Evangelion is unique amongst anime fans for the wide range of emotions it brings out from those that watch it. Love, hate, confusion, amazement; and maybe all of those at the same time. It’s considered a pinnacle series of the 90’s, with it’s beautiful animation, multi-threaded twisting plot, and controversial ending. If you’ve never watched the original series, I highly recommend it, regardless of what your tastes are.
It’s the ending that leaves most fans in a state of bewilderment. “What is going on?”,What did I just see?”, are the typical reaction after watching the last two episodes. It’s this fan reaction that brought forth an expanded retelling of the ending found in the movie The End of Evangelion. Episodes 25 and 26, combined together, along with additional scenes, work to bring a small amount of closure to the fans of the series. But let’s be honest, it just continues where it left off it in messing with our heads.
While entire diatribes can be written on the this movie, and the Evangelion ending overall, I wont be doing that. There is so much going on, that I would be forced to watching the series over as a whole just to being describing what I’m seeing here. What I can comment on is execution of this movie, and what the series means to me as a whole.
Keeping in mind the production date of this series (1997), I’m amazed at what Gainax and Production I.G. did. The animation is fantastic, with an outstanding attention to detail and smoothly animated action scenes. I’ve always been a fan of the production styles of the great shows of the late 90’s, like Cowboy Bebop, and this series is no different. Characters have the correct proportions, the eye shapes are normal, the scenery looks legitimate. The colors are much more subdued, reflecting the more somber tone of the move.
The soundtrack was superbly done as well. In the latter half of the movie, Asuka Langley is battling other Eva units in combat. The musical score in the background is the classical piece “Air”, by Johann Sebastian Bach. The grotesque and gruesome scene, punctuated by the softly playing orchestra, is a stroke of genius by the director and his staff. The soundtracks for shows and movies can be such a second thought, that you barely notice it’s there. But in great shows, your enjoyment is amplified by a beautifully paired musical work to the visual events.
Now for the big question: Did this ending change how I felt about the series as a whole? The answer is a simple No. I’m not really the philosophical type that dwells on the hidden and mysterious meaning of a show. What I do enjoy is a good mind game, and Evangelion as a whole does that for me. This movie only improves my overall enjoyment of the story as a whole, and only makes me more anxious to see the ending to the Rebuild series in (maybe) 2015. I don’t know why I put off watching this, but I’m glad that the Secret Santa initiative gave me the motivation to finally put this in the complete pile. It’s a fitting end to a completely off the wall and amazing series.
I’ve given this movie a 4.5/5 stars on Anime Planet, and an Anime Audiolog “Outstanding” rating. So go watch the series, and finish off with this movie.