Debate the quality of Rebuild here. [2]

Discussion of the new series of Evangelion movies ( "Evangelion Shin Gekijōban", meaning "Evangelion: New Theatrical Edition"). The final instalment made its debut in Japan on March 8, 2021.

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Re: Debate the quality of Rebuild here. [2]

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Postby baldur » Sat May 01, 2021 2:44 pm

View Original PostGendo's Glasses wrote: I think it's pretty clear that End of Evangelion is an alternate take on things, as mentioned above

Isn't EoE more in line with the original scripts of the finale episodes? I do consider EoE and EoTV seperate and I do think the former is informed by the latter but I still consider EoE the "definitive" ending, if only because it actually ties up the plot threads of the series. I don't consider it a sequel or "alternate take". I think both endings are different executions of what is more or less the same concept, except one is heavily limited in time and budget. Both interesting, both worth considering, but I think one takes precedence over the other.

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Re: Debate the quality of Rebuild here. [2]

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Postby Archer » Sat May 01, 2021 5:00 pm

While I have no proof for it, I 100% believe that, had Evangelion not faced the production issues it did, Ep 25 would’ve been a lower-budget, cut-down version of EoE’s 25’ ending with the start of Instrumentality, while Ep 26 would’ve been an amalgamation of EoTV.

I think the biggest evidence toward EoTV being a heavy compromise with EoE being closer to their original vision is the fact that EoE got made at all. If the anime had actually ended in a way that Anno and co. felt was true enough to their vision, why would they go and make a movie literally titled “The End of Evangelion” just one year after the anime ended? I don’t think I’m making any crazy leaps of logic when I say that that SCREAMS “we ran out of time with the anime, but it’s okay, now that we have a movie budget we’re redoing the ending the way we intended!”

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Re: Debate the quality of Rebuild here. [2]

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Postby baldur » Mon May 03, 2021 9:24 am

Indeed. But in my opinion, the even stronger evidence for me is that EoE fulfills a lot of narrative promises made from the beginning and actually ties things together into a coherent ending (while still remaining elusive and interpretive), which EoTV simply does not do.

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Re: Debate the quality of Rebuild here. [2]

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Postby ChaddyManPrime » Mon May 03, 2021 8:47 pm

Rebuild am bad, someone fight me.
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Re: Debate the quality of Rebuild here. [2]

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Postby baldur » Wed May 05, 2021 1:21 pm

View Original PostChaddyManPrime wrote:Rebuild am bad, someone fight me.

Rebuild good. En garde, knave. :duel:

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Re: Debate the quality of Rebuild here. [2]

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Postby TastyCap » Sat May 08, 2021 5:11 pm

Moderation can move this to an appropriate thread if this doesn't fit, but since I didn't see an 'initial reactions' thread and I don't think one is warranted, I'll put this here. I finally sat down and watched 1.11 (dubbed) last night, and for what it's worth, I enjoyed it.

-The visuals are stunning. Everything is fluid, and the bright art style reflects that the films are a separate, more 'cinematic' continuity well. One thing I appreciated is that, no doubt due to the use of 3d models, the Evas are easier to gain a sense of scale for. I noticed a size fluctuation throughout the original series that wasn't present here, to my knowledge.

-Sachiel is the... fourth angel? That's interesting.

-I'm perfectly fine accepting these films as something separate from the original show, and as a result, I'm not bothered if character development is cut or reduced for screentime. It's unreasonable to expect the Rebuilds to replicate the masterful character building from the show, and I wouldn't be interested in seeing a 1:1 recreation of things I've seen before. That being said, I think Misato gets the short end of the stick here, and comes off as a lot colder towards Shinji due to the elimination of the train station scene. Cutting Shinji quitting NERV is an understandable choice, but the relationship between Rebuild!Shinji and Misato is already going in a different trajectory.

-This is a problem in the original show as well, but man, Tokyo-3 gets messed up in this movie! They went overboard with the collateral damage, and it makes me wonder how they're able to rebuild destroyed buildings so quickly. This isn't a complaint, just an observation.

-Ramiel's redesign is flashy, but I like it, and it fits the aesthetic of the Rebuilds well. The screams are a terrifying touch, very otherworldly and alien.

