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Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion
Reviewer: Rowena Lim Lei 05/06/2003

End of Evangelion is the conclusion that comes after Evangelion: Death and Rebirth, designed to appease fans who were unsatisfied with the last two episodes of the TV series. Seele has decided to attack NERV and destroy all EVA units along with their corresponding pilots, while Gendo Ikari unveils the final phase of his plan to be reunited with his wife Yui. Mankind's fate lies in Shinji's hands...
End of Evangelion is set after Evangelion: Death and Rebirth. I've said it before and I'll say it again -- do not even attempt to watch this without having watched the TV series, because it's not going to work. Evangelion is already convoluted as it is, and trying to make heads or tails of this movie without the necessary background will just result in your utter frustration.
I was not overly impressed with End of Evangelion's artistry and profundity. Quite frankly, Asuka Langley was what made the whole film worthwhile for me. Every moment of screentime devoted to Asuka radiated pure raw power and emotion. Her indomitable fighting spirit and will to succeed were nothing short of admirable, and I felt for her every step of the way down to the bitter end... or was it? End of Evangelion shows you what happens after all is said and done, after characters you had come to know and either love or hate die, after NERV is decimated... but it still doesn't mean that you'll be able to understand Evangelion fully. To my knowledge, End of Evangelion was created in such a way that it would be open to a person's individual interpretation... sort of an as-you-see-fit ending. It could be either happy or sad, depending on how you look at it.
Religion seems to play a central role in this movie. References to Adam, Eve, and angels are made, symbolisms like crucifixes abound. There's also the concept of becoming God, an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent consciousness -- and saving the world. Personally I was half-wishing that Hideaki Anno would have expressed his ideas in a more down-to-earth way, but I was just thankful that they replaced the flashing texts sequences that they employed for the last two episodes of the TV series (and to some extent Death and Rebirth) with powerful imagery instead. Suffice to say it would not have been a fitting conclusion to Evangelion if Anno had simply dropped all pretenses and spoonfed his ideas to us.
The art and animation are superb, my main complaint being that great as the character designs and scene compositions were, they looked rather pale and washed out on R1 DVD. Other than that, the visuals were basically flawless. Aside from the usual fighting action, End of Evangelion shows a lot of blood, guts, nudity, and even sexual situations. The English dubbing is okay, except for Shinji's voice which I found annoying. The Japanese language version features some really renowned seiyuus, among them Megumi Ogata (Princess Emeraude in "Magic Knight Rayearth", Sailoruranus in "Sailormoon") as Shinji Ikari; Megumi Hayashibara (Faye Valentine in "Cowboy Bebop", Lina Inverse in "Slayers") as Rei Ayanami; and Mitsuishi Kotono (Sailormoon herself, also Juri in "Revolutionary Girl Utena") as Misato Katsuragi.
Overall I liked End of Evangelion, although probably not as much as most EVA fans did. I just don't care for too much profundity. While I wouldn't call it one of the best movies ever, it is undeniably an unforgettable viewing experience that comes but once in a great while.
Is this really the end of Evangelion?

Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion
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Review Title:
Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion
Alternative Titles:
Shinseiki Evangelion Gekijouban: The End of Evangelion
90 Minutes
General Rating:
3.5 out of 5 stars
Suitable For:
Young Adults
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