|Overall||Art||Animation||Character Design||Music||Series Story||Episode Story||Reviewer|
Evangelion: 3.0+1.0: Thrice Upon a Time
It had been over eight years since I seen Evangelion 3.0 in the Rebuild series and at last viewing, I wasn't enjoying the rather significant changes to the storyline being set in a post-apocalyptic world following the events of Third Impact. Eva 3.0+1.0 does devote much of its first hour exploring how the remnants of humanity are surviving in the post-Third Impact world, showing how a number of supporting characters are living their lives as Shinji is in a catatonic state following the events of the prior film. On the one hand, this does work somewhat decently as the film's nearly 2.5 hour runtime gives it a good amount of time to explore its new world and the new Rei clone from Eva 3.0 gets an opportunity to enjoy her newfound independence away from NERV and Gendo's influence. On the other hand, some major characters still get the shaft in regards to fleshing out their characters beyond some rather rushed means that the film offers up in its ending to attempt providing development to said characters, particularly with Mari and Kaworu.|
The remainder of the film features the combined efforts of Misato, Asuka, and their resistance force attempting to halt Gendo and NERV's efforts to try triggering Instrumentality. This makes up much of the visual spectacle of the film with the forces of NERV and WILLE combating each other with Evangelion units and technologies of their own that feature fluid movement and nicely rendered and well-detailed designs of the Evas and technologies utilized. And while minimizing spoilers, I'll just say the direction that the film goes with resolving Shinji's character developments attempts to go in a more hopeful, positive direction compared to the more ambiguous ending of Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion. This likely has to do with the Rebuild series trying to be a more audience-accessible version of Eva given the film series' more streamlined storytelling and lacking the complicated philosophizing and controversy of the original 90s TV anime.
But whether or not this conclusion satisfies you will likely depend on whether your enjoyment leans more for the TV anime or Rebuild series. Personally, I'm more a fan of the manga adaptation of Evangelion published by Yoshiyuki Sadamoto that retains the darker story direction of the 90s anime while making the characters somewhat more palatable and reducing the heavy philosophizing coming from its dabbling into existentialism. However, many associate Hideaki Anno more with Evangelion, considering the franchise his magnum opus for the world of anime. If I had to pick among anime adaptations of Eva, I'd likely lean more for enjoying the 90s anime which in spite of its imperfections, had a more complex and engrossing storyline to dabble into. The characters in the Rebuild series are more tolerable, but the streamlining of its storytelling does make it lose much of the intrigue and complexity offered from the 90s anime. I expect there will be plenty of debate among Eva fans moving forward on what one would consider the ideal viewing experience for anime adaptations of the franchise with the Rebuild films having finally concluded. But I'll keep in my rabbit hole enjoying Sadamoto's spin of Eva in manga form.
Last updated Saturday, August 14 2021. Created Saturday, August 14 2021.