Customer Reviews: Evangelion: 2.22 You Can (Not) Advance
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on January 28, 2011
For those who don't know, the Rebuild of Evangelion series is a four-part theatrical remake of the infamous anime Neon Genesis Evangelion. Evangelion was a deconstruction of the Giant Robot genre. The original series was very much love it or hate it. The polarizing issues ranged from the characters' notorious pyscholgical problems, to the confusing final two episodes, to the show's use of rather horrific imagery, peppered with pieces of Christian and Kabbalistic symbolism, resulting in one of the most brutal, influential, and controversial examples of Anime. I liked the original series, but I was fully aware of its flaws, and I considered it to be a flawed masterpiece.

Now onto Rebuild of Evangelion. Evangelion 1.0 sums up the first 6 episodes, with the continuity changed slightly, and the Angel fights given a massive makeover. I enjoyed it very much, and while it is very similar to the original, it sets the stage for Evangelion 2.0.

Now as for Eva 2.0...
IT. IS. AMAZING! This film seriously ranks among my all time favorite movies. It fully brings the Rebuild series into its own. It composes of roughly episodes 7-19. This results in many of the Angel fights being cut, but a couple new Angels are added as well, but the timing feels well-paced. It also addresses the show's polarizing aspects. The infamously broken characters are given some well placed adjustments. For example, Asuka in the original was known for being a rather narcissitic bitch with a very traumatic childhood. But in Eva 2.0, some of her more redeeming qualities are shown. The second half the the movie drastically alters the continuity with the original show, revealing that Rebuild will truly shine as its own work, instead of just remaking the original. I don't want to spoil anything, but after seeing this you will have a newfound respect for our hero, everyone's favorite whiner, Shinji Ikari. The ending is one of those rare combinations of heartwarming and terrifying, with a helping of badass. Compare that to the original ending, which was notoriously confusing, or the concluding movie End of Evangelion, which was just plain terrifying.

I recommend this to all Anime fans, but especially to those who've seen the original, whether they liked it or not. An absoloutly mind-blowing experience.
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on June 22, 2011
I bought this and felt I needed to give my Amazon rant about it to provide some thoughts to the public - particularly those who know the original (or who are deciding between buying this or the original!).

After being an Eva fan since the release of the original series, I used to watch (and re-watch) every episode intently, fascinated by the multilayered plot, themes and amazing sound and visuals. What we have here with Rebuild 1.11 and 2.22 are a highly desireable and well received remake of the original series that, instead of simply retouching the original, attempts to 'retell' the story in a manner more suitable for a modern audience. There are new scenes, touch ups to original scenes, a new character, a fleshed out story with some slight alterations and 'new' angels. Anno and the Eva team have done this all to create a movie length feature which can summarise 8 or 9-odd episodes worth of material from the original series. While rebuild 1.11 stays quite true to the original, 2.22 beats its own drum. The story here was designed not only to give a greater background to the bigger picture but also sets up the story toward what will be a more generic type of ending we can expect from 3.33 (ie. no unanswered questions). There is less mystery and intrigue, character commentary provides more understanding to what is going on, and much of the soul searching, depth of emotion of the original has, obviously been sacrificed to cater for a much shorter feature time. I was surprised however to see completed redesigns of certain angels, which was fresh.

I have given it 4 stars because of its freshness, storytelling and attention to detail overall. Eva has never lost its appeal after all these years and brings an original and powerful story to the anime public. The amazing mecha designs, battle scenes and plot keep you interested. Where I do feel this remake loses out in comparison to the original is in the soundtrack. I noted numerous changes to the soundtrack and the power of the original score doesn't appear to be here. While new viewers won't take notice of this, I felt a noticeable lack, particularly where the decisive battle and angel attack scores were missing - they added so much to the original but instead we are left with a silent tension in parts of the story were they would have worked to great affect. This unfortunately appears to affect both 1.11 and 2.22 and seems, to me at least, to be a strange direction choice. Happily though, unlike the DVD version of the 1.01 rebuild, the voices of Ikari and Misato (in English) have been faithfully reused and the English voices sound as they originally did.

