All that said, I still gave the Rebuild of Evangelion series a fair shake.
I mean, Hideaki Anno said that this series would correct the wrongs of the original run(s). Anno said that we’d get more character development. Anno said that the budgets would be extravagant enough that we wouldn’t have to sit through periods of still shots of Japan with pretentious, epilogue-y dialogue spewed over them because they ran out of money (sorry, but Gainaxing wasn’t just about boobs with crazy physics). But, perhaps most importantly, Anno and his newly-founded Studio Khara said that we wouldn’t have to wait years to see the four-part story play out.
The first Rebuild movie dropped in 2007 in Japan. The final film isn’t slated to be released until at least 2020. Now, I know that Anno would prefer his magnum opus to not be complete horsedookie. I get that. I understand that. I also get that Anno’s been working on other, non-Eva stuff. Go get your coin, brotherman. But, the fourth film, which has also undergone several re-titles, Evangelion 3.0+1.0 (or Evangelion Shin Gekijōban :|| if you’re subbing over dubbing right now) was announced in 2012.
So, for six whole years, Eva fans have waited (and grown tired of waiting) for minimal updates on the fourth film. On top of that, the third film, You Can (Not) Redo, resolved some of what made the original series so confusing. It was, dare I say, good for the most part. Gone was most of the unneeded psychobabble and the Christian symbolism just for the sake of being cool, replaced by actual story. We even got more development of the Kaworu/Shinji relationship and more development of the relationship between Gendo and Shinji as a result.
However, Redo, in turn, added more confusion to the Rebuild series itself. There were so many more questions than answers. For instance, when did Eva turn into Space Battleship Yamato?
Now, I’m not going to completely spoil them because the Rebuild films aren’t all that bad. I may complain, but I’ve kind of enjoyed the three films. But, you get my point. There are a lot of wonky elements in the new series that give the overall franchise even more (unneeded) convolution.
However, all of this begs the question: should we even care about 3.0+1.0? Yes, the Rebuild films take a different route than the original series. For example, and here’s a big spoiler, Asuka is alive through the end of the third film and sports a Billy Badass eye-patch instead of, you know, meeting a grisly demise during The End of Evangelion. Heck, she even (kind of) goes Berserk for a bit.
However, by the time the final film drops, it would’ve been at least 13 years since the first Rebuild film and at least 24 years since the original series came to fruition. Whole families have been born and matured in that time. I went from having no kids and no steady girlfriend to having two kids and a steady fiancee in that time. I went from having a full head of hair to being bald in that time. Suffice to say, a lot can change over thirteen years.
My tastes in anime have even changed. This is partly why I get so triggered when we discuss Eva on SpeedontheBeat.com; I grew up loving the series. As I got older, I saw so many flaws in it that I needed, as Drizzle and I discussed, brain bleach to deal with anything Eva-related. With that said, I’m here for the My Hero Academias (one day, we’ll talk MHA on SOTBNerdy) and the One-Punch Mans and the AoTs of the world. It’s not that they’re new and flashy; it’s that those newer series know exactly what the hell they want/need to be. Plus, I’m not waiting decades to see the story conclude. This isn’t to condemn Anno’s work on the Rebuild series. However, you’ve got to ask yourself if you’re still waiting with bated breath for 3.0+1.0 this simple question.
When does being a patient fan become sadness personified?
Until next time, this is your purveyor of the new and the nostalgic who critiques it from a POC POV, SOTB, saying “stay nerdy, my friends.”