Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion – Love is Destructive / I need you

What a movie this was. What a brilliant movie this was.

We’ve come a long way, and it’s all led up to this.

I hate that this film is so good, because now I have to review all of it, the whole damn masterpiece.

 

But I’ve got a few things to clear up first, the first involving an aspect of Shinji’s character I never really noticed or understood until I thought about it. It’s about why Shinji doesn’t pilot the Eva and while I kind of implied this fact, I never really said it because I’d not made the connection in my head. Why won’t Shinji always pilot the Eva? And why has he decided to come back every time? It’s not because theirs two other pilots who will do it for him, but I feel like it happens (excluding the last time which was ideological differences) because he has no place in the world. Your nature as a person is often informed by your life experiences and Shinji’s life up until the start of the series has been pretty terrible, giving him his lack of place in the world. So when Shinji runs away I’m not sure if it’s that he doesn’t want to pilot despite the end of the world, it’s that he doesn’t want to pilot and doesn’t care about the end of the world. Which is quite a thing to accuse him of but his negative experiences of the world has probably made him not care about if it ends since he’s not very happy in it anyway.

Something else I also never noticed was Rei’s glasses in episode 5, because Rei never wears glasses. These are Gendo’s glasses that she keeps and forms a strong attachment too because of her irrational companionship with Gendo. This realisation makes the events later in the film a whole lot more impactful.

I guess I’ll start talking about the film now. Shinji starts by confiding in an unconscious Asuka because Misato and Rei scare him. This kind of shows us that the movie isn’t really in line with the end of the previous anime and seems to be taking place all at the same time or in just a different universe. There is no place for Shinji to be scared of everyone at the end of episode 26. But it’s not really told what happened to him what made him afraid so much. What I can tell is that it’s at a time after all the angels are killed but before the conversion starts to happen. I think Shinji might be afraid of Misato because of the way she treated his issues at the end of ep 24 without much empathy while worrying for her own troubles. The Rei thing could be because of the fact that Shinji saw all her clones die, he was told she was an angel or just from her cold attitude.

Needless to say something is badly wrong if Shinji needs to confide in Asuka for help, a huge aspect of this film is these two trying to get back together even though Asuka hates him. But Asuka is unconscious and on a life support system (or something like that) and will not respond. The last time we saw Asuka I think was when she was lying in a bath in her depressed state, if this would continue I would not be surprised if it was a suicide attempt that got her in there. Asking for help from someone who’s potentially suicidal and caught up in their own worries can’t be good for either side. Maybe it is sometimes but not with Shinji and Asuka.

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I wonder what this could be

Shinji is so desperate for help that he shakes Asuka until she is released from all her wires and her naked body is exposed, prompting Shinji to wank on the spot. You’ve got to wonder what led Shinji to becoming like this. At the start of the series Shinji was nervous, especially around sex and I didn’t even believe that he knew what jacking it was because he never caught on when Asuka said Misato would be spending the night with Kaji or something like that. So something must have changed dramatically within Shinji to take his nervousness go away and do something he considers disgusting in a public place. I think people got turned off (me included) by this scene because of how disgusting it was but we’ve got to consider that it was there for a reason to show what Shinji has become as a character, instead of just some dumb stupid thing made to freak you out.

If you went back to the start of Evangelion I think you would be amazed at the very subtle character development that took place. Asuka changed something in Shinji, for the first time he had a person of his age and maturity to argue and get in the way of. We see him argue and fight more, forgetting his nervousness and losing himself a whole lot more. While they had their disagreements it’s clear that some kind of strange bond formed between them which Shinji still feels could be intact. This is probably from their week being in synch with each other. This bond allowed Shinji to put up with Asuka more throughout the show and made Asuka colder towards him at the same time. This is the companionship he has. While Shinji is still nervous Asuka helped him to become more argumentative when it counted, not being a complete wimp all of the time.

Now I want to skip to another part that Shinji feels about Asuka: his obvious physical attraction towards her. Being around someone for a long period of time will always change your opinion of them for better or worse unless you’re used to them for a very long period of time. When you’re with people more you tend to think of them a whole lot more as well, for Asuka this makes her hate for Shinji worse as she constantly shares the same living space. I believe that this has the opposite effect for Shinji and he becomes more attracted to her through kissing and the things at night to mention just seeing her every day. It’s also cannon to the universe (as mentioned in school) that Asuka is attractive and as an impressionable fourteen year old I think it’s more likely than not that these feelings have developed and grown, if not for their relationship her physical appearance.

