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Evangelion

The End of Evangelion

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Title I Air/Magokoro o, Kimi ni
Air/Sincerely Yours
(新世紀エヴァンゲリオン劇場版 Air/まごころを、君に)
Title II The End of Evangelion
EoE
Film
Directed by Episode 25': Kazuya Tsurumaki
Episode 26': Hideaki Anno
Produced by Mitsuhisa Ishikawa
Written by Hideaki Anno
Cast Megumi Ogata
Megumi Hayashibara
Yuko Miyamura
Kotono Mitsuishi
Running Time 87 mins.
Preceded by
Death and Rebirth
Followed by
Revival of Evangelion

The End of Evangelion is the second film in the Neon Genesis Evangelion franchise, and the last anime release for the series until the Rebuild of Evangelion tetralogy. The film is an alternate ending to the TV series, taking place after episode 24.

The film is divided into two approximately 45-minute episodes, each given a secondary English title by Gainax, just as with the original series episodes: Episode 25': Air and Episode 26': Sincerely Yours. They are regarded by the producers as an alternate ending to the the television series, or a more detailed, "real world" account of the series' original ending in episodes 25 and 26, which takes place almost completely in the minds of the main characters (the style being largely shaped by time and budget restraints).[1] Gainax originally proposed to title it Evangelion: Rebirth 2.[2]

Plot SummaryEdit

Episode 25': "Love is Destructive"Edit

See also: Episode 25'

NERV headquarters is invaded by the JSSDF, as SEELE makes its final move. Asuka awakens from her despair and battles the Mass Production Eva Series to the death.

Episode 26': "ONE MORE FINAL: I need you."Edit

See also: Episode 26'

Shinji comes face to face with Lilith, who grants him the decisive voice in the world's destiny. As his demons continue to torment him, a choice is made that shakes the world.

ProductionEdit

Production on a film ending for the series began in 1997, with Gainax first releasing Death and Rebirth. The first half, Death, was a highly condensed character-based recap and re-edit of the TV series. The second half, Rebirth, was originally intended to be the full ending, but could not be finished (due to budget and time constraints). The project was completed later in the year and released as The End of Evangelion.

Episode 25': Air, uses the original script intended for episode 25 of the original series and forms roughly 2/3 of the previous film, Rebirth. The End of Evangelion later became the second half of Revival of Evangelion, a concatenation of Death(true)² and The End of Evangelion.

Among the images used in the film are of some of the hate-mail and death-threats (including graffiti on Gainax's headquarters) as well as letters of praise sent to Anno.[3][4]

The ambiguous and unclear meaning of the TV series' ending left many viewers and critics confused and unsatisfied. The final two episodes were possibly the most controversial segments of an already controversial series and were received as flawed and incomplete by many.[5] However, Anno and assistant director Kazuya Tsurumaki defended the artistic integrity of the finale.[6][7]

Final LineEdit

Asuka's closing line, "気持ち悪い。" ("Kimochi warui."), can mean "How disgusting," but it can also be ambiguously translated as "I feel unwell/terrible/sick," "What a disgusting feeling," or "Feels bad." According to an episode of the Japanese anime show Anime Yawa aired March 31, 2005 on NHK's satellite TV, the final line was initially written as "I'd never want to be killed by you of all men, absolutely not!" or "I'll never let you kill me." ("Anta nankani korosareru nowa mappira yo!") but Anno was dissatisfied with all of Yuko Miyamura's renditions of this line.[8] Eventually Anno asked her what she would say if a stranger had broken into her room at night and masturbated over her, to which she replied, "Disgusting."[9]

Live Action SequenceEdit

Unused Live-Action EoE Segment

A scene from the cut live action sequence

The live action scene near the end of the film was originally intended to be a much longer sequence with Megumi Hayashibara, Yuko Miyamura, and Kotono Mitsuishi portraying their characters from the series, ten years after the events of Evangelion. In this continuity, Shinji does not exist and Asuka has a sexual relationship with Toji Suzuhara. The sequence ends with Shinji's voice saying, "This isn't it, I am not here," proving it is a false reality much like the one he sees in Episode:26. The scene was left out for unknown reasons, but the footage is used in the film's theatrical trailer.