Another change is character development, new characters and new angels. This is, of course, quite major. I have an opposing view on this. On the one hand, it certainly adds to the story, and fleshes it out more. Particular characters become more transparent, they can be better understood. On the other hand,certain other characters, such as the new Mari, parlay between an important set piece yet having no true impact to the story whatsoever. She is very much a 2D character that seems to have been thrown in to counter the undecisive, fragile persona of Shinji. While it's exciting to have a new character, I couldn't help but feeling Mari's addition was incohesive and slightly odd. She is a lively character, yet lifeless, without purpose and her movements appear to go unnoticed by NERV or SEELE. However, I can fully appreciate her addition, soley because she provides a counterpoint by which we can better weigh the character degredation of Asuka, perhaps in 3.33.

Lastly, I must say that the mystery and intrigue of the original series has been slightly compromised in the rebuilds. This may of course be to accommodate the feature length, but part of what made the original so great was the fact you could not understand many things until it was all over - rather than being able to understand it while it happens in the rebuilds. This just comes down to individual taste. While the original stays elusive, complex and dark - a mirror image of Shinji - the rebuilds are instead, straightforward, progressive, and bold.

Overall, I cannot do without the rebuilds in my collection - they are another great success for Anno. 2.22 had me glued to the tv, amazed at the changes and listening closely to pick up things I now understand better than what I did when watching the original. I love the crystal quality of the animation and the consistent pace of the story, as well as the fresh wonderful character development. But, I can't sell my old collection, ever. It has the blunt and raw power in its thematics, depth, and musical score, not to mention an intrigue the rebuilds will never match. I do think it is worth spending money to buy the rebuilds even if you own the original, just to enjoy Evangelion all over again - just be aware it lacks some of the haunting intrigue and darkness of the original.
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on March 16, 2011
To understand truly how great this film is you should watch the original TV series Neon Genesis Evangelion which this Tetralogy is based on. The differences and improvements to the characters may seem subtle, but in a 2 hour film those differences are magnified compared to a 26 episode series which had a lot of time to develop characters.

That being said the animation, CG, lighting, etc are incredible and I can't remember seeing anime action look so incredible in a long time. I watched the English subtitled version of this film and voice acting and subtitles where fine, don't know about the English dub but the voice actors are supposed to be the same from the TV series so they probably did a fine job.

Also in case you don't know this is the 2nd out of 4 films, so if you haven't seen the 1st film you will be lost and be prepared to want more once the film is over. This film I will recommend to anyone regardless of a preference to anime or not, this is a great sci-fi, action, and drama mixed together. I will make my friend who was angry by the ending that the TV series left us with watch this because it improves and clarifies the story the second time around.

The TV series in the end failed to tie everything together, still the TV series ranks in my Top 5 TV series ever. I can only hope the films complete the story. But judging by the first 2 films I would have to say they are right on track.
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on June 4, 2011
I first saw this in the subbed version, and eagerly awaited the dubbed version.

Sadly, only about half the voice actors came back to do this release, and its not being produced by the same people who did the original dubbing for the series and all interations of it. It does take away from what I knew Eva to be... With Rei and Fuyutski and Gendo all being voiced by someone else... it threw me off. Even some parts from the series got reworded... One of the prime examples is the graveyard scene, where Gendo says "Burying memories is man's way of survival, but there are some things man should never forget." It got reworded to something completely not as powerful or as structured, and Gendo comes off less powerful and more like an average person.

Since they've recreated the series and added a new character and tossed the story around a bit, there seems to be a total lack of character development, and the majority of the new voice actors dont have the same tone that made the dubbed version so good. The story, however, is amazing, and the effects are great. The direction Anno took with this is for sure different, and I cannot wait for the last two movies.

