Fargo's Japanimation Fun Time! The End of Evangelion

Part two of my Evangelion review series. For the first part in the series, in which I looked at Neon Genesis Evangelion, please go here. This review will also include MAJOR spoilers for Neon Genesis, and some spoilers for End of Evangelion will be present, but major spoilers will be kept in spoiler-boxes for those who have seen the film to read and discuss if they wish.

The End of Evangelion


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For those needing a recap, the central plot of Neon Genesis Evangelion ended with Shinji having defeated the seventeenth and final Angel, known as Tabris. Tabris took the form of a human, and presented himself to Nerv as The Fifth Child, replacing Asuka after her mental breakdown. Tabris then manipulated the feelings of Shinji, being the only person to tell Shinji they loved him. Eventually, Shinji was forced to crush Tabris to prevent the Third Impact. Broken and disillusioned from killing the only person who ever claimed to love him, Shinji vanished into himself.

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End of Evangelion opens as the movie wishes to progress. Shinji is trying to awaken the comatose Asuka, and in doing so accidently rolls her over, revealing her to be naked despite panties. Shinji proceeds to masturbate over her, before declaring himself the 'lowest of the low'. It only gets worse from there on in. Seele, realising Commander Ikari is not going to abide to their plan, sends in an elite force to wipe out Nerve. The majority of the movie takes place as the elite force decimates Nerv headquarters in a protracted action sequence.

The main issue with the plot is not the events that occur, but rather that it doesn't always feel very cohesive. For the most part, the film is an extended action sequence, but scattered throughout this sequence are the various characters carrying out their final plans. The issue with this is that the motivations behind these final moments aren't always clear, especially with Gendo Ikari. It is unclear quite what side he is on until very late in the movie. While he seems to wish to cause the Third Impact, that also appears to be the intention of Seele, and so the conflict that arises between them both is hazy in its origins, to the point where I was almost completely unclear on the motivations of Gendo Ikari. Seele is far simpler to dissect as an entity, as the series presents them as wholly antagonistic, while Gendo Ikari is much more of a neutral character, and as such his character motivations, and overall arc, aren't as well fleshed out as it should have been. After re-analysing a later scene, I eventually did figure out his primary motivation, but it was not as clear as it could have been.

Apart from this, the story is actually sublime. While I felt the series was not always strong in its narrative and storytelling, with a large amount of the over arching conspiracy theory left completely untouched until the final moments of the series, End of Evangelion has a genuinely great narrative and story, which, while not typing up every loose end, certainly morphs into something much larger and greater than the series itself. The reason for this I feel lies in the darker and more disturbing nature the film has over the original series. Almost all of the characters are emotionally broken when the film opens, and Hideaki Anno has no qualms with killing some of them off altogether, in unimaginably gruesome ways. This ramps up the intensity of the story, and further brings understanding to the various characters and their end.

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With the story being significantly stronger than that of the series, the same can be said of the production values. In terms of animation and art, the film looks great. While it doesn't look as smooth as films like Ghost in the Shell, with the lesser budget and timeframe Anno and crew had, they produced something that looks genuinely great. The highlight of the film is the protracted battle between the Unit 02 Eva and the JSSDF troops, culminating with one of the more disturbing images I've seen in an anime.

While I received some flak for my comments on the music in my Neon Genesis review, I will say I felt End of Evangelion made improvements soundtrack wise. Most of the more traditional pieces that were used in the series return, albeit with a further layer of polish due to them being re-recorded, but some more original music is also used, with the piece Komm, Susser Tod being a particular highlight, used incredibly effectively in a scene that could have lived or died based on soundtrack.

With the same voice actors being used from the series in both the original Japanese and English dub, there isn't much of a change there. The Japanese continues to be superior, but the English dub is still satisfactory. Megumi Ogata continues to be outstanding as Shinji, although her performance is far more low-key given the characterization of Shinji, but she does hit all the right notes in nearly every scene. Seriously, I don't think I can commend that performance enough.

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For those who enjoyed Neon Genesis Evangelion, End of Evangelion is a must watch. Not only does it give a far meatier and satisfactory conclusion to the series, it's a genuinely great movie in its own right. The problem is that for those who haven't seen Neon Genesis, it is completely inaccessible. It was clearly made for fans, or at the very least those who understood and enjoyed the series.

