After we get back from Gendo and Fyutski in SPAAAAAAACCEEE, the movie shows that it fails to understand an entire array of basic storytelling concepts. There are many scenes that demonstrate this, like the new content and context of Shinji’s train scene after being forced to attack Unit 03, or the fact that the entire climax is rendered irrelevant by the post-credits scene, but there is no scene that makes this more painfully clear than the boat scene. Here, the movie shows a series of ideas that it doesn’t understand, the most notable of which is the idea that characterization and world-building are important parts of a good story, but it isn’t worth the time if it doesn’t really affect any of the actions of the characters later in the movie and ESPECIALLY if it brings the story to a grinding halt in the process. The only thing that this scene does that should have been relevant to the characters is wasted on Misato, who does almost nothing of consequence for the entire rest of the movie. The rest is characterization for Asuka, Rei, Shinji and his friends, and it just comes off as a waste of the movie’s limited run time.
And don’t get me wrong. The characterization is decent. It makes sense that all of these characters would be interested in what life was like before Second Impact, as does how little they know about marine biology. It makes sense that Rei would be a vegetarian and that Asuka would be opposed to that. Little things like this make everything feel more realistic and believable, and believably something that this movie desperately needs more of. However, in attempting to bring the world to life and give it more detail, the movie brings it’s story to a complete stop at a seemingly random location that doesn’t exist for any reason besides the fact that it was in the anime for seven entire minutes. It drops everything and takes the viewer to a place that isn’t relevant to the story or character’s actions in any way, shape or form.
It seems to me that, when attempting to look at this scene from the perspective of someone who actually manages to like this movie, the appeal of this scene probably comes from the fact that it’s a joy to see the Evangelion characters interacting in a socially healthy way without getting deep-rooted psychological issues involved. And while that may be true when taking this scene on its own or as a headcanon for the original series, the fact is that when taken into the context of the rest of the movie, the entire scene ruins the break-neck pacing up of the movie up until that point and violently contrasts with the tone the rest of the movie was trying to go for. Yeah, the show did the same thing in episodes 8 and 9, but when the show used those episodes to contrast with the overall tone of the series, it did so for a purpose, that being bringing out a different and more lively side to all of the characters in such a way that expanded on the ways in which they interacted with each other. Digibro has an entire video explaining why this worked so well, and if you want a breakdown of what exactly the show does to accomplish this just go watch that. Anyway, when the movie attempts to do the same thing, the purpose is lost thanks to the scene’s overall lack of significance. Arguably both the most important and memorable part of Episode 8 was the scene where Asuka slapped Toji simply because of how it embodied how drastically different both the episode and early Asuka were from the rest of the show, and for some reason that moment completely doesn’t exist in 2.22. Things like this make the scene feel as it has been dumbed down and streamlined for the mobie, and thus it ends up completely missing the point.
And as for how this ruins the pacing, think about this: What types of scenes came before this one? Every single scene in the movie up until this point was an either action scene, a character introduction, or a semi-dramatic character moment, and none of those scenes lasted for more than five minutes. Everything has been directly relevant. So, when the movie then goes into seven straight minutes of nothing happening, the entire feeling that the first twenty minutes of the movie tried to establish go flying out the window and the audience is left bored or confused.
And the worst part is that this is arguably the best-looking part of the entire movie from a purely visual standpoint. The color design and lighting is handled in such a way that what most shows would make a cave becomes a breathtaking display of color when everyone is below deck, and this one particular shot of Asuka sitting down is probably tied with another similar shot later in the movie for my favorite bit of character movement of all time simply because of how fluid it feels. Unfortunately, this isn’t enough to make the seven minutes it’s wasted on not feel like a complete
The point is that this scene is a complete waste of everyone’s time and shouldn’t have been adapted at all. Whatever. Continuing on, the movie then cuts back to Nerv almost jarringly, as if admitting that it didn’t really have a plan or purpose for the previous scene. WHY DID YOU KEEP IT IN THE MOVIE. *sigh* The movie then cuts back to Nerv at the beginning of an Angel battle similar in quality to the one that served as Asuka’s introduction: It woks dramatically and looks great, but at the same time it raises so many questions about what the heck is going on that the tension is completely lost in the stupidity of it all before anything actually dangerous starts happening. Why is your only method of communication with your commander via something unencoded like radio waves? Where are the runways for all of these airplanes? Don’t planes communicate via radio waves? So how could all of them launch so seemlessy if all radio communication was disabled? How could this many people possibly own cars in a city that doesn’t have any normal houses? Why are the aircraft moving as slowly as their carries? You seriously didn’t have any Magi backups until now? Weren’t you just shooting bombs at the Angel? Why didn’t spacial distortion affect those? Why didn’t you at least stretch the umbilical cable as far as it would go before detaching it to save battery? If you are all running to the projected area of impact, why did you start so far away from that point? Why aren’t they making use of jumping to avoid as much damage to the city as possible? Why are these plates here? How did Shinji know they were there? Is this seriously the most efficient method of changing direction? If the Eva can jump that high what was the point of the stepping platforms? Why didn’t you embrace you inner Sanic and go feast in the first place? As I said before, these logical issues build up throughout the scene, and by the time the characters are in any actual danger, any sense of tension has long since been dilluted in the ocean of stupidity.
The scene that comes next is possibly one of if not the single stupidest and most baffling moments of character introspection in a critically aclaimed piece of media I’ve ever seen. First of all, the lead-in to it is absolutely moronic. Asuka, why are you doing the End of Evangelion thing? Why do you care that you weren’t able to do the physically impossible on your own? Why does this make you lonely? If anything it should just make you hate the people that you perceive as outdoing you even more. But most of all, why the heck does the audience care? This version of Asuka has done almost nothing to make her interesting up until this point, and the movie hasn’t given us enough time knowing her to really be invested in her character unless the viewer is just categorically attracted to the idea of a tsundere. Even stupider than this, though, is the fact that this apparently motivates Asuka to invade Shinji’s personal space in the middle of the night and go and talk to him in spite of the fact that she seems to hate Shinji at this point and that Misato, a person who she clearly doesn’t hate, is living in the same house and far more likely to be understanding of something like this based on her maturity.
And then from here, the actual dialogue itself is also garbage. Why does Asuka consider it a treat to be called by her first name? I’ve never meet any 14-year-old who calls people they just met by their last name. And more importantly, why does Asuka care? To her, Shinji is just some random kid that she’s lived with for like a few days at most, so there’s no reason for her to care about Shinji at all. She obviously didn’t at this point in the original series, at least. And is calling him baka Shinji seriously the best Asuka could do at masking the fact that she likes him for some reason? But by far the most baffling line of dialogue is where Shinji says that he MIGHT be piloting the Eva out of a desire to be praised by his dad. THIS WAS ALREADY CONFIRMED WHEN SHINJI TALKED TO MISATO WHY IS HE ACTING LIKE HE’ S STILL UNCERTAIN ABOUT IT. And Shinji just keeps on acting like he doesn’t know this for like a solid minute. The rest of the lines aren’t that bad, but that’s probably just because they are almost directly ripped from the original show.
If I kept on ragging on this movie in the same level of detail that I am now, I would just end up repeating what I’ve spent the last four videos talking about: The same stupid abundance of plotholes, the same stupid Mari scenes, the same stupid mistreatment of Kaji’s character, the same pointless characterization scenes and the same terrible pointless character moments. So, in the next part, I’m just going to do a highlight reel of the more unique ways that this movie screws up throughout. Continued in part five.