After years of patiently waiting, the third installment of the film reboots of the Neon Genesis Evangelion anime series has finally come with Evangelion 3.0: You Can (Not) Redo. Those brave enough to attempt jumping in on the action without having seen the first two movies will be as confused as a baby in algebra class and destined for failure.
Those who take the time to catch up on all the action, even those diehard fans of the franchise, might be left scratching their heads after the credits roll. That said, this is still one of those rare anime events that, with a little patience, will reward those looking for an adventure with depth and substance, and will most likely enjoy the trippy ride nonetheless.
Taking place right after the freaky and horrifying events of the last film, our hero Shinji has awakened after being in suspended animation for 14 years. He learns much has changed, as there are now two factions that use giant mech suits known as “Evas” to fight against the “Angel” aliens that just randomly appear and are trying to bring about the end of the world (if this sounds familiar, this franchise is known for inspiring the recent Pacific Rim movie). There’s Nerv, the original group that’s headed by Shinji’s father, who wants to conduct a genocidal purge to bring about the end of the world and force humanity to transcend to the next evolutionary phase.
And then there’s the other faction called Wille, who wants to stop this purge and the Angels the best way they can. While being torn between the two groups to be used as a pawn, the lonely and confused Shinji makes a friend at long last with the kind but eccentric Kaworu Nagisa. What Shinji doesn’t realize is that the both of them hold either the destruction or salvation of the entire human race in their hands.
As with the previous films, this one continues the bizarre yet fascinating story of Evangelion, along with the drama and mecha action fans have come to expect. While it is pretty apparent that this entry isn’t as exciting and action packed as the first two, there’s still enough story to carry it through. I enjoyed the slower pace here, and how it focuses on Shinji and Kaworu becoming close friends, as well as some of the more freaky elements such as Shinji’s dead mother still being alive and closer to him than he knows. And just when fans thought they’ve seen it all in the TV series and older films, there’s also a nice bit of disturbing imagery that is sure to freak out even the most unshakeable of viewers. The fantastic artwork, animation, and voice acting (the english voice cast from the series and previous films return) also helps to keep those who take this trippy journey to stay deep into it.
I’ll be honest, Evangelion 3.0: You Can (Not) Redo isn’t going to be for everyone. Even dedicated fans may be left scratching their heads alongside those new to the franchise. But if you’re looking for something deep and weird to watch, and are willing to just take it in and give it a chance, then Evangelion 3.0 along with the previous two entries will blow you away and have you set to take on the next and final entry of the movies.
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