Friday, May 6, 2011

Evangelion 2.22 You Can Not Advance Blu-ray Impression

Euro pilot Mari is not the only thing all new (& hot) in Evangelion 2.22

Evangelion 2.22 You Can (Not) Advance is simply stunning. As an anime and blu-ray, the story, animation and voice work is worth savoring more than once. The original Evangelion was quite a piece of work but this re-imagining is all that was to love the first time around amped to the nth degree. It’s not just the animation quality and the story pacing but the changes from plug suites to new characters and settings. It’s a whole new Eva folks, so forget all you knew about Shinji, Rei, Asuaka and Angels and get ready for a visual feast that’s all new.

Shinji continues to adjust to his new life as an Eva pilot and re-engaging with his father, neither is an easy task. Complications continue as his relationship with Rei grows and the introduction of Eva Unit-02 pilot Asuka Langley Shikinami really mixes things up when she’s as Shinji’s roommate. Angles continue to attack and the trio find themselves pitted against an angel intent on obliterating Nerv. They are not alone. Over at the Euro Branch Eva Provisional Unit-05, piloted by Mari Illustrious Makinami takes on the Third Angel and on the moon construction of Eva Mark-06 is near completion as the pilot, Kaworu Nagisa, looks on from the vacuum of space. Five pilots, ten Angels and events foretold unravel. Eva’s fight together, get destroyed and clash as their pilots are torn to emotional and physical shreds in events they have no hope of comprehending. Shinji must deal with his relationships with Rei, his father and Asuka while also coping with duty over friendship. Will he pilot again and who is Mari exactly and how does she know how to unlock the true power of Eva Unit-02? Will Shinji save those he loves or will the world face another Third Impact?

Where to start? So much to love about this series for both old and new fans. Let’s take a look at the animation quality, sound and story.

Animation – Amazing quality, especially on Blu-ray, as cell animation is mixed with 3D-GCI for some beautifully crafted effects and Eva’s/Angels. Using CG to handle the movements, the fluid moves of Eva’s then crafting in effects with normal animation gives a look that feels nether traditional in animation or wholly CG. The merger something worth taking in as its applications are mind blowing. The action and scale of the Eva’s and Angels is handled very well and the amount of detail in the environments from bustling city streets to subway lines is just plain granular. Battles are fast, furious and the power, speed of the Eva’s come across quite well. The character retain their iconic appearances with slight tweaks and new addition Mari fits in perfectly with the likes of Rei and Asuka. Bottom line is the animation is amazing but only enhances an amazing rewrite to an iconic story.

Sound - While a few voices have changed, Gendou, most have stayed intact and the level of familiarity with situations and emotions can be felt. Mari blends in well as an almost Asuka 1A. The soundtrack is actually a bit lacking when compared to the massive CD collections provided from the first series. This could be due to the faster pacing but it’s just not as memorable. That said, not as memorable when compared to the original but it’s no slouch of an orchestral track. The music meets the mood in a new way which is appropriate given the new story content.

Story – Outlined above is the high level outline of what 2.22 is about. It’s in this animation that the story really changes from what was seen in the original series. Stop reading now if you don’t want potential spoilers. The story is more than just Shinji but yes he’s at the center. Rei and Asuka are also pilots but the introduction of Mari, right at the beginning shows fans this is not the Eva they know. This is a world full of humans as seen on crowded city streets, evacuations filled with packed cars and tons of military. The world is real, very, very real and it’s issues, such as the red ocean and the International Environment Agency shows. Slight changes to the story such as Asuka and not Shinji in the shower are a freaking trip while the Angel designs shift to allow for this tale of Eva to truly stand on its own. Mari unleashes the Beast Transformation for a missing pilot and Shinji tries to save another pilot in a Pseudo-Evolved Awakened mode … both of which mean these Eva’s are advancing way beyond any Eva seen before and this is not even brining Mark-06 into play yet. The story is rock solid but its path of growing the world of Evangelion is what really shines. No longer just about Shinji, this is a world with more at stake than one boy, or even one father with his own agenda. Not as confusing as before but still will make viewers think.

Overall Evangelion 2.22 is rock solid, a can’t miss purchase for anyone calling themselves a fan of anime, animation or just great storytelling. Beautiful on Blu-ray and solid on DVD, don’t miss this movie or its predecessor, and for the price of two movies, there is no excuse.

1 comment:

  1. This was a pre-order for me as soon as it became available. No doubt, 3.33 will be fore me too whenever that comes about.