Justin Sevakis's original is fine too
THE Hal E. Burton 9000 wrote:
that's a pretty complimentary review considering all the haters out there
Don't confuse hardcore fan audience (us, namely) with that of anime viewing public as a whole. I've read two dozen reviews of film over time and they've been universally very positive with few overhyping ones and few negative ones.
The perspective one gets from here is quite twisted.
Rebuild really is a flagship project for the damn industry as it has brought best of the best
in the industry to work on it in general. Needless to say negative voices in Japan are few indeed.
Raito-kun is one of the most knowledgeable bloggers on the industry and animation know-how and I think his review of Rebuild is the best one I've read
. Eva is retelling legendary (in Japan) story with the top notch, superb production values barely ever seen in the industry.
Quite frankly it would be downright bizarre if Rebuild wasn't grand success in its country of origin, which in the end is the only market that matters
(On 2chan the biggest complaint thread is about handling of Asuka and that's it. Go figure)
As for the technical side of Eva 2.0, it really reflects the absolutely awesome line-up of artists working for Studio Khara. Beginning with Hideaki Anno, Kazuya Tsurumaki and Masayuki, whose directing is on a level hardly ever seen in Japanese animation, with powerful visuals and measured scene compositions leaving no space for declining excitement. I don’t know if they handled the layout process themselves like they did with Eva 1.0 (where the three directors supervised the layouts), but it certainly looks that way as the shots and perspectives are that intriguing. This time many famous directors created the storyboard, including Hideaki Anno, Kazuya Tsurumaki, Masayuki, Shinji Higuchi, Junichi Sato (Aria, Princess Tutu, Kaleido Star, etc.), Masaki Tachibana (Tokyo Magnitude 8.0), Soichi Masui (Scrapped Princess) and Sayo Yamamoto (Michiko to Hatchin), who did great work in setting the basic mood without anything feeling out of place. Noteworthy are also the two art directors Hiroshi Kato and Tatsuya Kushida who did an amazing job in creating the beautiful art and scenery of the movie. Together with the large line-up of skilled designers (Anno, Tsurumaki, Mahiro Maeda, Takeshi Honda, Atsushi Okuda, Shunji Suzuki, Shoichi Masuo and Hidenori Matsubara among others, what shows how deeply involved the directors were in the project) they gave the Eva world profound and substantial aesthetics that make the movie a real work of art.
The animation itself is nothing less than spectacular and sometimes even beyond imagination, the animation directors paid high attention to create lots of exciting and believable movement, be it for the action sequences or the calmer scenes. The character acting is overall very convincing though not quite on the level of Ghibli or Satoshi Kon‘s movies, sometimes I felt that they consciously took a shortcut to save some troubles. But then again, in some scenes I was amazed at how sensitively the animation expressed the characters’ nature, be it the lively body language of Mari, the prideful and dominant presence of Asuka or the felicitous depiction of Rei’s reserved personality.
It’s hard to describe the epic battle scenes with words as they were realized with a care for details, realism and complexity not often seen before in anime (with Asuka vs. the MP Angels in End of Evangelion being pretty much the only comparable sequence), a truly unique cinematic experience with some shots that have never been attempted that way since they can’t be created in the usual boundaries of TV animation. You can clearly see Anno‘s influence in the battle scenes as nobody can match him in depicting action on a grand scale, that and Masayuki‘s fine sense for spectacularly choreographed and fast-paced action leads to a stunning and powerful mix that draws the viewers into the battles.
Chief animation director is once again Shunji Suzuki with Hidenori Matsubara, Atsushi Okuda and Takeshi Honda (mechanical animation director), who supervised the animation of the incredible line-up of key animators, ranging from Hideaki Anno, Kazuya Tsurumaki and Masayuki themselves to other veterans like Mahiro Maeda, Shoichi Masuo and You Yoshinari to Tetsuya Nishio, Tadashi Hiramatsu, Hiroyuki Imaishi, Akemi Hayashi, Sushio and the animation directors. Shoichi Masuo, famous for great effect animation, is correspondingly also the special effects director and did an incredible job as the explosions and such were among the best I’ve ever seen in animation, I suspect he did key animation on the final scene as it reminded me of a certain scene in Nadia #21 and it clearly showed his work style of using many different layers. There were also some incredibly detailed explosions which looked Anno-ish to me (purple). Near the end I also felt some Gurren Lagann vibes and think that Hiroyuki Imaishi (GL’s director) might be the reason, but otherwise it’s not easy to identify any individual styles as the directors assumedly intervened with the layouting and the animation directors created a strong uniformity (with some minor exceptions). So I have to wait for the key animation book to get to know who did which outstanding scene…
Reading the name list of people involved like this is pretty humbling (not to mention many folks like Yo Yoshinari weren't even mentioned here).
Quite frankly industry itself would love Rebuild to death for its technical virtues alone
tl;dr: Rebuild is very well received overall, don't be blinded by our old school fan perspective that can get really biting at times