Lesley Aeschliman

Anime Review: Evangelion 3.33 You Can (Not) Redo

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Evangelion 3.33 You Can (Not) Redo is the third of four films for the Rebuild of Evangelion, which retells the story of the Neon Genesis Evangelion anime series.

Evangelion 3.33 You Can (Not) Redo

Evangelion 3.33 You Can (Not) Redo

Directed by: Hideaki Anno, Mahiro Maeda, and Kazuya Tsurumaki
Written by: Hideaki Anno
Starring: Megumi Ogata, Megumi Hayashibara, Yuko Miyamura, Maaya Sakamoto, Akira Ishida
Run Time: 93 minutes (theatrical version), 96 minutes (uncut edition)
English Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
Format: Blu-ray

For viewers who have already seen the original television series, it’s readily apparent right at the beginning of this film that the story has progressed past the ending of the original series. But any viewers, whether they’re fans of the television series or are experiencing Evangelion for the first time through the films, will find themselves feeling very confused for almost the first 20 minutes of the movie. It’s not until after Shinji Ikari is retrieved from Evangelion Unit 01 and is brought to see Misato Katsuragi that the audience starts receiving the exposition that’s needed to understand what’s happening. It’s revealed that 14 years have elapsed since the end of the second film, Evangelion 2.22 You Can (Not) Advance, and that Shinji has been sealed away for all of that time. Perhaps Anno purposefully opened the film in a way to leave the audience as confused as Shinji until he learns what’s happened. By telling the story this way, I think it helps the viewer to better empathize with Shinji.

The character of Kaworu is introduced in this film, and he ends up having a bigger role here than he did in the original television series. The film was better able to develop the relationship between Kaworu and Shinji than the original television series did, so it’s much easier to believe that Shinji would be affected by something that happens to Kaworu during the movie. I really liked the scenes of Kaworu and Shinji playing the piano together as they bond to become a team, even with some of trippy animation of the piano. But this different animation style helps to make the scene memorable.

But poor Shinji goes through a lot over the course of Evangelion 3.33 You Can (Not) Redo. He’d already been dealing with self-esteem issues and depression prior to this film, but between missing out on 14 years, having a couple of bombshells dropped on him that make him realize that he didn’t actually know what he thought he knew, and a major event happening right near the end of the movie, Shinji becomes completely broken. As a viewer, I was left with very serious concerns for him at the end of the movie, and how his mindset will end up setting the stage for the next film.

This film also has a much darker feel than the previous two films. On the surface, this was an obvious choice because the world has become even more of a dystopia due to the Third Impact event that took place at the end of the previous film. However, I also believe the darker feel also emphasizes Shinji’s mental state as everything he thought he knew falls apart all around him.

Fans of the Neon Genesis Evangelion anime series might have problems accepting how the story progresses during this film. While I’ve seen the original series, I’ve been trying to keep an open mind while watching these “rebuild” films. With the changes that were made to the story during the first two films, the progression of the story in the third film makes a lot of sense. Although, I have to say that seeing what happened to Misato and Ritsuko and the other characters that we knew from NERV 14 years later and discovering they have a much different role now, took a lot of getting used to as I watched this film. But I was glad to see Mari, the new character introduced to the Evangelion franchise in the second “rebuild” film, have more of a role in this movie. After seeing this film, I can see why Mari was added. With Shinji sealed away for 14 years, they needed to have another Eva pilot around for the story to work.

When it comes to the bonus features on the Blu-ray release of Evangelion 3.33 You Can (Not) Redo, there were a lot of trailers, teasers, and TV spots included. But in this case, quantity didn’t necessarily mean quantity. Many of the promotional spots seemed to be rather similar to each other, to the point that I had to watch carefully to find any noticeable differences. The “Rebuild of EVANGELION 3.33” feature included 11 minutes of various scenes, showing how they progressed from the storyboard to the final version that appeared in the film. FUNimation also made sure to include previews for other anime releases they were promoting at the time the Blu-ray pressing of this film was released.

I would recommend Evangelion 3.33 You Can (Not) Redo to viewers who have watched the previous two “rebuild” films and enjoyed them. For the “rebuild” films as a whole, I would recommend them to fans of Neon Genesis Evangelion who won’t mind the changes that have been made to the story, as well as to newcomers to the franchise. However, newcomers should be aware that while you don’t necessarily have to see the original television series to enjoy the films, they could be a little lost early on until information begins to be revealed during the second and third films.

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