Alright. Now on to the good stuff.
This is going to be long and full of spoilers for those of you who haven't seen either the original series or Rebuld, so I will put it under a jump break.
More often though, it's a quick cash grab. A safe investment with a built-in audience. With that in mind, it can be very tempting to alter the source material to increase marketability. In extreme cases, it's to the detriment to all else in the movie, robbing it of any artistic integrity it may have once had.
Neon Genesis Evangelion Rebuild 2.22: You can (Not) Advance is a textbook example of this.
|Not pictured: The sock puppets|
The first movie; Neon Genesis Evangelion: 1.11: You Are (Not) Alone came out shortly thereafter, and it was good! They covered a good portion of the original material, it looked and sounded absolutely amazing, it ran at a good pace and covered a full story arc.
And then, after a couple long years, the second movie came out.
Now, 2.22 isn't completely devoid of merit. Once again, it looks and sounds pretty darned good. The animation and art direction is absolutely amazing, the sound design is a seriously under-appreciated facet of both movies, I think. The direction is also top-notch, with the possible exception of a few scenes of giant mech action. More about that later.
The big problem with this movie is the story, or rather, how and why it deviates from the original story.
The movie makes absolutely massive concessions for her, a few examples of which lead to giant plot holes, while her role itself is entirely superfluous and unnecessary.
In the movie, there is a piece of paper called the Vatican Treaty. This treaty prevents any single country from owning and operating more than 3 Eva units at one time, presumably to prevent a second Cold War, which itself is understandable, were it not for the gigantic monsters of exponentially increasing death that Tokyo-3 needs to defend itself from every other week or so.
So, Japan has three fully functioning, readily available Eva units. They decide to bring in and test a forth. Why? Never explained. So they take Asuka's Eva and put it into deep freeze. Asuka, it is worth noting, is, at that point in the movie, the most skilled Eva pilot quite possibly in the whole world, and she and her eva had only just arrived in Japan. Asuka herself is chosen to pilot the fourth Eva. Why? Again, not explained. So, predictably, the fourth Eva unit goes rogue, and Shinji is sent out to fight it. Just Shinji. Rei sits around and does nothing. Why? No reason!
By comparison, in the original series, the Vatican Treaty doesn't exist. They bring in the fourth Eva because the Angels are seriously beginning to ramp up their efforts and NERV desperately needs to grow their ranks. The fourth child is Toji, a character that's been in the series, though relegated to a minor role since the series began. The Eva goes rogue, and all three Evas, Shinji, Rei, and Asuka are sent out to fight it. The end result in both the movie and the series is the same; Shinji's Eva, against Shinji's will, kills the fourth Eva and severely wounds the pilot inside. In the series, it's a logical progression of events that results in the furthering of Shinji as a character. In the movie, this is all build-up so Mari can pilot Asuka's Eva in the final act, which, itself, is completely pointless.
|Hey kid! Want some candy?|
|Hey kid! Want some candy?|
Now, I'm not against change for the sake of being against change, but when there is literally no point to it and the movie is bending over backwards to make it happen, then something is wrong. Mari, in this movie, has absolutely no point.
But she's just the most prominent symptom in a long list of them.
And then there's the direction.
|Old and busted|
In the movie, suddenly, giant, lumbering behemoths become as light as a feather, and really, we could be watching any giant robot show at all.
|Pictured: Any giant robot show at all|
Well, they make no sense that is, until you look at it from a more economic perspective.