-Misato showing Shinji Lilith(?) caught me off guard. That eliminates a huge chunk of the Misato/NERV intrigue plot, so I'm wondering where this is all going. Interesting choice of a redesign for Lilith.

-The biggest change, aside from the ending, is the conclusion of the Ramiel fight. I absolutely love this moment, and it's a great way for Rebuild Shinji to differentiate himself from TV Shinji by taking control of a situation and succeeding. In the show, something like this would feel out of place, but the grandiosity of the moment, coupled with that haunting choir music, worked its magic on me immediately. Narratively, it gives Shinji some visible growth at the end of the film, and shows him overcoming adversity in a natural way. Again, fits the tone of the Rebuilds as a cinematic, less cerebral incarnation, and makes Rei's smile at the end all the more earned. I'm sure there's a lot of discourse on this scene because it characterizes Shinji as a more conventionally heroic protagonist, but that's something I can buy into here.

-The ending is... christ, I don't know where to start with the ending. Raises questions for sure. I'm somewhat aware of a 'loop' theory relating to the Rebuilds, which I haven't researched at all, but I can absolutely see how people would come to that conclusion from this ending. Is the extra Angel that makes Sachiel the fourth Angel the Lilith that's imprisoned in Terminal Dogma? How does (what I'm assuming is) TV Lilith factor into this? Why is Kaworu on the... moon? He's apparently familiar with Shinji? Does that have anything to do with Gendo and Fuyutsuki talking about the 'script' they laid out for Shinj and Rei 14 years prior, or am I looking too deep into what could be them just discussing their elaborate plans as they usually do? Whatever the case is, I'm crossing my fingers the next films address this stuff, though knowing Anno, I won't hold my breath.

-I mentioned I watched this dubbed, so this is my first actual exposure to the ADV voices. I'd seen the original Japanese audio of the series, as well as the Netflix dub, but I've never seen ADV content before now, and I'm not the biggest fan. I know the ADV dub is beloved, but I can't buy into their voices as anywhere near definitive for the characters. I know the Netflix dub raised a lot of controversy, but I think the VAs did a spectacular job of making a very stiff script feel natural and real. I also appreciate how the pilots actually sound like children in the Netflix dub, which is my biggest problem with the ADV voices. I've never come around to Shinji sounding like a 30 year old attempting to sound like a 14 year old, and I probably never will.

Overall, immensely enjoyed this. It doesn't compare to the actual show, and nearly all of my enjoyment hinges on the fact that I had already seen the original show, so its merit as a standalone film is debatable, but as a complimentary piece, it's fun. I'll be looking forward to the other 3 films!

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Re: Debate the quality of Rebuild here. [2]

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Postby baldur » Sat May 08, 2021 8:34 pm

I enjoyed reading your thoughts. Back when I watched Rebuild for the first time I actually (privately) wrote down my impressions as well; your observations are quite similar to mine. It's hard to comment on most of them without spoiling the other films, so I'll refrain from that for now. Speaking of, be careful not to spoil yourself visiting the Rebuild forum.

View Original PostTastyCap wrote:-I'm perfectly fine accepting these films as something separate from the original show, and as a result, I'm not bothered if character development is cut or reduced for screentime. It's unreasonable to expect the Rebuilds to replicate the masterful character building from the show, and I wouldn't be interested in seeing a 1:1 recreation of things I've seen before.

[...]

Overall, immensely enjoyed this. It doesn't compare to the actual show, and nearly all of my enjoyment hinges on the fact that I had already seen the original show, so its merit as a standalone film is debatable, but as a complimentary piece, it's fun. I'll be looking forward to the other 3 films!

Definitely the right way to approach Rebuild, imo. It's not meant to replace NGE like a decent amount of people seem to think. I always say it's best enjoyed as a sequel series (in a thematic sense) to NGE instead of a remake.

View Original PostTastyCap wrote: I mentioned I watched this dubbed, so this is my first actual exposure to the ADV voices. I'd seen the original Japanese audio of the series, as well as the Netflix dub, but I've never seen ADV content before now, and I'm not the biggest fan. I know the ADV dub is beloved, but I can't buy into their voices as anywhere near definitive for the characters. I know the Netflix dub raised a lot of controversy, but I think the VAs did a spectacular job of making a very stiff script feel natural and real. I also appreciate how the pilots actually sound like children in the Netflix dub, which is my biggest problem with the ADV voices. I've never come around to Shinji sounding like a 30 year old attempting to sound like a 14 year old, and I probably never will.

