Evangelion 3.33 – Rinse and Repeat

[UTW-THORA] Evangelion 3.33 You Can (Not) Redo [BD][1080p,x264,flac][F2060CF5].mkv_snapshot_00.40.39_[2013.04.30_00.17.10]

Shinji’s journey is a lonely one and boy oh boy, does Evangelion 3.33 take you on that soul crushing journey.

Just like Shinji Ikari, we’re thrown into a place we don’t understand. We come across new faces, changed people and a world destroyed beyond recognition. We’re forced to look at the world through the eyes of an equally befuddled protagonist.

From here on, Evangelion 3.33: You Can (Not) Redo draws a definitive line between the original series and the Rebuild films while still sharing the same themes.Realizing that is a little depressing, it’s as if the film’s subheading speaks out not just to Shinji but to the audience as well.  By having the unexpected time skip, it reminds that that yes, the original anime has ended and what has transpired in that series closes the fate of everyone in that universe.

It’s important to keep in mind that it’s been 14 years since Shinji and Rei were trapped in Unit 01, one can only imagine how much Misato and Asuka’s view of Shinji has changed since then. After all, it’s his actions that triggered the Third Impact which effectively wiped out most of humanity.

I may be over simplifying this but had they (Wille) dealt with the situation a little better and appealed to Shinji in a way that would’ve let him trust them then things may have been a little less chaotic than they are by the end of the film. But of course, that won’t happen because they’re human beings with tons of complexities and experiences that prevent them from doing so. Being forced to survive can change people, and this is evident when you see how Asuka and Misato interact with Shinji.

On the other hand, Kaworu’s presence in the film is meant to serve as a contrast to Wille, Nerv and even Rei. While it’s undeniable that he’s a character that has left a strong impression on countless NGE viewers, it wasn’t until this movie that understood what his role was in the series, aside from being the Christ-like figure that he is. He’s associated with music and the piano, he is also a representative of forgiveness and acceptance. And yet, not even Kaworu can change Shinji’s fate.

I think what needs to happen here is for Shinji to realize the kind of happiness he’s searching for. And after that, what does Shinji have to do to attain happiness? Him acting on his will has led to the creation of a nightmarish post apocalyptic world that condemns him. Him taking the course of inaction and allowing other people to decide for him led to the events of End of Evangelion.

This time around, Shinji needs to face the consequences of his actions if he believes what he’s done would bring him happiness. If he believes that saving Rei and being with her would make both of them happy, then he’d have to live with the aftermath and accept accountability.

It’s impossible to predict where Evangelion 4.44 will take us, but the Rebuild series’ latest offering did not disappoint. Evangelion 3.33 is uncompromising and hypnotic, befitting of the excellent Rebuild series despite boldly deviating from what the the first two films have established.

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7 Comments

  1. I expect Evangelion to be enigmatic. In fact, I’d be disappointed if it wasn’t, but I think 3.33 took things a bit too far in this respect. The original series had 26 episodes to work with, and the first two movies could afford to move at a quicker pace because they were based on the original series.

    3.33 deviated so much from the original story line that it could no longer rely on it to fill in the wide array of plot holes. What was the opening scene all about? What happened in the 14 year time gap? What are the origins of Wille? What happened to all the Angels? As far as I could tell, all these questions were left completely unanswered.

    Also, other than with Shinji, there really wasn’t much in the way of character development. I was expecting Asuka to play a central role in Shinji’s development in the absence of Rei, but except for the fight scenes, she was pretty much ignored. Misato suffered a similar fate.

    Maybe with the release of 4.44 things will start to come together, but I fear Evangelion has taken a turn for the worse. If this movie was any indicator, Rebuild is going to be more about the action scenes than the character development which is unfortunate to say the least.

    • Rewatching the film doesn’t help when it comes to answering questions this time around, but I’m also curious if these are the questions we’re supposed to be asking. In the end of the day, Evangelion 3.33 is about Shinji, of course, it’s a shame that the rest of the characters aren’t given the same attention but maybe, there’s a reason for it all. Shinji’s decisions were integral to the story of Evangelion, and I suppose Anno is just reminding us of that. It’s his actions that bring upon the key events that transpire in the original series, so it feels right to understand him the most. He made his choice in 2.22 and now he has to deal with the repercussions in 3.33. That is not to say the other characters are unimportant, while it didn’t focus that much on Misato or Asuka, I still knew they were the same characters (something that we’re more than likely to disagree on) but under different circumstances.

