1 of 1 episodes seen
To start off, I must emphasize that it is not recommended to make the same mistake I did and drop it within the first ~30min of 3.0. The reason I mention this is because the first 30min of 3.0 is arguably the most jarring part of the film that leaves you scratching your head, or worse, feeling frustrated. This is because nearly nothing makes sense at all, as characters you once knew in previous installments of Evangelion are now acting as if they did a complete 180 on their personality. Nearly everyone exhibits a state of being cold, angry, and uncaring. Not to also mention, NERV is not a single entity but instead branched off into a rogue organization known as Wille. Details behind the "who, what, and why" are never disclosed, which is quite a pitfall in the story telling considering the 14 year time-skip that took place; what you saw as a preview from Evangelion 2.22: You Can (Not) Advance is not applicable to this film at all.
On top of that, spoken dialogue by the Wille staff (which features most of the former NERV employees) consists of a lot of technical babble that is not explained to the viewer, rendering the viewer feeling at a state confusion. Granted, even in the original Neon Genesis Evangelion, the NERV staff would spew out technical terms that wouldn't make complete sense, but at least you got the idea that "Pattern: BLUE" meant the enemy was an Angel or when the psycho graphs went crazy, it meant the Evangelion pilot was in deep trouble. For 3.0's case, it's not entirely easy to figure out what Wille's objective was during the "decisive battle" sequences. At the very least, you can infer that Wille is trying to combat Angel related beings, even though the unknown attackers behave in odd ways, even stranger than your average Angel threat. However, not every character is trying to make you play the guessing game. Thankfully, our main character, Shinji Ikari, is the pinnacle boy that the audience can sympathize with. Why? As you will quickly notice, Shinji will also be entirely and utterly confused, lost, and frustrated just as the audience is. If anything, this is director Anno's clever spin of Evangelion to make the audience of naysayers as well as fans of Shinji to be able to sympathize with this character more easily; the whole cast around him are far too alienated away from the audience, as there's not much choice but to default and rely on Shinji to help progress and make sense of what's going on.
As the movie presses forward, a familiar (iconic) character makes his appearance: Kaworu Nagisa. Similar to how Kaworu interacts with Shinji from Neon Genesis Evangelion, he is no different in 3.0. This is the only character in the film to make the audience breathe sigh of relief knowing that there is at least someone else that will open up to Shinji and make better sense of what's going on.
Not only that, but Kaworu has more screen-time compared to Neon Genesis Evangelion, which can be seen as a good thing since it allows the viewers to see a more developed Kaworu. Watching up to this point is rather important as you will see how they fit some explanations into 3.0 with the events that took place in 2.0 to a degree.
One of the high points of this movie however is the OST. While the last two Rebuild movies recycled some old Neon Genesis Evangelion tracks with a modern spin to it, 3.0 takes a bold approach and actually consists of new unheard Evangelion tracks. Only a few NGE tracks transgress into 3.0, such as an altered musical score of "Decisive Battle" which is still just as good as the ones featured in previous Evangelion installments. To further elaborate how well the rest of the OST did, it's really a mash-up of various musical elements thrown into each individual track. Usually, one might say opera singers, electronic bits, classical instruments, and guitars would make a terrible soundtrack. To my surprise, 3.0 does exceptionally well to use such aspects and create an epic-aspiring piece to help the movie stand on a leg; "The Ultimate Soldier" and "God's message" being prime examples. Oddly enough, while this movie isn't as merry as the past two Evangelion movies (well as merry as you can get when it comes to Evangelion), the OST helps keep a hopeful tone in the atmosphere throughout the movie without many depressing themes.
Animation wise, some of it is rather decent. The reason I say decent is because while the quality is there, like in the previous two films, it's a little over the top. For instance, a whole sequence is dedicated to seeing this new and unheard of aircraft, called the Wunder, take off from the sea and unneeded CGI takes up screen-time. In some ways, it doesn't blend well with the rest of the anime as the CGI will stand out too much. In other areas, it is lackluster, as the CGI is mostly used for objects not used for action sequences and eye candy seen most notably in 2.0. When CGI isn't a major glarring issue, it's still worth a viewing experience, especially towards the end where the animation is pleasant to see accompanied by a "godly" OST.
