November 20, 2014

The Evangelion Movies: 2.22 You Can (not) Advance, pt 2

What the hell, why not?  Back in January when my life was ridiculously busy, I decided that I was going to deep-six the writeups I was working on for the new Evangelion movies.  I wasn't really having much fun with them, and dear god its not like I had any spare time, y'know?  Now though?  Nothing but time, and while we wait for the Kantai Collection anime to debut, I need to do something anime-related, right?  Right!  Sure!  Let's go with that!  And since I left this sitting on the table, why NOT pick it back up.  I mean, besides the fact that it's been sitting out since January, kinda turned green around the edges and may have been trying to acquire sentience in an attempt to escape, that is.  It does look like it grew a flipper.  Well, let's poke it and see what squirts out, shall we?  C'mon, it'll be fun!

See?  Fun!  Who wouldn't want to go to a... whatever this sign is talking about here!  I'm sure it'll be great!  It'll be... um... like a waterpark!  That's what "marine" means, right?  Either that or there'll be an amphibious invasion, one of the two.  That'd be even better, because here's the defenders:

So, we've got Teh Rei, Pen2, Shinji's friends Evageek and Facepuncher, and of course Asuka.  Everybody seems to be all excited about the trip to Funderwater World and all, except for Asuka.  And Teh Rei, who doesn't do "excited."  Or any other emotion usually.  It's her schtick, she'll grow out of it.  She's at that age, y'know?  At least, she thinks she is.  Nobody's quite sure.  We'll get to that, I think.  Eventually.  There's so many versions of Evangelion floating around out there, it's hard to remember what's going on.

Greatest waterpark ever!  Yeah, it looks like a repurposed sewage treatment plant, but that's because... um... it is?  See, where you're looking at is an attempt to reclaim the red-stained oceans, caused by the Second Impact, and also act like an aquatic ark if you will.  Because we need to keep tuna alive.  By running them through a sewage treatment plant.  Speaking of which, it's not like the outside world is allowed in willy-nilly.  Oh no.

It's sterilization time!  I'm all for it, particularly when it comes to Shinji.  Let's be honest, though, it's not like any of these young adults is likely to live long enough to have children.  And, really, I believe that's a blessing for the world.  Oh, I'm sure that Asuka and her handpuppet would make a truly outstanding mother, right?  Shinji would be the first parent to outwhine his newborn.  And let's face it, there aren't enough definitions in the DSM-V to describe how screwed up Teh Rei's child would be.  What's that?  Wrong type of "sterilization"?  Oh.  Well, they can't contaminate the waterpark now, at least.

"Admiral... there be whales here!"  This particular one is named Skippy.  That's not what the operators of Funderwater World call him, but its name is Skippy.  In one of those interesting pieces of trivia you learn as you make your way through the world, it turns out every whale is named Skippy.  It doesn't mean what we think it means.

Lunchtime!  Shinji can cook, Asuka keeps trying to pick a fight with... well, just about anybody, but Teh Rei in particular.  And Teh Rei isn't eating... she doesn't eat meat, she says, but I think it's more like she doesn't eat food.  Meanwhile, out in spaaaaaaace...

...we have a moment that I'm sure is supposed to be Hideaki Anno's idea of "deep", when Gendo Plushyferret points out that chaos is formed "from the heart," but that everything in the world, including the Second Impact (seen here) derives from harmony and order.  That spaceship seems very Kerbal-ish, doesn't it?  Suddenly, I want to see Evangelion with a cast made up entirely of Kerbals.  What would a Eva unit look like in that universe?  I mean, besides awesome.  Back at Funderwater World... turns out that this was all a lesson.  Kaji brought them here to show them what the world used to be like, and could be again.  But it all comes down to how well Shinji pilots his Eva.  Welp, that's it, pack up and go home, we're all doomed.  Skippy down there has already made his travel arrangements, the rest of us should do as well.  Meanwhile, back in the real world...

