This year I had watched the Rebuild of Evangelion: 3.33 You Can (Not) Redo film, which I’ve been eagerly awaiting since the 2nd film ended. Well, you know what they say about expectations and how the greater the expectations, the greater the disappointment (or the enjoyment, as the hype carries us through the work without being able to treat it critically)? I think in this case how disappointed I was couldn’t be understated – my editorial-review of the movie is titled “You Can Not Redo – How I Wish You Could” ;_;
I mean, I should have probably seen it coming, this is Hideaki Anno we’re talking about. Last time he had a nervous breakdown/depression as his excuse though, this time there’s no doubt that this was intentional. And yes, I actively think he trolled us, and that might have impacted the harsh grade I’ve given the film.
You see, I’ve talked before of how movie tie-ins to series, not just continuations, but even adaptations often are made with the assumption you’ve actually watched the series in question – the characters lack depth, the interactions aren’t convincing enough – in short, they sort of assume you’ve watched the actual scenes and that the movie’s holes are “filled” with memories we have of the extended and missing scenes. Hideaki Anno played off of that. Big spoilers after the jump.
The movie actually takes a long time to show you what is going on, it’s a masterful treatment and example of how you can keep both the character and the audience in the dark, an experience that is heightened because the creator knows you’ve watched the original work, because the preview from the previous movie seems to have promised you quite different things.
But what do we get? A 15 year time skip, where most people who matter hadn’t aged, and oh yeah, the world is almost completely destroyed, and our friends all fight one another now… it’s not just that we’ve been trolled, and that this trolling took valuable time from the movie, it’s that the movie takes way too long for too little content, contenting itself with calling it a day after pulling a fast one over us. Then again, some would argue that the whole point was how everything is a repeat, and thus the point is only driven home when it takes as much time as possible.
But that something has artistic merit doesn’t excuse everything, it was still a poor movie, and I was quite displeased with it, and its creator, when it’s been done. He probably achieved his goal, but that doesn’t mean it’s been a worthwhile goal to begin with.
So, dear readers, any moment this year where you’ve been extremely disappointed in anime, or where your expectations for a show didn’t match the final experience?
And now, here are thoughts shared by others, related either to Evangelion in any of its forms, or disappointment in anime:
Ch4zu: Realising that even the great works can be godawful if you’re not agreeing with their ways.
It seems more than logical, but up untill I had seen Toradora, Elfen Lied & Neon Genesis Evangelion I always agreed with the opinions /r/anime had (at least the non-braindead users) about a lot of shows. But these three are the exceptions. I should’ve seen it coming from a mile away, but it always hurts a little when I can’t seem to enjoy a show as much as so many others can. Because I watch anime to enjoy myself, so the more shows I like the better, in my eyes at least.
Vintagecoats: My insurance doesn’t cover this – Mysterious Girlfriend X
I throw my experience with this show around every now and again, so it seems fair to bring it up here as something of memorable for the year. I watch a lot of programs to essentially tear them down or keep my MAL averages in alignment, because I think it is important to watch bad things or productions with strained reputations to see how and why they fail. This is the drool anime of all things, so I had myself settled in to go to war.
And I lost.
It was the largest case of opinion whiplash I’ve had for this year. The program has zero right to not be a colossal train wreck on every possible level. Given, one could chalk that up to the notion that my opinion really could not have been any lower going into it, but I actually do like it when things surprise me and I allow programs the space to do so. Many do not. When the dust all settled, I had to concede to myself that I enjoyed a lot of aspects of it. I liked the walls it set up, how things like the soundtrack would be more akin to a horror series a lot of time, I appreciated the design work taken in making it look older than it was, that sort of thing. I could not outright destroy the show, and it frustrated yet fascinated me.
clicky_pen: Evangelion 3.33:
I’ve made it no secret that the Evangelion franchise is easily one of my favorites (if notthe favorite). It seemed like many fans and viewers were shocked or disappointed by this film, but personally, I loved it. I thought that the visual style was unbelievably gorgeous and depressing, and the expanded friendship between Shinji and Kaworu made the fall all that much harder.
UnorthodoxByNature: Introducing Neon Genesis Evangelion to My Little Sister:
This summer I decided to introduce my sister to one of my personal favorite anime, Neon Genesis Evangelion. Much like me, she showed little reaction to some of the more “fucked up” scenes throughout the series and was even unfazed by the infamous ending. She didn’t give any commentary either, we both just sat quietly and watched the series and movie until it was over. I asked her what she thought of the series overall and she said she liked it. It was nice being able to share something I enjoy with a family member and knowing that they enjoyed it as well. I’m sure if she didn’t she wouldn’t be watching the rebuilds without me.