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is a 1997 Japanese animated psychological science fiction film written and co-directed by Hideaki Anno and animated by Gainax and Production I.G. It serves as a parallel ending to the ''Neon Genesis Evangelion'' television series, in which teenage Shinji Ikari pilots Evangelion Unit 01, one of several giant humanoid mechas designed to defend against the hostile supernatural entities called Angels. The film picks up where the television show's 24th episode ended, and the cause of the events depicted in the show's episodes 25 and 26 occurs in the middle. Though it won awards including the 1997 Animage Anime Grand Prix, ''The End of Evangelion'' initially received mixed reviews. A 2014 ''Time Out'' poll of filmmakers voted ''The End of Evangelion'' one of the 100 best animated films of all time.


Plot


Teenager Shinji Ikari is the pilot of Evangelion Unit 01, one of several giant cyborgs designed to fight hostile supernatural entities called Angels. Distraught over the death of Kaworu Nagisa, Shinji visits fellow pilot Asuka Langley Soryu in a hospital and masturbates to her comatose body. The shadowy committee SEELE discovers that Gendo Ikari intends to use NERV, the paramilitary organization that deploys the Evangelion units, for his own plans. SEELE dispatches the Japanese Strategic Self-Defense Force (JSSDF) to seize control of NERV, killing most of the staff. NERV major Misato Katsuragi orders Asuka moved to the cockpit of Evangelion Unit 02 and placed at the bottom of a lake, then rescues Shinji from JSSDF troops. Determined to have Shinji defend NERV, Misato brings him to Unit 01's bay doors but is shot by soldiers. Before her death, Misato implores Shinji to pilot Unit 01, kisses him, and forces him into the elevator. Shinji discovers Unit 01 immobilized in bakelite. Concluding that NERV's defeat is inevitable, Gendo retrieves Evangelion pilot Rei Ayanami. He plans to use her to initiate the Third Impact, a cataclysm that will kill everyone on Earth and reunite him with his deceased wife, Yui. Attempting to stop him, NERV scientist Ritsuko Akagi sends a computer command to destroy NERV. Casper, a computer core modeled on Ritsuko's mother and her aspect of being a woman, overrides her command, and Gendo kills her. Inside Unit 02, Asuka overcomes her trauma and re-activates the unit. She destroys the JSSDF forces, but SEELE unleashes a fleet of new mass-produced Evangelion units, who disembowel her and Unit 02. Unit 01 breaks free of the bakelite and ascends above NERV headquarters. From the cockpit, Shinji sees the mass-produced units carrying the mutilated remains of Unit 02 and screams. Gendo attempts to merge with Rei, who carries the soul of Lilith, an angel hidden beneath NERV headquarters, to begin the Third Impact. Having merged with another angel, Adam, he will become a god if he merges with Lilith; however, Rei rejects Gendo, absorbs Adam, and reunites with Lilith, growing to a gargantuan size. The mass-produced Evangelion units pull Unit 01 into the sky and crucify it with the Lance of Longinus, which transforms into the "Tree of Life", beginning Third Impact. After several dreamlike contemplations, including a fight with Asuka, Shinji decides that he is alone and everyone in the world should die. In response, Rei/Lilith begins Human Instrumentality and dissolves humanity back into LCL, a conscious primordial soup, reforming the souls of humanity into a single consciousness. Once he realizes that his wish for this limitless existence where all are one comes at the cost of losing individuality, Shinji rejects Instrumentality which leads him to acknowledge that life is about experiencing pain as well as joy. Unit 01, seemingly moving on its own, breaks free of the Tree of Life, wielding the rematerialized Lance of Longinus to destroy the Mass Production Units and end Third Impact. Rei/Lilith's body splits into pieces, crashing to the surface of the Earth. Shinji and Asuka awaken on a shoreline littered with the wreckage of Mass Production Units and the body of Rei/Lilith. Shinji begins to strangle Asuka, but when she caresses his face, he stops and breaks down in tears.


Cast





Production


The ambiguous ending of the original ''Neon Genesis Evangelion'' series, broadcast in 1995 and 1996, left some viewers and critics confused and unsatisfied. The final two episodes were possibly the most controversial segments of an already controversial series and were received as flawed and incomplete by many. Gainax launched the project to create a film ending for the series in 1997, first releasing ''Death & Rebirth'' as a condensed character-based recap and re-edit of the TV series (''Death'') and the first half of the new ending (''Rebirth'', which was originally intended to be the full ending, but could not be finished due to budget and time constraints). The project was completed later in the year and released as ''The End of Evangelion''. Its co-producers consisted of Kadokawa Shoten, TV Tokyo, Sega, and Toei Company.


