Recently I visited the cinema in Japan for the very first time, to see Evangelion 3.0: You Can (Not) Redo, the highly anticipated third installment in the Rebuild of Evangelion movie series. Harvey, Juan and I went to Toho Cinema in Umeda, and from the moment you walk in the door it’s the kind of efficient operation you come to take for granted in Japan. We purchased our tickets using a nifty touchscreen terminal, which also allowed us to select our seats in the theatre, then in we went, no hassle. It was interesting glancing around the theatre to appreciate the range of people there, salarymen, schoolgirls and otaku like ourselves 🙂
Before the film, a live-action Studio Ghibli short aired which featured the God Warriors from Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind arriving in Tokyo and pretty much laying waste to the whole place. I’d never appreciated how alike the God Warriors and EVA units are, but the proportions and features are pretty similar.
Spoilers from here on!
So, the movie itself is set 14 years after Evangelion 2.0 and opens with a big action sequence. Asuka and Mari(who haven’t aged) are in space, attempting to recover Unit-01 and Shinji when they’re attacked. Asuka screams for Shinji to do something, awakening Unit-01 which proceeds to destroy the attackers. This fast paced battle looked awesome on the big screen(you can watch the first 6 minutes or so of the movie above).
After this, we return to Earth(which is screwed) and everyone pretty much hates Shiji’s guts. NERV members have separated into two factions and are fighting against each other(Shinji spends time with both) and there’s a world-ending scenario in play. The movie’s very character driven, bookended by major action sequences and a setup for the final installment.
My Japanese isn’t great, but I got the jist of all the story. Character motivations and some plot points were a bit convoluted though and I was left with quite a few questions…
- So Misato and gang have a huge flying fortress, but Asuka’s plugsuit needs to be fixed up with duct tape? Conveniently correctly coloured duct tape mind you, but still duct tape…
- If piloting an EVA unit keeps you young, why isn’t everyone jumping in an entry plug?
- Considering they’re only 2 dudes, NERV seem to be running just fine…
- On that, where the hell are all the people on Earth?! Things are screwed for sure…
- Oh Kaworu, why did you put on that collar?!
The movie ends with a preview for Evangelion: Final which I seriously doubt will be the end of the franchise. My friend Harvey mentioned before the movie that the gross of the movies have risen with each release, so there’s clearly a want for more Evangelion and a still growing fanbase.
Despite my confusion, I really enjoyed the movie, the animation and detail were both fantastic. And despite being a little lost language-wise, the movie absolutely flew by.
Finally, another great aspect of Japanese cinemas is the brilliant anti-piracy ad that’s screened before the film!