The image of Asuka must encourage the same argumentative and abrasive feelings and moods that Shinji had while she was around. It’s not just that he finds her attractive though, this is a girl he’s been thinking of for many months lying naked in front of him. These extra emotions combined with hormones is what leads him to jacking off all over his hand, in a hospital, over someone who’s on life support. As a side note can anyone say they’ve ever spunked on their hand? The idea sounds gross, you’ve got to use something else Shinji!

And thank you for reading 869 words all about the lead up and execution of a dude jacking off; I hope you feel happy about yourself!

 

An interesting question posed after this is what will happen to NERV and the Eva’s? It’s a question that hasn’t been expressed before and I would have assumed that they’d be kept for military/defence reasons in case there are more angels or new conflicts with other countries. Having three Eva’s makes Japan a sort of military super power and could lead to more war because victory would be near certain, though it’s obviously a lot more complicated than that.

This is when our attention is taken away from the Eva’s and turned to Lilitth, Gendo’s secret project which will form the basis for a lot of this film. At the end of NGE this plot point was untouched (well kind of, more on that later) but the whole film will try to explain what the deal with that was. Don’t you find it strange that they say all the angels are dead but lillith still remains, I wonder if that will be what the 3rd impact plot point is about?

At the end of the previous review of the finale of NGE I was very sad about the idea of humanity converging because it’s like winning, but losing anyway. What I never thought of was a way to prevent this from occurring, which is what the film does in a really interesting way. What helps it is the fact that we’re only vaguely aware of explosions and the consequences of the event without actually seeing any impact. This is a smart move because it could be made up or changed over the course of the series to allow events later to occur and nobody would notice! I like the idea of the convergence being humanities last challenge, they effectively have to save the world twice.

Evangelion uses a clever foreshadowing trick which I can only really appreciate going back over the film.  She hacks into NERV and finds out what really happened in the second impact; she’s shocked, but why bring this up now? The reason is obviously that it wasn’t important before but is now. Misato who was there at the time should know a lot but she’s completely shocked as well, she had no idea how bad it could be, this means that something crazy is going to happen right? If only I knew…

This is when NERV HQ gets invaded… by Japan? Why Japan? As I mentioned earlier Japan could become a military super power, and at the least never be threatened. The only explanation I have is relating to an old game of risk (I think it’ll be more fun and easier to understand this way) that I played with a friend who lost very, very badly. In risk you can make alliances, but those can also break. This person had an alliance with two of us but both of us were neighbours to our friend, who wanted to take down another guy but couldn’t because we were in the way. We all had one guy on every boarder while he had four guys against our one when he could have placed his other troops better instead of layering ones on top of threes next to our ones it started to get very concerning and it was completely unnecessary. You do not need four against one at every single boarder with three already and this “precaution” as he called it turned into distrust which made both of us cave in on him and destroy him. Removing him from the game very quickly because of the way you can stack troops in risk. What I’m trying to say here is that the Eva’s are threatening and pack way too much power, and if the angels aren’t around then other countries may ask “why do you still have those terrible war machines, you’re not up to anything are you” and  attack out of fear. So Japan has to either attack with the Eva’s or end them to improve political stability and reduce the chance for conflict. It seems like they want the latter, which is something I can agree with.

Did anyone else question why they invaded instead of asked politely? Then I realised that Gendo and his massive angel was still around and thought they made the right choice.

This invasion starts with a cyber-attack on NERV with the power of five magi who hack into the system completely. I’ve already talked about my opinions of NERV’s security and I can’t say I’m surprised. I’ve had my fair share of issues with viruses and once a Trojan and can say that there are a lot of things you can do to get rid of them, normally without too much effort, it’s more waiting for the process to finish than any work on your end. But what I can’t say is that an organised attack by JAPAN AS A WHOLE is likely nothing like this. I’ve never had a virus where I still couldn’t control my computer so they’ve all been solvable, but I feel like an attack by the JSSDF is a whole lot different because it’s not just a program hidden on your computer but a mass attack by a lot of people all at once. And I don’t know whether to call NERVS actions during this very good or completely and stupidly unrealistic. Maybe a bit of both? While they do still get hacked I don’t remember how it was explained that they could still access some parts of the magi, oh well.

The most contradictory part of the episode is the point when they say that SEELE is doing this entire thing as they start to be invaded. I never explained who SEELE were because I never thought they were important (and they aren’t even that big) but I feel like I should here to show my confusion, you’re of course free to skip all of this, it’s going to be a long ride!

