Rebuild of Evangelion, known in Japan as Evangelion: New Theatrical Edition is a Japanese animated film series. It is a remake of the original Neon Genesis Evangelion anime series which released in October 1995 to March 1996. Both the original series as well as the Rebuild of Evangelion was written by Hideaki Anno and directed by Mayasuki.
Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, Ikuto Yamashita and Shiro Sagisu who were responsible for the original character designs, mechanical designs and music respectively returned for the Rebuild film Series. Rebuild of Evangelion is a collection of four films which basically tells the story of Evangelion in a new perspective.
Rebuild of Evangelion Plot
At the start of the 21st Century a global cataclysm event that changed the structure of the entire planet occurred leading to the loss of millions of lives. This event came to be known as the Second Impact. Fifteen Years later, a young child by the name of Shinji Ikari arrives at the newly built city of Tokyo-3 where the headquarters of NERV, a paramilitary organization, is based. He is summoned under the orders of his father who coincidently happens to be the commander of NERV.
Immediately after arriving, he finds himself in an extra-terrestrial war between humans and alien beings known as Angels. The only way for combat against the Angels was a giant bio-machine called Evangelion which only children born after the second impact could pilot. Shinji is made to pilot the Evangelion Unit 01 immediately after arrival to fight against the Angel. Shinji Ikari from then on would face the Angels while fighting his own personal demons at the same time.
Rebuild of Evangelion Characters
- Shinji Ikari (Pilot of Evangelion Unit 01)
- Misato Katsuragi (Operations Director at NERV)
- Rei Ayanami (Pilot of Evangelion Unit 00)
- Asuka Langley Shikinami (Pilot of Evangelion Unit 02)
- Mari Illustrious Makinami ( Pilot of Evangelion Unit 05)
- Gendo Ikari ( Commander of NERV)
- Ritsuko Akagi (Head Scientist at NERV)
- Kozo Fuyutsuki (Deputy Commander of NERV)
- Ryoji Kaji (Chief Inspection Officer of NERV)
- Makoto Hyuuga ( Main Computer technician at NERV)
- Maya Ibuki ( Main Computer technician at NERV)
- Shigeru Aoba ( Main Computer technician at NERV)
- Toji Suzuhara (Classmate)
- Kensuke Aida (Classmate)
- Hikari Horaki (Classmate)
- Yui Ikari (Shinji’s Mother)
Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (NOT) Alone Summary
2015, fifteen years after the global cataclysm known as the “Second Impact” , young Shinji Ikari arrives at Tokyo-3 which is where the headquarters of NERV is at. He is summoned by his father Gendo Ikari who happens to be the commander of the paramilitary organization NERV.
Immediately after arriving, he finds himself in the middle of a warzone where the UN forces are seen fighting a huge creature. After being picked up by Misato Katsuragi, he is taken to NERV where he learns that the reason he was summoned to Tokyo-3 was to battle the alien creatures called as “Angels” with the help of a gigantic bio mechanic robot called Evangelion Unit 01.
Initially rejecting to fight, he still does so when he sees his father order a critically injured young girl to fight. Resigning himself with determination, he pilots the Evangelion against the Angel. The fight ends up with him almost getting killed and the Evangelion going berserk. The story of 1.0 You are (NOT) alone revolves around Shinji Ikari and his fellow pilot Rei Ayanami, the pilot of Unit 00, against the 4th,5th and 6th angel. At the same time, the shadowed plan of Gendo Ikari and SEELE proceeds with the Human Instrumentality Project.
Evangelion: 2.0 You can (NOT) Advance Summary
After the defeat of the 6th angel, Shinji Ikari goes on with his normal school life along with being an Evangelion Pilot. The Third Angel meanwhile escapes and tries to break out of NERV’s arctic Bethany Base but with the help of Mari Illustrious Makinami, the pilot of Evangelion provisional Unit 05, it was defeated.