Overall, gathering from this review, it may seem I was displeased with Evangelion 3.0, and you would be correct. As most of us know at this point, Anno is not one to cater and spoon feed to his fanbase, no matter how much we kick and scream; 3.0 definitely expresses this bombastic notion. However, I feel it is too early to jump on the band wagon and say this is the the most horrendous Evangelion movie I've ever seen. While I did 'rage quit' the first time I watched this, the more I looked into it and read up others' take and interpretation of 3.0, the more it didn't seem like such a bad movie. What I mainly want to applaud this film for however is how effectively Anno was able to mess with the audience's emotions and actually feel like you were literally in Shinji's shoes. Other than that, take it as you will and brace for the most confusing Evangelion movie at the current point in time until 4.0 is released to hopefully clear up the story better. read more
95 of 96 chapters read
Now, for the ones that did express genuine interest in NGE, I would highly recommend this manga title, without a doubt! What you get on the surface is basically the exact same story and characters shown in the series. So why read it if it is basically the same as the anime? Is there anything different?
Well! To start off with, imagine getting to know most of the characters more in depth than you would of in NGE. Rei for instance is much more talkative, yet at the same time, she retains that secretive and quiet personality witnessed in the anime. For someone like me, this manga helped me find Rei to be a more likable character because of the fact I get to see more interaction in relation to herself and the other characters from her end! Plus, the relationship development between Rei and Shinji is much more developed throughout the manga, which gives you a glimpse beyond the obedient 'doll'. Asuka is still her feisty self, and in some regard, she's even more feisty, so if you loved Asuka already, you should have no issue loving her even more! Don't worry, her background story is still included too. Shinji is also relatively the same person as well, the self-loathing, depressed, hopeful, rebellious, and redeeming young man that makes Shinji, Shinji!
Still curious? Alright!
When it comes to the story, as mentioned before, is for the most part, untouched. But! How it comes out differently is exhibited in three ways:
1) Take for example, in the first chapter, the first Angel that Shinji lays eyes upon for the first time, is squaring it off with Rei in an Evangelion. While this was not shown in the anime, it does not hinder the expected outcome, in which case, the expected outcome is for Shinji to show up in front of the Evangelion for his first fight. That added detail helps reinforce the forthcoming situations and events to be better executed. So whenever Shinji sees Rei bandaged up and injured prior to agreeing to pilot Eva, the reader now understands why Rei is so shaken up: she was trying to fend off the Angel! In general, the outcome will be the same in the manga, but how it gets there is altered in some way, and mostly it's for the better!
2) A LOT more is explored than originally shown from the anime. Want more background information on Kaji? You got it! You want to get a glimpse into what Rei really thinks about Gendo in scenes that the anime kept hidden from you? You got it! You want to see more of the daily life Shinji had with his friends? You bet! You want to peer even more into Shinji's mind during those "events"? You guessed it! It even gives more light to Kaworu Nagisa's character and his relationship to Shinji and what his personality is like than the brief encounter that you saw in NGE or in End of Evangelion.
3) This manga assumes you have watched the series. It is evident because certain events are briefly covered as it was already something explored in the series. This happens rarely though since what is omitted (besides some of the battles of course) is overshadowed by the amount of content I mentioned in points 1 and 2. In essence, if you have seen the anime series, it shouldn't be a bother when certain events or background information is mentioned briefly.
There are few gripes I had with this manga though. Some included minor story details that I preferred in the anime series (won't mention them in this review of course) or certain parts of the story were left out. Others included such examples like Touji coming across as being a hillbilly-like character, which I don't think was a heavy trait in the series as much as the manga portrays Touji to be; the series seemed to have given Touji a more serious attitude with less immature-like qualities than what the manga offered. Of course however, these issues weren't distracting enough to hinder my overall personal enjoyment.
Overall, this manga is perfect for the NGE fan wanting to continue on with even more exploration into the story and character development that creates NGE! Feel free to drop me a line if you found this review useful or inaccurate to what you experienced~ read more