If you liked the old series, this is definately a rebuild. The first movie didnt show much of a change, but this movie does. If you want to get someone into Eva, this is not the way to do it. But its a great follow up after seeing the original, and this expands on the universe.
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on March 19, 2016
I won't review the movie that's been done ad nauseum . The blu-Ray is Absolutely beautiful. The reason for only 4 stars ? The sound, who is mastering CDs and DVDs now? On my brand new 70" flat screen and decent speakers it's almost impossible to hear the vocals ...sound effects will literally blow the windows out but vocals almost imperceptible at normal volume and yes I have Good hearing.....the short of it is if there are any background sounds that should be ambient noises you WON'T be able to understand the vocals unless you turn it way up and then it will be deafening otherwise HORRIBLE HORRIBLE mastering, if I could find a better mastered version I'd trade
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on August 24, 2011
Most times, movie studios choose to make sequels because they either want to make a quick cash-in based on the popularity of a film franchise or continue the story the first installment established. Evangelion 2.22 is both yet it does not feel like a cheap quick-buck film nor does it feel rushed in regards to the pacing in its' story. The sequel expands on what the first film covered and continues to do so. To keep this review spoiler-free, I'll just explain what's already been known. We are introduced to new characters, specifically Mari Makinami, who you see at the very beginning of the film taking on one of the Angels, term given to alien beings that descend from space, in one of the most exciting and well-executed battles in the film. The second "new" character is Asuka Shikinami, who we see battle an angel around the first 15 minutes of the film. Like in the original series, Asuka sees herself as superior to Shinji and Rei concerning piloting an Eva and things don't start too well when they are first introduced. Meanwhile, Gendo Ikari, Shinji's father, is still just as secretive as he was in the series and in the last film but as we progress into the film, more details surface concerning what he has planned for Nerv headquarters and to the world population. The film loosely covers episodes 8-19 of the original series. Old fans will notice several references and changes to the story around the first hour but the film then takes a very wild and unique direction near the final 15 minutes. Believe me when I say this, you'll be eager to know what happens next and wonder how the director and producers will be able to top this. Take note that the film does not have an MPAA rating like the first film did. Evangelion 1.11 was released with a PG-13 rating; this was released unrated so I'll list what you need to watch for if kids younger than 15 are watching. Concerning content, this film is very violent and the battles between the Evas and the Angels can get quite bloody especially the fight between Eva unit-01 and Eva unit-03. There is some profanity, some of it is audible and some is covered with sound effects. There is [only] one audible F word at the very beginning of the film, before the movie title shows up. There is no sex whatsoever in the film but there are a few scenes with little nudity but it is not presented in a sexual manner. There are thematic elements throughout the film, focused mostly on Shinji's distant relationship with his father, Asuka's social detachment from people, and Rei's attempts to reach Shinji in a emotional method. Overall, this was an excellent film that will attract even non-fans of the series and individuals who are even remotely interested in anime. And blu-ray is the way to go! Highly recommended!
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on March 21, 2016
This film was well done from the start. Auska's character was more raw and to the point that her original envisioning. Rei seemed more vibrant and emotional than the original series in some ways. Kaji, I felt had a played down role. I love that this film went into more detail about what happened during the test activation of unit 3. This can be almost directly transferred to the original series as the original went into very little detail. Mari definitely made way for several plot departures from the original story. I only dock one star because I felt the immediate aftermath of the Partial 3rd Impact was whole sale ignored between 2.22 and 3.33. 14 years pass between films and there is little to no mention of what the cast experiences between films save for some hints given in 3.33's intro. Like for instance how Misato's new counter-NERV group came about and how they took control of unit 01. How did the WUNDER get built? What was it's original purpose? I'd love to eventually see a Rebuild 2.5 film to fill in this rather sizeable gap and answer those questions.
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on March 9, 2014
This is just a short review about the product itself. I was rather disappointed with the item when I received it in the mail. It was falsely shown with the orange 2.22 Slip cover in the picture at the time of purchase. Had I been properly informed that I would not receive the slip I would have ordered from a different website. Since then they have changed the picture to properly reflect the product they are actually selling so I would imagine they had more than my complaint on it. The Feature itself is a great experience if you are in to anime. If it had come with the proper casing I would have given this a 5 star.
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on May 29, 2011
I enjoyed this movie. The video was very good on Blu-ray. I do not think I understand the true importance of the ending. I am eager to see the third movie in the series. I have never seen the TV series. The movie was in English and I thought the actors did a very good job reading the lines. There are many questions yet to be answered about what is really going on behind the plot in the movie. Who are the real good guys and who are the bad guys and are the EVAs just pawns for a true plot not yet revealed.
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on December 8, 2011
The first volume was basically a remake of the first few episodes of the series, scene for scene and I loved it. But You Can [Not] Advance isn't somehow. They added and changed a lot of the story and although it still looks amazing the ending feels like it's basically the end of the series. I'm not sure how there is still 2 more volumes coming out. Still, great series and will continue to buy. Too bad it's pretty much one every year. That's just way too long of a wait for basically a television show.
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