December 29, 2013

The Evangelion Movies: 1.11 You Are (not) Alone, pt 5

I can do this.  I can finish this movie writeup by the end of the year.  I will.  It's been nearly four months since the last installment, and in all that time Shinji's face has been unpunched.  This can not be allowed to stand!  But then again, at the end of the last installment, he was being boiled alive inside Unit-01, so he may not be around much longer.  On the one hand, that means our last best chance for survival has just been killed, but on the other hand, it's Shinji.  The world might be a better place without his whiny arse.  Well, we won't know what's going on until we get into it, so let's just do this thing!

Okay, sure, he needed cardiac massage in the Entry Plug.  Okay, sure, everybody is running around frantically rattling off medical terms, none of which sound good at all.  Okay, sure, they put him in something that looks like a carbon fiber coffin and lock the lid.  Actually, I'm pretty sure they just did that because they wanted to.  I mean, wouldn't you???  Back up at the surface...

The latest Angel is apparently part duck.  If you don't understand the reference, count yourself very, very lucky.  If you do understand the reference... *brofist*.  Except, ew, what's wrong with you?  Anyway, it's digging its way down to NERV HQ, and ain't nothin' they've got 'bout to stop it, knowwhatI'msayin'?  They've got about 10 hours before it reaches HQ, Unit-01 needs serious repairs, Unit-00 (with Teh Rei) needs to be "recalibrated" before it can be activated.  Looks pretty grim, until Misato mentions something about the Japanese Self-Defense Force's "secret weapon" and activates Operation Yashima.

Within ONE HOUR, heavy equipment from around the country has been gathered around Tokyo-III and is beginning to do... heavy equipment-type things.  Huge cranes.  Giant earth-movers.  Triangular helicopters carrying stuff.  Men putting things on top of other things.  Industry!  Science and technology!  Something is mentioned about a "Positronic Cannon", which sounds cool.  After a couple more hours, things are coming together: Unit-01 is being fitted with a "sniping system," power cables are being run to Tokyo-III from all across Japan, and everything is a "go" at Midnight.  All that's needed is a pilot for Unit-01, but he's dead, right?


He's alive, and Teh Rei is so excited to see him awake that she numbly rattles off mission specs, times, and deadlines, then turns to leave... only to hear Shinji say he's not going to do it.  He begins to whine that he's too scared, it's too dangerous, he doesn't want to be terrified again, and on and on and on and on.  Finally, Teh Rei has had enough.  She'll pilot Unit-01, and Shinji can stay and rest.

"Goodbye."  The coffeepot looks on mournfully.  It knows it'll be dead in a few hours.  Still, it thinks, it's been a good life, if somewhat repetitive.  Pour coffee, get refilled, pour coffee, get refilled, pour more coffee.  Some might find it boring, surely, but to the coffeepot, it's fulfilling.  It's tragic, that it's life will be cut short, for there was still so much coffee to be poured.  If fate decrees that it will pour no more coffee, though, such is the way of life.  Maybe, it thinks, it'll be reincarnated as a high-end espresso maker.  That would be good, better than it could hope in fact, but whatever will be will be.

Trains are bringing in massive quantities of huge transformers.  I'm not sure, but those engines sure look like DD51s of JNR.  Diesel-hydraulic with two 1100hp V12 engines, they were built up until 1978; there's still something around 140 of them still in use, mostly with JRFreight.  Watching them is much more interesting than hearing Shinji whine more.  Speaking of which...

When Misato comes to find out why he hasn't reported to the mission yet, she finds him moping on a balcony.  She simply says "Do your job."  He responds with the small, tiny spine he has there inside all the quivering whinyness: "You're all safe in your underground bunker, but I'm up top being shot at.  You don't understand what it's like.  You're all hypocrites!" 

Misato doesn't kill him right away.  Instead, she takes his hand and takes him down into the deepest, darkest recesses of  NERV HQ, explaining that 15 years ago, the Second Impact nearly annihilated humanity.  If an Angel penetrates all the defenses available to NERV, she says, it'll come here, to this room, and the Third Impact will occur... and all of humanity will end.  And what's in that room?

Lilith, the Second Angel.  The bringer of life, and if another Angel reaches it, the bringer of death.  Everybody's death.  And everybody is depending on Shinji to prevent that.  "Everybody" has terrible taste in defenders, y'know that?  We're doomed, completely doomed.  Back at the hospital, the coffee pot has made its peace with existence, wishing only to see the teapot that he loves from afar one last time.  Not even to finally tell the teapot how he feels, no... just to see her again.  A lovely white porcelain with a blue underglaze, elegant and incredibly refined.  Instead, he'll meet his end alone in a sterile hospital room, ignored.  Well, he thinks, that's the way of fate, isn't it?

