evangelion, made in mid 90’s where anime tropes at their most basic still ruled the landscape. Albeit, it’s a nice visual upgrade and all, but I wouldn’t expect the characters to suddenly spring up to be less cliche than they were (Even considering Evangelion as a starter is a post-modern work. Ironic, that considering anime today, it actually feels cliche and oldschool now).

  7. lialiakicks says:

    I’m kinda worried and excited about the next two films. While I am glad that Rebuild has a bit more of a lighthearted approach, I am worried that it will go downhill that much faster this time around. (This IS Anno we’re talking about here.) Then again, I love the fact that Kaworu gets to ACTUALLY DO SOMETHING instead of being a Pez-head container.

    But the AsukaxShinjixRei love triangle seems forced (and a rip-off from a Girlfriend of Steel sceanrio). =/

    I hope the next film comes out restrictively soon…? >.>

  8. zomglazerpewpewpew says:

    Watched the thing.
    I liked it.
    Watched the preview at the end of the DVD rip
    Asuka is not dead >.>

  9. chounokoe says:

    I didn’t really like it.
    For me it was too simplified, almost dumbed down to appeal to a greater audience, spiced up with lots of explosions and fanservice.
    Sure it looked fantastic, but in the story department this movie offered almost nothing.

    Also did not like that they gave the EVA this ridiculous Gundam’esque power up system (THE BEAST)…

    And because you took the screenshot…I was almost on the floor laughing when Fuyutsuki and Gendo suddenly hovered around space, looking out of that tiny window…it looked just hilarious.
    And how the heck did they get into space that easily anyway…not to say back from there.

  10. Keith says:

    I just watched the movie last night and was completely blown away by it. For everyone who’s saying that the character development was lackluster in comparison to the show…even in the show most of them weren’t well developed at this point minus Shinji.

    Hell, Asuka wasn’t even really an interesting character until her mental breakdown which would technically occur AFTER this point in the plot.

    So, I’d lean towards saying that the show did a MUCH better job of portraying its characters than the show did. Yes Asuka did feel a little forced at times, but there’s still some complexity to be had.

  11. Yarow12 says:

    Just saw it. Loved it entirely. Nothing to complain about but a useless use of 3D animation while a single truck moved. >.>

  12. Knuckles says:

    I think the character build up in Evangelion rebuild is just fine. I didn’t really see the characters as cliche, compared to a lot of anime characters that I see now that “forces shallow jokes and drama”, Evangelion rebuild is pretty tamed and well balanced if I say so myself.
    The story is pretty good at least until the last part, it got confusing. Animation is brilliant, although the last part is a bit overdone for me, it reminded me of Gurren Lagann… overall 9/10

  13. Anonymous says:

    While Asuka did feel a bit forced, keep in mind she as a character has been thrown into a very social world where she is havin to force herself to accept others. As well, Rei has taken steps herself to develope her character (something Anno never portrayed in the series) Leaving Mari and the whole Misato/Kaji thing as my sole characterization issue.

    Mari is a great character on her own but she doesnt socialize with any of the characters except kaji in the beginning and two occasions with shinji, (and both times with shinji were unintentional, he was just in the right place at the right time) Kaji and Misato both because they never really went in depth abt the two of them, like they expected us veterans who finished the old series to just know already with no meat in the movie…

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  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:05 AM)
    So I naturally offsetted the mentally strenuous movie with a healthy dose of Riki-Oh, which I also just watched for the first time. I think it goes without saying that it was magnificent! This is late 80’s gold condensed into two episodes. What’s weirdly jarring about it is that it tries to add depth to the absurdity by including some serious, and still relevant, themes about the private prison complex which made it an even better popcorn flick for some reason.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 05:58 AM)
    Charlie Kaufman is also responsible for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Adaptation and Being John Malkovich, so it goes without saying that his works are atmospheric and thoughtful. Synecdoche is by far his bleakest story yet, and it was a tough pill to swallow; although if you watch it you’ll see that sincerity regarding death is actually a crucial point of the movie.
  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 12:52 AM)
    Well in the case of Samuel Jackson playing nick fury, I never truly gave a crap about the comic book character. But I have never taken Jackson seriously as the head of shield. It hard to see him as a dependable leader.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Jan 30. 2015 11:29 PM)
    Synecdoche, New York:
    What a great film. Charlie Kauffman’s directorial debut is a post-modern surreàl piece about fear of death and mortality. There are few editing and pacing issues which a more experienced director could’ve ironed out, and the very nature of the movie begs to be called pretentious and boring by shallow viewers. Yet this is still an honest and meticulous piece of artistic filmmaking which shouldn’t be missed by those who enjoy the craft.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Jan 30. 2015 10:56 PM)
    I did think some of the outburst though in death parade 04 were verging too far on the melodrama though.
    Still like Garo this week, still a very watchable episode.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Jan 30. 2015 10:35 PM)
    Come to think of it In kingsman they changed the villain to be black also. Of course all this I consider pretty minor. Moreso I’m tired of seeing Samuel L Jackson playing himself in everything.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Jan 30. 2015 10:28 PM)
    But in the case of the Marvel stuff, with Nick Fury and Human torch, I know its a crap complaint but for me its a case of “He doesn’t look close enough to the comic”
  • Emma
    (Friday, Jan 30. 2015 10:16 PM)
    @Aidan: They think they are promoting diversity but all it ends up being is completely tokenistic to the core.
    The fantastic 4 have always struck me as characters that were too difficult to get right/write.
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, Jan 30. 2015 10:08 PM)
    Sort of like how skyfall made moneypenny black for that “OOHHH SNAP!” moment. Disregarding the point of moneypenny and not to mention making her a character who was so incompetent a secret agent that she was demoted to Secretary.Or like how they made Annie black. Just why exactly?
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, Jan 30. 2015 10:06 PM)
    So the new fantastic four is going to have a black human torch. So…why is he black? I mean I don’t really care as long as the character is portrayed well but this feels like the only reason they made him black was just cause.

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