Can I really count End of Evangelion and Neon Genesis Evangelion as the same entity? If so, then the series is certainly a great piece of animation, and while it doesn't quite live up the hype it has garnered over the years (and to be fair, nothing ever could), it is fantastic in its own right. For a show that has influenced a staggering amount of anime since its release, it's good to be able to say that Evangelion is a show that can stand on its own two feet, without having its place in history be there support it.

Since there was a spoiler warning, I will not read it. I'm sure it was still good though.

I would however like to remind you that you created a user group a while back, and that you should really start advertising it at the end of your reviews.

Marter:
Since there was a spoiler warning, I will not read it. I'm sure it was still good though.

I would however like to remind you that you created a user group a while back, and that you should really start advertising it at the end of your reviews.

I don't like advertising stuff like that. I really don't feel comfortable about it.

Unlike some people I could mention :P

FargoDog:
I don't like advertising stuff like that. I really don't feel comfortable about it.

Unlike some people I could mention :P

I'd like to call 'bull' on you in this case. Your ego is big enough that you shouldn't mind. you just forgot, didn't you? Yeah, that must be it.

*flees*

Marter:

I'd like to call 'bull' on you in this case. Your ego is big enough that you shouldn't mind. you just forgot, didn't you? Yeah, that must be it.

*flees*

If I just forgot, I surely would have added it after you reminded me. Therefore it's my complete lack of ego that's stopping me from putting it up. I'm the most humble person in the world, you see.

According to the makers of Evangelion Auska's eye color is result due to the lighting of the scene and her bandages are for the extreme brutality that the mas production Evas inflicted upon her. the whole shes a mixture of everyone theory was dis proven.
Also Gendou's plan was to bring back his wife and make themselves godlike and bring peace to the world

A lovely review once more. This is pretty much Eva Weekend; I've not been able to discuss the thing on these forums for a good while. I thank you for this opportunity.

I actually found the things like Gendo's reasons for his actions to be rather clear the first time through. Overall, EoE completed the series definitively for me. When I first finished NGE, I was actually very pissed. The way it ended, showing Shinji overcoming his depression, I was very angry because I was myself in a depression at that time. I wanted to know how he got through it and I found that never to be clearly explained. It wasn't until several months later, after I had come out of my depression on my own that I understood. That aside, I saw EoE shortly after finishing the anime and I felt completely satisfied with it. I actually watched EoE a second time the very day after seeing it originally just for the hell of it.

That masturbating scene was horrible. First time seeing that, I kept thinking that he was just crying, but then it showed that the door was locked and it kept going on... Once they showed his hand and no doubt was left, I was simply shocked. Your mention of Asuka's fight scene also very much shocked me when it ended. I simply couldn't believe they would end it that way and my mouth was on the floor on my first viewing.

Another fancy note, it wasn't until EoE that I realized that Shinji had brown hair. I always thought it was black in the series.

On the music, yes it was wonderful. Komm Susser Todd was an amazing song and even created a meme. Hell, the whole movie created several memes. I absolutely love Komm Susser Todd and it really was perfect in how they used it.

Can't wait for you next reviews on the Rebuilds.

Aby_Z:
A lovely review once more. This is pretty much Eva Weekend; I've not been able to discuss the thing on these forums for a good while. I thank you for this opportunity.

I actually found the things like Gendo's reasons for his actions to be rather clear the first time through. Overall, EoE completed the series definitively for me. When I first finished NGE, I was actually very pissed. The way it ended, showing Shinji overcoming his depression, I was very angry because I was myself in a depression at that time. I wanted to know how he got through it and I found that never to be clearly explained. It wasn't until several months later, after I had come out of my depression on my own that I understood. That aside, I saw EoE shortly after finishing the anime and I felt completely satisfied with it. I actually watched EoE a second time the very day after seeing it originally just for the hell of it.

That masturbating scene was horrible. First time seeing that, I kept thinking that he was just crying, but then it showed that the door was locked and it kept going on... Once they showed his hand and no doubt was left, I was simply shocked. Your mention of Asuka's fight scene also very much shocked me when it ended. I simply couldn't believe they would end it that way and my mouth was on the floor on my first viewing.

