All of my reviews contain spoilers for the reviewed material. This is your only warning. You stumble through questions That you could never answer By its nature the third Rebuild of Evangelion film offers no definitive and final statements on anything. Not on Shinji nor any of the other characters. Not on EvangelionTheFranchise. Not on its genre or its medium. Not on broader philosophies of art or the world. Not even on the literal events of its own plot. It is fundamentally incomplete. As much as any piece of criticism attempts to reckon with the film it must too reckon with this fact. To write on any part of the mainline Evangelion series is to acknowledge that what you are writing doesnt matter and may well be entirely wrong. 880https://pbs.tw.com/media/EdG9ZASWoAAdnHw?format=pngname=small Yet for all its incompleteness and intermittent obtuseness Rebuild 3 does induce a wide variety of feelings in the audience. Largely not pleasant ones either. Throughout Rebuild 3 feels to its core sick fake cynical wrong. Not in the same shellshockedtoneardeath sense as End of Evangelion. It is more akin to being many years into reckoning with your own neuroses when even the breakdowns the severed friendships and burned bridges the self harm and the unhealthy coping mechanisms all of that begins to feel as much an annoyance as anything else. It is Oh God are we doing this again? in film form. 880https://pbs.tw.com/media/EdG1zSpX0AArt4e?format=pngname=medium What is This? As with much wellaccomplished art the Rebuild films are open to broad interpretation. Throughout I found myself contemplating Rebuild 3s relationships to the franchises broader themes dealing with the bleakest parts of mental illness but also with the franchise itself. Certain shocks of imagery do definitely feel like pointed commentary on What Evangelion Has Become. A few stretches of the film feel downright sickened by the whole thing. Evangelion in another time and place on the internet was comparedin terms of influence on its countrys pop cultureto Star Trek. 880https://pbs.tw.com/media/EdGJY6XgAAgOUu?format=pngname=medium Parts of the Rebuild films and the third in particular seem to ask if its been worth it. There is a reason the infamous MEMEME music video chose to portray its doomed otaku protagonist as having specifically Eva figurines. Conversely you certainly dont have to toss many stones to hit someone whos of the opinion that Evangelion ruined mecha anime it was something of a stock contrarian otaku take for years. In certain niches of the internet it still is. 880https://pbs.tw.com/media/EdHAEzhXgAIxKWN?format=pngname=medium 880https://pbs.tw.com/media/EdHAKYlWkAEbhc9?format=pngname=medium Intentional or not imagery of malformed and damaged NERV logos empty headquarters and massproduced plugsuit gloves cannot help but feel pointed. Elsewhere the film lacerates the character of Shinji so thoroughly and mercilessly that it seems to mock the very idea of a heroic narrative. This is especially true toward the films end where Shinji once again fails to learn from his mistakes and once again nearly causes the end of the world. If Rebuild 3 has a major flaw its perhaps that it makes it all too easy to distance yourself from Shinji. Many of us carry heavy weights on our shoulders but certainly few of us are guilty of causing most of an apocalypse. Twice. The one moment of reprieve he getshis relationship with Kaworuends in explosive death because he cannot bring himself to trust another person. 880https://pbs.tw.com/media/EdHTLTIXgAEEV6U?format=pngname=medium The magnitude of ones failures certainly can feel like the end times so the impulse is understandable but at some point this starts to all feel a bit like penance whipping. How many times do we need to watch Shinji ground to dust? Hes barely alive by films end literally dragged around by the wrist by Asuka as he finally is forced to leave the tape recorder hes clung to since the opening episodes of the original series behind. Maybe there is development in this version of the characters future maybe there is not. Hell maybe he deserves all this for his failure to rise to the occasion thrust upon him or simply for being an abusive ass in End of Evangelion. In the moment none of these questions feel relevant. Rebuild feels defeatist and antitriumphant by design. Its horrifically reductive to phrase it this way but it occasionally feels like an evil twin of Gurren Lagann. It is a nightmarish browbeating apocalypse. A planet and a narrative crucified. 880https://pbs.tw.com/media/EdHIYSmWsAE8fDx?format=pngname=medium 880https://pbs.tw.com/media/EdHN8vOWAAEs3HD?format=pngname=medium 880https://pbs.tw.com/media/EdHGdwAWoAEEmN?format=pngname=medium Evangelion on the whole inspires endless contemplation. Articles websites and so on exist that tear the franchise down to individual frames. It is a world one can get lost in if theyre not careful and its easy to gaze hopefully to the sanctioned creatorsthe canonical source of all this whether theyre Anno or notand pray for reprieve and finality. But if the New Century Gospel needs a Book of Revelation its not to be found in Rebuild 3. None of this is to detract from the films immense artistry. It is by any conventional metric a good movie. Its just not a very inspiring one. Which of course is not something every filmor any filmneeds to be but its not difficult to divine where the sharp divergences of opinion on Rebuild and this film specifically come from. It is easier to respect than like and easier to like than love. The irony is that Rebuild 3s highs and lows are fundamentally the same as those of the entire series. This is an anime about Shinji. I struggle to think of many other fictional characters so utterly damned by their being such. You can play the tapes over starting from episode 1 of the original series as many times as you like. The story in them will never change. 880https://pbs.tw.com/media/EdHTe9wWkAAMRSU?format=pngname=medium If you enjoy my work you may wish to follow me on Twitterhttps://twitter.com/planetJane to get updates about my work and learn how you can support me. And if you liked this review why not check out some of my others here on Anilist?https://anilist.co/user/planetJane/reviews
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