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Eva 2.22 you CANNOT advance – eh.

All right, all right. I know many of you loved it. And I’ll admit. If I get to see it on the BD version, I’d probably be blown away. But here’s the thing: without the BD enhancement, it did not deliver. It just didn’t meet my standard (standard, hah). So, let me continue the blasphemy from here.

First of all, Mari. Yes, there is a story behind her and all that and I’m supposed to make that connection. But being an anime veteran, I got lazy. I honestly thought that what the first 30 minutes did was to give us Sakamoto Maaya-chan and show us: “yeah, we have a different character that wasn’t in the original. How do you like that?” Well, not much, I’m afraid. I honestly didn’t see the big connection between her and the story itself. Oh I’m sure I’ll be criticized for it. That’s OK, hit me with it (trolls will be blacklisted). But aside from her kicking the Angel’s ass, I didn’t find her all that interesting. So much for Maaya’s Mari.

My second gripe. They placed Asuka in the berserk Eva but not Shinji’s friend, Toji? She just got there a few days ago! I honestly can’t imagine Shinji feeling that much about her – wait, I take that back – he would feel bad for anyone who was anywhere close to him being in that Eva no matter what. So the substitution really didn’t make that much difference. To me, Asuka’s character got a reduction. I mean shit, it isn’t like Anno is going to kill off with Asuka like now and don’t have her back. Or is he? That would be a huge change from the original plot. That would totally rewrite the story. Is that good or bad? I vote for bad. The impact of the original Eva came from the experience three very broken teenage kids. If Asuka is done from here, then shit, it’s not Eva any more. Feel free to disagree vehemently.

Of course, I watch it once yesterday and I was drinking, so I probably did miss some important stuff. But anyway.

The sense of being underwhelmed was so strong that I wanted to turn it off half way. Maybe I got tired of Eva in general (it’s been more than 10 years since the original came out). It didn’t grip me much. I think that’s the problem with a movie – everything becomes condensed and a lot of things are left out. I like it that Karou’s there since the beginning. There is an undercurrent. I like Kotono’s Misato no matter what. But everything else just doesn’t add up. Nope. Again, feel free to disagree vehemently.

The original show was famous for it’s depictions of the characters’ struggle and it alienated quite a few people because it focused too much on Shinji’s (whiny) struggle. The movie is a different beast all together. He doesn’t whine or even struggle much; he’s like another average reluctant hero. Based on the constraints of the time for a movie, I can understand the need to hurry him up so he can get over it. However, with that progression, the movie becomes a different story. Shinji no longer struggles much. He moves on quickly. While we cheer for that, the essence of the original show, which demonstrated how the truly-weak reacts to impossibly-difficult events, is forever lost. The movie shows an ultimate universe where everyone doesn’t quite act the same way as they would in the TV series. The movie, with its time constraints, moves people along on its hurried-path.

Whether that’s good or bad, I leave it up to your judgement. My feeling is that Eva 2.22: You (Cannot) Advance is a different take on the Eva universe. It sure is less frustrating, but does it retain the essence of Evangelion?

I think not.

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