This review may contain spoilers!
Neon Genesis Evangelion ended…somewhat abruptly, mainly due to budget issues and whatnot. The fans refused to see the series die into obscurity, and then came End of Evangelion, the TRUE end to the series. And what a way to end a series in epic fashion.
The movie follows the plight of the Third Child, fourteen-year-old Shinji Ikari, after he kills the final Angel, and seemingly saves the world. However, with Rei Ayanami and Misato Katsuragi disturbing him, and Asuka Langley Sohryu being comatose in a hospital bed, Shinji’s desperation drives him to think what he had done was unforgivable and irreconcilable. NERV, the organisation which was involved with the defeat of all of the Angels, falls under attack from human forces, who are after the Evangelions.
Also, SEELE send down Mass Produced Evas from the skies to aid mankind’s plight do destroy the Evas. Asuka, awake from her coma, is thrown into battle, but is impaled by the Lance of Longinus, which causes Asuka’s Eva to cease functioning, go berserk, and become damaged beyond repair. Shinji arrives at the scene, to find Asuka’s Eva pincushion, and screams in terror at the spectacle.
The following segment shows EVA-01’s – and Shinji’s – rise to divinity, as Gendo Ikari and Rei Ayanami prepare for the beginning of the Third Impact. However, Rei refuses to begin such an event, and instead merges with Lilith, to create a Rei/Lilith fused Angel, which rises to the heavens and sucks away the collective souls of all of humanity.
EVA-01 attempts to dispatch of Rei/Lilith, and succeeds, only to save a mankind which is no more. However, upon returning to the land and the primordial soup – the sea of LCL – sights Asuka’s body, alive and barely conscious. Shinji attempts to kill Asuka, but cannot go through with it, with Asuka whispering “how disgusting”.
Some people may have been put off somewhat by the first scene, which involves Shinji entering Asuka’s hospital room, attempting to wake her up, but being unable to do so. Shinji rolls her over, which removes a few cables from her body, and tears off part of her clothing, revealing her breasts. Shinji then proceeds to…ugh, why did I bring this up…he doesn’t plug the cables back in, that’s for sure, whatever side of the Freudian Scale you see it as. Let’s say he…Lonely Island. Let’s leave it at that and let your (grim) imagination do the rest.
The animation is superb. Asuka’s last stand against the Mass Production Evas is one of the best battles in anime history, and is one of the most inspiring things ever. Sure, it’s violent as hell, but by jove, is it amazing to watch. And Shinji’s scream after seeing Asuka’s Eva impaled by the Lance of Longinus is the epitome of horror. Most anime can’t compare to how amazingly animated the movie is.
The music crosses over original soundtracks and existing classical music, such as Bach’s ‘Air on a G String’ (amusingly enough, the first half of the movie’s called ‘Air’). The music fits with the situations almost perfectly, and the Evangelion franchise has one of the best soundtracks in all of anime. In fact, it’s up there with Cowboy Bebop, it’s so good.
The movie doesn’t feature a lot of swearing, but the 15 rating is from a couple of instances of the ‘F’ word, and a considerable amount of nudity, but all it usually is is female breasts. 14-year-old female breasts, but still…
The Evangelion series is notorious for its confusing plot, and End of Evangelion makes it even more confusing for me. It’s not possible to describe what goes on in terms of plot, mainly because I don’t understand it so well, but it could also be because of how engrossed I am in everything else. But yeah, it’s confusing, yet it’s awesome.
To sum up, End of Evangelion, whilst confusing, Freudian, and completely weird at times, is amazing beyond words, and is definitely worth a commendation. Many anime movies have tried to emulate End of Evangelion’s success, with a few successes in their own rights. But End of Evangelion, without question, is in a league of its own.