Small Scale Research Project- Focus Film Quick Research

Focus Film

Neon Genesis Evangelion- The end of Evangelion, 2002, Dir.Hideaki Anno

The sequel to the events of the original TV series ‘Neon Genesis Evangelion’, after  the ending proved to be unsatisfactory for the fans. This film envisions what really happens in the TV series at around the final episodes (25 and 26). It is meant to compliment the ending of the original TV series and possibly the most complicated film I have ever watched to date (refer to the ‘sand-box sequence’) The opening is enough to shock you to the edge of your seat as it further explores the flaws that haunt  our main characters. The director Anno stated his film was like a ‘jigsaw puzzle’ meant to be solved by the audience and is one of the reasons I enjoy this film so much. (Almost 20 times viewed since my first viewing back in 2004) Due to its puzzling narrative and vast array of flawed characters, I can easily label this film as my focus on my research.

Beware Comatose Patients

Shocking Opening scene from ‘The end of evangelion’

Evangelion is life

Evangelion is life

Supporting Films

1. Evangelion 1.0 (Studio Khara), 2007, Dir. Hideaki Anno

This Japanese Anime (Animated) film reached the top of the Japanese box office on its first week, spending $2.8 million. The film was ranked as the 4th highest grossing anime film at the Japanese box office in 2007, earning approximately 2 billion yen (US $18.7 million) during its theatrical run. This film became the highest grossing film of the Evangelion series. This film is a re-make of the original Anime TV series Neon Genesis Evangelion made in 1995. The film itself has several Japanese Pop-culture references and although the plot seems simplistic from the perspective of a casual viewer (giant robot action), it is far more complicated with most of the side story being explained through  short dialogue and the famous quasi- religious symbolism ,references to Jungian and Freudian psychology and the main metaphysical connections that makes Evangelion what it is.

2.Evangelion 2.0 (Studio Khara), 2009, Dir.Hideaki Anno

The sequel to Evangelion 1.0, this film is set directly after the events of the first movie. It gained more fan praise than the first movie and won first place in the Animation category of the French Lyon Asian Film Festival.

The Basic Story (try and keep up)

To try and do a research project on this film, it is imperative that the audience for the presentation know what they are dealing with. So I’ll try and give a short synopsis without the complex elements.

Shinji Ikari is a 14 year old boy who has been called in to Tokyo 3 (a new tokyo) by his by his father after being abandoned by him. He at first does not know why he has been called, but soon finds out that he is the third child out of the initial three to pilot giant bio-mechs called Evangelion. Hesitantly and after a lot of running away, he pilots his Evangelion called Unit-01 and fights giant beings called Angels that are attacking the NERV military base where the second angel Lilith resides. Contact with an angel with Lilith will cause Third Impact, an apocalypse that is meant to destroy all life and (purge the world) So Shinji and the first child Rei Ayanami fights the angels in his Unit-01 and is soon joined by the second child Asuka Langley Soryuu. The three of them have their  share of the angel fights whilst slowly descending to a self-epiphinany about their existence. After all the angels are defeated we go to (The end of evangelion) as the last two episodes. In the first of the Evangelion film we find out that the real enemy of man is man himself as people die and a certain girl gets gored. 



Characteristics/Themes and Ideologies

Neon Genesis Evangelion is originally a manga and an animated TV-series made in Japan in the 1990s. The basic storyline is set in the future (2015) after the mysterious “second impact” which killed off a large part of the human population. Some time after the impact Earth was attacked by powerful monstrous beings known as “angels”. The story is complex and simple at the same time. The basic plot is a battle between humanity and aliens, with a lot of references to the earlier Japanese Super Robot genre (Mazinger Z, Tetsujin) as well as kabbalistic/religious symbols and psychology, which gives it a lot of character (as well as room for interpretations as everything is not explained). Themes of individuality, consciousness, freedom,choice and responsibility are heavily relied upon for the most part of the movie.There is also the usual anime mix of cuteness and violence. Also, the imaginative work is really something as I personally think it really reflects Hideaki Anno’s imagination. There are a lot of allusions to Freudian Psychology, e.g The Oedipus Complex is seen to its full effect to the point where the main character ultimately has sex with his mother!  Each of the Individual Characters are developed so us as an audience can relate to their trials and the tribulations and truly feel sympathy towards them. What really sets this anime apart is its wickedly massive side plot and the conspiracies in it, it all ties in to the main plot and almost nothing is explained;watch to find out more, which boosts its rewatchabilty factor (I have been watching the Evangelion series and film for the past decade and have never once been bored)

Historical Settings/ References and Production/Economic Context

As the film is set in the future in 2015 on the re-built city of Tokyo called Tokyo-3, there aren’t very many historical mirrors in the film. References to old Japanese pop-culture from the 80’s are made sparingly. There is always the old Tokyo being attacked by monsters set piece, e.g Godzilla and this is no different with giant bio-mechanised mechs fighting angels.

Pre-Production and Economic Context

Hideaki Anno re-watched the entire TV anime series to re-create the whole series and add some elements and tweaks to make it into a   successful movie franchise, as he was no longer constrained by technological and budget limitations, which made the ending of the original TV series so controversial as fans thought it was unsatisfactory and produced more questions than answering the already growing number of questions by the end of the series. 


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