Evangelion 2.22 is the digitally mastered Blu-Ray edition of EVANGELION 2.0 YOU CAN (NOT) ADVANCE. This is the second of four films released that are remaking the original anime seriesNEON GENESIS EVANGELION. EVANGELION 2.0 YOU CAN (NOT) ADVANCE was produced and co-distributed by Hideaki Anno’s Studio Khara. Aside from that really awful looking, all-orange cover for the Blu-ray disc, the film dazzles with its spectacular 2D animation.
EVANGELION 2.0 YOU CAN (NOT) ADVANCE wastes no time jumping into the action and introducing a new Eva pilot named Mari, who has to destroy the revived skeleton of the Third Angel in a NERV base. She uses the Unit-05’s self-destruct to destroy the angel, ejecting at the last moment. The beginning serves to get the film off to a quick start not only with a splendid action sequence but also with the introduction of Mar. The new pilot is an interesting character…she’s fully dedicated to her duty and leaps into it with great zeal.
Mari is not the only new pilot we meet in EVANGELION 2.22 We also are introduced to headstrong, arrogant, and petulant Asuka Shikinami, a young pilot from Europe who sees her first action in Unit-02 as she battles the Seventh Angel. Asuka and returning Eva pilot Shinji end up being forced to share an apartment with Misato Katsuragi, a NERV commander. This makes for some light-hearted moments early on as Asuka, convinced that she is superior to both Shinji and fellow pilot Rei in everyway, believes she can handle any mission on her own. However, she will be quickly proven wrong. When the Eighth Angel attacks, it takes the combined forces of three Eva units to destroy it which leaves Units 00 and 01 damaged. Meanwhile, on the Moon, construction is underway on the mysterious new Unit-06 which is described as the first “true Evangelion” unit.
As EVANGELION 2.0 YOU CAN (NOT) ADVANCE goes on we see the efforts to try and restore the worlds ocean’s that were damaged during the second impact. There’s somewhat of a slowdown in the middle of the film, but this section also helps develop the characters further, particularly the shy and withdrawn Rei, while also exploring Shinji’s estranged relationship with his father Gendo, who is in charge of the research and use of the Eva units. Their relationship comes to a head when the Ninth Angel possesses Eva Unit-03, piloted by Asuka, and Shinji refuses to fight back for fear of killing her. His father takes a drastic step which will forever change things between him and Shinji.
There’s so much that’s going on in EVANGELION 2.22 that it’s hard to believe that its not even two hours long. New pilots, new Eva units, new angels… it’s a lot to absorb. If this is your first Evengelion film you’re likely to be a bit lost. At the very least you’ll probably need to see the previous film in the Rebuild of Evengelion series, EVANGELION 1.11 to gain a better understanding of the plot, setting, and characters.
The last half hour of EVANGELION 2.0 YOU CAN (NOT) ADVANCE simply doesn’t let up. It’s exciting, dynamic, and emotionally wrenching. The attacks by the Angels get more powerful and destructive with each one encountered. And as any good film in a series does, it sets the table nicely for the next entry without leaving the end of this film dangling. What will happen with the impending Third Impact and what exactly is going on at the Moon base with Unit-06? We’ll have to wait to find out.
The disc features audio commentary with the American cast and crew. Rather than have it as a group commentary, the various actors come in individually and share their thoughts on the film. Several of them have been involved in the English translations dating back to the original Evangelion series of the 1990’s. The commentary is hosed by American Line Producer Mike McFarland.
“Rebuild of Evangelion (22:27) This extra features several scenes of the film in various stages of development so you can see how it progressed from storyboard, to rough animatics, to the final finished product. Unfortunately there is no commentary at all. It just runs to a soundtrack; after a few minutes you get the general idea, and twenty-two minutes is overlong.
Deleted Scenes (3:25) The deleted scenes are shown in storyboard format with one in a pre-film animatic. None adds anything to the final product.
There’s also numerous original Japanese theatrical and TV spots along with a 20 page booklet and other Funimation DVD trailers.
Evangelion 2.22 You Can (Not) Advance. Distributed by Funimation. Directed By Hideaki Anno. Written by Hideaki Anno. American Cast: Spike Spencer, Brina Palencia, Tiffany Grant, Allison Keith.
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