Another fancy note, it wasn't until EoE that I realized that Shinji had brown hair. I always thought it was black in the series.

On the music, yes it was wonderful. Komm Susser Todd was an amazing song and even created a meme. Hell, the whole movie created several memes. I absolutely love Komm Susser Todd and it really was perfect in how they used it.

Can't wait for you next reviews on the Rebuilds.

It wasn't so much that I was unsure of why Gendo was doing what he was doing, they just kind of explained it a little too late. I felt it would have more sense if they had explained it earlier on, as the whole conflict between him and Seele was perplexing as I figured they wanted the same thing, but I did understand later on. Maybe it was just myself being slow towards it.

I thought it was black in the series too. I guess it's just because the colours look slightly faded given the age of it. And Komm Susser Todd is amazing. As soon as the movie was over I went and found it on Wikipedia because I liked it so much. Not only is it a great song, the way they use it works really well, and it manages to be strangely horrifying given the scene that it's playing over.

Speaking of discussing the series more, I was thinking of doing a whole overview of the series next Sunday, more focusing on the production on a whole and what it meant to anime, as well as just looking at the whole series in one big collective entity. But the main reason for doing that is I was also thinking of adding input from other people who really liked Evangelion into the actual 'article' (which is probably the best word for it), because it feels like with just me examining it I'm really not getting as far in towards it as I would like and with the input of others thoughts I feel it would be far stronger. Any chance you would be interested, especially considering you have far more affection for the series than I do? Of course, you and everyone else who contributes would be fully credited.

FargoDog:
It wasn't so much that I was unsure of why Gendo was doing what he was doing, they just kind of explained it a little too late. I felt it would have more sense if they had explained it earlier on, as the whole conflict between him and Seele was perplexing as I figured they wanted the same thing, but I did understand later on. Maybe it was just myself being slow towards it.

I thought it was black in the series too. I guess it's just because the colours look slightly faded given the age of it. And Komm Susser Todd is amazing. As soon as the movie was over I went and found it on Wikipedia because I liked it so much. Not only is it a great song, the way they use it works really well, and it manages to be strangely horrifying given the scene that it's playing over.

Speaking of discussing the series more, I was thinking of doing a whole overview of the series next Sunday, more focusing on the production on a whole and what it meant to anime, as well as just looking at the whole series in one big collective entity. But the main reason for doing that is I was also thinking of adding input from other people who really liked Evangelion into the actual 'article' (which is probably the best word for it), because it feels like with just me examining it I'm really not getting as far in towards it as I would like and with the input of others thoughts I feel it would be far stronger. Any chance you would be interested, especially considering you have far more affection for the series than I do? Of course, you and everyone else who contributes would be fully credited.

I'm thinking it subtly hinted at as the series kept going. The thing I got from the series, though, is that Gendo was obviously doing something against Seele's wishes, though his reasoning behind it was purposely left unclear. For instance, Gendo's acquiring of Adam was very suspicious. I should go back to watch the series a third time, methinks; I'll probably make a yearly marathon out of it.

Like I said on the last thread, I've gotten the entire OST of NGE, from the original up to the Rebiuld movies. Komm Susser Todd is absolutely wonderful despite the message it presents, or maybe because of the message. I'm not entirely sure.

Oh, I'd love to help. I could go on for a very long time discussing NGE. NGE is a series that's meant to be discussed. The answers aren't simply fed to you, so it's up to the viewer to take what they will. There's just so many things you can get out of so many aspects of it.

Oh, a final note that I forgot, there's a lovely hint in ruling out many interpretations of NGE. For one, the only reason Anno chose the name 'Neon Genesis Evangelion' is because he thought it "sounded complicated." Also, all the religious symbolism means absolutely nothing. It was just something different to use since Christianity isn't, or wasn't too common in Japan. It's like how you'll commonly hear Latin Chanting in a particularly epic score for a movie. They could be singing about hugging ducks for all we care, but the fact that Latin is so strange and different really gives that certain exotic quality to things.

Aby_Z:

I'm thinking it subtly hinted at as the series kept going. The thing I got from the series, though, is that Gendo was obviously doing something against Seele's wishes, though his reasoning behind it was purposely left unclear. For instance, Gendo's acquiring of Adam was very suspicious. I should go back to watch the series a third time, methinks; I'll probably make a yearly marathon out of it.

