Evangelion 3.33: You Can (Not) Redo has been delayed more times than you can count but now that it’s finally here, was it worth the three year wait?
I’m a big fan of Evangelion in spite of the anime series and Director Anno’s handling of it, but the manga and movies have been so fantastic that I can’t help but love it. I’ve always heavily disliked Kaworu though, who has a large role in 3.33, and I was interested to see if my opinion of him could change somewhat with proper character development and not something more akin to a bland plot device. Thankfully, it did! Kaworu is far from insufferable and his role is more fleshed-out and important, and the friendly relationship he and Shinji have is nice to see whereas it originally felt incredibly false.
Because 3.33 is spoilerific from the very beginning, I won’t be able to talk about it too much as I don’t want to ruin the experience for anyone. That said, it starts off with a bang and it’s exhilarating, reminding me why I enjoy the series. I’m happy to see the likes of Shinji and Asuka again, two characters I’ve always been fond of in Evangelion, and to see them interacting once again. A lot of things have changed since the events of the second movie that make it further stand out from the original series, but I personally think that they’re for the better. Anno might’ve been suffering from severe depression during the original series, but the Rebuilds (the films) are more consistent and closer to what Anno seemingly originally wanted to do, so I hope he’s had a happier time making them – I’ve certainly enjoyed watching them more!
The Rebuild films have always been beautiful and 3.33 is no exception – it’s visually gorgeous and the blend of 2D and CGI is smooth and unobtrusive. Studio Khara have always been fond of explosive, fluid action and grand events in their shows and 3.33 follows this trend, allowing Studio Khara to do what they do best (which means you won’t be seeing influences from Panty & Stocking), as the high stakes keep building throughout the course of the movie. Whilst Evangelion might not be the best anime to show to a new fan, it’s definitely one you could use to show how good some anime can look because this really is difficult to look away from.
I’m happy to see that character designs, for the most part, have been left intact although there are some notable changes where Asuka, Rei and a couple of others are concerned but the core character remains the same. You can see that Studio Khara are comfortable to put a whole lot more budget into Evangelion now, after how budget had a very negative effect on the original series (I firmly stand by the final quarter of the original series being completely awful), but now it can stand up there with the best of them. Watching the pilots utilise their Eva’s in the fight against the angels is exhilarating and I’m hoping that the final installment will take this even further. The mildly disturbing aesthetics make an appearance too, which I won’t detail for spoilers sake, but the more psychological aspects of the anime aren’t missing here – they’re just better implemented.
Both English and Japanese voiceovers are available but, as is standard of me, I opted for English and think that Evangelion has always had a fantastic dub – Spike Spencer as Shinji Ikari, reprising his role from the original series, is great to listen to and his voice fits Shinji perfectly and I wouldn’t want anybody else doing it. Tiffany Grant reprises her role as Asuka along with many returning cast members, and whilst not everybody was able to return, it’s great to see that the casting was minimally changed as it’s excellent. Evangelion has an outstanding OST too and fans will recognise several tracks that mix together with the new ones – it’s something I’d happily listen to pretty often, these tunes can be pretty amazing!
Evangelion 3.33 originally aired in Japan back in 2012 and it’s taken years, and re-recording the English Dub, to finally get it to release on home video in the West with a bundle of extras that mostly consists of varying trailers and TV spots. As someone who isn’t a big fan of Kaworu, I was worried that this would be nowhere near worth the wait, but it really did impress me and I enjoyed my time with it – I’ll surely make time to watch it again sometime. I like the direction that Anno has taken the movies and I look forward to seeing what he does with the fourth and final installment in the Rebuilds. If you’ve enjoyed the other two movies and you’re an Evangelion fan then yes, you’ll want to buy this and it certainly looks gorgeous on Blu-ray, and I can only commend Manga UK on their determination to release this within the UK as it’ll make a lot of people happy.
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