July 13, 2013

The Evangelion Movies: 1.11 You Are (not) Alone, pt 2

A little over a month ago, I released the first part of the writeup for the first of the new Evangelion movies.  For a while there, I wasn't altogether sure there'd be a second part... this may come as a surprise to many of my readers, but these writeups often aren't the most fun things in the world to work on!  I'm sure you're shocked by this revelation, but it's really honestly true!  I mean, let's face it... it's not like the series I do writeups for are the best ever.  Then you get nominally good shows, like this one, that are sometimes unjustly lionized for their depth and subtle character analysis, when in fact they're just giant robot shows.  I exaggerate for effect in the case of Evangelion, but nobody who has seen the actual TV series can legitimately argue that, at its core, Gainax was just throwing crap at a wall to make pretty pictures.  Sometimes it stuck, sometimes it didn't, sometimes it hit walls in other rooms altogether.  In some ways, the movies improved on this technique so at least they're consistently hitting the wall.  That's a plus.

So if you remember correctly, at the end of the first writeup, Shinji Ikari, Our Hero, had just agreed to pilot the giant Eva Unit 01 after having Teh (hot, blue-haired) Rei literally dumped in his lap.  Well, yeah.  We pick up the action from that very point...

...or from the pr0n version of Tron, one of the two.  No, nothing phallic about the "Entry Plug" the pilot rides in, or that there's a graphic for "Plug Depth Status."  Nope... it gets worse when you realize (in the show at least) that the Evas are inhabited by the souls of the pilot's mothers.  Here, let me just stick two large pins into my eyeballs now.

I'm also not going to say anything about how, once the Entry Plug has reached maximum Depth Status and is fully seated, it begins to fill up with a sticky liquid called LCL.  I'm not going to say anything about it because I'm not as perverted as I seem to be... I'm fond of not plucking my eyes out of their sockets.  Though if I did, I could stop watching crappy anime and occasionally blogging about it for your enjoyment.

Libbets and Bunnymen, I present to you Unit-01 in all of its purple and green glory.  Looks kinda like a walking bruise, actually.  Well, standing bruise, as it hasn't actually moved on its own yet.  Like the Space Shuttle being taken to the launch tower, Unit-01 is loaded onto a platform under a tube that leads to the surface.  The command is given, and vwoosh!  Up the tube it goes, propelled by the power of ELECTRICITY!  HUZZAH!!!

This may not be the most subtle sallyport ever, seeing how the act of opening is accompanied by blaring klaxons, flashing lights and a massive rumbling sound as Unit-01 is propelled by the power of ELECTRICITY!  HUZZAH!!! to face the Alone Angel.  Stealth is, apparently, not an issue.  Which makes sense; we are talking about giant robots here... to them, stealth is hiding behind a skyscraper going "oh god, did he see me?"

We'll discover the answer to that question when you click...




Yeah, being grabbed by the face is a good indication that you've been spotted.  Of course, considering that Shinji only manages to make Unit-01 take one step before falling over, QWOP-style, being grabbed by the face is probably the only way he'd manage to get to his feet anyway.  This does, however, create some limitations as far as one's offensive opportunities.  On the other hand, it opens up a whole world of things for the Angel to do to Shinji.  For example...

...it uses an energy-lance-arm-thingy to begin doing something that everybody who watched the original series wanted to do: punch Shinji in the face, repeatedly and with great force.  While the people back at NERV HQ yell at him to dodge, the armor over Unit-01's head begins to give way until the inevitable occurs.

BOOM!  Headshot!  Excedrin Headache #01: Energy-Lance-Arm-Thingy Through The Skull Of Your Giant Robot.  Back at NERV HQ, Misato begins barking out orders to perform an emergency extraction of the pilot (aka "Get Shinji out of there"), but every external command sent to Unit-01 is refused.  Well, yeah, because everything they've done has turned out great so far.

Then things start to get weird.  By all rights, Unit-01 is dead, Our Hero Shinji is probably catatonic, the Angel has proven itself to be the most dangerous foe Humanity has ever faced not including grocery store sushi, and Gendo Plushyferret is peeing himself behind his desk.  I made that last bit up.  Probably.  And then something amazing occurs.

The acid kicks in.  Dude, like, the walls are breathing, man, and I'm tasting the color plaid.  It's totally trippy... it's kinda like haggis, except without the haggis.  And, oh my gawd, if you only knew what I was seeing right now, you'd be like using my eyes, which is cool with me and stuff.  That Jim Morrison guy really knew what he was talkin' about, all that "I am the Lizard King" stuff... what if he was?  What if every night, the lizards came out to pay homage to him, bring him lizardy tribute?  Or was that like a metaphor?  Since the flashforwards began, it's hard for me to tell.  Oh, and Unit-01 is alive despite having been given a frontal lobotomy.  Which is cool, man, but all the violence is harshing my mellow.

There's still no signs of life from Shinji, which is probably normal, but everybody is saying that Unit-01 has gone "berserk," which I guess isn't.  Which got me to thinking, which is never a good thing: how do they know?  I mean, despite having apparently created the darn thing, NERV can't have a whole lot of experience with the Evas, right?  So how do they know it's gone "berserk"?  Maybe this is Unit-01's way of trying to make friends with The Angel!

I refuse to comment.  I ain't sayin' nuthin'.  Not a gol'durned word.  Moving on...

See?  Friends!  Why, many's been the time I've greeted my old pal Vaucaunson's Duck with a front kick to the glowing red sphere imbedded in his chest.  Then we both laugh like buddies do, while he explodes in a fine red mist that covers half of Duckford.  Ah, good times, good times.  Just like all those times before, the kicking and the stabbing and the beating and the mauling and the glavin goes on for a while until The Angel has had enough.

