Evangelion 2.0 UK Premiere Impressions

Since I couldn’t check online to see how many of the 394 seats at the Glasgow Film Theatre were reserved, I thought I’d try to find out while I was there to pick up my tickets for the Evangelion 2.0 UK Premiere. Apparently over 200 seats were reserved by Friday so I guess all those people that posted on the forums about how they were going to fly up from England to see it maybe true. It was a full seating from what I could gather.

Never actually been in this theatre before although I have often passed by the place wondering what was there. Unlike the newer Cineworld, it’s a very small building with a small entrance but once you’re inside you’ll find a warmly lit hallway with some very stylish, traditional art deco interior designs.

Had initially thought about seeing both 1.0 and 2.0 back-to-back since they were doing a deal of £10 for both movies instead of £14 but sitting in the theatre for 4 hours didn’t sound very comfortable. That and I had already re-watched the Blu-ray release 1.11 again which has a “massive” 3 extra minutes to the first movie.

Anyway, there was a brief introduction for the movie by Jonathan Clements from Schoolgirl Milky Crisis which ended with a reminder that there was going to be a short trailer for Evangelion 3.0 after the ending credits.

I think the direction quality has fallen off a tangent for the worst.

Changes

Started off in English with Japanese subtitles so for a moment I thought they were showing the wrong version. Then it turns out they were showing off the new character Mari already. She fights the Third Angel with a Test Type Unit-05 before the base is destroyed just like the plot went in the original series.

Asuka has her surname changed from Sohryu to Shikinami. She’s no longer infactuated with Kaji and instead of having her Unit-02 transported by sea, she makes a dramatic entry from the air, elegantly dodging pass an Angel’s attacks (a bit too long this scene) then defeats it all by herself. Otherwise not much change in her character.

They removed the kissing scene and seemed to have replaced it with the same scene of Shinji rushing out of the bathroom but with Asuka instead this time. There’s plenty of fan service scenes going on throughout – More than the first probably. There’s quite a few for the ladies too so there was plenty of laughter going on. The English speaking scenes got a few giggles because it all sounded so mechanical ^^;

There’s a hint of a love triangle going on between Rei, Asuka and Shinji when both the girls try to make him a lunchbox. After the team’s battle with the bomb-like Angel, Asuka appears to become a little more sociable than in the original series later admiting that she’s starting to enjoy being with others.

However, Asuka ends up being the pilot for Unit-05 instead of Touji because Rei had invited everyone on a dinner party on its test day. After the experiment, she is suspected of being infected, she is quarantined away.

Meanwhile, Mari arrives to pilot Unit-02 and activates a “Beast Mode” in an attempt to fight off another invading another Angel melting its way through the layers of armour to Nerv HQ easily. She fails to defeat it. As Rei arrives to force a warhead through its AT Field, Mari gets back up to help. However, they fail yet again and Mari ends  up crashing into the evacuation shelter where Shinji was. When he sees Rei getting devoured while inside her Unit-00, he decides to fight again, also awakening his own Eva complete with glowing red eyes and armour. He almost ends up triggering the Third Impact when he desperately rescues Rei from inside the Angel’s core.

The movie ends with Kaworu descending from the moon in a new Evangelion Unit and Shinji’s Unit-01 is pierced with a lance.

Everyone cheered and applauded at the end, chatting through the credits and then quickly fell silent after the trailer for the third movie, “Evangelion: Q (Quickening)” came on before cheering again.

There wasn’t much to see in the trailer. I guess the interesting parts will be seeing if Mari gets a better new role and how Asuka is released from quarantine – with an eyepatch on.

Good Points

It seems a number of Angels were skipped such as the one from Magma Diver and re-numbered too but, it can’t be helped given the pace of these remake movies. The ones that were present were once again well re-designed. In fact, I think they took some features from the ones that were missing and combined them together.

The Angel that appears when Asuka makes her debut appearance, has long legs much like the spider-like Angel, Matariel from the original series except the legs froze anything they touched. It also had a second decoy core which is similar to the Angel, Israfel that could split itself into two halves except they didn’t need to use any synchronisation tactics this time.

Then the Angel, Sahaquiel which dropped itself down from space had a creature crawling out of it to arm wrestle with Shinji’s Unit-01. Asuka insisted she could defeat it alone but she couldn’t because of its size and a rotating core which Rei had to grab hold of before they could win. The teamwork scene felt alright here and the music was spot on.

The Ninth Angel, Bardiel that infected Unit-03 didn’t seem much different except apparently it can infect humans too – Kind of similar to the virus-like Angel, Iruel that hacked into MAGI in the original series. Watching Unit-01 crush the Entry Plug had a bigger impact than by hand I think since it highlighted the inhumanity of the Dummy Plug at that moment.

The Tenth Angel, Zeruel (also the last in the movie) is again not much different although it melted its way down to Nerv HQ a lot quicker and devoured Rei’s Unit-00.

Apart from that, needless to say the updated visuals look great. It’s great being able to see the hustlle and bustle of the futuristic Tokyo-03 even though you don’t see the Nerv staff hanging around much this time.

The Oddities

I think the first movie was re-directed pretty well with the subtitle of “You are (not) alone” but here, “You can (not) advance” doesn’t quite work even though all the Angels involved barge their way through but ends up failing. All the vocal songs used for the scenes felt out of place. It was as if the producers decided the first remake was too serious so they decided to go crazy with the odd music, throw in sudden burst of fan service scenes and “Beast Modes” that remind me of the typical transformation shows.

I thought Mari the new character would be one of those quiet and calm Anime characters but she was quite the opposite. Her personality feels kind of like Asuka but slightly more sociable and considerate of others. Maybe somewhere between Rei and Asuka’s personalities?

Other than that she feels a bit random because she didn’t have much of a role. It feels like she was just thrown in so that Asuka’s role in the movie could get changed without altering the battle order of the Angels. If they didn’t give her a personality similar to Asuka then Unit-02 wouldn’t have been sliced to bits and Kaworu wouldn’t be able to descend with a new Eva unit. I guess by having Asuka contaminated by Angel cells Shinji will now have a choice to launch the Third Impact with her instead of just Rei and create a different “perfect world” for himself. Then there’s also Kaworu who also wants to “make him happy”… That was another scene that got some laughs.

Well, that covers up to around episode 20 of the 26 episode series. Lets hope the last two movies don’t end up as crazy and the re-re-make (you read that right) 2.22 Japanese Blu-ray and DVD releases in May manage to re-balance things. Otherwise the movie set won’t be one I’ll proud of owning ^^;

One thought on “Evangelion 2.0 UK Premiere Impressions

  1. DroiD

    Nice… now i am hanging out for it even more :P
    gotta wait until it is available in australia.
    Anyway cheers for the review

    Reply

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