Almost two years after Netflix released the iconic anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion Series on the platform published by Amazon Prime Video Evangelion 3.0 + 1.0: Three times at a time, the last part of the four-part “remake” by creator Hideaki Anno. With a combined production time of nearly two decades, the Rebuild of Evangelion films were conceived to introduce the franchise to a whole new generation of viewers who hadn’t seen the original 1995 anime. but Evangelion 3.0 + 1.0 has shown, Anno failed in its mission to produce a compressed, stand-alone series. Although it exists on a separate continuity and is very different from the events of the original Neon Genesis Evangelion, the rebuild films are inextricably linked to the original, which makes a separate and separate experience almost impossible. And the films are better for that.
The 1995 anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion took place in an alternate year 2015, in which after a global apocalyptic event called Second Impact that decimated two-thirds of the human population, the remnants of human civilization from an existential threat in the form of otherworldly beings known as “angels”, be besieged. 14-year-old Ikari Shinji, the estranged son of the commander of a Japanese paramilitary organization called NERV, along with his cohorts Soryu Asuka Langley and Ayanami Rei, are tasked with building a trio of colossal biomechanical weapons called Evangelion or “Evas,” to keep the angels in Combat the fortified futuristic city of Tokyo-3.
The plot deepens as the show progresses into increasingly exhilarating, dare I say, impressionistic interpretations of Judeo-Christian apocrypha that drop everything from the Dead Sea Scrolls and Longinus’ spear to the biblical characters of Adam and Lilith. All of this exists in the series for no deeper allegorical intent than the fact that it just seemed cool to incorporate during the production of the anime at the time Neon Genesis Evangelion Assistant director and co-director of Rebuild Kazuya Tsurumaki so Openly voiced in a 2002 Otakon Q&A panel.
In 2006 Toshmichi Otsuki, one of the executive producers of Evangelion: 1.0 You are (not) alone, Evangelion: 2.0 You can (not) move forward, and Evangelion: 3.0 You can (not) repeatsaid NewType USA what both fans of the original series and newcomers could expect from the film series announced at the time. “It will be something that viewers can enjoy if they have never seen the TV series,” Otsuki said as a stand-alone film series. “At the time, Otsuki explicitly cited the show’s affinity for esoteric jargon and” filling works with. ” Difficult Words and Concepts “as a pain point the remakes would address directly.
The interview is especially amusing after seeing the rebuild films and Evangelion: 3.0 + 1.0. Inexplicable plot elements and concepts of proper names like the “Gate of Gulf”, the “Key of Solomon”, “LC Fields”, “Evangelion Imaginary”, “Corization” and “L Barriers” are all called out breathlessly in the midst of intense sequences of explosive destruction, as if they were wanted to give the onscreen action a semblance of dramatic weight and subject matter. While the producers of the rebuild films may try, these nonsensical esoteric elements are part of what Evangelion, well, Evangelion is, and represent a necessary threshold that any potential fan of the series must at some point step over and pass by .
Don’t believe anyone, longtime Evangelion fan or not, who tells you they understand this shit. They don’t, and that is the whole point. For as much as Neon Genesis Evangelion‘s visual identity revolves around the evocation of esoteric archetypal Christian images, many of which existed without justification other than the literal rule of coolness.
Like Siddhant Adlakha in his review of Evangelion 3.0 + 1.0 for Polygon: “The series always laid its track directly in front of the train, but the logistics behind a glowing crucifix or a holy lance, for example, are hardly the most important part of the saga. The sudden injection of these things into a certain scene is usually a function of the fact that Gendo is 10 steps ahead of everyone else, while the heroes of WILLE struggle to deal with literally infernal concepts just to keep up. “
No matter how radically Hideaki Anno deviated from the 1995 series in his rebuild films, Evangelion as a franchise has never escaped, and as such, the original 25-episode anime and 1997 film remain essential to understanding the rebuild films. Even the subtitle of the last movie, Three times at a timeseems to allude to this fact; to break with the parenthesized precedent of the previous three episodes while also pointing out that it represents the third time that Hideaki Anno has attempted to end the series to date. Despite this failure to create a separate work from the original series, Evangelion 3.0 + 1.0 because of this association delivers something that neither the original anime nor the 1997s End of the Evangelion was able to: a definitive conclusion; a more hopeful, affirming, nicer and more explicit resolution than any other ending in the series before that.
Without spoiling anything, both the end of Neon Genesis Evangelion and End of the Evangelion Shinji confronts his fear of being hurt by others and accepts the fact that love and happiness are possible despite that fear – but everything is set in bizarre, horrific apocalyptic images that somehow numb that feeling of happiness. These tonally darker endings are not made controversial Evangelion 3.0 + 1.0; in fact, these events happened and were relevant to the Shinji of another timeline. Without knowing these events, the full extent of the character’s disclosure at the end of the year 3.0 + 1.0 – and Annos decision to play the final with silence and sunshine – would be lost.
“Eva” is a story that repeats itself, “wrote Anno in a statement published on the Evangelion website in February 2007, just seven months before the release of Evangelion: 1.0 You are (not) alone. “It’s a story in which the main character experiences many horrors with his own eyes, but still tries to get up again. It is a story of will; a story of progress, if only a little. It is a story of fear in which someone who faces loneliness indefinitely is afraid to reach others but wants to try anyway. ”
With the completion of the Rebuild of Evangelion tetralogy, Anno and Studio Khara have pushed the franchise further than ever. Evangelion 3.0 + 1.0The ending couldn’t have existed if it hadn’t been for the original anime and End of the Evangelion, and as such, they are just as important to understanding and enjoying the history of Rebuild as the Rebuild films themselves.