Like I said on the last thread, I've gotten the entire OST of NGE, from the original up to the Rebiuld movies. Komm Susser Todd is absolutely wonderful despite the message it presents, or maybe because of the message. I'm not entirely sure.

Oh, I'd love to help. I could go on for a very long time discussing NGE. NGE is a series that's meant to be discussed. The answers aren't simply fed to you, so it's up to the viewer to take what they will. There's just so many things you can get out of so many aspects of it.

Oh, a final note that I forgot, there's a lovely hint in ruling out many interpretations of NGE. For one, the only reason Anno chose the name 'Neon Genesis Evangelion' is because he thought it "sounded complicated." Also, all the religious symbolism means absolutely nothing. It was just something different to use since Christianity isn't, or wasn't too common in Japan. It's like how you'll commonly hear Latin Chanting in a particularly epic score for a movie. They could be singing about hugging ducks for all we care, but the fact that Latin is so strange and different really gives that certain exotic quality to things.

Awesome. I'm still not quite too sure of how I'm going to construct the whole thing, but I definitely want it to be more substantial than simply a thread that boils down to 'What dy'all think about Evangelion?' I'll try and get an outline for it down by the time I post Evangelion 2.22 on Sunday, and then try and get PMs out to various people asking if they want to contribute, and then take it from there. I've got a whole two weeks off from school, so I can pretty much just focus my efforts on getting that done next week. Hopefully I'll get quite a few people on board and get something really cool out of it. If you know anyone else on the Escapist willing to get involved it would certainly help, but at the same time I'd kinda like it to be kept under wraps as much as possible, despite the fact everyone reading the last few posts will now know.

As for the Christian symbolism, I also believe Anno wished for people to have their own take on what Evangelion means to them, and to be honest with how End of Evangelion turned out I find it very hard to believe that there wasn't some intentional relation to Christian theology in there, especially given the whole concept behind LCL, and the very blatant mention of the 'Tree of Life', which while an all encompassing symbol in general, its ties with the image of the Cross and allusions to the Book of Genesis (i.e Adam and Eve) give off strong Christians overtones that transcend aesthetics. The Dead Sea Scrolls are another give away, even though they are tied far more strongly to the Hebrew bible. But as I said, Anno wished for everyone to have their own take, and he pretty much gave each viewer the ability to do so and while some theories are more plausible than others, everyone will view the series (and EoE in particular) in a different way.

FargoDog:
Awesome. I'm still not quite too sure of how I'm going to construct the whole thing, but I definitely want it to be more substantial than simply a thread that boils down to 'What dy'all think about Evangelion?' I'll try and get an outline for it down by the time I post Evangelion 2.22 on Sunday, and then try and get PMs out to various people asking if they want to contribute, and then take it from there. I've got a whole two weeks off from school, so I can pretty much just focus my efforts on getting that done next week. Hopefully I'll get quite a few people on board and get something really cool out of it. If you know anyone else on the Escapist willing to get involved it would certainly help, but at the same time I'd kinda like it to be kept under wraps as much as possible, despite the fact everyone reading the last few posts will now know.

As for the Christian symbolism, I also believe Anno wished for people to have their own take on what Evangelion means to them, and to be honest with how End of Evangelion turned out I find it very hard to believe that there wasn't some intentional relation to Christian theology in there, especially given the whole concept behind LCL, and the very blatant mention of the 'Tree of Life', which while an all encompassing symbol in general, its ties with the image of the Cross and allusions to the Book of Genesis (i.e Adam and Eve) give off strong Christians overtones that transcend aesthetics. The Dead Sea Scrolls are another give away, even though they are tied far more strongly to the Hebrew bible. But as I said, Anno wished for everyone to have their own take, and he pretty much gave each viewer the ability to do so and while some theories are more plausible than others, everyone will view the series (and EoE in particular) in a different way.

Hopefully it can turn into a rather nice final product.

Yeah, though again NGE just utilizes the fancy names as it cares to. For instance, each name has an angelic sounding name that corresponds with the roll it played. For instance, Zeruel - the angel that appeared in Ep. 19 - was the strongest Angel of them all. If I remember correctly, Zeruel is basically the 'arm of God.'

