Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion

Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion ★★★★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

“See you soon.”

気持ち悪い

i feel like most of us here can generally agree that the ending to the original neon genesis evangelion series is perfect. it’s a mindfuck of an ending, but one that succeeds tremendously in lifting up the viewer and instilling a sense of hope into them. so when i was left breathless by that ending only to learn that there was an alternate ending, i was intrigued to say the least. i had thought that the ending i had been given was as superb of an ending as you could get, but what was i going to do, not watch this? so, at 11:00 o’clock at night, barely awake, i pressed play on end of evangelion with some excitement, hope, whatever you want to call it.

i almost vomited.

to say end of evangelion is a sickening film is a gross understatement. this is one of- no, the most disturbing work of art i’ve ever seen in my entire life. anno’s optimistic speculation towards humanity is fully decimated and taking its place from the very opening frame to the last is utter, inescapable hopelessness, something that even anno himself doesn’t seem to want to accept; the exaggerated music that swells during asuka’s awakening tests the viewer’s faith as nearly everything in the scene points to something far more bleak, eventually succumbing to the ugly, horrendous truth. i always wondered during my first viewing of the original series what would happen once the angels were all destroyed, and here the answer we’re given is facing off against the most dangerous threat possible: ourselves.

i am not the first and certainly won’t be the last to say this, but the ending is flawless. i’ve never made a definitive list of the best film endings (i tried once but gave up) but this would certainly be in the #1 spot. the third impact sequence, underlined by komm, süsser tod (a song whose title translates to come, sweet death), is paralyzing. before it started, my screen lingering on the static shot of shinji’s head sinking, i paused it, took a deep breath, turned my headset volume to the highest it could go, and pressed play. the sound design and mixing in the entire thing is unparalleled. one shot in particular that is essentially the entire world dying sent chills throughout my entire body. the live action sequence also uses the audio in a subtle way that i never noticed before where rei’s voice is perfectly centered while shinji’s moves around, giving the impression that she’s above everything and that he’s on our level. also, will never not exhale out of my nose at the man flipping the camera off (not laugh; i’m too busy being terrified and depressed to smile).

it’s beyond me how this was made by a group of humans and not a god. the glorious, seizure-inducing editing, the animation, and the concept alone are all flooring. reading about how anno made this - basically he received so many complaints and even death threats because of the original ending - is painful, but what it resulted in is a genuine masterpiece. a life changing film.

MASTERPIECE

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