Yep, I really don't like the ADV dub myself. I'd say that there are probably more people than you think that don't like it. I think the Netflix dub is a substantial improvement over the old one, but I personally always stick with the original Japanese voices and recommend you do the same for Rebuild.

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Re: Debate the quality of Rebuild here. [2]

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Postby TastyCap » Wed May 12, 2021 3:31 pm

Watched 2.22. There's a lot going on here, wow. I'm still not entirely sure what I thought of it as a film, but it was a fun viewing experience.

-I loved the parts of the film that take the story in new directions, and found those sections to be the most entertaining and effective. Conversely, when the film mimicked things I've seen before in the show, they felt less impactful because the Rebuilds lack the context, build-up, and tension that made those moments work in the first place. The Sahaquiel fight is an exception, with the Unit-03 fight being the biggest offender of repeating something from the show in a way that was hindered by its circumstances.

-The scenes with the kids being kids and interacting with one another were excellent. I loved the aquarium field trip and the classroom moments. The movie did a great job of building chemistry between Shinji and Rei in a way that felt more natural than the show. One thing that never sat right with me in the anime was that we never see Shinji and Rei's relationship in a casual context beyond the Ramiel fight. Rei's sacrifice, while effective, made me wish we got to see her undergo change as a result of Shinji. Here, we get to see their relationship play out in a way that's both adorable and tightly written. Rei even has a joke-y moment, when she responds that her surprise dinner party is a 'secret'. She's humanized, and her sacrifice at the end of the film so Shinji would never have to pilot an EVA again was both effective and hit incredibly hard. I've never been a huge fan of Rei in the original show, but here, she's great.

-Surprisingly, I didn't hate the trajectory of Shinji's relationship with Asuka here. In the original show, you have a lot more time to show character moments between them (the entirety of the action arc, pretty much), and in order to generate chemistry between the two in a romantic sense, you need to have a TV show's length at your disposal. It'd be impossible to do in a nearly 2 hour film without coming at the expense of everything else in the story. By virtue of Rei being a more compliant character with arguably less emotional walls than Asuka, it's easier to write a convincing relationship between her and Shinji. He does nice things for her, she reciprocates. The show is able to delve deeper into the characters, so the dynamic between Asuka and Shinji is more fleshed out. That being said, I was enjoying Asuka's character up until the halfway point. I thought they captured her attitude perfectly, and whenever she was onscreen, it was enjoyable, and then the Unit-03 section hit.

-The Unit-03 section is a mess. I mean, the whole film is already a mess, but it's an entertaining mess, at the very least. Asuka opens up to Misato on the phone because... the script called for it? Then she gets shoved into Toji's role just to write her out of the film, jeez. The entire purpose of the Unit-03 fight in the original show is to bring the conflict between Shinji and Gendo to a boiling point, but here, it happens too fast, out of nowhere, and feels like a pointless mimicking of the original show. It doesn't compliment Asuka's character, and writes her out of the story in the most disrespectful, meaningless way possible. I would rather this section have been replaced with something else that can serve the need for Shinji to quit NERV. Anything that doesn't feel so wrong and dissonant as a result of seeing the anime.

-The ending of the film is absolutely insane. At this point, I stopped caring about making sense of what was happening, and turned my brain off to enjoy the action and see what crazy plot developments the film would throw at me. Mari is absolutely absurd, as a concept and character, but I kind of like her for that. I have no clue what her agenda is, but her inclusion is entertaining in its apparent pointlessness. Great way to keep me continually throwing my hands in the air. Heavily enjoyed the animation in this section, even if things were becoming absurdly 'anime', with Unit-02's 'beast' form, coupled with Mari's green eyes. Again, the amount of collateral damage here is off the charts. Why does anyone want to live in Tokyo-3?

