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!