Have Your Say: EVANGELION 3.0 Will (Not) Make Sense...

Associate Editor, Features; Rotterdam, The Netherlands (@ardvark23)
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Have Your Say: EVANGELION 3.0 Will (Not) Make Sense...
In three months time, a new Evangelion film will have its premiere in Japan. To say that this is an anticipated event is an understatement: ever since the original television series "Neon Genesis Evangelion" aired in 1995 it has been a phenomenon to be reckoned with. For those interested in what happened between that first airing and the current popularity of anything Evangelion, I've tried to recap that wild ride in my review for the first film of the current series of four (link here). Today, the franchise is alive and kicking, huge with a capital H...

But for, say, 99% of the fans the story so far has lacked a satisfying ending. The television anime had one of the most intriguing setups ever and a magnificently detailed universe, yet while it was great at posing questions it wasn't all that interested in providing any answers, leading to an ending that was so incredibly ambiguous that creator Hideaki Anno famously received several death threats. A reworked ending was incredibly spectacular, finishing in the cinema with the devastatingly psychedelic feature film "The End of Evangelion". It didn't bring all that much clarity though. It is telling that some say the two endings (TV-series and film) complement each other, while others say they exclude each other.

So when Anno announced that he was going to retell the whole story again as four cinema features with a new (FINAL) ending, fan response went through the roof. So far he wasn't lying: we got "Evangelion 1.0 : You Are (Not) Alone" in 2007 and "Evangelion 2.0 : You Can (Not) Advance" in 2009. And the waiting started for the last two films, which Anno claimed would be released close together and would both show the same ending, only from different viewpoints. WHOA!!!

While the first of the four films had closely followed the original anime's story, the second one spectacularly veered off the beaten track and included one of director Anno's staples: a hidden post-credits sequence with a completely different ending. Everyone could not help but wonder what parts 3 and 4 would bring.
That was three years ago.

What has happened in those three years? Fake trailers, fan rumblings, rumours of fights between Hideaki Anno and the producers... What we did NOT get was a teaser poster with a defining image, like we got for the first two films. What we also did NOT get was a definite title: even the website made constant double mentions of both "Evangelion: Q" and "Evangelion 3.0: You Can (Not) Redo" (an ironic title if there ever was one).
Whenever the new film was mentioned or new footage unearthed, it always turned out to be fake, or bits and pieces from the post-credits sequence.

Then last year in August, we got the first truly new glimpse when we saw a short clip of Asuka, wearing an eyepatch and steering her Eva through space. And we rejoiced: delayed or not, new footage actually existed!
In 2012 we got an official teaser and an official trailer. Problem is: the teaser was a re-edit of known footage while the trailer showed a cgi piano playing a tune AND. NOTHING. ELSE.

As of today we still have no final poster except a blue square with some letters on it. No teaser mentioning a story. No trailer showing actual footage of a new film.

So what will we be seeing come November? Is there really a new film? Or only half a film? Or two films?
Has Hideaki Anno lost his mind? Or found a new one? Are the voice-actors at each other's throats again?

Will Evangelion ever end as a story, or will this series of films once more take such a different direction that it leaves us all behind, disappearing behind some unseen horizon for another ten years?
Nothing is known yet, but speculating about this will be fun as always.

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Ard VijnAugust 6, 2012 10:31 AM

Me, I have... ehm... faith.
I guess.

JoeInTheBoxAugust 6, 2012 10:45 AM

I'm going with the theory that the new films are a sequel to the show:


multimediaculture.wordpress.comAugust 6, 2012 12:07 PM

I think Anno will bring Evangelion to a conclusive end, just like he did previously. Whether or not people like it will be a whole different discussion. Of course, that has been the fun of the series. After all, it seems the characters are so interesting and the story so engrossing that next to nothing will make for a satisfactory ending for everyone.

terebi-kunAugust 6, 2012 1:53 PM

All I can say is that any Evangelion production without an extremely controversial/polarizing creative decision simply would not live to its name. The last two movies have been a gradual departure from the TV show and movies, but have played it safe in terms of plot development and storytelling techniques, so it's probably time for major Eva style trolling, now that we fans are invested in this new iteration.

I really don't see what pianos have to do with anything. I think Kaoru plays piano in the manga, but that's it.

JohnAugust 6, 2012 3:12 PM

We will find out that the world of Evangelion exists in a looped universe where everyone is doomed to repeat the same life over and over until they get everything right. Groundhog's Day on a world scale. Only problem, with everyone having to be perfect they never escape. Thus we are doomed to see the same story rehashed, retold, and re-explained over and over again. I am not complaining, though. There are worst things to sit through than 1.11, like the actual Groundhog's Day film, or the original series.

I find it utterly deplorable that the four film series is potentially only 3, though. I don't want to sit through a movie with the same ending from a different perspective, especially as so far, Evangelion only has one perspective set up.

zetobeltAugust 6, 2012 8:28 PM

I don't if it will make sense.... but definitely it will be one hell of a ride!

theshape31August 6, 2012 11:24 PM

Having seen all the Evangelion material to date, I have zero faith that Anno can create an ending that isn't just plain bad. At least with my expectations this low, I can't really be disappointed... can I?

Ard VijnAugust 7, 2012 3:37 AM

That is all "WHEN THEY CRY" missed: giant robots!

Major_RagerAugust 9, 2012 4:04 PM

Honestly, being a hardcore fan of the series (including the original endings and the final movies) and the manga (which is amazing and I recommend to any Eva fan to pick it up), I was not impressed with the rebuilds. In particular, the excess "fan service" in the new movies is embarrassing and, in my mind, kind of goes against what I thought Anno was trying to tell us near the end of the series, which is that anime was dumbing us down, making us (or at least the japanese) antisocial shut-in's with cartoon characters as girlfriends. If I remember correctly, he once described anime fandom as "forced autism" but yet the rebuilds are the most guilty of the franchise.

Of course, I am still going to watch 3.0, but after 1 and 2 I'm not really expecting much. To hell with whether or not it'll make much sense, if the ride is lousy, I don't really care about the pay off anyway. At least the animation is gorgeous. But then again, I feel like they really blew it on the berserk scene in 2.0. ANAL MUCH?!?!

janusgeminiAugust 25, 2012 5:35 PM

Wow. For Anno to call out Otaku as "forced Autistics" is too gundam fuckin Brilliant. And then for him to double back by slathering out more of those luminous victuals for all those greasy gobs, lusting after translucent acetate to give good ghosthead in their dingy caves.