-Unit-01's awakening and subsequent impact triggering is stupid, but cool. That's a good descriptor for this entire movie, I realize. As dumb as red-eyed Shinji looks, I do think him attempting (and succeeding!) to save Rei was a great moment, and in-line for Rebuild!Shinji's character arc thus far. It's built up properly, is visually stunning, and fits within the 'epic' aesthetic style of the films. Artfully done. Now that the films have sped through most of the story from the original series, I'm very excited to see them go in their own direction, and an ending like that is the perfect way to make it clear that the Rebuilds are doing their own thing, if you haven't figured that out already.

-Kaworu dropping another implication that he's done this before. Okay.

Overall, it's... fun. As a piece of writing, it's contrived and pales in comparison to the anime, but as a film, it's an enjoyable watching experience. Visually amazing, fluid animation, plays with your expectations if you've seen the show in the best way possible, and isn't afraid to indulge in the setting's atmosphere. It's absurdity (word of the day with this film, honestly) and over-the-top writing in comparison to the often subdued, restrained show makes it enjoyable, in my eyes. This is Evangelion, but with the entertainment value cranked up to 1000, and I'm happy it exists.

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Re: Debate the quality of Rebuild here. [2]

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Postby baldur » Wed May 12, 2021 7:53 pm

Ah, 2.0. The most controversial Evangelion film since the last one. That is, until the next one came out.

View Original PostTastyCap wrote: I'm still not entirely sure what I thought of it as a film, but it was a fun viewing experience.

I still don't know what to think of it lol. I think I really like it? But in a... somewhat detached, interpretive sort of way.

View Original PostTastyCap wrote: Mari is absolutely absurd, as a concept and character, but I kind of like her for that. I have no clue what her agenda is, but her inclusion is entertaining in its apparent pointlessness. Great way to keep me continually throwing my hands in the air.

Haha I share your thoughts here. I really enjoy this aspect of Rebuild in general, actually.

View Original PostTastyCap wrote: Unit-01's awakening and subsequent impact triggering is stupid, but cool. That's a good descriptor for this entire movie, I realize.

It certainly is!

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Re: Debate the quality of Rebuild here. [2]

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Postby TastyCap » Mon May 17, 2021 2:10 am

Watched 3.33, very funny joke, Anno. I can barely piece together my thoughts right now, but I feel like I watched a 1 hour recap of a 4 hour movie. I appreciated the visuals, and how jarring the change of setting came, but the details of the plot are so obscured that I barely had any idea of what was happening at any given moment. Usually in other Eva media, I'm able to lean back on the characters and worry less about the 'lore' of the setting, but the Rebuilds are devoid of characterization, so I had nothing to look at besides pretty fight scenes. Thematically, I loved the irrepairability of Shinji's actions being a metaphor for change, and being thrust into a jarring timeskip is a genius way to convey that to an audience, but the film sacrifices entertainment value for stacking more questions on top of the already existing pile of questions without answering any of them.

I feel cheated, in a way. The movie feels short, empty, and I feel like no one gets the right amount of focus, not even Shinji. I have a lot of research ahead of me to answer the multitudes of questions I have, but I can't see my opinion of this film improving for awhile. It's a shame, because I enjoyed the entertaining mess that was 2.22, and was looking forward to more madness in the future installments. I guess I was expecting comprehensible madness.

Not sure what the general reception for 3.33 is, but I'm going to assume 'mixed' is the proper word for it.

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Re: Debate the quality of Rebuild here. [2]

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Postby Nuclear Lunchbox » Mon May 17, 2021 3:22 am

It was a wild time on these forums right after Q came out, that's for sure. "Mixed" is a perfectly apt way to describe how people felt about it. At least now you won't have to wait eight years to view the conclusion, unlike those of us who were able to catch Q closer to when it came out. Your opinion might develop differently for that reason, since the last film of the series is on the horizon and you can have at least some glimmer of hope that your questions will be answered soon.

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Re: Debate the quality of Rebuild here. [2]

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Postby baldur » Mon May 17, 2021 12:10 pm

View Original PostTastyCap wrote:Watched 3.33, very funny joke, Anno.

:gendoscheme: I know, right?

View Original PostTastyCap wrote:I can barely piece together my thoughts right now, but I feel like I watched a 1 hour recap of a 4 hour movie. I appreciated the visuals, and how jarring the change of setting came, but the details of the plot are so obscured that I barely had any idea of what was happening at any given moment.

