You know what I did the instant I finished watching Evangelion? Tried to work out through Google just what the hell had happened for the past 40 minutes.
No series I’ve watched has ever given me more non-endings than Evangelion. From the original anime series, the sequel movie and remade episodes, to the new remakes. It seems that every time Anno Hideaki attempts to finish off the series, he just can’t bring himself to see it through to a satisfying conclusion.
Instead, what he gives us, as always, is an apocalyptic scene, followed by Shinji standing around, then cutting to black before there’s any explanation or conclusion. This happens time and time again, and every time a new movie comes out Eva fans eat it up hoping that it’ll be different this time around. Me included.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Evangelion. It just seems that this is always going to be the kind of series that builds up endlessly but never quite gets there.
The premise is great though, right? We’re set up in a world that’s somehow survived two apocalypses: the first and second impact. Periodically ‘Angels’, as they’re referred to in the show, turn up and attempt to wipe out humanity. The only thing that can stop them are Evangelion – powered suits that only teenage kids can pilot.
Enter Shinji, a kid with a dead mother and a father that never loved him. He gets to be the next pilot and prove to his dad that he’s worthy of his affection. Unfortunately this backfires and he ends up causing the third impact, or in the case of the movies – the third and fourth impact.
What there doesn’t seem to be after this point is a resolution. The world ends again and again, but the same events keep happening. Shinji wakes up, he ends up piloting his Evangelion, he causes another impact. Repeat ad nauseam. There seems to be a real sticking point here. We need something other than another bloody impact. Apocalypse has been done to death in the Evangelion franchise, hell it was the prelude to the entire show!
It’d be nice to see the fourth movie manage to move beyond the fourth impact and expand into new horizons. Throwing in an apocalypse is a cheap way to end a story at the best of times, and Hideaki’s done it far too often with this series. I think we need something like ‘After the End of Evangelion’, instead of ‘Here’s more apocalypse stuff!’.
If unlike me you haven’t lost all hope for the series, you can pick up the new movies thanks to the fine folks at Manga UK!