Evangelion 2.22: You Can (Not) Advance
Finally! Evangelion 2.0: You Can (Not) Advance gets released on DVD and Blu-Ray. Much like the first movie, Evangelion 1.0: You Are (Not) Alone which had it’s Blu-Ray release using the moniker Evangelion 1.11, the next installment of the Rebuild of Evangelion Project gets the same incremental update treatment, releasing as Evangelion 2.22 on Blu-Ray.
For accuracy’s sake, I’ll be referring to the movie as Evangelion 2.22 instead of Evangelion 2.0. It’s saner that way.
Evangelion 2.22 You Can (Not) Advance continues where You are (Not) Alone cuts off and starts off with an intense Eva x Angel battle between unit 05 and the an unidentified creature. It’s here that we’re first introduced to Mari Illustrious Makinami, one of the many additions addition into the Evangelion mythos. Love her or hate her, she’s here to stay as a main character.
Ok before proceeding, here’s a forewarning. A lot has changed from the original series so it’s better to watch the movie without any expectations otherwise you’ll have a hard time accepting a lot of changes (an believe me, there’s a lot of them). If you want a refresh, I suggest watching You Are Not Alone only and not the original series or even the remastered version of the DVD. It’s best that you leave all that behind before watching this movie.
Asuka arrives in a much more dramatic entrance with an airdrop assault with her Unit 02 on another incoming Angel instead of the deep-ocean battle with the carrier fleet. Oh, and she’s now know as Asuka Langley Shikikami, not Asuka Langley Sohryu. While she retains that mean, temperamental attitude, she much more tolerable this time around. In typical Evangelion style, we’re treated to views of her tasty bits during a similar scene with Shinji in the first movie.
Ryouji Kaji’s entrance to the story has pretty much stayed the same as well as his character.
We’re also treated to a few scenes with Kaoru Nagisa but just enough to give the sense to newcomers to the series that he’s major character quite a bit further into the future.
Ayanami Rei shows a much more human version of herself this time around. Imagine my shock when she greeted everyone in the room Good Morning. O_O. I know that’s bound to turn off a lot of people (those that insist that her doll-like countenance is that of the perfect woman… lol) but it’s good to see emotion flittering on that cute face of hers. To think that she actually organized dinner for Shinji and his father to get along. This contributed a lot to the effect that the ending had on me 🙁 which we’ll get to in a bit.
How does it look?
Wow. While the battles are pretty much the most touted scenes for a movie of a title this popular, I’m much more impressed with their depiction of typical Tokyo-3 life. Just seeing the massive solar towers move into motion as the sun’s first rays approach make you want to live there :).
One of the best scenes for the movie is with the wildlife reserve. Why the wildlife reserve you say? For one, it’s a peek into the planet’s current state, ocean creatures can only survive within the blue waters of the reserve as the oceans are filled with blood/LCL. In puts the state of the world in Evangelion in proper retrospect and how difficult life really is. Sure it’s just an anime but being able to see something as mundane as this adds a whole new level of respect for Gainax and the current team involved with the project.
Now for the battles. Nosebleed much? There’s so much detail to absorb and yet they’re still quite the treat. It’s like having a slice of cake that’s too sweet for your taste. You want it, yet it hurts but you can’t get enough of it.
In typical japanese mecha-style, the people in the CIC are still throwing lots of jargon around that half of the time makes little sense (the subs that I’ve downloaded didn’t even bother with most of them :)) but they’re like the butter to the cake that’s the actual battle scenes. Why are battles much more enjoyable this time around? Because we get to see much more of what happens inside the entry plug. That and they’re simple too amazing to ignore :).
So what happened?
If you’ve been paying attention, storywise, Gainax has rewritten a whole lot about what we know about Evangelion. So much that I’m contemplating on rewatching the series just to see what else they changed. What happens in 2.22 may break the series for you so be sure to watch it heeding the warning above.
