Evangelion 3.33: You Can (Not) Redo, or as it has been dubbed by some, “You Can (Now) Release”, is finally here! After years of being held up by approvals, and having to re-record some of the English dub, the west finally gets to see the latest entry in the Rebuild of Evangelion Tetralogy.
I’m going to preface this review by saying that it’s been some years since I have seen the original Neon Genesis Evangelion television series so my knowledge of its events may be somewhat hazy. I’ll also state that, while it’s a good series, it’s not the holy grail of anime but it’s definitely one people should experience. The Rebuilds serve as a reboot of the story and features new scenes, characters and conclusion. I’ve really enjoyed the two Rebuild movies up till this point and 2.22: You Can (Not) Advance ended really strong so my expectations going into 3.33: You Can (Not) Redo are rather high.
I won’t go into too much detail with the plot due to major spoilers even for those that are familiar with the series. The second movie was the first to deviate slightly from the original series and the third goes to a whole other level. Having re-watched the two previous movies prior to the third, I was immediately thrown off upon starting it and felt like I had missed something. The movie does go some ways to explaining the current circumstances but it didn’t really feel like Evangelion in the opening. The movie does get back to its roots again fairly quickly but the overall story of the film feels very messy.
You Can (Not) Redo feels distinctly different to the two previous movies and I can’t quite work out whether it’s intended to be that way or not. The fourth and final movie will hopefully help to bring a more complete picture together but as it stands this entry felt rather out of place to me. The pacing is hard to pin down as it opened with a bang and certainly closed with one but the middle was just slow without much action; that said, this was probably most enjoyable section of the movie. It actually felt like Evangelion as opposed to the opening of the movie.
You can’t deny that the Rebuilds have some beautiful animation and Studio Khara have done a brilliant job bringing Evangelion up to today’s standards. I have to praise their excellent use of 3DCG as it blends in so naturally with the 2D animation that you wouldn’t even notice it’s there. Khara has stayed true to the overall look of the original series by Gainax. Character designs have been kept intact for the most part; obviously some changes have been made to certain characters due to story elements but I won’t elaborate on whom. There are some new Eva units, some are the newer version of older ones, but they look great and the action scenes are fantastic. While the main focus of Evangelion might not always be the mecha, which is certainly the case in this movie, it does mecha so well.
Both English and Japanese language tracks are available, as you would expect, the Japanese is accompanied by two English subtitle tracks, a Home video version and a Theatrical version. I’m not sure what the actual difference is there, flicking back and forth showed no differences to me but I’m sure there’s a good reason. Probably one of the only downsides to the movies is that you don’t get to experience the awesome opening song every episode like in the series; to this day it’s still one of the best, that being said the Rebuild movies do have some great soundtracks. Eva battles usually feature some really nice tracks.
Like the previous two Rebuild movies, Manga UK’s release of Evangelion 3.33: You Can (Not) Redo comes packed with on-disc extras. Mainly in the form of multiple trailers and tv spots plus more, it’s always nice to see a nice selection of extras and it certainly appears as if they’ve included everything available to them.
I stated that I wasn’t the biggest fan of the original Evangelion series and up till this movie I was quite enjoying the Rebuild movies. I think that has all turned around now, this movie didn’t sit well with me and I’m hoping that the final entry to the tetralogy will bring about a complete story. Evangelion 3.33: You Can (Not) Redo is by no means bad, while it’s slight inferior to its predecessors, it still maintains the high visual quality the others have laid down before it. It features some fantastic action sequences and a great accompanying soundtrack.