Blu-ray Review: Evangelion 3.33: You Can (Not) Redo
23/02/2016 Leave a comment
It’s been a painfully long wait but after several years, and a re-written English script, the third movie instalment into the ‘Rebuild’ of Evangelion has arrived on home video; but was it worth the wait? Well lets take a look in our Blu-ray review of Evangelion 3.33: You Can (Not) Redo.
Evangelion 3.33: You Can (Not) Redo, is the third feature-length film in creator Hideaki Anno’s rebuild of the ground-breaking 1995-1996 anime series, Neon Genesis Evangelion. Following on from the cataclysmic finale of Evangelion 2.22: You Can (Not) Advance, the third film takes the Evangelion storyline in a startling new direction. With its heady mix of cutting-edge animation spectacular giant robot action, heightened emotion and deep philosophy.
After the ‘Third Impact’, Shinji awakens to an existence he does not recognise. Earth lies in ruins. Those he once fought valiantly to protect have cruelly turned against him. With Rei Ayanami nowhere to be seen, could his efforts to save her have been in vain – and what friendships can he now rely on? Trapped in a harrowing cycle of death and rebirth, Shinji continues to courageously battle the Angels – even as the world spirals toward a tragic end.
We’ve been waiting for the release of Evangelion 3.33: You Can (Not) Redo for several years now and while the visual presentation and animation quality of the film remain on top form this film is probably the most disappointing one of them all; which is a real shame as it had so much to potentially offer. Studio Khara were really on to something with the “You Can (Not) Redo” tagline; as it felt like majority of the film should have been redone to make it a more entertaining experience for the viewer. Confused? So was i; but in short this film acts as an introduction to the final film rather than a continuation of the previous film.
It’s been fourteen years since the events of the third impact which led the world to near extinction and now Shinji Ikari awakens to discover that everything he once knew has now changed. Previous members of NERV, including both Misato Katsuragi and Ritsuko Akagi, have formed WILLIE a new organisation bent on destroying NERV and their EVA units by using the newly acquired battleship the Wunder. Elsewhere however Shinji’s father continue’s to put SEELE’s plan into motion and bring the world into a new order with the arrival of the fourth impact. Too sides, two different ideals and a world filled with unknown abnomalies spells trouble for the world and yet instead we focus on Shinji’s mental state throughout this entire affair.
Evangelion 3.33: You Can (Not) Redo opens up with a climatic space battle between two eva units, piloted by Asuka and Mirai, attacking an Angel with Shinji Ikari and Eva Unit 1 as the prize; but after this small encounter, and brief rundown of Misato’s new life-goal in destroying NERV, not a lot seems to happen. In retrospect we get the beautiful animated and action-packed intro, a rundown of whats currently happening and then forty minutes of self-pitty from Shinji which leads to his decision to follow through in his father’s plan to which another fight breaks out and the film comes to its cliff-hanger of an ending. Of course there is more to explore in this film; there is the re-introduction of Rei, which seems to be another clone, the real explanation into Shinji’s mother and a whole host of EVA related questions that we have been dying to find out – but on a whole not a lot happens and instead we see the focus shift to Shinji’s new relationship with Kaworu.
Of course it all has meaning and serves a purpose; but from a perspective the film could have featured much more content rather than focusing on the emotional state of Shinji and his fears of piloting an eva; but then again that’s exactly what Evangelion is.Those looking for other-worldly battles between EVA’s and monsters will be disappointed to find that hardly any exist within this film; but when they do appear they have been superbly animated and – as you would imagine – quite nail-biting to watch; especially the final confrontation which, once again, leads to a cliff-hanger ending an a teaser for the next film in the series.
As you would expect this Blu-ray release of Evangelion 3.33 – You Can (Not) Redo comes packed full of bonus content; unfortunately however excluding Rebuild of Evangelion majority of it is promotional content. Of course that’s not a bad thing; but something a bit more ‘unique’ would have been nice.