MusicEdit

Main article: The End of Evangelion (soundtrack)

The music of The End of Evangelion was composed by Shiro Sagisu, with vocal performances by Loren & Mash and Arianne. The theme songs Komm, süsser Tod, THANATOS -If I Can't Be Yours-, and the classical piece Air were released as a single on August 1, 1997.[10] The film's soundtrack was released later, on September 26.[11]

ReleaseEdit

Evangelion Special Night

Theater display for The End of Evangelion

The End of Evangelion was released in Japanese theaters on July 19, 1997. Between its release and October 1997, the film grossed 1.45 billion yen.[12] It was later released to home video on Laserdisc, VHS, and DVD. The film was edited into an episodic format for the VHS/Laserdisc releases of Genesis 0:13, 0:14, and DVD volume 7 but the theatrical version was released alongside it in each format. For the Renewal DVD series, the theatrical version was remastered with DTS audio and released with Death(true)² of Death and Rebirth.[13]

Theatrical ProgramEdit

Main article: Red Cross Book

Sold at theatrical showings was a program containing cast and staff interviews, as well as a glossary of terms from the series. The name originates from the red cross logo on the cover.[14]

ReceptionEdit

The film won both the Animage Anime Grand Prix prize for 1997 and the Japan Academy Prize for "Biggest Public Sensation of the Year";[15] EX.org ranked the film in 1999 as the fifth best 'All-Time Show' (with the TV series at #2).[16] Since its release, The End of Evangelion has received very polarized reactions from anime fans and critics, and currently has an 8.0/10 on the film database website imDB.[17]

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. The End of Evangelion: Production from EvaOtaku.com.
  2. http://www.ex.org/2.4/11-news.html
  3. "Death Threats Transcribed" - (Detailed transcription of the letters appearing in The End of Evangelion)
  4. "Anno Hideaki allegedly created the two episodes contained here in response to death threats from fans dissatisfied with the original conclusion to his anime sci-fi saga." Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion, M.L., Sight and Sound, vol 13, issue 4, April 2003; pg 59
  5. "… This became a major issue as the final episode of the TV series could be considered incomplete. The voice of the fans grew stronger as they demanded a proper ending to the drama, explanations of the mysteries, or even a new story. Thus, in order to meet these demands, it was decided to remake episodes 25 and 26." From the Commentary of the Red Cross Book[1]
  6. "Lately due to the ending of episodes #25 and #26, some people started watching Evangelion. They were not anime fans. In fact many of them are females and they tell me that they really enjoyed episode #25, objectively. Most anime fans are furious. I understand their anger. I can't help laughing when hard-core anime fans say that we did a very lousy job, with intentional negligence. No we didn't. No staff members did a lousy job. In fact, every member at Gainax gave more energy than anybody can imagine. I feel sad that those fans couldn't see our efforts. Personally I think the original TV ending we showed ended up beautifully." Hideaki Anno, Protoculture Addicts 43
  7. "My opinion was, 'Why don't we show them the entire process including our breakdown." You know — make it a work that shows everything including our inability to create a satisfactory product. I figured that, "In 10 years or so, if we look back on something that we made while we were drunk out of our minds, we wouldn't feel bad even if the quality wasn't so good.'
    Q: Really?" "KT – So, no matter what the final form, I feel it was great just being able to make it to the end of the TV series. " Tsurumaki interview, RCB
  8. "Annno [sic] didn't live with my line no matter how many times I tried. Ogata and I were at a loss how we should play what Anno wanted to express; she even tried to ride on me and choke me to meet his demand. He must have been pursuing reality." "Asuka's final line in the Evangelion movie was Miyamura's idea"
  9. "Concerning the final line we adopted, I'm not sure whether I should say about it in fact. At last Anno asked me 'Miyamura, just imagine you are sleeping in your bed and a stranger sneaks into your room. He can rape you anytime as you are asleep but he doesn't. Instead, he masturbates looking at you, when you wake up and know what he did to you. What do you think you would say?' I had been thinking he was a strange man, but at that moment I felt disgusting. So I told him that I thought 'Disgusting.' And then he sighed and said, 'I thought as much.'" Yūko Miyamura appearance on Anime Yawa, March 28 [2]
  10. http://vgmdb.net/album/35698
  11. http://vgmdb.net/album/19795
  12. December 1997 NewType, p.90
  13. http://svenge.pcriot.com/
  14. http://evaotaku.com/html/programbooks.html
  15. Carl Horn, "My Empire of Dirt" (2002), for Viz Communications
  16. http://www.ex.org/news/1999_05.html
  17. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0169858/?ref_=fn_al_tt_3

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