Even though the religious aspects have been officially discredited, they can still apply oddly enough. That's the best thing about NGE; it's all up to the viewer.

Aby_Z:

Hopefully it can turn into a rather nice final product.

Yeah, though again NGE just utilizes the fancy names as it cares to. For instance, each name has an angelic sounding name that corresponds with the roll it played. For instance, Zeruel - the angel that appeared in Ep. 19 - was the strongest Angel of them all. If I remember correctly, Zeruel is basically the 'arm of God.'

Even though the religious aspects have been officially discredited, they can still apply oddly enough. That's the best thing about NGE; it's all up to the viewer.

The names of the Angels don't really have much bearing. One of them is even named after a God of Poetry and Music, so I think Anno was pretty much just throwing names out and seeing if they would stick to the wall when it came to that. Actually, out of the Angels the only one I can think of that has a solid link to Christianity is Adam, and that's a very blatant connection. There are a few others named after various things, but none that I could make a reasonable link with the shows themes and plot.

I guess when a series gets as big a fanbase as Evangelion has, how its perceived really is up to the fans in the end, or even just the individual viewers.

FargoDog:
The names of the Angels don't really have much bearing. One of them is even named after a God of Poetry and Music, so I think Anno was pretty much just throwing names out and seeing if they would stick to the wall when it came to that. Actually, out of the Angels the only one I can think of that has a solid link to Christianity is Adam, and that's a very blatant connection. There are a few others named after various things, but none that I could make a reasonable link with the shows themes and plot.

I guess when a series gets as big a fanbase as Evangelion has, how its perceived really is up to the fans in the end, or even just the individual viewers.

You forget Lilith, who was the first wife of Adam or something of the sort. I've never been much for religious mythologies other than the lovable Greek myths. The names of each Angel does make sense, though. I forget exactly what all of them mean, but there's some justification to each of 'em.

It's pretty rare that you get anything that can survive 15 years and still be as popular, if not more so than it was back-in-the-day. It kind of needs that kind of following to survive.

Aby_Z:

You forget Lilith, who was the first wife of Adam or something of the sort. I've never been much for religious mythologies other than the lovable Greek myths. The names of each Angel does make sense, though. I forget exactly what all of them mean, but there's some justification to each of 'em.

It's pretty rare that you get anything that can survive 15 years and still be as popular, if not more so than it was back-in-the-day. It kind of needs that kind of following to survive.

Most of the angels do have some kind of connection to various religious or mythological beings or terminology, but how those names actually conect with the series is very loose, at least in my opinion. As for the fanbase, I think it helps that so many anime since Evangelion have referenced or outright stolen from it, which has helped keep it firmly rooted in anime history. Plus, as Anno doesn't want to give his own conclusive theory behind the series there will most likely always be people speculating, interpreting and analysing the thing, giving it tons more longevity.

FargoDog:
Most of the angels do have some kind of connection to various religious or mythological beings or terminology, but how those names actually conect with the series is very loose, at least in my opinion. As for the fanbase, I think it helps that so many anime since Evangelion have referenced or outright stolen from it, which has helped keep it firmly rooted in anime history. Plus, as Anno doesn't want to give his own conclusive theory behind the series there will most likely always be people speculating, interpreting and analysing the thing, giving it tons more longevity.

Yeah. Honestly, I'd hate if Anno gave us a conclusive view on the series as that'd just take way too much out of it. It's better letting everyone take what they can from it.

Thanks for that little reference FargoDog :)

Asuka's fight scene is still one of the coolest things in animation eventhough it ends rather tragic. Plus, it's one of those rare movies where you actually get to witness the end of the world.

Keep up the good work with the Rebuild movies!

Aby_Z:
You forget Lilith, who was the first wife of Adam or something of the sort. I've never been much for religious mythologies other than the lovable Greek myths. The names of each Angel does make sense, though. I forget exactly what all of them mean, but there's some justification to each of 'em.

Lilith was apparently made in God's own image just like Adam, meaning that she was equel to him in every sense. Adam didn't really like this since she wasn't submissive to him and Lilith got bored with him sexually. She ran away and Adam asked God to bring her back by sending two angels to go get her who she inturn cursed.

 

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