      I can’t say that 4.44 will bring, but I’m still satisfied with 3.33 despite me not understanding a lot of what’s going on.

      • In retrospect, I think you’re right. I placed too much importance on the plot which has traditionally been a mass of questions with no real answers. I’m going to give it a second viewing, but this time I’m going to try to sift through everything and get to the core of it. Hopefully I’ll enjoy it a bit more that way.

  2. Excellent assessment of the film. I just saw it and loved it myself. I agree with your take on this being a story seen through Shinji’s eyes, and in a perspective, we experience it as Shinji does…being confused by this new world and characters. When Shinji hurt, I actually hurt…Anno achieved this perfectly.

    Some have criticized this new deviation by being too far, however, Anno has a reason for doing everything…from the new characters who seem to be out of place in the Evangelion universe to subtle words or phrases used by Gendo or Mari Illustrious. The progression of Shinji was an important one and his relationship to Kaworu and his passion to do things right was promising.

    As for Misato, I agree that all of this could have been avoided with a quick…”Shinji Kun, so much has changed…you better sit down cause we need to talk” instead of SPOILER – strapping a bomb to his neck, however, as Shinji, we have no idea what has happened during this time slip. In fact, last I saw, Third Impact was stopped so why did this “Near Third Impact” create such destruction and devastation? Why was it not explained why Shinji get into space and why was he untouched for 14 years? Who the heck is Mari talking to all the time and how does she know so much? Did I need to know this in order to enjoy this…not at all…but the parts that Anno did deliver shined brighter to me.

    One more note…the final movie has a musical “repeat” sign at the end of its title which means to repeat back to the beginning in a piece of music – what are we repeating to and what beginning??? I have no clue but I am ready to experience it.

    • Oh thanks! After rewatching the film I noticed a lot of small clues in both the visuals and the script, that emphasizes Shinji’s search for atonement. This film is LOADED with allusions not just to the Rebuild films but to the entire franchise as a whole.

      One more note…the final movie has a musical “repeat” sign at the end of its title which means to repeat back to the beginning in a piece of music – what are we repeating to and what beginning??? I have no clue but I am ready to experience it.

      Same here. Even Kaworu’s lines seem to hint at the repetition of things. Interestingly enough, Nobuo Nakagawa’s film called Jigoku (Hell) portrays hell as a place where the people who have committed great sins are tortured and then revived inorder to repeat the horror in an endless cycle. I wonder if Evangelion is following a similar pattern until Shinji finds himself able to redeem himself.

  3. Hmm… I think the main plot of Evangelion 3.0 was Gendou manipulating Shinji, Kaworu, and even Fuyutsuki. I think the main goal of Gendou’s final impact is to make Shinji’s hidden super-eva end-the-world powers awaken, so he put Shinji in the right mindset to make it happen (and Fuyutsuki played a role there). But the other purpose was to put Kaworu in a position where he would have to die to save Shinji, so as to eliminate all of SEELEs agents. Personally, I hope there’s some kind of flashback in 4.0, but I don’t want to have to wait until 2015 to find out!

    Also, show of hands, during those piano scenes, who else was thinking, “YES, WE GET IT! THEY’RE GAY TOGETHER! NOW GET ON WITH EXPLAINING THIS DAMN MOVIE!”

  4. Evangelion 3.33 isn’t as good as 2.22 was, but that’s not entirely its fault. 3.33 has taken on the challenge of getting the audience into a character’s head when the character hasn’t even been inside his own head or in this greatly changed world for 14 years. We’ve gotten a little spoiled by Rebuild’s pacing and have forgotten how the original series put so much time and effort into making us, the audience, feel as uncomfortable as its own characters and just how important that is to the immersion into these people and this often-times awful situation. You Can (Not) Redo is a good movie, but it’s more than just that, it’s a thoughtful movie, and thoughtful is what Evangelion is all about.

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