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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  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:47 AM)
    I remember that same guy, during end of eva, pausing it over and over during that scene where asuka dies with all of those fast moving clips too.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:39 AM)
    I remember catching it also when I was young with a friend and we looked back on a fanservice scene with shinji and rei and he mentioned “You know if you think about it that scene is damn disturbing when you think she’s a clone of/modelled after you know who…”
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:36 AM)
    Before Eva, when I was 11 or so my image of a mech anime was Nadesico…then it was eva and then I was like…Whoah…whoah God halp! =O
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:34 AM)
    I suppose credit where I feel it due, the angel designs are excellent and I remember getting the shock of my life when shinji’s eva went nuts and then there was a bit with Bardiel infect Toji’s unit. I remember at least Masatos boyfriend being a likeable character.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:31 AM)
    I don’t think anyone was prepared for Eva, whether they liked the show or not, at 11 I can remember being horrified by end of eva and the series original ending as well as having my first moment of “Feck…theres a first…an anime that did something that scrambled my mind, I actually feel kind of thick now, this show is smarter than I am”.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:27 AM)
    It really wouldn’t have been that hard to put a satisfying ending to the original series, wrap up the threads nicely and put a pretty ribbon on the package to finish it off. But Anno and friends took a risk and went against the tide and end up becoming the trope-namer for the Gainax Endings. That took balls and made things unexpected and fresh, cuz god knows that ,good guys win the day ‘is tired and boring.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:26 AM)
    Requiem for a dream. I remember the guy who recommended that film saying to me “Even someone such as yourself who finds it hard to find/has high standards an emotionally investing film will get something out of requiem for a dream”
  • Bam
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:17 AM)
    @Emma: leaving a bad taste is pretty much the point of Eva, just as getting bummed out by Requiem For a Dream is the naturally intended effect. I don’t mind that you don’t enjoy Eva all that much Emma, l actually appreciate it over dishonest admiration. Just keep in mind that Eva deserves it’s special place in anime.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 01:32 AM)
    But Eva just left a bad taste in my mouth as a whole, I understand that Bam you are very passinette about it and thats fine, I wasn’t aiming to provoke. I just feel that its frustrating that like alot of certain anime, that I am not allowed to dislike it or have reason to.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 01:32 AM)
    If anything at least I found Ikuhara’s symbolism while obvious at least in utena and straightforward was at least visually interesting to look at.
    I love every David Lynch film and again I thought Lain was exceptional.

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