So SEELE is a very influential company who has control over lots of the world and influence everything from the background, presumably by binding world governments with money though it’s never shown. SEELE is also a company that controls NERV, and they secretly want to cause the “Human Instrumentality project” which is why they take over NERV. But wait, what does Gendo also want? Could it be the human instrumentally project so he can reconnect to his wife Yui? So this whole thing seems like a terrible error in communications for me. I think it’s more the differences in knowledge between the two. SEELEE have made 9 robot Eva’s to cause the 3rd impact but Gendo just has Rei and Lilith for something to hopefully occur.

I think looking over the whole series the fact that SEELE’s plans were so similar to Gendo’s really helped him to try and do whatever he wanted since most of his steps benefited them. I guess the main difference is that Gendo wants to use this to become a god (though I don’t know how) whereas SEELE just wants to make everyone join together effectively killing everyone in my opinion.

SEELE have a strange goal for an evil organisation so it could be that they know more information that we do which would make the convergence worth it. Maybe everyone there feels like they’re in heaven or something but I doubt SEELE would be able to know that.

I guess with Gendo being so distrustful in this way SEELE launch the attack to prevent retaliation or combat by NERV, they may not know them In the same way we do so they could be considered a lot more threatening.

Anyway hacking into NERV was a really good idea for starting an invasion, NERV have the ability to lock up all their doors to trap and kill attacking soldiers. By hacking the system first they can let the troops in and totally forget about the self-destruct button! The JSSDF (The Japanese Strategic Self Defence Force) are also attacking for the reasons said above. This is so hard for NERV to deal against because they have to kill humans and aren’t used or prepared for a massive attack.

NERV know that their only real chance of survival is to use the Evangelions but Shinji is hiding away on his own, either in shame or fear. Three people from the military arrive and confirm to us that they are trying to kill the Evangelions and the pilots so they can’t be used against them. Misato knows where Shinji is and finds him in just enough time for the military guys to explain what they’re trying to do without actually doing it!

Misato tells us the 2nd impact was caused by humans to reduce the damage the angles could do, to save more lives in the long run. This was the big secret and I guess it’s just held back on for no real reason so that the reveal is shown too us at the same time it’s revealed to Shinji to make it more dramatic. The knowledge of this puts into our head that the 3rd impact could be caused by humans just as easily. Misato also says that Shinji must destroy the rest of the Eva series so that the humans (the 18th angel) can be fine. This will be to stop the 3rd impact later in the film.

Oh yeah and someone drops a bomb on a building with a self-destruct button in it and nothing happens!

 

 

(End of part ¼ (arbitrarily decided by me) (Alarm bells))

 

 

So the film establishes what happens in relation to the last two episodes and this, and theirs a debate on whether they are complimentary or alternate. I have clear memories of Asuka awakening in her Eva for no reason and this moment is repeated in two parts. So the main difference between the two in my opinion is that episodes 25 and 26 cut out a lot of the plot and just focus on the psychology.

The people who are attacking have nine automated Eva’s with them and Asuka suddenly has the depression removed from her after seeing her mum. At several times people talk about the true meaning of the AT field and at this point Asuka says she understands it. So here’s what I think of the AT fields: All the angels have AT fields, since humans are angels you could say that they have their own AT field as well. This is explained by saying that the AT fields are the things that stop you from connecting from other people. So this makes me thing the stronger the synch with the Eva the better the AT field can be, as well as this connecting to a human strongly will also make the field stronger.

This connection between Asuka and her mum also makes her stronger so she can combat the 9 eva’s, she also seems to go Berserk and I wouldn’t be surprised if she reached perfect synch. After taking down the Eva’s she has no problems with taking down the opposing air crafts even though they have people in them! Which is a good thing since they’re trying to take over the world. It’s also not surprising that the automated Eva’s suck after you saw what happened to the last one. She kills them brilliantly at a rate of 20 per second!
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Meanwhile Misato is shot while she and Shinji are running away. This prompts her to use any means possible to get Shinji into that robot. Misato kisses him and promises that they’ll do the rest once he’s piloted it but both Shinji and Misato knows that she won’t make it that far. Either that or it would be a very creepy thing for Misato to say if she wasn’t as cute as she is. This makes Shinji go into complete despair, and the roles of Shinji and Asuka are completely reversed for this section of the film.

Something that I only annoyingly noticed later in the series was Ritsuko’s hidden relationship with Gendo. It’s brought up underground near the Adam where Gendo and Rei are staying. Ritsuko changes the programming so that Gendo cannot complete his project, unfortunately the magi has other ideas and doesn’t let her in. Ritsuko is pulling a gun on Gendo but knowing she won’t shoot he shoots her in retaliation, so Ritsuko dies knowing both her lover and mother betrayed her in the end, which is a really sad way to die.

