A Review of Evangelion 3.33: You Can (NOT) Redo – Third Time The HARM…

 

Hey guys, Samurai here. You know, it’s been a long time since I typed out a long review like this. And it figures that the first review I write is probably the most Sakura-Level Annoying movie I think I’ve seen in a long time. Just about everything in this movie, from the case protecting to the disk to the contents OF the disk, made me SO glad that I didn’t spend the full price on it, but angry that I spent as much on it as I did. What could possibly make me so upset to regret buying Evangelion, when I am an admitted Evangelion fan? Keep reading, my dear friends. I’m the Cajun Samurai, and this is my review of Evangelion 3.33: You Can (NOT) Redo.

 

Warnings and Other Objectionable Content:

Language-wise, this film is clean. I would give it a PG Rating. It’s the blood and violence that I would be wary of. Also, since this is Evangelion, there is some religious imagery so be mindful of that, though admittedly, it’s not as strong as Anno’s earlier Evangelion projects.

Movie Availability: (-1)

Evangelion 3.33 is available in both Blu-Ray and DVD formats and was actually just released at the start of this month. Now, I’m about to get into ranting territory, and some of it might sound a little petty, so unless you want to hear me gripe about how I think Funimation screwed up this release, then skip on down to the next section.

2016-01-31 20.16.05The MSRP for the Blu-Ray edition of 3.33 is $34.98 and to be completely frank, it is (NOT) worth it. The “Extra Features” that Funimation touts on the back of the box include a 52 page “guidebook” which is kinda useless unless you like character designs, a bunch of trailers and TV spots from Japan, a 10 minute little segment about the animation and storyboards of Evangelion 3.33, and a trailer for Cowboy Bebop. Oh, and if you buy the Blu-Ray, you also get a DVD copy of the movie. And that’s it. You get the same movie, TWICE, an art pamphlet, and a few previews that you can easily find online if you’re quick with the Google. No commentary tracks…no Behind the Scenes featurettes. REALLY? Since when have anime fans been okay with the fact that a bunch of movie trailers FOR THE SAME MOVIE YOU’RE WATCHING is an acceptable “Bonus Feature”, worthy enough to shell out about $30-40 bucks a pop? Heck, Evangelion 2.22 included a commentary track; granted it was an interview-style commentary that didn’t even talk about what was going happening on-screen, but it was a commentary track! And it had an art pamphlet included too as well as deleted scenes and storyboard crap. Make note, Funimation and ESPECIALLY Sentai Filmworks; trailers aren’t special features, guys. You can get ’em on YouTube. Ain’t that special at all.

And if that wasn’t bad enough, the packaging for the DVD is badly designed. Thanks to the Sakura-Level Useless Guidebook, the outer cover is thicker than the others, and fitting it on my shelf requires a bit of shifting of my other DVD’s. “But Samurai-san,” I hear you cry from your lonely bedroom “Why don’t you just tuck the guidebook inside the DVD case itself?” I would if I could, but the stupid art pamphlet is about half a centimeter too big where it won’t fit inside the case. SO now I have this awkward sized movie on my shelf that I had to make room for! I know this is a small thing, but dawg gone it, if you’re going to spend $30-40 bucks for ONE movie, you want it to be perfect. The DVD for Evangelion 2.22 was PERFECTLY designed to fit on my shelf but still look awesome. The art pamphlet fit INSIDE the DVD case, and the whole thing fit neatly on my shelf with no drama.

Finally, this is something I noticed the second I popped my disk in my player. It jumped right to the DVD menu. No force-trailers here, thank you Funimation. But the DVD menu looks like something I could throw together in Nero Video Editor…if I was in a hurry…and it was a rough-draft project. This menu is awful. No music, no animation, just the movie title and the options along the bottom. IT doesn’t even look high quality! Once again, if you’re paying $30-40 bucks, you want something that looks more like a professional company created it and less like a family home video project.

This is probably the worst DVD I have on my shelf, and just for that, I’m going to deduct one point from the final score just for poor packaging and lack of extras as compared to the overall price paid. Funimation, you disappoint me.

Now, here’s where to find it:

Walmart –
Negative for Brick and Mortar Stores and Online at the time of printing. They might carry it later, seeing as how they’re carrying the first two movies. I would check the website often.

