I'm noticing more for me to nitpick about with this movie compared to my complaints with Evangelion 1.0
. But before I get into a rant over such, I'll at least cover what I liked about this movie. Continuing off from the plot developments of the first movie, there is still focus on the shaky relationship between Shinji and Gendo, much like what was explored in the TV series
. But as a new twist, Rei develops the desire to try mending the tensions between father and son indicating a bit more humanity to her character here compared to her original appearance which was a plus. The movie also retains the tensions between Misato and Kaji found in the TV series, as well as the hinting of ulterior motives that Fuyutsuki and Gendo have with NERV, SEELE and the Evas. The fluid and high-quality CG-animated battles with Evas and Angels return from the previous movie as well.
And now onto the nitpicking. Asuka and Mari making their debut appearances in this movie are a double-edged sword. In Asuka's case, this adaptation of her character is perhaps more likable than her TV show counterpart as she's not as much of a jerk yet she lacks the focus and screen time given to Rei and Shinji. Mari, for all the hype given to the debut of her character, doesn't have much presence in this movie, nor depth for that matter, as she only seemed to pop in to be acknowledged as the new character on the block. Hopefully, the later two movies provide some depth to Mari. I also couldn't help but feel a bit annoyed when there was a wee bit too much fan service at the start of the movie with every couple minutes that swung by.
And the weakest feature I found with the movie this time around was the music. A good amount of the insert music, I couldn't help but think that Gainax reused a number of the musical tracks they used from their earlier work, His and Her Circumstances, making me question the effort they put at assembling together new or remixed tracks from the original Eva series. Then there was the couple joyful songs played during the final two battles of the movie which didn't really clash well with the mood and intensity of the gory aftermaths that played out.
Overall, I found You Can Not Advance to be a bit weaker in quality as the new characters hyped about for it lacked presence and depth in Mari's case, as well as the soundtrack either seeming to be reused or not clashing well with the mood of particular scenes. Plotting is still decent otherwise as the movie is still accessible to new Eva fans. But like Eva 1.0, your mileage will still vary on the simplification, changes and/or downplaying of specific character roles.