Accepting his role in this farce grudgingly, Shinji joins Teh Rei, Misato and Chief Scientist Ritsuko (aka Ms Not Appearing In This Film) at the weapon site to hear the plan.  It's relatively simple: Unit-01 will handle the Positronic Cannon, since it's still damaged and can't really run away.  Unit-00, functional but not calibrated well enough to shoot, will be Unit-01's defense.  All the electrical power of Japan is being run to this one point, so there's no retreating... and it's time to suit up.

Shinji mutters that they might really die this time.  Teh Rei, showing infinitely more testicular fortitude than Shinji has shown in his entire life combined, simply says "You won't die.  I'll protect you," and walks away.  The whining can only be heard by dogs now.

Putting a screenshot in purely for fanservice purposes?  Me?  Would I do that?  C'mon, do you really think I'd do such a thing?  As she steps into her Entry Plug, she says it again: "Goodbye."  Seems pretty clear she doesn't think she's coming back.

Shinji, manning Unit-01, takes his position as Misato and the rest of NERV HQ begins to spout technobabble at a rate that'd make Star Trek: TNG envious.  Power levels of one terawatt and climbing, the first phase of the Operation commences: conventional weapons open up on the Angel, trying to draw a response and thus expose its core so Shinji can take a shot.  Hopefully, those are automated weapons, otherwise it's shaping up to be awfully hard on the gun crews.  Finally, the command is given and Shinji, about to hyperventilate with the stress of protecting humanity on his shoulders, takes the shot.

Boom headshot!  the Angel screams and falls over, "blood" painting the landscape like Gainax had a tankertruck of red.  There is much rejoicing and cheering, ding dong the witch is dead, all that sort of thing.  Except there's one thing everybody is forgetting... this is Evangelion.

Yup, it's still alive.  It's alive, and it.  Is.  PISSED.  Its counterattack vaporizes most of the hill it was firing at... the hill NERV was stationed on.  They're disrupted, but still working... the power supply is still functional, the Cannon is recharging, and all they need is for Unit-01 to get back into position.

With stirring martial music swelling in the background, Unit-01 heroically crawls to the Cannon and heroically lifts it into firing position heroically.  All of Japan rides with Shinji as he prepares to fire again, though the targeting system has gone offline.  Shinji must now use The Force to target the Death Star Angel, just as the enemy drillbit punches through the last armor plate above NERV HQ.  And then, just as victory seems at hand... the Angel fires at Shinji again.  Heroically.

Splat.  Bug on a windshield.  Ant, boot.  Shinji is turned into tomato paste, NERV braintrust is turned into a fine mist, and the coffee pot knows that the time is near.  But no!

Teh Rei has interposed Unit-00 in the path of the death beam, grasping a shield made of tinfoil and string cheese.  It's not going to last long, however, so Shinji has to take the shot as soon as possible and make it count.  Just as Teh Rei's shield fails, he shoots.

This time, the shot kills the Angel.  "Blood" flies, pours into the streets of Tokyo-III, and everybody cheers again.  Except Shinji.  He sees Unit-00 fall in a smoking heap, looking more like a charcoal briquette than a giant biorobot, and immediately staggers Unit-01 over to it, then manually extracts the Entry Plug.  By stabbing it with Unit-01's giant knife.

Shinji gets out and, like his father before him, pries the entry hatch off with his bare hands.  Inside, Teh Rei is unhurt, but confused as to how she should react to Shinji's assertions that she shouldn't say "goodbye" like that, it's too sad.  Shinji suggests she should smile.

So she does, and Shinji sees what his father sees in her, if you know what I mean and I think you do.  Bow-chika-bow-wowwwww!  Meanwhile, up on the surface of the Moon...

...a boy climbs out of a box and says he can't wait to meet Shinji Ikari, if you know what I mean, and I think you do.  On the surface of the Moon.  The Moon.  Uh-huh.  Fade to black, roll credits.

It's been a long, long time.  I'll admit, I intended to do all three of the new films, but wow, I can't figure out how I found the time to finish this one!  I stand by my assessment that the "rebuild" movies are better than the original TV series, and are well worth watching.  And they promise us more fanservice in the next movie, too!

Next Time: more zombies!

Posted by: Wonderduck at 09:42 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
Post contains 1688 words, total size 13 kb.

1 Rei... Smiling... The Horror!

Posted by: Mauser at December 30, 2013 12:24 AM (TJ7ih)

2 Oh, the coffee-pot-anity!

Posted by: GreyDuck at December 30, 2013 08:25 AM (CUkqs)

3 It's been so long since I watched the TV series that I can't compare point to point, but it's always seemed to me that the rebuild movies were more coherent, with a tighter plot and some explanation for the behavior of the characters.  And oh, the visual effects and music!  I've rewatched that climax scene of 1.1 I don't know how many times, with the volume cranked to 11 from the first klaxon to the end of the credits.

Posted by: David at December 30, 2013 11:13 AM (vtKcn)

4 BTW, I may have found a girlfriend for Gendo Plushyferret.

Posted by: Mauser at December 31, 2013 01:41 AM (TJ7ih)

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