Shortly after Shinji and his father went to visit the grave of his mother Yui, the 7th angel attacks but is seen to be swiftly defeated by the newly arrived Unit-02 and its pilot Asuka Langley Shikinami. Ryoji Kaji delivers to Gendo a suitcase containing the mysterious “Key of Nebuchadnezzar” and notes that the destruction of Unit-05 went as planned.
Gendo and Kozo Fuyutsuki then visit NERV’s lunar compound, Tabgha Base, to view the construction of Evangelion Mark.06, which is noted as being different from the other EVAs. During their visit the 8th angel attacks Tokyo-3 but is defeated by Shinji, Asuka and Rei.
Both Unit 00 and Unit 01 are damaged but SEELE only allows Unit 01 to be repaired. Rei meanwhile tries to mend the relationship between Shinji and Gendo through a dinner party. Due to this Asuka volunteers to take Rei’s place for the testing of the recently arrived Unit-03. It is during this test that the 9th angels posses the EVA and goes on a Rampage. Shinji pilots Unit-01 but refuses to fight the angel for fear of harming Asuka.
Gendo then orders the activation of the Dummy System, basically making it autonomous, and then forces it to destroy Unit 03 leading it to crush the cockpit with his teeth. As Shinji is inside Unit 01 during this, he is forced to witness it firsthand which ultimately leads him to leave NERV.
Asuka survives but is seriously injured. At the same time the 10th angel attacks which lead to a battle between Mari who hijacks Unit 02 and Rei with the damaged Unit 00. During the fight, Rei is consumed by the angel and that finally makes Shinji to fight with Unit 01.
Before he can defeat it, Unit 01 runs out of power and shuts down. Using Shinji’s rage, Unit 01 reactivates its berserk mode and tries to save Rei from inside the Angel’s core. This leads to the EVA transcending itself to grant Shinji’s wish causing it to sprout giant wings of light and ultimately causing the scenario of triggering the Third Impact and essentially the end of the world.
Evangelion: 3.0 You can (NOT) Redo Summary
Fourteen years have gone by since the second global cataclysm known as “Third Impact” caused by the awakening of the Evangelion Unit 01. In the earth’s orbit a container carrying Evangelion Unit 01 is retrieved by Asuka Langely Shikinami and Mari Illustrious Makinami, the pilots of the Evangelion. When the container was grabbed by Asuka with her Evangelion Unit, it is attacked by drones. At that moment Unit 01 awakens and destroys them after which it deactivates and descends back to Earth.
Shinji Ikari is retrieved from inside Unit 01 and then fitted with an exploder choker. He is then sent to Captain Misato Katsuragi, who now leads WILLE, an organization formed to destroy NERV. His reunion with the people he knows turns worse as he is accused by Misato, Asuka and everyone else as the cause of the Third Impact and the destruction of the world. Misato warns him that he will be immediately killed if he goes anywhere near an Evangelion.
During an attack on their flying battleship Wunder by NERV, Shinji escapes and is taken to his father where he is told to pilot Unit 13 with Kaworu. He discovers Gendo’s plan of forcing humanity’s evolution by triggering mass extinction thereby removing humanity’s individuality to reunite with his deceased wife Yui Ikari.
Shinji and Kaworu pilot Unit 13 in an attempt to undo Third Impact only to discover another sinister plot by his father which ultimately leads to the start of another global cataclysm, The Fourth Impact. Asuka blows up her unit and Mari ejects Shinji from Unit 13 to stop the Fourth Impact.
Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice upon a Time Summary
After preventing the near Fourth Impact, Asuka Langley Shikinami, Rei Ayanami and Shinji Ikari walk across the outskirts of Tokyo-3. They arrive at a settlement where they meet their old classmates Toji Suzuhara, Hikari Horaki and Kensuke Aida who are now adults. All of them are friendly with Shinji who after witnessing the death of Kaworu is in an unresponsive state. Due to this Asuka has to constantly force feed him.
