Welcome to First Time Classics. I am Krakken_Unleashed, resident newbie Otaku, and blog writer. First Time Classics is a recurring series where I find well respected, liked or important Anime of the past, watch them as a first time viewer, and write about the experience. This is not a review, but an personal impressions piece. My hope is that through this series, you, my readers, may take a fresh look at shows you first saw ages ago, or find shows you have otherwise missed in your Anime watching careers.
After originally watching the original Neon Genesis Evangelion series in January, I have been hopeful to getting around to the ultimate finale of this revered franchise’s original debut. Well that day has finally come, as I sit here in a town an hour and half drive away from home, having procured the dvd from the town’s library I am now finally able to watch The End of Evangelion!
So lets get in this Eva!
- I’m a bit more spoiled on End of Eva than I was on the series as a whole back in January. As such there are some things i am expecting.
- As I said in my original NGE FTC post, I know that Shinji ends the world more or less, back then i thought the series was going to cover that, but since I have come to learn that it is rather this film that covers that. Also I know about the beach...
- I know this film is labeled as an alternate ending, though most of the Eva experts I’ve heard and respect seem to think of the two as partially concurrent. So I am likely to think of this movie as the other side of episode 25+26’s coin.
- And yes I know about the masturbation scene.
So now on to the show… Everything after this will be post viewing. See you on the other side!
Well that certainly was Evangelion, whatever that was…Well okay, I wasn’t actually all that traumatized surprisingly. After multiple people mentioning the need for a therapist after watching this movie, I was expecting something more… traumatizing. Maybe it was because I was spoiled on ending plot details, or the fact that I’m fairly forgiving of the wacky odd animation sequences, but I came out of this movie brain intact, emotionally drained perhaps, but not broken.
But anyways, to the film itself, this film I found to be a much more consistent ending than the original two episodes. Not to say those episodes were bad, but they were a jarring transition from the previous episodes in terms of style. This film, I think, straddled the line much better between the Mecha action show Evangelion’s plot is concerned about, and the existential thematic core of the show that was brought to the fore in the original series ending. Now that’s not to say that the movie made everything make sense, because Eva, I’ve learned, is more concerned with character analysis, than it is with world building minutia, or technobabble. Which is fine I guess. Really this show was par for the course for Evangelion to me story wise, it was a bit convoluted plot wise, thematically poignant , and philosophically confusing. It’s what I wanted/expected the original ending or Eva to be, and frankly is a must watch for anyone who is going to watch this series.
And just as a side note, the movie itself looked good, probably the best I have seen Eva look. Like Asuka’s fight was fast and fluid, and looked really good, though I felt slightly underwhelmed overall, as I thought I might notice more of a difference in the film from what I remembered from the series. Or maybe my expectations were too high in that regard. Though I will say it does keep to Eva’s original styling pretty much perfectly so I will give credit for that.
So finally the question is: Did this movie, and Eva as a whole, live up to its reputation? Well, it certainly was interesting, and was a very different change of pace from almost every other anime I’ve yet seen, and for that it should be noteworthy. If there’s one thing about Eva though, I feel that it had a lot of nuance, and symbolism, under the surface that I have failed to grasp in my first viewing of it, which might make it wonderful for repeat viewings (though I have no idea of when I’d ever get around to it) but as of right now, it feels like a show that is complete, I just haven’t fully comprehended it yet, and maybe never will. I appreciated this movie for what it was, I thought it was interesting, thought provoking, and thematically resonant, but did I like it? I honestly can’t say. Eva was a series that I couldn’t quantify on my first viewing, and End of Eva has only cemented that conviction even stronger. Is it compelling? Yes. Is it interesting? yes. Would I watch again? Probably. But is it good? It probably is, but I can’t tell yet.