...panic!  It's an Angel, it's coming in from the depths of spaaaaaaace, and it's aimed right at NERV HQ.  Space-launched N2 mines (remember kids, they aren't nukes!) have no effect on the thing's AT field, which is strong enough to bend light!  Actually, that's kinda cool.  Helluva party trick, at least.  Anyway, it's going to crash right on top of NERV, go all 'splody and completely destroy an area 420km in diameter (estimated).  I think at this point the fansubbers kinda messed up their figures; they say that this will utterly wreck Tokyo-III.  The main Japanese island of Honshu measures roughly 230km at its widest spot.  I mean, they're not wrong, it would indeed turn Tokyo-III into a large pile of rubble, but at the same time that would kinda be the least of their problems, y'know?  Evangelion is a lot of things, but relatively careless about measurements like that usually isn't one of them.  Anyway, Misato, who's in charge whilst Gendo Plushyferret is up in spaaaaaaace, orders immediate evacuation of everybody in Tokyo-III.

Lake Shore Drive on Friday afternoon.  If you've experienced it, you're nodding your head grimly.  If you haven't, you think I'm exaggerating... and I am, but only because the CTA and Metra doesn't quadruple-track alongside the lake.  That'd just be stupid, particularly during the winter.  It's called "Lake Shore Drive" for a reason, after all.  Yet it's still one of the busiest stretches of asphalt in Chicago, a city known for such things.  You'd expect a lot more shootings due to road rage than they get, but it turns out that there are rules to driving in Chicago.  Chicagoans learn them quickly, it's the people "from the outside" that cause the problems.  The one rule that Ph.Duck taught me is "don't hesitate."  If you're going to change lanes, do it.  Don't just mosey over, get from one lane to the next snappily.  That doesn't mean barge into a space that isn't big enough, it just means make up your mind and drive, dammit.  It works.  Here in Duckford, people will take a half-mile to shift lanes and god help us when the snow flies.  Okay, I've just gone on a rant about driving in a city I hate driving in.  Moving on...

...either Funderwater World is really nearby NERV, or there's some time wonkyness going on.  Whichever, the three Eva pilots are back, suited up and ready to be told the plan.  The plan is simple: catch the Angel.  That's it.  Asuka, who's really turned quite unlikeable in this version of Evangelion, makes it clear that it's a stupid plan and insists that she can handle it herself.  Well, no, you can't.  Remember that whole "distort light" trick the Angel is doing?  Well, it's also distorting other forms of data as well, to the degree that NERV doesn't know exactly where the Angel is coming down and the target area is larger than any one Eva can cover.  The unit that can get underneath it first will delay it by way of its own AT Field until the other two units can get over and kill the Angel.  To be fair to lil' miss Abrasive up there, when asked what the plan's chance of success is, the reply is hardly encouraging: "Only god knows."  A short time later...

...and people said Dr Manhattan's frontal view was disturbing.  At least it wasn't... um... y'know what, I'm just going to let this one go.  Now that I've decided to go that way, nothing I can possibly do is going to make it better.  I could have gone Oscar Pistorius, I cold have made a steroids joke, I could even mention that technically you could legally enter an Eva unit in the Olympics, but no.  I went with the... um... pointed stick joke.  Wonderduck's Pond: setting new standards in entertainment!  As the Angel descends, the Evas are let free to get into position on their own.

Olympics?  100m hurdles, check.  It's just that in this case, the hurdles themselves are 100m, not the length of the race.  Oh ho ho ho ho, I just slay me.  All three of the Evas are scurrying around like... um... things that scurry around under a monsterous supernatural being that's trying to bring an end to all life on Earth that's falling from outer space.  So a rather specific type of scurrying.  But then, much to the consternation of everybody involved...

... the Angel changes form to that of a giant superball.  This is the way the world ends, this is the way the world ends, this is the way the world ends, not with a bang, but with a boing-g-g-g-ggggg.  As it turns out, the giant bouncyball of doom has also changed course... only one Eva has a chance to get there in time.

"The name's Jimmy Johnson, ma'am.  I race on high-banked ovals for a livin'."  Seriously, NERV?  You just happened to put these giant adjustable plates in Tokyo-III right there on the off-chance that they might come in handy for an Eva unit someday?  Really?  C'mon.  This begins to strain the credulity of this blogger, and remember, I was okay with a card dealer with the magical ability to make people win, and with a group of random teenagers becoming an unstoppable zombie-killing unit to equal any squad of marines.  But this is pushing it.

I slouch corrected; Eva units pulling vapor before breaking the sound barrier is much more believable.  The property damage these things ladle out even before getting into combat is ridiculous on their own, let alone what happens when the Angel gets within range.  Speaking of which... a butterfly emerging from its chrysalis, the lovely Angel (Hi, Robert!) spreads its wings as it plummets towards Shinji and Unit-01.  Awwwww, it wanna cuddle wit whinyboy!  The other two... Eva?  Evaie?  Evas? towards the landing point while...

