|The fate of destruction is the joy of rebirth||7 out of 7 users found this review helpful.|
If I were to describe The End of Evangelion in one sentence it would simply be “wow”. No other movie, animated or not has had the impact EoE had in me, it’s beautifully shocking, jaw-dropping and most of all depressing. End of Evangelion shows us a world filled with selfishness, deception and misery, yet it pushes us to get out of that world and find happiness, something that will prove to be incredibly difficult and nearly impossible.The first two minutes would set the tone of the movie for me, as I watched everything I loved about Shinji being flushed down the toilet while he masturbated to a comatose Asuka before telling himself “I’m the lowest”. More shocking would be to hear Asuka herself telling him that he could do whatever he wants with her, that she “would even watch him”. This is what End of Evangelion is all about, emotionally disturbed characters and the movie blatantly asks us “How are you any different?”
The movie perfectly combines the drama, action, psychology and pseudo-Christianity of the series in two parts. The first, Air/Love is Destructive, is a violent reminder of why we like Evangelion so much; the characters, the drama, the fantastic action are all here and better than ever. Here, we get our fair share of Robot action in one of the most beautifully choreographed battle scenes ever created, it also delivers some of the saddest moments I’ve seen in my life; one particularly powerful was when Asuka chanted “I’ll kill you all” with her hand reaching the sun before being killed and devoured by the Mass Production Evas, just a minute later Maya completely destroyed my heart into pieces when she screamed “Asuka is…Asuka is…” never finishing the sentence.
The second part, “Sincerely Yours/I Need you”, is a thought provoking and jaw dropping trip through Shinji’s mind as he decides the fate of the world (a task set to him by Rei/Lilith). It is tough for any Evangelion fan not to be shocked when watching all the characters you’ve learned to love and appreciate disgust you before dying a miserable death. It is especially difficult to see Rei, the most mysterious character, finally realizing what she is and watching her do the things she does, completing her pivotal role in the series.
To say this is a masterpiece would be an understatement; Hideaki Anno is not only a mastermind in story development and a great director, but also a revolutionary filmmaker. This movie combines the usual animation with a sublime live-action sequence perfectly synchronized with a slow, almost melancholic version of Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Jesus Bleibet Meine Freude”. It also shows some postmodernism when some real-life shots of Gainax headquarters and a few death threats Anno received for the previous Evangelion movie Death & Rebirth flashes rapidly before going back to the “anime world”. There’s also a full live-action alternative sequence not shown in the original theatrical release which depicts Asuka, Rei and Misato as normal 25-year old women living in Tokyo, here Anno shows again his sublime directing using hand-held cameras that gives it sense of documentary, and makes us feel closer to the characters.Everyone has their own theories about this movie. It is really difficult to understand, even for veteran Evangelion fans like me; that’s not much of a problem though, since the movie invites you to watch it more than once and it’s one of those weird case where every time you watch it, you find something new. It is also filled with religious and psychological themes which actually made me want to find out more about that stuff. But unlike the series, EoE doesn’t stick to just Christian symbols and themes, it takes things a bit farther and includes Judaism and Kabala.
Whether or not this is a retelling of episodes 25 and 26 of the series or an alternate ending is a matter of debate. I tend to believe this is a retelling or that it is meant to complement the episodes since both 25 and 26 give hints to events that happen in this movie such as Asuka being inside her Eva in a fetal position, Shinji being surrounded by cameras and Misato’s and Ritsuko’s death. The “reality” sequence is also showed here as I previously stated in a live-action sequence, while in episode 26 it is shown as an alternate world where every character has a different personality, they’re both different in their own way, but in the end the point is the same.
From an animation standpoint, End of Evangelion is a step up for the series. You can tell Anno and Gainax didn’t want to recycle animation, which was the main problem with the TV ending. Here, everything is new and the animation, while not perfect, is fantastically well done. Movements are fluid, backgrounds and characters are extremely well drawn, and the little use of 3D imagery is great, one example is when Lilith is capturing all human souls into her egg, just beautiful.
The soundtrack of the movie is just as incredible as everything else and I’m pretty sure the movie wouldn’t be the same thing without it. Shiro Sagisu is once again in charge of the music and he brings his best to the plate, creating one of the best soundtracks in any anime movie. His original songs fit perfectly well and are incredibly atmospheric, among the best we can find the sad “Yume no Sukima” and the exciting “Tanin no Kanshou”. We can also find Sagisu’s classic choral piece “Mother is the first other” reworked as “Hajimari he no Touhi”, which is played when Rei reunites with Lilith, giving the whole scene a fantastic epic feel.
But not everything is just Sagisu’s original work. He also takes a few songs from the master Johann Sebastian Bach. The first is “Air” which is perfectly used to choreograph the battle between Asuka and the MP Evas and the other is “Jesus Bleibet Meine Freude” which is transformed from a light and joyful orchestral tune to a heartbreaking piano piece which as I said before, is used with the live-action sequences. But the best of them all is the beautifully depressing song “Komm, Susser Tod” written by Hideaki Anno himself from Shinji’s point of view and sung by Arianne. This song, while it has a positive and optimistic tune deals with depression and suicide and it’s played just when the Third Impact begins.In the end this movie makes us question our own existence and makes us asks us questions like why are we here? What or who do we live for? What is reality? What are dreams? It’s the kind of movie that likes to play with the viewers mind. Hideaki Anno combined everything we love about the series and transformed it into something nobody ever expected and got the results he wanted. A fantastic film that might just be the best experience I’ve ever had in my life.