You must be feeling as disoriented as Shinji.

View Original PostTastyCap wrote: Usually in other Eva media, I'm able to lean back on the characters and worry less about the 'lore' of the setting, but the Rebuilds are devoid of characterization, so I had nothing to look at besides pretty fight scenes.

I mean, I think it's one of the most visually interesting pieces of Evangelion media both in and out of fight scenes.

View Original PostTastyCap wrote:Thematically, I loved the irrepairability of Shinji's actions being a metaphor for change, and being thrust into a jarring timeskip is a genius way to convey that to an audience, but the film sacrifices entertainment value for stacking more questions on top of the already existing pile of questions without answering any of them.

Hm. I certainly don't blame you for feeling this way, but I do think some answers are given before it ends. Maybe it's easier to digest on a rewatch?

View Original PostTastyCap wrote:I feel cheated, in a way. The movie feels short, empty, and I feel like no one gets the right amount of focus, not even Shinji.

Not even Shinji? I'll have to disagree there, I suppose. But yes, it certainly is short and empty(-feeling).

View Original PostTastyCap wrote:I have a lot of research ahead of me to answer the multitudes of questions I have, but I can't see my opinion of this film improving for awhile. It's a shame, because I enjoyed the entertaining mess that was 2.22, and was looking forward to more madness in the future installments. I guess I was expecting comprehensible madness.

Funnily enough, this very thread has been the place of discussion for the strengths and weaknesses of Rebuild for the past 10 years.

I do hope you come around to 3.0. If you ask me, it's more comprehensible than it might first appear.

View Original PostTastyCap wrote:Not sure what the general reception for 3.33 is, but I'm going to assume 'mixed' is the proper word for it.

Your assumption is, uh, correct.

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Re: Debate the quality of Rebuild here. [2]

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Postby ProcopiousJones » Mon May 17, 2021 3:06 pm

View Original PostTastyCap wrote:I can barely piece together my thoughts right now, but I feel like I watched a 1 hour recap of a 4 hour movie.


That's how I felt after completing 3.33. I was wide awake for every second as I watched the film, paying attention to everything that was happening and trying to figure out what was going on. But once the credits rolled and sakura nagashi started to play, I felt a wave of exhaustion crush me. I could not piece together what everything meant as it was so foreign from what we've seen before and the expectation we were given; 3.0 is designed to be the way it is. Although, I could piece some things together as I was watching the film, especially the conversations between Shinji and Kaworu.
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Re: Debate the quality of Rebuild here. [2]

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Postby TastyCap » Mon May 24, 2021 7:22 pm

Rewatched 3.33 (and the other two, actually) and consulted the Wiki's FAQ guides for areas I had trouble in. Definitely enjoy the movie a lot more now, though I wish it were more narratively satisfying and adhered to any form of conventional plot structure. Shinji admittedly did get more focus than I gave him credit for on my first go-around, but I would've appreciated more interaction between him and the rest of the cast. I still think it's a mess, but I can appreciate how different and bold it is. The pacing is godawful and inexcusable, but it does hammer in the idea that change is supposed to be swift, uncomfortable, and dissonant. Not a huge fan of how they skillfully built up Rei and Shinji's characters throughout the first two movies only to tear the both of them down in this one. Oh well, it's a pretty film, at least.

Read the text spoilers for 3.0 + 1.0, though I might not join in the discussion on that one yet, just because I'm assuming that subforum is a battlefield at the moment and I haven't been on top of things regarding that installment.

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Re: Debate the quality of Rebuild here. [2]

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Postby Archer » Mon May 24, 2021 8:53 pm

Not to delve too much into spoiler talk (for reference, I haven’t read the 3.0+1.0 plot yet), but would you say 3.0+1.0 justifies the artistic choices made in 3.0? Or would you prefer if 3.0 had been presented in a more standard, straightforward manner, even if the events of the story stay 100% the same?

