Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance

Last night I went to see the Canadian premiere of Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance at The Gig Theatre in downtown Waterloo Ontario. It was part of the 9th annual Waterloo Festival for Animated Cinema, a festival dedicated to animated cinema from around the world. 10 feature length films are included in this years festival, 3 of which are from Japan and the rest from places such as Russia, Serbia, Hungary, Australia, Ireland and Sweden. It’s quite a neat little festival that has lots to see, if you’re in the area I would highly recommend checking it out.

When I first heard that there was a remake of Evangelion coming out (Rebuild of Evangelion) however far back that was, I thought they were just trying to milk the franchise for even more money than they had since it was originally aired in October of 1995. So my expectations were low when I watched Evangelion 1.11 as all I was expecting was a retelling of the same story, and for the most part it did feel like it was just a condensed version. There were differences sure, but not enough to make it feel like a new movie. That said of course, the production qualities were top tier and it was nice seeing the series in a newer animation style and quality so it wasn’t all bad.

Moving on to Evangelion 2.0 I was expecting a little more of the same, I knew they added a character, Mari Illustrious Makinami, so there’d be some changes, but I didn’t think anything too drastic to the story line would change. Thankfully, perhaps depending on ones perspective, there were massive changes to the story in 2.0 making it feel new and exciting. I wont say for the better or worse as it’s been so long since I saw the original series my mind is foggy, but I will say it was very well done and very entertaining. Ok ok, it was freaking badass alright?! I really enjoyed the second movie.

A quick synopsis of the movie, more Asuka fanservice (yay!), Rei has a personality (for reals!), Shinji’s not the biggest loser ever (srsly!) and Mari isn’t a terrible addition to the series (yay!) and her Engrish is impeccable! See? I didn’t spoil nothin’! (Double negative, oops). Oh yeah and Gendo’s not a total asshole, but he is a total creeper, I guess he’s never meant to be liked anyway.

I did however have some issues with certain events in the movie, parts of it seemed a bit forced trying to invoke emotion and going further than required. Or perhaps it’s just my view is skewed due to already having attachments for characters and didn’t see the need for the additional pushes for empathy or emotion. Additionally I had some minor quibbles with the translation, translating “はい (Hai)” as “Thank you” as well as Shikinami-san as “Ms Shikinami” among a few others. Maybe they’re right, I can’t say for sure but I would have preferred just having “Shikinami-san” in the subs vs “Ms Shikinami” I can’t imagine anyone talking like that in English nor saying “thank you” in place of “yes” or “that is correct”.

Overall though the movie was well produced, there were some obvious CG scenes but they meshed pretty well with the movie as a whole. The characters were slightly altered in both design and personality for the movie, they look better and act better. The movie even had the theatre laughing quite often, in a good (great!) way. If I had to grade the movie I’d probably give it an A-, it wasn’t perfect but I enjoyed it immensely and look forward to 3.0 ASAP. Hurry up Gainax!


PS: I never knew how Seele was pronounced until I was corrected at the theatre. I guess I never listened close enough originally. Thanks random guy whose name I never got!


  1. Chag says:

    Damn, I’m jealous. If only the movie started one hour earlier, I would have been able to make the 10:00pm bus back to Toronto. But alas, couldn’t bring myself to pay around 100 bucks staying the night.

    • Aka says:

      I didn’t realize you lived in Toronto. I used to a few years back. I miss that city.

      I too wish they’d have shown it earlier, I would have been able to hit the club afterwards sooner and enjoy myself a bit longer than I did.

  2. Rico-sama says:

    Mark me down as being jealous as well. Doubt I could’ve made it there under any circumstances, but I’m just jealous that you’ve seen it when I haven’t, lol. 😉 Must’ve been amazing to see in on the big screen.

    Glad to hear there is more originality to this one. While I really enjoyed Evangelion 1.0, everything outside the final 20 minutes (and especially what happened the final 30 seconds) felt like a total rehash.

    PS. Technically these movies are a Studio Khara production. Gainax is listed as being part of the co-production, but Anno wanted to use his new studio (Khara) the lead to specifically give the movies a new feel. Hopefully, this also means we won’t get one of Gainax’s infamous endings. 😛

    • Aka says:

      It was quite something to see, but the theatre wasn’t your average cineplex type deal. It was a smaller single screen theatre which I have to say had poor seats and sound. I found the seats quite uncomfortable and squeaky, and the sound only came from in front of you as opposed to all around like a modern theatre.

      That all said, I wasn’t really paying too much attention once the movie started and didn’t much care save for the odd time when I heard other peoples chairs squeak.

      Curious though Rico, who’s your favourite character? I’ve always been a fan of Asuka myself. I think more so now as I found her more likable in this version. Or maybe that’s just the fanservice talking.

      • Rico-sama says:

        Now there is a loaded question to ask an Eva fan, lol.

        Had you asked me before I saw Evangelion 1.0 I would’ve been like you and say Asuka without hesitation. I know her bitchy, self-serving attitude turned a lot of people off but to me that was a critical element that added to her complexity and made her such an engaging character. She did the most to hide her pain, but also ended up showing it the most.

        Now it’s a toss up between Asuka and Misato. I might be riding the high after only seeing Eva 1.0 recently, but damn did I like how Misato rolled in the last 20 minutes. She’s taken charge of things sooner in this reboot than in the TV series and I can only imagine amazing things will come of it. :3

        I can’t wait to see how Asuka is in the second movie; honestly I’m more interested in that than I am in Mari, lol.

        • Aka says:

          I figured it was a loaded question but I had to know anyway 😛

          I was pretty interested in how Mari would turn out and why they would add her character. But I think I was more annoyed than anything at first, mainly due to her terrible terrible terrible name I think. But I think she proved herself decently. Though I have some annoyances with her that I can’t discuss yet.

          Misato I felt seemed a lot the same but I guess I’m not very observant. Because talking with some people I met at the theatre they made comments about Misato as well. Though I do feel for Misato, her car keeps getting trashed, poor girl.

          • Rico-sama says:

            The thing I noticed that was different about Misato is that she took charge of her surroundings (and the story) in the new movie a lot sooner than she did in the series: Misato is not so happy with naively dancing to Gendo’s or Seele’s tune and has her own goals.

            It makes me think they’ve got great things planned for her.

  3. Zakenna says:

    ooooh that’s awesome you got to see it so soon. You even got to see First Squad too.2009 was a good year for anime in the theaters.(EVA 2.0, Eden of the East movies, Summer Wars, First Squad, KnK 7) Wish I could see some of these in theaters rather than as fansubs/DVDs

  4. […] having been released October 2009, which happened to nearly coincide with the Canadian Premiere of Evangelion 2.0: You Can (Not) Advance which I watched not too long […]

  5. […] Rebuild of Evangelion 2.0: You Can (Not) Advance, I missed out on seeing this in theatre at the Waterloo Festival for Animated Cinema back in 2008, […]

  6. […] perhaps not even look at the base all too carefully. After re-watching Evangelion 2.22 (saw 2.0 back in theatres in November ‘09), I’m reminded which Evangelion Mari ends up piloting and which Eva […]

  7. That1Gai says:

    I’m just wondering, that second girl from the left on the top picture; did anybody else think of her as a ROBOT HORO? idk, that was my first impression.

    • Aka says:

      Pretty sure no one did. That’s Asuka Langley, one of the more iconic characters in anime fandom. Much more widely known and popular than my beloved Horo.

      Horo in a plugsuit would be interesting…