Isn’t Ritsuko’s entire character arc extremely sad? While on the surface she’s cool and calm she allows herself to be treated very badly by Gendo and it’s all kept away, hidden in the background. It would have been great to see more of Ritsuko’s internal turmoil which she kept to her-self. It’s not all bad though because at least she goes through with the shooting and deleting the code even if it didn’t work out in the end. It feels sad that a character you knew so well had a dark secret that was only revealed at the saddest moment of her life. What do you think Ritsuko does when she goes home? I genuinely can’t picture her doing anything or having many other friends besides Misato and Kaji, that is speculation but these final things make me think that it’ll be true. This means she’s either unsociable or very lonely. She probably has issues to do with self-worth to let herself be treated that poorly by Gendo.

Asuka continues to fight strongly but the spear of Longinus returns and she gets brutally stabbed.

At a similar time Shinji’s robot almost grabs him and tries to force him into the Eva. As soon as he sees the terrible things that have happened to Asuka he screams, concluding the first half.

What I find somewhat unfortunate about the series is that Shinji has to be the main character; I would have got such a rush out of everything if Asuka continued her awakening to become really strong while Shinji was the one to fail and feel bad about it. This is just a suggestion though, I still like the film very much overall.

 

 

(End of part 2/4(Don’t worry these are getting shorter!))

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Using the Adam (now known to be Lillith instead) Gendo wants to use Rei to get to Yui. But how can this be done? Well this is going to get a bit conspiratory but the character designs above are very similar to each other. As proven in the Asuka picture, evangelion doesn’t think characters change much appearance wise when they grow up:

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So this means we can assume that they will grow up to look very similar with the main differences being hair colour and hair amount, which will change over time e.g. I used to be blonde but now I’m brown and will definitely have different amounts and colours of hairs in the future! So could Rei be a clone of Yui or an attempt to create a new Yui and is that why Gendo will be able to connect with her? That’s my idea so far. The problem with this is that DNA deteriorates over time (it’s why old people look old) and Yui’s DNA will be different enough when she dies that any attempt at cloning couldn’t create someone who was like her. I’m no expert so correct me if I’m wrong, please!

The unfortunate thing about this is that if Yui was brought back she wouldn’t be happy with the way he sacrificed many 14 year old human clones in her place. We see Rei realise that Shinji’s in pain and cut towards Shinji!

Shinji is being pinned down by the rest of the Eva’s in mid-air and the third impact starts. I don’t know if you recognised it but the diagram at the start of the OP is the exact same one for the third impact which is really cool!

EOE 1EOE 2

Actually there are a few differences but I thought it was worth mentioning anyway!

Rei realises that she’s just being a puppet for Gendo and becomes a massive, massive version of herself! This is strange; all I know really is that she basically becomes Lillith. Shinji is brought to Rei and is left defenceless once she turns into Kaworu, this allows the sphear of Longinus to merge with Shinji into the world tree and enter the creature responsible for the convergence. Shinji is then put into full control of the convergence with the ability to start or stop it.

 

 

(End of part ¾)

 

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We are treated to a scene where Shinji and Asuka interact in a really interesting way, showing his internal thoughts right up until the moment where he decided to end the world. In this Shinji thinks that the people around him are putting on fake masks of being nice, hiding things from him. He wants to be able to relate and be on good terms with the people around him but something has clearly been holding him back, perhaps his shame, or general distrust which was made greater by the attack.

Asuka needs help from Shinji and he needs help from her but neither gets it. Asuka lashes out with a coffee machine, burning Shinji and he flips a table over, something he never would have done at the start of the series. He then decides to strangle her for not being able to do anything, the convergence starts and one of my favourite songs in anime starts to play, come sweet death.

“What do you mean favourite song in anime? You’ve only seen this film once!” I’ve got some baggage to do with this song as I’ve heard it and enjoyed it in many other places. The most notable is from the best film on YouTube “Horseshoe finale” where it was used to brilliant effect to communicate the plethora of emotion and ideas inside the creators head. Another time was when I wanted to create a podcast with friends and film it, instead they got the idea to go completely silent on me and I ended up filming them and making them really embarrassed because they put on a stupid persona and behaved in terrible ways. When I released it against their will I used this song in the background to kind of say sorry. As well as this when a friend that I knew for 5 years moved away I put this song on and cried, it was so sad, “I wish I could turn back time” really related to me at that point.

So basically a lot of things went through my head when this song came out. I like doing posts specifically talking about the music so I will release a post sometime in February talking about the song and the sequence.

