Shinji Ikari is left emotionally comatose after the death of a dear friend. With his son mentally unable to pilot the humanoid robot Evangelion Unit-01, Gendou Ikari's NERV races against the shadow organization SEELE to see who can enact their ultimate plan first. SEELE desires to create a godlike being by fusing their own souls into an Evangelion unit, while Gendou wishes to revert all of humanity into one primordial being so that he can be reunited with Yui, his deceased wife.
SEELE unleashes its military forces in a lethal invasion of NERV headquarters. As SEELE's forces cut down NERV's scientists and security personnel, Asuka Langley Souryuu pilots Evangelion Unit-02 in a desperate last stand against SEELE's heaviest weaponry.
The battle rages on, and a depressed Shinji hides deep within NERV's headquarters. With the fate of the world resting in Shinji's hands, Captain Misato Katsuragi hunts for the teenage boy as society crumbles around them.
Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion Synopsis
In the world of Neon Genesis Evangelion, Giant beings known as “Angels” are wrecking havoc on Earth, bringing humanity to the brink of extinction. Our last line of defense – a clandestine group known as NERV that deploys giant mechanized units known as Evangelions, piloted by teenagers with mysterious connections to the enemy. As we step into The End of Evangelion, we follow the story of 14-year-old Shinji Ikari, the primary Eva pilot, as he grapples with his personal demons amidst the catastrophic events unfolding around him.
The End of Evangelion serves to complete the TV series, which drew criticism for its enigmatic ending. The film dives headlong into the psyches of the characters, delving into abstract philosophy, and grappling with existential parables, thereby providing closure to the intense and convoluted narrative of the series through an epic cinematic conclusion. The embryonic fate of Earth hangs precariously in the balance, symbolic of both a literal and metaphorical apocalypse.
Anime Review: Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion
From the first breathtaking frame to the last lingering look, The End of Evangelion is a sprawling tour-de-force. It continues the bold and uncompromising narrative of the TV series, doubling down on its artistry and conceptual depth. The narrative rides heartfelt, character-based storytelling, dazzling mecha battles, deep symbolic and theological references, and defies traditional anime conventions to send viewers on a rollercoaster of emotions and deep thought.
The animation is, in a word, phenomenal. There is a clear step-up in the quality from the television series to this film. Skyscraper-sized Evangelions move with a weight and fluidity that defy their size, and the Angels metamorphose with a mix of grotesque yet visually alluring aesthetics that solidify the Lovecraftian horror element of the series. The moment-to-moment cinematic direction in The End of Evangelion is worthy of a masterclass, striking a harmonious blend between action and drama scenes with skillful panache.
Character development is another huge triumph of this film. Shinji, who started as a conflicted and withdrawn kid in the series, navigates a terrifying path of self-discovery. Additionally, other pivotal characters like Rei, Asuka, and Misato also get fantastic arcs, painting them in a more empathetic and humane light. These characters help drive home the underlying thematic questions about individual identity, freedom, and the pain of coexistence.
The music and sound design deserve a standing ovation as well. Shiro Sagisu’s iconic soundtrack represents the soul of the narrative, providing a full operatic stroke to the high-stakes drama unfolding on the screen. And hey, who can forget THAT Komm Süsser Tod track during THAT scene?
In all, Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion is a triumphant culmination, as challenging as it is rewarding. It’s an apocalyptic opera that vacillates between being heart-wrenchingly emotional and mind-bendingly metaphysical. It’s a film that demands re-watching and introspection. So, whether you’re a die-hard Evangelion fan or a curious newcomer, I highly recommend you either rent, buy, or stream this epochal masterpiece. You won’t just watch an anime movie, but live through an experience that may just change the way you perceive anime as a medium.
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