Sunday, August 12, 2012

Movie Review: Eva 2.22: You Can (Not) Advance

Funny story here, when I moved home for the summer last year I noticed I had one more package on my bed than I could account for and the mysterious package was from Flower Mound Texas, or Funimation's headquarters. And in it was this blu-ray copy of Eva 2.22 and I still have no idea how I got it, I've assumed I won a contest somewhere and Funimation mailed it to me but I still don't know where that would've been. In any case, at this point I still hadn't seen the original NGE series, let alone 1.11, and didn't have a blu-ray player to play the movie on in the first place so it sat on my shelf for about a year. I finally got a chance to see 1.11 and had a BR player to watch this movie just a little while ago, although after seeing 1.11 I wasn't that keen on seeing how 2.22 fared.

Evangelion 2.22: You Can (Not) Advance

Summary: As the angels continue to invade Earth, Nerv gets a few reinforcements in the form of German Eva pilot Asuka and a former colleague of Misato whose position within the group seems unclear, Kaji. Asuka, like Rei and Shinji, has her own issues but slowly the three of them start to grow and develop, just in time for a truly catastrophic series of events that threaten to cripple Nerv for good. 

The Good: Oh wow, I actually liked this movie and thought it worked much better than 1.11. Assuming that people have seen 1.11 before hand (and really, it's a series, you watch a series in order) the world building is mostly out of the way which helps, the pacing felt a bit better, and the characters are starting to develop differently from the tv series and I really liked that. I wasn't sure how much of the film was original and how much of it was based on the tv series but I think that at least 50% of it was new material, I'm actually excited now to see if the third film has any stuff from the tv series. And that's the big thing, after the first film I probably wouldn't have tried the second if I didn't have it on hand already, but now I actually care about what the next two movies are going to do. 

The Bad: As a heads up, make sure to watch past the credits for the actual ending, otherwise the ending doesn't really work. And, similar to the previous review, this film in no way, shape, or form stands on it's own as a movie which I do consider a failing since movies are supposed to do that, even if they are in a series (if it was an OVA instead I would be a bit more lenient since those are a different case). And I am going to be that strict on it also because it's been at least two years since this movie came out in Japan and the third film still is not out yet, it's not even like Lord of the Rings where at least there was a new film each year and there's still two more films here. Quite honestly I'm not sure what could've been done to make these films more like movies but it still does bother me that they're being released so far apart yet you really need to see all the films for the story to work.  

The Audio: Something weird I did notice was that with the first film I didn't need to adjust the volume much at all during the movie but here I really had to turn it up at points (like for the first scene or two) and had to adjust it more later on. I have no idea if that's a problem inherent to the film or caused by something on my end but it did bug me some. Other than that, I continued to watch the English dub which continued to be fine (although for some reason I thought Mari sounded more "sterotypical anime girl"-ish than any of the other characters) and I still didn't notice the background music as much (well, except for the "inappropriately place on purpose" children's choir part).

The Visuals: While I didn't notice much of a difference between this film (on BR) and the previous one (on a DVD, although played through the same BR player) it still certainly looked stunning the entire way through, quite a difference from the original show which started running out of money by the end I've heard. There's not much new to say here, it's hardly like the art styles changed and like I said, the first film already looked really good, so hopefully it will suffice that I have no complaints in this department at all.

I have to admit I'm torn now, originally I thought this would be where my experiments with Eva would end but now I guess I'll see if Netflix gets 3.33 when it gets to the US (in a year and a half at the earliest is my best guess) or if it shows up in a theater near me and see where the story continues to go. 

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