Rei greets people as they die, giving them what they appear to watch, one co-worker is met with a death from a kiss by Misato and another from Ritsuko. The convergence isn’t demonised as terrible and it’s actually treated with a bit of nuance as if the characters are happy for it to occur, it represents people’s pain being taken from them which is nice at first but the show still has a lot to say about it. At this point my notes just turned into a mess of philosophical statements I couldn’t keep any track of what so ever. Luckily theirs a funny thing about films, you can watch them more than once! This means I will be focussing on the bigger events instead of every random thing.

Gendo is just lying there ready for his plans to become reality. Both SEELE and Gendo seem happy with the situation so I think what they wanted was similar enough that it really didn’t matter, either that or Gendo’s plan has already failed and he’s lying there regretfully. He thinks that leaving Shinji alone was the best thing he could have done as he didn’t want to hurt him, this idea relates to the hedgehog’s dilemma which both Shinji and Gendo have faced. While Shinji doesn’t really have a way to deal with this Gendo puts on a hard front to protect himself. This was a terrible decision on his part, and if you don’t know why you’ve not been paying nearly enough attention! This is a case of somebody doing the worst things for the best reasons in that situation but Gendo died regretfully hoping things could have been different as he felt Shinji’s anger crush him in death.

Shinji who has combined with the spear enters the massive Rei through her third eye and Shinji is given another chance to change his mind, at this point he sees our world. Let’s talk about the meta narrative first. Ano seems to be saying that Shinji looking in to our world is just like us looking into his. If you bear that message in mind when I talk about the ideas that go through Shinji’s head it’s clear that Ano seems to have an anti-otaku viewpoint.

Shinji escapes to our world and becomes engulfed in this version of reality where he can escape from his pain. He learns that he should continue in his reality despite his pain and everyone is set free. The final message before the next scene tells us that you wall always have the chance to be happy, it will be ok.

The final scene is between Shinji and Asuka on an island in a sea of LCl and wreckage. It’s a very quiet and peaceful moment, and the fact that the world is saved dawns on us. There can finally be peace in the world and while damages won’t be easy, humanity can recover.

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Then in the midst of all of this Shinji tries to kill Asuka by strangling her, paralleling the previous time when he did the exact same thing. At this time Shinji is annoyed that she cannot help him, but in the midst of all of this she strokes his face. Asuaka’s near death experience changed her a lot; she had the experience of being the best pilot at the time and was glad that Shinji was able to save the day. I don’t think in the entire course of this film Shinji and Asuka had a conversation except for the ones in their head. This means that through the events that have taken place they’ve come to a greater understanding of each other.

Asuka’s stroke of Shinji’s face represents her understanding and the fact that they’ll be able to help each other from now on. It’s this realisation within Asuka despite being strangled that makes Shinji so emotional and happy in the end, losing himself in both happiness and shame from his actions, causing him to lose himself and cry onto Asuka.

She still has her thoughts and emotions held together as she says “How disgusting” and you’re left with the distinct impression, that despite all the problems left in the world, everything will be ok.

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6 thoughts on “Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion – Love is Destructive / I need you

  1. No matter how many times I see this film I walk away with something different and reading this just made me want to watch it yet again. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Evangelion this month. It has been really fun revisiting the series vicariously through your posts (though mostly it has just made me want to binge it again).

    Liked by 2 people

    • ha ha, thank you very much. I initially thought i’d hate this show but I found something great. I’m flattered that your posts made you want to go back through the whole thing!

      I did see that joke where you said your project was Eva launch so I could tell you had fond memories of the show!

      And releasing an e-book is a really good idea, I like that anthology type format! (Sorry, I’ve not been following you for long enough to feel like supporting it, best of luck though) And how does it feel to be an author?Actually I might ask that question on your post to separate the comments better.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. That post was most certainly worth the wait (I listened to Come Sweet Death on loop the entire time I read it for maximum aesthetic). You expressed alot of great ideas throughout!

    Although, I must say that I disagree with the idea that Anno has an “Anti Otaku viewpoint”. I would say that Anno is certainly critical of Otaku (as is all of NGE) but considering the fact that he’s a hardcore otaku himself, I don’t think it can really be said that he’s “Anti Otaku” as one such as Miyazaki could be considered.

    All in all, though, I thought this was a great post. Good work.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, that’s the optimal way to read!

      I agree that anti otaku is a bit extreme, there are different people you could be talking too other than otaku such as Hiki’s. It feels like he may want a mix of both, everything in moderation!

      Thank you for the praise! I’m glad you thought it was worth the wait!

      Liked by 2 people

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