Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion

UK Distributor:  Manga Entertainment (DVD Only)

BBFC Certificate:  15

Suggested Retail Price (SRP):  £19.99 (now deleted)

Running Time:  90 mins (approx.)

Audio Options:  English & Japanese 6.1 DTS, 5.1 & 2.0

Subtitles:  English

Reviewer:  Rich (Webmaster)


Note:  This version of the film is now deleted.  However, the film is still available in the Neon Genesis Evangelion Movies Boxset from Manga Entertainment

After a long wait briefly punctured by the slightly underwhelming Death and Rebirth, the true End of Evangelion surfaced,

Unfortunately starting with the last half of Death and Rebirth (albeit with some more added scenes) End of Evangelion soon picks up pace with an all new final chapter which is one of the most shocking conclusions to a mainstream anime series that you are ever likely to see.

With NERV headquarters under direct assault following the events of Rebirth and Asuka in EVA 02 standing as lone defender against the nine units comprising the rival EVA series with 3 and a half minutes of battery time left things are looking extremely bleak and it appears that the third impact is imminent.

The truly apocalyptic events in this film are extremely violent and exceptionally shocking.  Asuka’s battle against the EVA series is one of the best scenes in anime – hideously violent and gory but strangely beautiful combined with the series trademark use of classical music.  Attempting to contrast beauty and violence is an oft attempted device in cinema, but this film is one of the few that effectively pulls it off, with Asuka screaming her rage at the hideously disturbing rival EVAs as she rends them limb from limb with the grace of a dancer and the bestial savagery of a berserker.  This breathtaking scene is ended with one of the most shocking and unexpected cinematic events I have ever witnessed and the sequence as a whole is worth buying the film for on its own.

Combining the action and involving plot that characterises the series with the harder more violent edge that a cinematic release allows is a masterstroke, Hideaki Anno manages to prevent the violence from being truly excessive and also manages to make sections of the film truly moving.  His characterisation is masterful and events move in a very unexpected direction.  The film is superbly augmented by the excellent 6.1 Digital surround sound and clean visuals.

Unfortunately there are flaws (as always).  As the film progresses it gets increasingly confusing and has one of the most bizarre endings in history, one that leaves you completely unsure whether what has happened is a good or a bad thing.  Shinji is immensely annoying throughout in his self-centred apathy, and the director’s use of experimental imagery gets far too arty for its own good, with live action footage combining with rapid animated scenes to generally pointless effect.

This is a shame as, in a similar way to the ending of Akira, it unbalances the film at its most important moment by trying to visualise something which is probably impossible to depict.  It also suffers from the near unforgivable crime of ending the film with the word ‘FIN’.

Despite these niggles it is still a must have for any anime fan, End of Evangelion defies convention at every turn and successfully manages to be moving and truly shocking, often at the same time.  A superb, if confusing, ending to the best mech series available.  Buy it.

Best Bit:
  Asuka’s battle against the EVA series.

Worst Bit: The pointless arty bit near the end.


Feature:   Extras:

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