Previously, I’d said that if 3.0+1.0 follows up on the story and wraps everything up in a satisfying way, 3.0 would be completely redeemed for me, but after thinking on it a bit more I’m really not so sure anymore. The main stickler for me at this point really is Mari, because she’d be emblematic of the main issues I had with 3.0 (e.g. the sacrifices that had to be made in service of “making 3.0 be from Shinji’s perspective of not knowing anything”). Like, there needs to be a really fucking good narrative reason to hold off any backstory and character development she may get to the last movie, because in the absence of such a reason, I’d say it’s completely inexcusable to do that to a newly introduced character who DESPERATELY needed some more characterization and depth in the first movie she actually plays a big role in.

Basically, I’m just having trouble imagining that 3.0+1.0 will somehow convince me that 3.0 framing everything from Shinji’s perspective to pursue some artistic or thematic goal, at the cost of other characters and plot elements that really needed additional context, is necessary to make 3.0+1.0 work and strictly improves the overarching story of the Rebuilds.

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Re: Debate the quality of Rebuild here. [2]

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Postby TastyCap » Tue May 25, 2021 2:20 am

View Original PostArcher wrote:Not to delve too much into spoiler talk (for reference, I haven’t read the 3.0+1.0 plot yet), but would you say 3.0+1.0 justifies the artistic choices made in 3.0? Or would you prefer if 3.0 had been presented in a more standard, straightforward manner, even if the events of the story stay 100% the same?

Previously, I’d said that if 3.0+1.0 follows up on the story and wraps everything up in a satisfying way, 3.0 would be completely redeemed for me, but after thinking on it a bit more I’m really not so sure anymore. The main stickler for me at this point really is Mari, because she’d be emblematic of the main issues I had with 3.0 (e.g. the sacrifices that had to be made in service of “making 3.0 be from Shinji’s perspective of not knowing anything”). Like, there needs to be a really fucking good narrative reason to hold off any backstory and character development she may get to the last movie, because in the absence of such a reason, I’d say it’s completely inexcusable to do that to a newly introduced character who DESPERATELY needed some more characterization and depth in the first movie she actually plays a big role in.

Basically, I’m just having trouble imagining that 3.0+1.0 will somehow convince me that 3.0 framing everything from Shinji’s perspective to pursue some artistic or thematic goal, at the cost of other characters and plot elements that really needed additional context, is necessary to make 3.0+1.0 work and strictly improves the overarching story of the Rebuilds.

Based on the summary that I've seen (the one on the Evageeks wiki), a lot of my concerns regarding 3.0 are addressed in 3.0+1.0, and the plot covers nearly everything I'd want to see, and answers most of the logistical and setting questions that film raised. I admire the artistic direction 3.0 took, but whether or not it's justified remains to be seen. Like, when I'm actually able to watch 3.0+1. :irked:

Mari... yeah, I don't know. She's baffling to me, and 3.0 shafting her was indicative that there never was a larger plan with her other than being a new character to sell merchandise with. As someone who likes new things, as well as Eva merch, she's not exactly blasphemous to me, but I think introducing her in a movie series and not a TV show where she can be properly developed and receive adequate screentime was a major hindrance in making Mari work. That being said, I was never all that excited about her in the first place because we were never given enough information in 2.0 to chew on. She has people backing her, goals of her own, and enjoys piloting Evas. Any intrigue derived from those elements is baseless speculation, which, in Mari's case, is pointless. It does suck, because I like Mari on a superficial level, but I want to love her, but I just can't bring myself to do that with how she's presented in the films.

Will 3.0+1.0 fix 3.0 entirely? Probably not, but they might compliment each other well if watched back-to-back.

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Re: Debate the quality of Rebuild here. [2]

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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Wed Jun 23, 2021 5:25 pm

Just let Mari happen. It’ll (probably?) make some sorta sense at some point.
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Re: Debate the quality of Rebuild here. [2]

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Postby UrsusArctos » Thu Jun 24, 2021 7:04 am

View Original PostTastyCap wrote:Based on the summary that I've seen (the one on the Evageeks wiki), a lot of my concerns regarding 3.0 are addressed in 3.0+1.0, and the plot covers nearly everything I'd want to see, and answers most of the logistical and setting questions that film raised.


Not to start a tangent here, but please keep in mind that the summary page was based on preliminary information and that a number of details may not be entirely accurate (the page has numerous maintenance templates acknowledging that it's unfinished). While I don't think I've made any serious boo-boos about the general information, I'm waiting for the AD/CC translations at the ArqaApocrypha site to be complete to make sure everything's accurate and that the little details are in place.

