Evangelion: 2.22 You Can (Not) Advance deculture!

Mind blown!

OK not really, but I was pleasantly surprised by this movie. Since it’s been out for almost a year now, I’m not even gonna bother warning about spoilers or have a summary laid down before I start.


Evangelion 2.22 had everything I could have asked from a sequel. Hideaki Anno lived up to his promise of delivering a much better story. The movie started off with the new character Mari Makinami for the explosive opening setpiece. Her role in the movie was somewhat minimal, but important enough to advance the plot forward; a nice addition to the story, without being too obtrusive. In fact, for a while I was a bit worried that she might cut into Asuka’s screen time.

Probably the biggest change and miraculous addition to Evangelion movies is the change in Asuka’s character. She is a good girl (omgwtf?!). Don’t get me wrong though, she’s still pompous and keeps her “better than thou” attitude going on for a while once she enters Tokyo. However, after the Eighth Angel fight, she comes to her senses and realises how important teamwork is. As the movie progresses and she interacts more with Shinji and Rei, we come to know and understand a rather mature Asuka, who has already accepted her complicated past, and doesn’t fall down to the emo depths of self loathing. And so it came as a great shock that one of the most important, and universally hated, character from Evangelion was killed half way into the movie. Asuka’s death was certainly sad, especially after she had become just a good girl. Damn this cruel world!

And that’s probably the fate of Earth, unless Shinji and Rei….survive? Apart from that, the movie kept up an extremely nice pace. Hints of SEELE’s “master plans” were shown whenever it was necessary for the plot to advance, and the ‘Human Instrumentality Project’ details were kept to minimum, with mysterious references made here and there. All the psychological craziness was kept for the end. I guess it made sense what Shinji was trying to do, and how he accomplishes it is certainly more plausible than the bullshit that started going on in the anime.

Apart from Shinji and Rei, it was nice to see Misato and Kaji’s characters develop so well. None of them had any emotional breakdowns in the movie. In fact, they helped the young ones understand the responsibilities and complexities of adult life; guiding them, instead of whining with them. Heck, I don’t even hate Gendo! Yes, he’s usually cruel to his son, but he takes out the time to acknowledge Shinji’s brave actions (for once!). Indeed, when he allows the Dummy Plug to take control of Unit 01, his actions were quite understandable. He may still end up being a bad guy, but for now at least, he’s looking out for those around him. With cold logic, of course.

Every new character in the movie had a badass intro, but nothing beats Kaworu’s descend to Earth and plunging the Lance of Longinus through Unit 01 to stop the Third Impact. He was another irritating character in the anime who was transformed into somebody likeable in the movie. In that his dialogues were short and insightful, and his appearance was always kept to a minimum.

The animation was extremely top notch, better than the first movie of course, especially during the battle sequences with each Angel. The music really played well to the mood. During school and at the aquarium field trip, it was a pleasant melody that evokes happiness. I was quite intrigued by the song they played during Asuka’s death scene as it felt out of place at first, but made sense towards the end. Best of all were the epic orchestral scores during the final battle sequences, especially when Mari decides to go berserk with Unit 02.

All said and done, this is the best anime movie I’ve seen since Evangelion 1.11 last year. The animation and background music was absolutely astounding, but best of all were the characters and how they developed over the course of the movie. Even Utada Hikaru’s PLANiTb Acoustica mix of Beautiful World was as mesmerising as the original. The only thing I can complaint about is the ending preview. They really shouldn’t have shown her there. It would have been such a nice surprise for the third movie, but otherwise, cannot wait for Evangelion: 3.0 Quickening!


11 Responses to “Evangelion: 2.22 You Can (Not) Advance deculture!”

  1. 1 Roy Mustang
    May 30, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    “nd so it came as a great shock that one of the most important, and universally hated, character from Evangelion was killed half way into the movie.”

    Asuka was universally hated? Askua was my and many other’s favorite character. Everybody hates Shinji.

    PS: They didn’t have the balls to kill her. Pirate Asuka is in the previews.

    • 2 th
      May 30, 2010 at 9:05 pm

      Well, she was pretty well hated in my circle of friends. Mind you they had just started watching anime, so maybe their tolerance level for whiny little bitches was low back then.

      And yeah, Pirate Asuka lives, which is what I was referring to in my last paragraph. They shouldn’t have shown her in the Preview.

      Still, I’m surprised how much I love this movie and everything about it. Got the OST. “Angel of Doom” was my favourite track from Eva 1.0 and “The Final Decision” in EVa 2.0 is just….absolutely wow!

  2. 3 Roy Mustang
    May 30, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    “He was another irritating character in the anime who was transformed into somebody likeable in the movie.”

    The Shinji pirate was an awesome character. He was instrumental to the plot and his death scene (Ode to Joy!) is on par with Nagisa/Misuzu’s scenes. And you and your friends hated queen tsundere herself…

    Well, at least you aren’t one of those Rei/Mommy lovers…

  3. 4 Son Gohan
    May 31, 2010 at 1:28 am

    “Yes, he’s usually cruel to his son, but he takes out the time to acknowledge Shinji’s brave actions (for once!).”

    Even in the tv series Gendo complimented Shinji after the battle against Giant-Eye Angel.
    The only difference is that he went to the South Pole instead of the Moon.

  4. 5 Princess God
    May 31, 2010 at 5:24 am

    Asuka is NOT universally hated. It’s just Shinji that people hate.

  5. 6 EHH
    May 31, 2010 at 10:58 am

    Um… Asuka is not dead. She was just critically injured and in quarantine because she is infected with that Angel that took over Unit 03.

  6. June 1, 2010 at 12:40 am

    I just recently watched it and I liked it. A few changes from the series, but welcome changes. As far as the Asuka hatred, I hate her. I know many that love her character. I find her just as annoying in this installment of Eva. Shinji was hated too, honestly I prefer him over Asuka. Shinji is fearful, overly sensitive and at times a huge coward. Despite my disliking of her, to know she isn’t dead is sort of a good thing. The storyline needs her.

    • 8 th
      June 1, 2010 at 10:15 am

      I liked Asuka this time around. In fact, I was actually a bit sad when her death was implied.

      One other change I really liked was the fact that Shinji’s school friends (forgot their names) didn’t opt in for Unit 03’s testing. If memory serves, they (or the guy who punched Shinji) became the pilot of Unit 03 in the anime. Anyways, Mari is a far better choice for two simple reasons: she’s mysterious (ooh!) and she unleashed the berserk mode (aka The Beast) in Unit 02.

      • June 1, 2010 at 3:12 pm

        You’re right Touji and Kensuske sat it out. The bit about his sister and them making ammends I really liked. Mari rocks! But there was something about Gendou this time around. It started out with him not being so callous towards Shinji. For a moment I thought he might be proud of Shinji and not so stern. Too bad that thought all went to hell towards the end.

      • December 30, 2010 at 12:34 pm

        Um, showing her in the next-episode bit at the end makes it pretty clear she’s not dead. She just has an eye patch (yaar!.

        Got to watch everything in Gainax films.

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