Brutal mechanized action explodes on a grand scale as towering cyborg gladiators – the Eva Units – fight for the fate of the world in the new feature film, Evangelion: 2.22
In the earliest battles against the monstrous Angels, young Eva pilots Shinji and Rei were forced to carry humanity’s hopes on their shoulders. Now, with the deadly onslaught of the Angels escalating and the apocalyptic Third Impact looming, Shinji and Rei find their burden shared by two new Eva pilots, the fiery Asuka and the mysterious Mari. Maneuvering their enormous Eva machines into combat, the four young souls fight desperately to save mankind from the heavens – but will they be able to save themselves?
In You Can (Not) Advance
, the second installment in his four-feature retelling of Neon Genesis Evangelion
, Hideaki Anno diverges further from the original story line--and pushes the visual boundaries of his epic. Shinji and Rei share a more amicable relationship, but Shinji's fragile calm is shattered by the arrival of pilot Asuka Langley Shikinami. She single-handedly destroys the Seventh Angel, a fantastic creature that suggests a tarantula designed by Gustave Eiffel. This version of Asuka is even more abrasive than the original, and complains more bitterly about being ordered to share quarters with Shinji. When the experimental Eva that Asuka is testing mutates, Commander Ikari forces Shinji to attack it, even though it may cause her death. Horrified at his brutality, Shinji quits--until a new, more powerful Angel strikes at NERV headquarters. Seeing Rei absorbed by the Angel, Shinji charges back to rescue her. The power supply to his Eva fails, but Shinji forces it to continue fighting through sheer will power. It mutates into what Ritsuko calls "a divine being" that may cause the Third Impact. While the story line of the films is tighter than the TV program, it's no less convoluted: Kaji brings Commander Ikari "the Key of Nebuchadnezzar"; the SEELE cabal continues their plotting to bring about the Human Instrumentality Project, which is somehow linked to the Dead Sea Scrolls. Anno adds some new characters, notably pilot Mari Makinami Illustrious. The larger budget of the feature films is clearly evident: the backgrounds are more carefully rendered, the cinematography more imaginative, the animation more polished and special effects more special. The scenes of the three Evas running in a coordinated attack have unprecedented weight and power. The prismatic colors, thunderous explosions, and eerie lighting in the final battle show that like the original TV series, Anno's new vision will be influencing artists on both sides of the Pacific for years to come. The Neon Genesis Evangelion
movies are must-haves for any otaku
or student of animation, and fans can only wait impatiently until the third film appears. (Rated PG-13: violence, nudity, alcohol and tobacco use) --Charles Solomon