[Correction 3/2/2016 – Imagine my surprise when, during one of my many trips to Walmart, I found the big blue eyesore of the Evangelion franchise sitting on the shelf with the new releases in both blu-ray and DVD formats. This is a shock to me as I don’t remember ANY of the Evangelion movies being available on the hallowed shelves of Walmart…and at a prodigious price too.]CcBYXX3VAAALqTM

F.Y.E [For Your Entertainment] –
Affirmative for in-store and online purchase…but be prepared to pay full retail price which is up and over $30.

Target –
Negative for both at the time of printing, but just like Wally World, please check the website often as they carry the first two movies.

Other Purchasing Sites –
Because this one was released just last month, you should have NO problems finding this show in any virtual shop in both DVD and Blu-Ray formats. However, as per usual, please be careful when buying online.

Online Streaming –
You shouldn’t have any problems finding a place to stream this show as it’s relatively new. Once again, be careful where you surf!

Story Premise: (10 out of 25)

Evangelion 3.33 is the third in the “Rebuild of Evangelion” quartet of movies which is, of course, a reboot of the original Neon Genesis Evangelion series from the 90’s and is a sequel to Evangelion 2.22. Just for fits and giggles, let’s look at the text from the trailer:

Unit-01 is contained with Rei and Shinji still inside…
The City is laid to waste.
The NERV staff is incarcerated.
Unit-06 descends through Central Dogma…
Unit-08 is given a pilot and brought to life.
Bound by fate, the Children finally come together.
With their continued desire to live further challenged,
where will the tale of our heroes lead us?
Next time: Evangelion Theatrical Edition “Q”!
Alright, then! More fan-service coming soon!

I’m here to tell you, dear readers…very little if any of this actually happened.  The trailer, much like the cake, is a lie. Heck, even the name of the movie was changed. What I witnessed is the most confusing hour and thirty minute film I think I ever seen since End of Evangelion all those many years ago. Instead of a logical follow-up to 2.22, what we’re given is a movie that just drops you right in the middle of battle with little explanation of what the heck is going on. The movie just slams you right in and expects you to keep up, with the vague promise that eventually everything will be explained. But, once again, it’s another lie. NONE of this crap is explained to the viewer. Why haven’t any of the Children aged a day? [Shinji flat out asks this and all Asuka says is “It’s the Curse of the Eva”…THE HECK DOES THAT MEAN?!] How is it that Asuka survived being crushed inside an Eva with only an eye-patch for her trouble? What is WILLE and where did the Wunder come from? What happened to Toji and Kensuke? Where is Kaji? Why does Misato now hate Shinji and has turned away from NERV? NONE OF THIS IS ANSWERED. Sometimes it seems like this movie goes OUT OF ITS WAY to NOT explain anything to the viewer or to make things so complicated that it requires a PhD in order to decipher it. Well guess what? I’m not buying it. I’m not going to go out of my way to try and understand a movie that goes out of its way to be confusing. If the die-hard Evangelion fanboys wanna pick this film apart frame-by-frame for answers, then praise Anno for putting out a “masterpiece” of a film, go ahead and God bless ‘em for it. As for me, this is the worst Evangelion film in the group, second only to the clip show that is Death and Rebirth.

Favorite Scenes:

The first piano scene between Kaworu and Shinji. Beautifully animated with a nice score. It pays homage to the Kaworu episode from the series, and it’s very well done.

 

Characters: (10 out of 25)

Shinji Ikari

Shinji is pretty much the same as we left him in Evangelion 2.22, as he has been asleep inside Unit-01 for the last 14 years. Much like the audience, Shinji struggles to find out what the heck is going on in this new world, and also like the audience, Shinji gets few answers.

Misato Katsuragi

Okay, who replaced Misato with Captain Nemo from Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water? What happened to that beautiful young woman who would do anything to protect Shinji and hold up the NERV ideal? Seriously, her characters soul purpose in this film is to show how much the world has changed, but she’s not on the screen long enough to do that! All we see is glowering menacing Misato. What made this character change so much? What made her turn her back on Nerv and Gendo? We never know…

Rei Ayanami

Still a lifeless doll. In fact, even more so than when we last saw her. At least in 2.22, she was beginning to form a conscience. This time around, she’s regressed back to her original state. I know there’s a reason for this, and I think I know what it is, but, after watching this movie, I frankly don’t care.

Asuka Langley Shikinami

If I may quote the “EvAbridged” series…Asuka is Permanently Menstruating. The only thing she’s good for in this film is just to be P.Oed. She’s even WORSE than she was in Evangelion 2.22, if that is at all possible.

