Sunday, April 17, 2011

MOVIE - Evangelion 2.22: You Can (Not) Advance.

I'm probably going to make some enemies with this one.

Evangelion 2.22 was another of Amazon's reccomends, but I was reticent about checking it out. I've heard of Evangelion in the same way I've heard of Madden - I'm aware it exists, I'm aware it's very popular, and I've never exposed myself to it. It's like poutine. The series has been out and about in anime form for like, the past sixteen years, and it seemed that it would be silly of me to enter the series with its most recent story.

Best to start at the beginning, yeah?

But I didn't do that. I poked around the 'net and found a series of uniformly positive reviews. I watched a trailer which made it look reasonably cool. I decided to check it out.

I can't remember the last time I was more disappointed with an anime. Again, this is coming from the perspective of someone who's never seen the series. Perhaps if I'd watched Neon Genesis Evangelion and gone through it from there, I could sort of respect 2.22 - but man, I don't.

This show is a shopping list of The Things That Piss Me Off About Animes. In fact, let's keep this short - let's use some visual aides.

Oh - also - tsundere girls.

At the same time, it's clear that a great deal of care and attention went into this show. It's got phenomenal attention to detail and pretty great animation - but as someone unfamiliar with the series, 2.22 was a terrible place to start. Instead of making me want to investigate the rest of the series and find out what everyone's been talking about, it has essentially guaranteed I will look no further.

Series direct Hideaki Anno said,
"Many different desires are motivating us to create the new "Evangelion" film … The desire to fight the continuing trend of stagnation in anime."
Which is, basically, the complete opposite of what's been accomplished here.
"All stories and techniques inevitably bring with them a sense of déjà vu. The only avenue of expression left open to us is to produce a collage-like effect based on a sampling of existing works."
Yes, that makes sense. That's what you've done. You've taken all the dumbest parts of anime, combined it with lush production values and gorgeous animation - and everyone seems to love it.

The action sequences can be pretty gorgeous, I should note - and as a general rule, giant robots fighting is not a bad thing. Beyond the action, though, I feel like I'm the only one at a party who didn't drink the kool-aid.


  1. For the most part the new movies are just rehashes of the original series with enough changes to make the fans interested in rebuying the series. It is very much like the Blade Runner ultimate revised super special directors cut with 8 extra seconds. Which basically amounts to mostly fan service.

    On the note of the anime itself, this series would be the first anime that many people watched (while actually knowing it was japanses anime). So nostalgia. There are much better series. Cowboy Bebop for one. I think it is worth noting that this was the first anime I owned on VHS, and the only anime I didn't bother rebuying on DVD.

    It is not that it is bad, it is worth watching from the start, but it is overrated.

  2. I feel that if you had talked to someone even vaguely familiar with anime they would have told you that Evangelion is built upon the very things you hate so much. Mechas, scantily clad girls and religious over/undertones go hand in hand with the show.

    There is a place where you can get some advice for anime, might even save you throwing money away on shows you'll never like, it's where the Penny Arcade anime club hangs out.

    The forums are here:

    IRC channel here:

  3. Yeah, I don't think I've ever purchased an anime or North American animation without seeing it first.

    Also, I love Cowboy Bebop as much as the next enthusiast, but if I had to pick between the two I'd definitely take Samurai Champloo.