D'awwwwww... da Angwel is giving Unit-01 huggles!  Isn't that sweet?  Hugglehugglehuggle... until it explodes.  Boom.  Awww owwta huggles!

Mind you, it explodes in the shape of a giant cross.  While it's useful that it provides its own headstone, just how exactly does one manage to control an earth-shattering blast so that you get a cross?  I'm not even gonna mention the rainbow, that's just too damn weird for words.  But Unit-01 was right at the epicenter of the cross-shaped-detonation ("In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, kaboom."), it can't have survived that, could it?

Well of course it could, you nimrod.  Did you know that Nimrod was a figure from the Bible, the great-grandson of Noah, and a mighty hunter?  In fact, it really wasn't until 1932 when Bugs Bunny called Elmer Fudd "a nimrod" that the name/word became a perjorative.  True story!  Anyway, through fire and flames and a rain of Angel blood comes Unit-01, leaving a trail of tropes in its wake.  Y'know, while walking through fire looks cool and everything, it's also a good way to set yourself aflame.  I don't know about y'all, but after having been on fire twice in my life, I've learned to avoid it in the future.  That means I don't do things that would result in me being on fire... like, for example, walking through fire.  I suppose if my choices were between walking through fire and just standing in fire, I'd walk, but I wouldn't be thrilled with the concept.

Yo, 'zup?  Nothin', just chillin' dawg.  This shot just sort of appears out of nowhere, not particularly apropos of anything, so I thought I'd better make sure to call attention to it.  Please consider your attention duly called.  We good?  Solid.  Moving on...

Some unknown amount of time in the future, Shinji wakes up from having his head bashed in by The Angel.  He's in an unfamiliar hospital bedroom, one with plenty of natural light... probably too much, if you ask me.  One wall is floor-to-ceiling windows, gotta be the medical equivalent of recovering in a hothouse.  Or in a noir film, considering the shadows involved.  I leave the concept of a noir hospital to the reader to imagine.  Meanwhile, in another part of the film...

Official logic squads have moved in on Evangelion 1.11 in an attempt to control the script.  It's not going well.  While they fight their losing battle with a confusing mishmash of concepts and dialogue...

Gendo Plushyferret is meeting with the monoliths for 2001: A Space Odyssey, a good film.  Or, it's some sort of communication system with members of a supersecret organization calling themselves "Seele," which makes me think of nothing more than a bunch of pinnipeds balancing balls on their noses.  They seem to be the driving force behind NERV, which makes my mental image more and more apropros, but to them, defeat of the Angels does not seem to be the priority.  No, they're talking about something called the "Human Instrumentality Project".

Yes, that.  In lieu of any actual information, I can only assume it involves turning people into clarinets, oboes and cellos.  The fiends.  I don't want to be a woodwind!  Meanwhile, back at the noir hospital, Shinji's been released and gathered up by Misato, who announces that she'll be letting Our Hero stay at her place.

It doesn't go over very well in some circles.  Something about "teenage boy" and "christmas cake" and we'll just ignore the rest of this conversation, mmmkay?  It's nice to be able to turn off subtitles sometimes.

For a first night sharing an apartment, it looks like things are going well... right up until the moment Our Hero goes to take a bath and meets the other roommate.  Ladies and gentlemen, the true star of our film...

Pen-pen, the hot springs penguin.  He takes no sh*t from anyone, and in a world gone insane, he is the lone source of reason.  In fact, there is a small but non-trivial sized subset of Eva fans that believe that Pen-pen is God. 

I can see that, sure.

And that brings us up to about 35 minutes into the film, and I'm going to stop this particular writeup here.  We've been introduced to all the major characters in 1.11, we've seen an Angel, and a fight scene.  And Shinji's toothpick, unfortunately.  In the next writeup, we'll see Shinji punched in the face, Teh Hot Blue-haired Rei, and two Angels!  And more zombies!  See ya then!

Posted by: Wonderduck at 10:43 PM | Comments (9) | Add Comment
Post contains 1873 words, total size 15 kb.

1 It sure is CONVEEENIENT that the angels always attack so close to the Launch Port, isn't it?

Posted by: Mauser at July 14, 2013 04:19 AM (cZPoz)

2 Because NERV only has one?  The entire city of Tokyo-3 is designed to fight Angels... I think they have multiple sallyports around the city.

Posted by: Wonderduck at July 14, 2013 07:31 AM (gmfFz)

3  Mauser, that's explained and it makes sense.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at July 14, 2013 08:20 AM (+rSRq)

4 You think that's my chest?

Posted by: Vaucanson's Duck at July 14, 2013 05:51 PM (OFJiW)

5 So if the angels were smart, they'd destroy the rest of the planet first....

(Always bugged me that they pronounce Evangelion with a hard g, when it's a soft g in Angel.)

Posted by: Mauser at July 14, 2013 07:44 PM (cZPoz)

6 Mauser, they kinda already did. Vauc... dude. No.

Posted by: Wonderduck at July 14, 2013 08:01 PM (gmfFz)

7

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at July 14, 2013 08:13 PM (+rSRq)

8 Steven,

Posted by: Wonderduck at July 14, 2013 09:21 PM (gmfFz)

9 When working on RahXephon, we were at one point confronted with the use of the word "sousha", meaning "the player of an instrument" (but with a different connotation than "musician", apparently). The word was going to turn up often and so we needed something short to pop in there, but having the main character called a "player" during all sorts of serious/ominous scenes tripped my Don't Make Them Laugh When It's Not Funny alarm.

After a few days of "hmmm", and with malice definitely aforethought, I suggested "instrumentalist". We went with it...

Posted by: AvatarADV at July 15, 2013 02:43 AM (GJQTS)

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