Allow me to apologize if advance if I accidentally got your hopes up based on incomplete information.
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Re: Debate the quality of Rebuild here. [2]

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Postby BernardoCairo » Mon Jul 19, 2021 12:43 pm

I watched Q yesterday. I'm currently rewatching all of the NTE movies. It actually took me a month to think: "well, it's about time to rewatch Q." Let's just say that my experience with HA wasn't stellar. Don't get me wrong, I like the movie. However, it has some issues that bother me a bit (probably the topic for another post). Anyway, watching Q was surprisingly pleasant. If you ask me, it was a huge step up from HA. It's a competent mecha movie.
In my eyes, Q is basically a stretched version of episode 24. The core idea is the same, but there are some differences. First of all, Kaworu is no longer an antagonist. Also, Shinji is not bounded by the same circumstances. In the original series, he wasn't dealing with rejection just yet. Instead, he was afraid of those around him (with the exception of Asuka, who was missing). Still, the end result was quite similar. Shinji was isolated, Kaworu filled him with hope and everything ended in disaster. The funny thing is that Shinji was directly responsible for said disaster this time around. In NGE, Shinji had to make a decision. He couldn't just sit there and wait. He saved humanity, but at the cost of becoming a murderer. In NTE, he could've done nothing. He chose to ignore everyone else and pull the spears. That, in turn, caused Kaworu's death. Frankly, I'm a fan of this dynamic. It's a very simple tragic story and that's why it functions.
Unlike HA, Q doesn't try to juggle a thousand plot points at the same time. Instead, it focuses on one thing and goes with it. It's a very condensed film. In this regard, it reminds me of how JO is structured. We see the world through Shinji's eyes and it works wonders. People keep saying that the movie was created for you to feel in Shinji's shoes and that's true. However, if you're not willing to do it, that's fine. It's possible to critically look at the narrative from an external perspective. I've been distancing myself from Shinji for years now. In fact, I find the first thirty minutes of this movie to be inherently funny (Shinji refusing to cope with reality is priceless). Still, I was able to enjoy the story and understand his reasonings.
As for the other characters, Kaworu is probably the best one. He's a nice guy and the centerpiece of many iconic scenes. That sequence in which he's playing the piano with Shinji is my favorite (this movie's OST is incredible). I'm also a fan of that part in which he kind of reveals the truth (Q has a nice way of showing what has changed through its backgrounds). I think he could've used some more screen time, but I'm satisfied with what we got.
Asuka took Mari's place and became the "action-focused character". I'm fine with that. That's mainly because it's obvious they were setting her up to play a bigger role in the sequel. Shikinami was an important character in HA and that movie established many plot points that have not yet been concluded. Now that we know everything about Shin and how Asuka is the second most prominent character in the story, that's no longer an issue. The truth about Shikinami is that she will never be as well put together and explored as Soryu. Once you accept that, you're able to enjoy her character much more.
Misato and Ayanami are also well represented, even with their limited screen time. Rei, in particular, caught my attention. You know that scene in which Neo Nerv's three pilots are heading down to Terminal Dogma? I truly felt bad for her.
I like how each character represents something to Shinji. Kaworu is acceptance, Ayanami is indifference and Asuka (alongside Misato) is rejection. Sure, Shikinami is more "action-focused" this time around. However, she still has a fair amount of important scenes with Shinji. Their reintroduction, for example, clearly had some effects on him. There is a particular sequence in which Shinji is lost in his own thoughts and hears Asuka's voice rejecting him over and over (EOE style). That's a nice detail!
Overall, I don't think it's a perfect movie. I would tweak a few things here and there (especially with regards to the spears). That said, it's an enjoyable experience. This film is widely known for being "confusing". If you want to understand every one of its minute details, this might be the case. However, thematically speaking, it tells a simple story and that pleases me. In any case, it's a movie that benefits from rewatches.
I like how each NTE movie has its own distinct nature. JO is a nice recap of NGE's first six episodes. Q is a bold, unique and condensed experience. HA, well, exists. That's more I can say about Q's preview.
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