Early in the movie, we’ve seen mentions of multiple Eva Units other than the ones station in Tokyo-3. 03 from the US, 04 which gets destroyed along with Nerv’s second branch, 05 from the start of the movie and 06 from the scene on the moon with Kaoru.
Touji is no longer the designated pilot for Unit 03. Ritsuko mentions the Vatican Treaty that limits the number of Eva units that a country can carry so to qualify for it’s terms, Unit 02 needed to be sealed. The decision to make Asuka the pilot of the new unit came from Misato, not the Marduk Institution (a dummy entity that was mentioned quite a bit in the original series). During the interim before any mentions of the new unit, Asuka and Shinji’s relationship have become much more cordial (even without the key scenes from the series) which explains why she was learning how to cook after getting wind of Rei’s plans of home made dinner. This gave a whole new emotional leverage for the battle between Unit 01 and Unit 03.
Before activation of Unit 03, Asuka and Misato gets the chance to have a heart-to-heart talk which proves Asuka’s less aggressive nature. Asuka fans also get some well deserved fan service from the test plugsuit :D.
The movie then proceeds in the following sequence, Unit 03 got creamed and the entry plug destroyed before Shinji’s eyes. Emo-pilot goes beserk, get tased, faints and then leaves Nerv. Asuka does survive the ordeal but she’s out of the picture for now. Enter the most powerful Angel to date. Note that I’m skipping much of the movie since it’s very similar to what happened so far. The point after that however is where the movie deviates again.
Mari takes control of Unit 02 and intercepts the incoming angel, Zeruel. Unit 02’s armaments are deemed ineffective by Zeruel’s AT field so Mari decides to activate the Eva’s hidden ability. Unit 02 fully awakens at will, in this mode, Mari controls the Eva ala-gundam-G (move the way you want your gundam to move) but still gets her ass handed to her. This time at least, Unit 02 is still somewhat functional even after getting part of it’s head blown off.
Rei appears with Unit 00 still in bad shape and slams a missile packed with N2 mines at Zeruel which promptly responds with an AT field. Mangled but still operational, Unit 02 was able to tear away the AT field but Zeruel was able to seal off it’s core just before the explosion.
Mari’s Unit 02 lands and destroys half of the shelter that Shinji is hiding in and she takes it into herself to use her remaining power to get him to safety.
Rei dies. What? Just like that? Yes. For the next few seconds I was stumped too seeing Unit 00 get eaten by the Angel and absorbed. Not as dramatic as her death in the series but.. still it’s too sudden :(.
Seeing what happens to Rei and Unit 00, Shinji jumps off Unit 02’s hands and starts running towards GeoFront. Shinji calls Gendou “Father” and the old man flinches indicating that he’s not that much of a cold-hearted bastard but that’s probably from seeing Rei get eaten no?. Unit 01 activates with Shinji at the helm and he takes the fight outside, beating down the Angel-Eva hybrid until his power gets depleted. Zeruel takes advantage of the situation cutting into Unit 01. Unit 01 then awakens even without the passcode, that Mari used. A halo appears above the Unit 01’s head as it displays Angel-like powers to attack Zeruel.
Shinji tries to extract Rei from within the Angel’s core, inadvertently initiating the same stigmata that floats above the South Pole after the Second Impact (indicating that this is the beginning of the Third Impact). Shinji was successful in extracting Rei, but only her soul, her body has been physically absorbed by the merger with the Angel’s core after all. In his hand however, was the tape player that was in Rei’s possession.
Ritsuko’s parting words are “The Third Impact is beginning. The World will end.”
Well that is until you reach the credits. 🙂 The Third impact is stopped by Unit 06 and Kaworu and we’re stuck waiting for more.
I’ll admit that my brain hurts after all that but it was fun. The 2.22 contained a whole lot more story than the first and a whole lot more questions. On the plus side, we won’t be getting mindf***ed for having Rei clones running around confusing everyone. On the minus side, we’re gonna wait another year for our next dose (hopefully not the last :() of the Rebuild of Evangelion Project.Tags: Evangelion, Evangelion 1.11, Evangelion 2.0