Music


Regular series composer Shirō Sagisu scored ''The End of Evangelion''. The film prominently features selections of Johann Sebastian Bach's music throughout the movie. Episode 25' has the Japanese title ''Air'', being named after the ''Air on the G String'' which is played during the episode. Among the other pieces included are ''Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major'' (I. Prélude), ''Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring'' (transcribed for piano and later played again with string instruments in the end credits), and ''Pachelbel's Canon''. Among the other insert songs are "Komm, süsser Tod" (''Come, Sweet Death''), an upbeat song (which appears in the film at the beginning of Instrumentality), "''THANATOS -If I Can't Be Yours''", which is played in both the end credits and the credits to episode 25' (the song is based around "''THANATOS''", a background music piece used in the series). Another song, "Everything You've Ever Dreamed", was recorded for the film by the same vocalist (Arianne) as "Komm, süsser Tod", but was not used and was later included on the ''Refrain of Evangelion'' soundtrack.


Release


''The End of Evangelion'' was first released in Japanese theaters on July 19, 1997. The film was later distributed on Laserdisc in Japan. It also included the first release of the video versions of Episodes 21–24. The film was split up into two 40-minute episodes with brief intros (similar to episode 22), edited credits (for each episode instead of credits for both between the two), redone eyecatcher-textboards (showing "''Neon Genesis Evangelion'' Episode..." instead of "''The End of Evangelion'' Episode...") and a next-episode-preview section in Episode 25'. The episodic version of the film was on the last two discs of the Laserdisc release of the series (''Genesis 0:13'' and ''0:14'' respectively), each containing 2 episodes (the original TV episodes and the new ''End of Evangelion'' episodes respectively), although the film was also released in its original cinematic form on VHS, Laserdisc, and later DVD. The script was serialized in 4 issues of ''Dragon Magazine'' from August 1997 to January 1998. The movie was released on Blu-ray along with Death and Rebirth and the TV series in a box set on August 26, 2015. In 2006, ''The End of Evangelion'' was shown theatrically as part of the Tokyo International Film Festival in Akihabara.


Red Cross Book


The Red Cross Book (as it is unofficially known, for the large red St George's Cross on its cover) was an A-4-sized pamphlet sold in Japanese theaters during the release of ''The End of Evangelion''. The book was written by Gainax and various production staff of the ''Evangelion'' TV series and films, with an interview with Tsurumaki, a listing of voice actors and brief essays written by them on their respective characters, short biographical sketches, commentary on the TV series and production of the films, a "Notes" section covering the setting of the films, and a glossary of terms used in the series, manga, and the two films. The Red Cross Book was left out in the Manga Entertainment release due to copyright issues. However, it was translated by fans of the series.


Distribution


In North America, ADV Films, the license holder and distributor for the ''Neon Genesis Evangelion'' TV series, declined to license ''The End of Evangelion'' and the associated films, with Manga Entertainment "reportedly ayingaround 2 million dollars" for the rights. Rei Ayanami's English voice actress Amanda Winn Lee wrote the film's script for its English subtitled and dubbed adaptations, and produced and directed the dub. The cast consisted of mostly voice actors reprising their roles from ADV's English adaptation of the TV series, with several supporting roles recast because the original actors were unavailable. To accommodate voice actors living in different parts of the country, the dub was recorded in Los Angeles, Houston and New York City. In discussing Manga's release, Mike Crandol of Anime News Network determined that "the remarkably strong performances of the main cast overshadow the weaker voice work present", though he criticized the script for being "slightly hammy" in parts. Crandol praised the final exchange between Spike Spencer (Shinji) and Allison Keith's (Misato) characters as "one of the most beautiful vocal performances to ever grace an anime". In 2018, Netflix acquired the streaming rights to the film, as well as Death (True)² and the overall ''Neon Genesis Evangelion'' TV series. It became available for streaming on June 21, 2019. On October 3 2020, GKIDS announced they had acquired the theatrical and home video right to the film, Death(true)² and the TV series. They have announced plans to bring the series and two films to Blu-Ray in early 2021


''The End of Evangelion: Renewal''


A new version of ''The End of Evangelion'' was released on June 25, 2003 in Japan by Starchild and King Records as part of the ''Renewal of Evangelion'' box set (which compiled "new digitally remastered versions of the 26 TV show episodes, 4 remade-for-Laserdisc episodes, and 3 theatrical features" as well as "a bonus disc with never-before-seen material"). This version of the film joins the "recap" film ''Evangelion: Death'' with ''End'' and omits the ''Rebirth'' segment from the first film. Also, on the aforementioned bonus disc is a previously unreleased deleted scene shot in live-action with voice actors Megumi Hayashibara, Yūko Miyamura, and Kotono Mitsuishi portraying their characters, 10 years after the events of ''Evangelion''. In this continuity, Shinji does not exist and Asuka has a sexual relationship with Toji Suzuhara. The sequence concludes with a male voice (implied to be Shinji's) saying, "This isn't it, I am not here," proving it is a false reality seen through his eyes. Manga Entertainment announced in 2006 that it was "ironing out the contracts" to release the ''Renewal'' versions of ''Death & Rebirth'' and ''The End of Evangelion'' the next year, though their rights to the film have since expired.


