Evangelion 2.0 – You can (not) Advance

I watched the director’s cut for this film instead of the original but they’re similar enough to not really matter. As well as this a mistake I made was thinking that Evangelion 3.0 + 1.0 was already out so I have one day left free in Evangelion month to do whatever I like, fortunately I’ve got something else to put there but you may be a bit let down.

What happened to this series of films? We started with an incredibly faithful adaption and then switched to something massively different, I can understand that the staff may have wanted to do something different but I’m just wondering why they didn’t change things from the start.

We start with a completely unknown character who is piloting the 5th version of the Eva. The whole time I thought they’d just completely messed up Asuka’s character but it was actually someone else! This is one of the many changes that take place in this show.

I don’t exactly think making changes is a terrible idea, as long as the resulting product is still good, so what did the 5th pilot bring to the table? Well she was there for maybe 3 minutes, was pretty shy and a bit strange and filled in for a pilot at the end. Honestly her whole inception seems to be there just so that they can cut things out later, as I will explain when the time is right!

These time saving measures are made very apparent when they waste no time in introducing Asuka who flies in when a new angel appears. Yes it skips good parts of the show out, probably too much really, but it kind of makes sense. The episode they skipped before Asuka’s introduction is about a robot that goes rogue and kills everyone and it hold very little importance, only because they don’t really focus on those events for the rest of the series. As well as this the film would start pretty slowly and feature non fleshed out characters like Toji and introduce Kaji who would have ruined the pacing and the audience’s opinion of Misato quite badly.

Taking us out to the ocean too early wouldn’t have worked too well since there was nothing to take a break from. For the whole first film Misato is shown as a fairly composed adult who’s knowledgeable and good at her job, Kaji could change the audiences opinion very quickly towards Misato with her embarrassing moments and I can understand the creators not wanting to do it.

Asuka is actually introduced well in my opinion, and it communicates her personality in a much shorter and easier way. Did any of you also notice that they messed up Asuka’s name? It just comes across as strange, I guess it communicates the awkwardness that Shinji has with her by not using her first name but that’s fairly normal anyway for people who have just met.

You would have thought that in the film they had a lot of episodes to get through and thus shouldn’t include filler but the creators were trying to go through a completely different thing and included an aquarium scene and skipped many other fights.

What I liked about this was how it established Shinji as a cook, and later showed him making everyone’s meals, this is implied in the show but often forgotten about. I never really assumed this of Shinji and it was nice that the film added to his character instead of skipping out too much.

What I’m glad wasn’t cut out is the angel falling from the skies because that scene is epic! It makes me sad that they cut out the underground fight scene with all three Eva’s where the three main characters go on a treasure hunt through NERV HQ together.

I think Asuka’s depression is treated a whole lot worse in this show because they have to handle it faster instead of having it occur naturally, that’s why it’s so strange that she’s so sad about her mediocre (but not bad) performance. At this point she should be competitive, at this point she would should still be fighting.

I don’t know if we learn more about Rei, or if they just change Rei to make her more dramatic she is shown with a knife at the sink and much later a lot of plasters on her hands. She either uses cutting to escape her misery or she’s very bad at doing the dishes! I think this change is very specific to the films because we’re shown Rei’s hands a lot and nothing’s there, as well as that she’s shown naked and she has no cuts there either. At the end of the day they are still very similar but one tries to help their pain through self harm, it makes her a sadder character but I don’t think the Rei from NGE would think of it as a method to make her feel better, never mind go through with it.

I get the impression that the Asuka in this film is a lot more of a tsundere, she falls more into those tropes during the episode and it’s sad to see. When you first watch a tsundere you shouldn’t be sure if she loves the main character really. In NGE it’s very clear that Asuka hates Shinji but in this show it’s not as certain, she certainly acts like she likes him a lot more.

One terrible decision was that the Toji becoming an angel was replaced with Asuka. In the original this made sense because Toji had never piloted before but Asuka should know better! She gets defeated and is taken out of the film just like that! This is when they bring up the back up pilot from the start for the rest of the series, that’s the only reason why this character exists – so that they could skip out Toji completely. This tells me that they really don’t care about Asuka anymore and that she could be completely replaced by this less interesting character we’ve only known for life 5 minutes!

As I said in the episode review the angel situation could have been handled a lot better if they tried to keep Toji alive. Shinji was probably good enough to retrieve him. The only real benefit to having Asuka as the angel is that the emotional connection is established so much better, which isn’t even a problem that the film would have had if it paid more attention to its side characters and didn’t want to butcher one of its main characters!

A positive about this film is that it ended at the correct time, when Shinji turned into his beast mode Evangelion. Rei gets trapped and Shinji has to save her, he does and the film ends!

 

I can understand that the show wants the rebuilds to be their own thing but decisions like removing Asuka is just a horrible mistake. It’s so strange to have such a strange follow-up to a very loyal film. The show has probably also gone too far into the story for the second movie, it’s going to run out of material for the third one! And when you consider that a fourth film is coming it makes you wonder what they’re going to fill the rest of the series in with!

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