But, as interesting as that would be (and as much as we're all dying to see what happens next with that trio), that's just not how feature-length film pacing is done, ya know? You gotta open your Jaws movie with a shark kill, your Jurassic Park movie with a dinosaur kill, your muder mystery with a murder, etc.
Makes total sense, but it's also true End of Eva started with Shinji and his state of mind. So it has been done before. I really don't wanna go into End of Eva comparisons though.
The way I see it, Shinji won't have time to be a self loathing mess like in EoE. The people around him won't let it happen. At least I'm getting that feeling that Shinji will get to know the world a little like Mari said in Q, and that'll have a positive influence on him (don't get me wrong, I still think he'll have to deal with lots of shit in general in the movie). So I think it's great the Wille team was established again outside of Shinji's perspective.
Also the contrast will be really great when we pass from this (and whatever comes afterwards if there is something else) to Shinji.
I'm sure most of us wanted to see our mains and I swear I would have cried seeing them, but we are still going to see them. And AVANT1 had its own goal and did that well.
BTW, I expect AVANT2 to also be Wille centered, since Midori (big fan) has a line in that scene. But maybe it's just that Wille picks the trio up already. Or the characters are interwoven otherwsie in this scene.
I'd bet on our boy Shinji and co making an appearance after Avant2 and after the title card.
English title will be You can (not) give up. I think that would fit now.
(Which would be an interesting theme to me, since it's worth debating if it still makes sense to keep fighting in the world Q introduced, and will Shinji even have a choice or will he do whatever he does because he wants to? I can't wait to see what happens.)