Last Saturday, Sig and I meet up with our friends (John and Stan) and a new acquaintance (Monte) to watch Evangelion 2.0: You Can (Not) Advance at the Grand Illusion. The Grand Illusion has a special place in our hearts, because it’s where Sig and I first met. We sometimes go there for movies and of course to reminisce about our first meeting. During the Evangelion showing, we didn’t take into account parking and cash-only tickets, so we ended up a little late to meet up and talk with friends.
First thing I noted about the Grand Illusion is that slope of seating arrangement is horrible for reading subtitles – the only seat that can really see the subtitles is the front row. Many seats in the theater had partial viewing. John had commented that he and Monte only had partial viewing even up by the second and third rows. I’ve seen other movies at the Grand and kind of expected it. Since I am familiar with the Evangelion anime series, I let Sig have the aisle seat where he could at least bend over slightly to see what was going on.
This is the second installment of a movie series officially, titled in English, “Rebuild of Evangelion.” There are officially four titles in the series:
- Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone
- Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance
- Evangelion: 3.0: Q-Quickening
- Evangelion: Final
All I can say without giving away too much is that Evangelion is both rewarding and difficult to watch at the same time. 2.0 is gratifying because Asuka is introduced, along with a new character, Mari. I personally enjoyed the expanded workings and origins of the Evangelion “suits”. I have to warn diehard fans of the original, that a lot of changes were introduced in this sequel. While as Evangelion 1.0 felt faithful, 2.0 took its own liberties, in a less coherent way. Its lack of reasoning is what made it so difficult to watch. Perhaps it was the jargon or the density of narration, but even though I was familiar with the Eva series I felt like I was being roller-coastered around way too fast to grasp all of it. The ending of was far more rewarding than I expected it to be, especially after having watched the original TV, OVA, and movie. I walked away slightly confused, but satisfied – I think because I really love the new character Mari. She’s so refreshing because she obviously knows more than the other characters about the Evangelions and acts confidently and intelligently when driving them. I like her far more than I did Asuka, both in the old series and in 2.0. I wished Mari had more scenes and I hope she gets more in 3.0.
If you watch the new Eva movies, here’s a bit of terminology to help you through so you can focus on the story and imagery:
- A.T. Field – This is short for “Absolute Terror Field,” which is a nearly impenetrable force barrier. This Generated field is used by Angels and Evangelions for both defense and offense. A.T. Fields of Evas are generated by the humans driving them. A.T. Fields of Angels are generated by the “Angel’s Soul” (Soul meaning an energy or thought pattern). There is a theory that A.T. Fields also help sustain life.
- Anti A.T. Field – a type of energy that neutralizes existing A.T. Fields
- LCL – A liquid which allows an Eva pilot to mentally link with their Evangelion Unit. The Entry Plug of an Eva Unit, containing its cockpit, is completely flooded with LCL. Because it is richly oxygenated, pilots can “breath” the liquid. In the original series, the fluid is amber colored. I remember that fans teasingly called it “Tang” and that the pilot was “Tanged” when they got into the entry plug. In the movie remakes, the LCL color is red almost like blood. I couldn’t find a definitive source telling me what LCL stands for. All I could find was that LCL comes from Lilith and so could stand for “Lilith Connection Liquid.”
- First Impact – The collision of a giant spherical object designated the “Black Moon”, into Earth approximately 4 billion years ago. As a result of the impact, huge amounts of debris and the Black Moon’s rocky exterior were thrown into orbit, eventually forming into Earth’s satellite, the Moon. The core of the Black Moon is said to contain the Seed of Life Lilith
- Second Impact – A global cataclysm which occurred on Sept. 13th, 2000. This global disaster was caused by the awakening of an injured Angel. The Angle created a strong “Anti-AT Field” and caused an explosion that melted the Antarctic ice cap and caused a shift of Earth’s axis; climate changes and gigantic floods followed.
- Third Impact – Third Impact is the event, predicted by the Dead Sea Scrolls that will “usher man kind to a new evolutionary stage.” In the various versions of Evangelion (TV, OVA, original movie, and the Rebuild), how the Third Impact happens is different.
There are a ton more terms but most are explained within the context of the movie.
Oh I should mention that the sound track of the movie felt odd and I couldn’t put my finger on it, but John solved the puzzle and explains it quite well.
So overall, the movie was fun. I would recommend seeing it on BlueRay or DVD at home rather than a theater; having the ability to re-view parts that move by way too fast for their own good will help ease the confusion of lengthy dialogs.