...I'm sorry, in motion this scene where Shinji kicks his AT-Field into high gear looks like nothing else than Unit-01 releasing a tremendous, eye-blistering, sky-coloring fart.  The way buildings fall over in an expanding circle from him does nothing to lessen the effect.  So from "pointy sticks" to fart jokes, all in one writeup.  What lengths you drive me to, Evangelion, what lengths.

Just in time, Unit-01 gets underneath the Angel and gets its hands in the air.  It's bad, but it seems doable assuming you're not susceptible to epileptic seizures as the thing starts colorscrolling like a broken lighting instrument at a Pink Floyd concert.  Just as everybody begins to think that it'll be a cakewalk...

...there is absolutely NO symbolism in Shinji being pierced in the hands by two long pointed things.  None whatsoever.  I don't even know why you're thinking that.  Shinji goes back to being a whiny punk as he screams and screams and screams about his hands and his arms and dear merciful heavens will someone please just shut him up when...

...Asuka comes leaping into the fray.  See, Shinji held the Angel's attention focused on him, then held it in place (after he got skewered like the world's least tasty shishkebob) so the other Evas could close in.  It almost works, too!  See, there's a Core that they have to pierce in order to kill the Angel... you can actually see it up there, a sorta red beach-ball thingy?  Anyway, just as Asuka goes to stab it, the Core starts bouncing around like a pellet in a pachinko machine.  As she tries to poke at it some more...

...Shinji is slowly getting crushed by the weight of the Angel which drives the non-symbolic pointy things farther and farther through the hands of Unit-01, while breaking its arms in the process.  Fun for the entire family!  Oh, and by the way, everybody's internal power supply is wearing out; they're down to 30 seconds and counting! 

Tah-dah!  I bet you forgot about Rei, didn't you?  Unit-00 pops up, grabs the Core, and while her hands burn off implores Asuka to hurry up and pop the cork on this thing.  I mean, not in so many words, because that would require Teh Rei to actually have a sense of humor and/or irony, and she has neither.  Or, really, anything resembling emotions of any sort.  She does do dull apathy well, however.  Gotta give her credit where credit is due.  Yup, she's the best character for dull apathy in this here movie.

Even someone like Asuka could stick the Core when it's being held in place, and this she does.  Twice.  Then gives it a nice muai thai-style knee for good measure.  And then everybody's power runs out, the Angel slaughters them all then consumes Funderwater World for lunch ("Mmmm... sushi!").

No, even better!  It explodes in a geyser of blood (or blood-like substance, we're never quite clear on this topic)... you can see a nice bit of Tokyo-III down there in the lower left-hand corner, for scale.  Yes, that means very much what you think it means.

Blood tsunami!!!  Two words I didn't think I'd be typing today, but there you go: blood tsunami!  A lake of the stuff pours through the city, destroying everything in its path.  No, there's not really any point to any of it, but it amuses me to throw it in here.  Meanwhile, the three Evas are unharmed by the gusher, but powered down.  Shinji and Teh Rei are in more than a little bit of pain, but Asuka?

She's having a tiny little mental breakdown.  She failed to succeed alone, y'see, and she's never ever needed help with anything before... particularly not Teh Rei and Whinyboy.  Crushing, I'm sure.  While she sits and whimpers quietly, much like yours truly, we draw a veil upon this installation of Eva 2.22.

Tune in next time for more of the same, just with more parachutists!  Happy travels!

Next episode: more zombies!

Posted by: Wonderduck at 03:00 AM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
Post contains 2398 words, total size 18 kb.

1 Hmm, I should go watch some of my Dirty Pair DVDs, now that you reminded me...

Posted by: GreyDuck at November 20, 2014 08:31 AM (AQ0bN)

2 I wonder how much thought Anno or anyone else put into that Tree of Life.  Of course, whatever meaning the viewer derives is based on which interpretation of the Tree you reference.

Also:  Gainax just completely removed subtlety from the Asuka character, didn't they?  She might as well be screaming all of her issues to random passers-by.  Why did Gainax do that?

Posted by: Ben at November 20, 2014 02:48 PM (DRaH+)

3 Ben, probably because they improved both Teh Rei and Shinji's characters.  Can't have THREE good characters now, can we?

Posted by: Wonderduck at November 20, 2014 06:34 PM (jGQR+)

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