So first off, I gotta say: I am absolutely thrilled that Toonami is back on Adult Swim. When I was but a budding nerd back in the early double zeroes, Toonami was the only place to find anime on cable (as far as I knew). And that was where I first saw Outlaw Star, Cowboy Bebop, Tenchi Muyo, and of course, Neon Genesis Evangelion.
Well, Toonami is back, and not too long ago, they showed the first of three Evangelion movies retelling the original story from the ’90s with updated animation and a new ending. And holy crap, what a difference.
On the left, the original animation from the ’90s. On the right, the updated version.
What a difference. Now don’t get me wrong, the original series will always be a classic, and I always recommend the classics over remakes. However, there are some improvements that have been made. Obviously, the art style has vastly improved, but that’s a given considering the advancements made in the industry in the past 2 or so decades since the original.
I mean, come on:
Huge difference. But on top of that, the writing has tightened up a bit, making the story a little easier to follow, and Shinji is less of a whiny little brat. I’ve said it before, I am not a fan of whiny male protagonists. Gets on my nerves. I think I can blame Original Shinji for this in part because, for crying out loud, that guy would not stop complaining.
Now, in the movie version, Shinji is still whiny and complains. A lot. But it’s less irritating somehow. I think in part it has to do with the fact that his background is better defined, his contempt for his father is more pronounced, as is his longing for fatherly acceptance. All in all, Shinji is given a deeper character this time around, and it is a vast improvement.
I will say I felt like Rei could have been more… present in the movie. She plays like a background character, which is not true to the original at all. Yes, a lot of the key scenes were there, and she was there, she just didn’t seem important somehow. Like she lost a dimension of herself somewhere in the transition from the original. Actually, I felt that with Misato a little as well. It seems like some of the characters lost some of their presence in this new version. I’m hoping the next movies will rectify that feeling.
So overall, I did enjoy the movie quite a lot. The update in the animation really helped the story, and the revised script was an improvement. While I still think everyone should watch the original, the rebuild has a lot going for it as well.
Final rating: 8 out of 10
And one more comparison, because I can.