In total 17 different types of promotional trailers are used for Evangelion 3.33; some of which were tired to special events, such as the Nicofare trailer, while others were related to TV and Cinema. Majority of the trailers feature the same content so after watching a few it does become a bit repetitive. Outside of these trailers however we have the EVA-EXTRA 08 segment, which sees highlights from the past two Evangelion films as well as a short preview of the next film, along with The Rebuild of Evangelion.
This ‘rebuild’ segment is ten minutes long and acts as a minute-video-styled-montage of how the film was created. For instance we see the stages of production from Storyboard, Concept, Draft and Final animation as well as the process of creating the music. Event he CGI animated sequences get a glimpse into the spotlight. It’s an interesting sequence – especially if you are curious about how the film is produced – but sadly no directors styled commentary is provided.
The final piece of content is non-other than the inclusion of trailers for other anime releases; in this case trailers for Cowboy Bebop, Space Dandy, Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods and Hellsing Ultimate.
Media: BD 50
Running Time: 1:36:58
Video: MPEG-4 AVC
Audio: Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (English & Japanese)
Resolution: 1920×1080 (1080p)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Frame Rate: 23.976 fps
Evangelion 3.33: You Can (Not) Redo isn’t the Evangelion film you expect it to be nor is it the Evangelion film you want it to be; instead it offers a more compelling and emotional story that, despite its superb visual flair and soundtrack, isn’t as good as I was hoping. I’ll try to avoid the ‘main’ spoilers but the film starts in explosive fashion with a team-battle between an angel and the realisation that fourteen years has passed; but when Shinji is abducted by NERV the films pacing becomes incredibly slow with self-pity, emotional distress and consequences of his actions. It’s a frustrating viewing experience as it feels déjà-vu to events that transpired in the first movie – the choices of piloting an eva and the consequences it brings – and it doesn’t pick-up again until Shinji and Kaworu decide to work together in order to reset the world.
Basically; it starts off good, has a strangely familiar but informative middle section, and then becomes entertaining again towards the end. The pacing of the film isn’t as natural as one would think and, at times, elements of the film seem longer than they should. A perfect example being the first flight of the Wunder; the battleship of WILLIE. The whole segement for it’s first take-off last several minutes and after Shinji is returned to NERV we do not see the battleship again until the very end of the film- and even then its only briefly. Like i said this third film acts as an introduction into the events of the fourth film rather than a continuation; the characters have been introduced, the playing field has been set and the rules are in motion – so it will be interesting to see where and how this game ends.
While i may have my doubts of the film, my expectation was not met, the quality of this film and it’s on-disc content are everything i expected it to be; well all most at least. The visual quality of the film is noticeable and it shows that Studio Khara worked hard on animating this cinematic film; especially during the CGI EVA fights which blend naturally into the 2D animation sequences and it’s easy to tell that FUNimation gave their all with the voice acting – with most original actors returning for their roles. Even more interesting is that inclusion of two different subtitle tracks which, on first glance, are relatively the same but offer some slightly differences. So it’s all postivie smiles and high-notes from me; except for one crucial factor – the surround sound presentation of the film itself. Unlike other FUNimation releases the audio for dialogue is considerably lower than the other sounds in the film and as a result the volume has to be turned up. This means explosions, background music and other elements of sound can over-shadow the dialogue that is being spoken and having the volume turned up higher than usual means that these sounds will be louder and (potentially) annoy others in the house. In other words there isn’t a balance with the sound and it can be extremely annoying during those quiet moments; however these only effects those watching in Surround Sound as those watching it through their TV / PC Speakers will have no issues.
It’s been a long time coming but the wait is finally over; Evangelion 3.33: You Can (Not) Redo is finally here and this Blu-ray release from Manga Entertainment UK, as well as dub by FUNimation Entertainment, is everything you could ask for. Sure enough the issue with the audio levels and pacing of the film can be problematic for some but on the whole its a nice product thats well worth watching and adding to your anime collection. Onward to the fourth film!
Evangelion 3.33: You Can (Not) Redo will be available on DVD, Blu-ray and Collectors Edition Combo Pack from the 29th February 2016.