Kaworu Nagisa

One of the more interesting characters in this movie. Kaworu is pretty much the same character we see in the series, just expanded a little more, which is fine for me. I am a big fan of the Angel of Free Will, and I was very interested in seeing him have more interactions with Shinji.

Mari Illustrious Makinami

…POINTLESS CHARACTER IS POINTLESS. In Evangelion 2.22, she was borderline useless. In this film, she’s just hopscotched clean over that line. The ONLY reason she’s in this film is for some semblance of continuity to the previous film and to make wisecracks.

 

So yeah, as a whole, we either have characters that are the same as we left them at the end of 2.22, or markedly worse off than before…and we don’t even know (or care in some cases) why.

 

Animation: (12.5 out of 12.5)

Evangelion 3.33 is a beautiful sight to behold with regards to its visuals. Everything looks downright stunning. Originally, I was supposed to get the Blu-Ray version of this movie from FYE, but due to delivery issues, I was only able to get the standard DVD…and to be honest, I don’t think I’m missing much. This movie looks outstanding on my PS3, which automatically upscales DVDs.  The colors are bright and vibrant, the action is fluid and the character designs are very well done. Even though the story that is being told is crap, it’s well animated crap.

 

Music: (12.5 out of 12.5)

Standard classical fare, really. Not much I can say about it. It’s pretty much the same score as Evangelion 2.22 with some new choral pieces. Truth be told, I was more focused with the movie itself than with the soundtrack. “Ode to Joy” makes another appearance in the films climatic moments, and it gives the whole scene the same feeling as it was the last time it was used in the series. On that note, pun intended, Evangelion 3.33 does a very good job.

 

Performances and Production: (25 out of 25)

Evangelion 3.33 was produced by both Studio Gainax, Production IG and Studio Khara with directors Hideaki Anno as Chief Director and Kazuya Tsurumaki, Mahiro Maeda, and Masayuki under him. Here in the US, Mike McFarland and Funimation Entertainment once again handled the ADR work.  Once again, Director McFarland shows the viewing audience just why he’s one of, if not the best ADR director in the modern dubbed anime era. He can take a movie that is confusing as all get out, and have his actors and actresses make it sound as natural as a face-to-face conversation. Head Writer John Burgmeier and script writer Blair Rowan should be applauded as well for translating and converting this odd-ball movie into a recordable ADR Script. With regards to the acting, everyone sounds absolutely perfect with special notice to Jerry Jewell and his portrayal of Kaworu. In terms of where Jerry ranks among the other 3 V/A’s that’s played the role, I would personally put him at the top of the list. He did an amazing job with the Angel of Free Will, and it’s a crying shame we didn’t get more of him in this movie. All in all, everyone in Evangelion 3.33 shines brightly. I only wish the movie could do the same.

Scoring Summary:

Story Breakdown – 10/25
Characters – 10/25
Animation – 12.5/12.5
Music – 12.5/12.5
Performance and Production – 25/25

Initial Final Score – 70/100 = 70% – (D-)

Subtract 1 Point for Poor DVD Packaging and Lack of Extras…

Official Final Score – 69/100 = 69% – (F)

So, where does that leave us? Simple. This is (NOT) the movie we were promised at the end of Evangelion 2.22. This movie feels like it’s the 3rd part of ANOTHER series…and not a series that I would particularly be interested in watching. There are just so many missing pieces, gaping plot holes, and just plain “I’m not going to explain it because, screw you!” moments in this film that I can’t recommend it to anyone but the hard core of hard core Evangelion fans, or for those who value completion. Heck, they couldn’t even get the home release packaging right! The only thing this movie DOES gets right, and keeps it from completely failing is the fact that the Kaworu/Shinji interactions are interesting, the movie is beautifully animated and scored, and the dub is amazing. And to think; this movie was delayed here in the US for almost THREE YEARS. You would think that would be plenty of time to iron out the kinks. However, with regards to Evangelion 3.33 – You Can (NOT) Redo, the iron wasn’t even plugged in.

Coming Up Next…It’s Feburary, and that means love…and to wash out the bitter taste of failure that was Evangelion 3.33 is a show that’s so utterly sweet, you’ll need to visit your dentist. 

Screenshot 2015-08-19 22.26.00.png

Ore Mongatari!

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2 thoughts on “A Review of Evangelion 3.33: You Can (NOT) Redo – Third Time The HARM…

  1. I ought to give this movie another shot. I marathoned Evangelion and the movies at some point a few years ago, but I barely remember the contents. I seem to recall quite enjoying this movie, though your review is making me second guess my memory… haha

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