Home media release


On June 10, 2002, Manga Entertainment had released ''Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion'' on DVD and it was presented in Anamorphic Letterboxed widescreen theatrical format and the audio presented in 6.1 DTS-ES Digital Discrete Surround audio and 5.1 Dolby Digital EX sound in both English and Japanese language. Manga Entertainment also released the film on VHS on September 24, 2002, in both dub and sub.


Reception


''End of Evangelion'' won the Animage Anime Grand Prix prize for 1997 and the Japan Academy Prize for "Biggest Public Sensation of the Year" and was given the "Special Audience Choice Award" by the 1997 Animation Kobe. EX.org ranked the film in 1999 as the fifth best 'All-Time Show' (with the TV series at #2). In Japan, ''The End of Evangelion'' earned in distribution income during 1997. The film had a total lifetime gross of . Manga artist Nobuhiro Watsuki wrote: ''Newtype USA'' reviewed the film as a "saga of bamboozlement", criticizing its "biblical overtones, teen melodrama and bad parenting", and suggested that the film would frustrate viewers. Manga Entertainment CEO Marvin Gleicher criticized the ''Newtype'' review as "biased and disrespectful" and a "facile and vapid" product of "ignorance and lack of research". Many reviews focused on the audio-visual production. Light and Sound wrote that "narrative coherence seems a lesser concern to the film-makers than the launching of a sustained audio-visual assault," an assessment echoed by critic Mark Schilling. Mike Crandol of Anime News Network gave the film an overall passing grade and described it as "a visual marvel". He described the DVD release as "a mixed bag", expressing displeasure over the "unremarkable" video presentation and lack of extra material. David Uzumeri of ComicsAlliance described the film as "a dark, brutal, psychedelic orgy of sex and violence that culminated in the mass extinction of humanity set to an optimistic J-pop song with lyrics about suicide."


Interpretation


David Uzumeri of ComicsAlliance stated that the series themes of "criticizing the audience for being spineless and lost in a fantasy world recranked up to eleven, as the protagonist Shinji basically watches everybody die around him due to his refusal to make any effort whatsoever to engage with other people." In the final scene, Shinji and Asuka have separated themselves from the collective human existence. Shinji begins strangling Asuka, but when she caresses his face, he stops and breaks down in tears. Asuka utters the film's last line, "気持ち悪い" (''Kimochi warui''), which has been variously translated into English as "I feel sick" or "disgusting"."Current Info"
- (a personal FAQ page by Tiffany Grant)
The meaning of the scene is obscure and has been controversial.


Legacy


In a 2008 article for ''Slant Magazine'', writer Michael Peterson wrote that "it was not until the ''End of Evangelion'' film that Anno's visual strengths as a director really stood out". He observed that "Anno, like David Lynch, possesses a skill at framing his shots, and using the attendant color, to create visual compositions that stand out not only as beautiful in the story's context, but also as individual images, a painterly quality that he then applies back to the work. When Anno frames an image, the power of that specific image becomes a tool that he can later refer back to for an instantaneous emotional and intellectual response." Carlos Ross of Them Anime Reviews compared the tone of the film to ''The Blair Witch Project'' in that it deconstructed the series while "cashing in" on it. He was especially critical of the film's entire second half, saying: Schilling reviewed the film not as a deconstruction, but as an attempt at unification of mediums: Chris Beveridge of Mania.com described the film as "workngon so many levels", but cautions that it is not meant to be watched without having seen the rest of the series. ''The End of Evangelion'' is frequently ranked among the greatest anime films. Patrick Macias of TokyoScope ranked it one of his 10 greatest films, and the best anime movie of the 1990s; ''CUT'' film magazine ranked it third on its list of the top 30 best anime films. In 2014, ''Time Out New York'' ranked the film at #65 on its list of the top 100 animated movies as voted for by filmmakers. Critic Keith Uhlich described the film as an "immensely satisfying" conclusion to the TV series, the climax as "an end-times free-for-all that mixes Christian symbology, Jewish mysticism, sexual paranoia and teenage angst into a searing apocalyptic stew," filled with "sights and sounds you'll never forget".


Notes





References





Further reading


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External links


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"The Economy of Visual Language: Neon Genesis Evangelion"
''Slant Magazine'' {{DEFAULTSORT:End Of Evangelion, The Category:1997 films Category:1997 action films Category:1997 anime films Category:1990s coming-of-age films Category:1990s psychological drama films Category:1997 science fiction films Category:Animated films based on animated series Category:Anime films composed by Shirō Sagisu Category:Apocalyptic films Category:Coming-of-age drama films Category:Films about depression Category:Films directed by Hideaki Anno Category:Films directed by Kazuya Tsurumaki Category:Films set in the 2010s Category:Films with live action and animation Category:Films based on urban legends Category:Gainax Category:Japanese animated science fiction films Category:Japanese coming-of-age films Category:Japanese films Category:Japanese science fiction action films Category:Manga Entertainment Category:Mecha anime and manga Category:Neon Genesis Evangelion films Category:Animated post-apocalyptic films Category:Production I.G Category:Religion in science fiction Category:Science fiction anime and manga Category:Impact event films Category:1997 drama films Category:Films about consciousness