Death or Rebirth? – Review of Evangelion 2.22: You Can (Not) Advance
Title: Evangelion 2.22: You can (not) advance.
Genre: Apocalyptic, Mecha, Psychological
Extras: Trailers, The Making of Evangelion, Cut scenes, Cast commentary.
Disturbed Evangelion pilot Shinji Ikari returns in the second instalment of the ‘Rebuild of Evangelion’ series, a remake of the original anime written by previous director Hideaki Anno. Whilst the first movie differs very little from the series, streamlining the first 6 episodes of the original anime, whilst adding a few scenes that may spark up the brains of fanboys and girls, the second movie provides a storyline almost entirely removed from its forebear.
This is evident from the very beginning, as we are introduced to Evangelion Unit 05, which only warrants a few mentions in the original series, and its pilot Mari Illustrious Makinami, defending Nerv’s Arctic base from an angel attack. However this is the most we see of Mari for a while, as focus turns to Shinji, Japan, and the abrupt and arrogant introduction of Unit 02 and pilot: Asuka Langley.
From here on in, it’s the traditional format: angst and angel bashing (it’s strange how many times the Eva units win against near impossible odds…), though we are given a little more back story and a little more insight into the pilot’s characters and goals, and a little romantic tension on the side.
Fans of the original will find more differences in the movie, with angels showing different characteristics, and different tactics used to dispose of them, including a considerable difference in the introduction of Unit 03. Though the changes don’t end here, Evangelion 2.22 introduces a number of new events, and character developments, whilst changing the way that back story is fed to the audience.
Essentially what Evangelion 2.22: You are (not) alone is typical Evangelion. You can expect fighting, angst, conspiracy and drama in abundance, though it may not be as you remember it. Evangelion is often heralded for its art, its back stories and its action scenes, though when presented with these aspects in Evangelion 2.22, I can’t help but feel that anime has moved on since the mid 90s. The once pioneering animation style is clean, linking CGI with the traditional animation well, but it’s nothing special. The deep back story that stirred fans of the past seems to be smothered with the whining of angsty teens, and the action scenes are in no way out of the ordinary either.
So, when you break it down Evangelion 2.22 is a fairly average film, but The Rebuild of Evangelion films provide new footage and stories to satisfy the taste buds of dedicated fans, and offers a worthy platform to introduce Evangelion to a new audience. In spite of its numerous flaws, it remains one of the better anime on the UK market, ranking amongst my essential anime list. The third film can’t come quickly enough!
Like Evangelion 2.22? Why not try: Code Geass, Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Claymore.
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