Neon Genesis Evangelion: End of Evangelion

Japanese Title: Shin Seiki Ebangerion: Air/Magokoro o, Kimi ni
Also Known As: NGE: EoE, EoE, End of Eva
Genre: Action/Drama
Format: 1 Movie
Allegiance: Gainax/Production I.G.
Director: Anno Hideaki
Vintage: 1997
Intelligence Agency Report by: Djudge
With the last angel defeated it seems that NERV has finally won the battle for humanity’s survival. However, Ikari Gendo has other plans for the Evangelions, ones that will shake SEELE to its core and force the shadowy council to order a hostile takeover of NERV’s MAGI supercomputer system. When the electronic attacks fail, military forces are sent in to eliminate everyone at NERV headquarters and capture the Evangelions. With all three Eva pilots unable to respond to this threat all seems lost, but as the end of the world draws closer with every passing second, destinies will finally be revealed and relationships defined.

Field Agent Report by: Djudge
Overall 8.25
(not an average)

For those disappointed or befuddled at the last two episodes of the Neon Genesis Evangelion, Anno Hideaki delivers an alternate conclusion to his controversial series in End of Evangelion. Granted, the movie was not so much a labor of love as it was a semi-bitter response to the death threats leveled against Anno and Studio Gainax. In lieu of that fact, EoE still stands as a good movie in itself that manages to give the viewer a gruff psychological thriller amidst a contorted visual medley of assorted religious symbolism.

Technically, EoE is considerably superior to its television series cousin. The visuals, unhampered by bothersome scene transitions and budget strains, are on a level that NGE never manages to achieve. Visuals in this movie predominantly consist of graphic violence or disturbing imagery, which are animated in fine fashion. One particular sequence involving Evangelion combat is worthy of particular notice, especially for fans of Asuka and Unit-02 who felt that the character never really got a lot of chances to exhibit her combat prowess in the original series. As good as the visuals are in the first half of the movie (constructed to replace the penultimate episode of NGE), I personally felt that the events portrayed in the final installment of the title (the equivalent of NGE’s television finale) were even more effective and awe-inspiring than its forerunner. Indeed, the apocalypse hadn’t looked as good as it did in the waning moments of EoE. As for the audio, the movie benefits from one of the best ensembles in the business. Exceptional performances from Ogata Megumi (Shinji), Mitsuishi Kotono (Misato), and Miyamura Yuko (Asuka) were complemented by an overall great performance from the rest of the cast. Tons of dialogue was implemented into the script in order to try and illuminate the more ambiguous parts of the plot and the seiyuu work did more than its part to try and get the audience involved in this gritty work. On a side note, the music’s tone and melody may occasionally seem misplaced when compared to what’s on screen, but a closer examination of Sagisu Shiro’s lyrics will come to prove otherwise. Brilliant work in this aspect of the movie as well.

Despite the EoE’s extravagant, and most effective, assault on the senses, the movie is, well, Evangelion property and the one thing that is guaranteed about that fact is that it will have a dizzying array of obscure Judaeo-Christian references embedded throughout its story. This is especially evident in the final installment of the movie where the Evangelion saga finally reaches its troubling close. In what was supposed to be the final answer to hundreds upon thousands of unsatisfied (and some unruly) viewers, Anno slyly ends up giving his audience a conclusion that is even more open-ended than the one administered in the original television series. A wise move to short-change his critics, but one that stunted the resolution of the events depicted in this particular piece. All in all, not the product that we might have truly desired, but one that is worthy of the tireless Eva legacy that fans around the world have grown accustomed to.

Although the plot goes without a fan-favored ending, EoE remains a movie that should be merited at the very least for one of the smartest pieces of direction ever put to cel animation or even film in general for that matter. If you ever found yourself lost in the television series’ interpretation of the Human Instrumentality Project, do yourself a favor and check out End of Evangelion. Not was this ending produced under a more flexible budget, but it ends up aiding the viewer visualize the end of the world in impressive, albeit haunting, fashion.