Wunder arrives later to pick up Asuka and Shinji decides to go along with her after which he is immediately placed in isolation. At the same time, Gendo restarts Unit 13 which leads the Wunder to head to Antarctica. There they are immediately attacked by three NERV ships and a collection of EVAs. Asuka inside her Unit 02 finds out that her EVA refuses to attack Unit 13 forcing her to remove her eye patch which converts Unit 02 into an angel only for Unit 13 absorbs Unit 02 after overpowering it.
Meanwhile Misato and Ritsuko Akagi confront Gendo where he reveals the truth of the Human Instrumentality Project and enters Unit 13. Shinji, after convincing Misato to pilot Unit 01, faces Gendo in a clash to finally put an end to his plans. Meanwhile Misato sacrifices the Wunder to provide Shinji the power to rewrite the world. Shinji faces Gendo and provides him his closure, confronts Asuka by telling her of his feelings for her and reveals the cycle that everyone is trapped in to Kaworu. With a final farewell to Rei, Shinji performs a complete reset of the world, a “Neon Genesis Evangelion”.
Rebuild Of Evangelion Review
Neon Genesis Evangelion is a story which basically defined the Mecha genre of Anime. It was a revolutionizing anime which lead to the further expansion of Mecha Animes. Even after 15 years of its release, the story of Shinji Ikari is still something every anime enthusiast remembers as it touched the hearts of every fan. Thus when the Rebuild of the Evangelion films were finally viewed, the impact it created was much more profound.
Everyone who watched the original anime and their subsequent movies were familiar with the story and empathized with all the characters. The Rebuild series only expanded this already present hype to a new level.
The entire film series covered an entirely new dimension of the Evangelion plotline while keeping the characteristics of the beloved characters the same. With a few changes that included a few new characters like Mari Illustrious Makinami as well as changes to the original timeline, it only made this entire film series much more amazing.
The personalities of the original characters were the same and that is precisely why the film series is so good. The story of Shinji Ikari is one of a tragic hero who is constantly under the pressure of his own insecurities. Due to his lonely upbringing where his father left him at a young age, he is someone who craves attention and recognition from him.
He does not have any self worth and is submissive and meek which leads him to have no confidence to fight for himself. This makes him very easy to manipulate, something which Gendo uses to run him along as a puppet. The rebuild films portrayed this characteristic of Shinji perfectly.
A weak person who has a very high aptitude in being an Evangelion Pilot. While he may always run away whenever he feels pain, he still returns at the end to fight.
Another wonderful fact that makes the Rebuild film series so good is Asuka Langely Shikinami. Unlike her counterpart, Asuka Langley Soryuu from the original series, here she is the pride of the European Air force while also being a Captain.
Asuka is someone who will always hide what she is feeling in order to not be seen as week. She has a great deal of pride as an Evangelion Pilot and would mostly be seen playing her game console. Her interaction with Shinji is what makes Evangelion eye catching. The chemistry between Asuka and Shinji is shown realistically as two young people who just want to connect despite being in constant fear of doing so.
Both of them have faced extreme pain and have a ton of insecure feelings. Still they are drawn towards each other and develop feelings. The term “Hedgehog’s Dilemma” mentioned in the story for the relationship between Asuka and Shinji is something which is actually very real.
When two Hedgehogs get close to each other, it only causes pain. This terminology is compared with Asuka’s and Shinji’s development. This mind blowing concept makes the film series develop a strong character background as it displays a tragic yet romantic saga.
The best of the Rebuild of Evangelion Series is that it covered a vast storyline that the original anime lacked. It explored different concepts like multiple timelines, human psychology, manipulation and much more. The part where the story diverged to a point that is fourteen years in the future is what made it so majestic. It also dealt with situations before the end of the world as well as the struggle of humanity to survive in a world after the end.
Evangelion is always a story where a primary focus would be on the human mind. It speaks about the various aspects of human nature. From dealing with unimaginable emotional and psychological pain, it has genuine characters that can make any individual watching understand the point of “being human”.
This makes it easy to understand, relate and empathize with the characters like Shinji Ikari, Asuka Langley Shikinami, Rei Ayanami and Misato Katsuragi. Even the manipulative Gendo can be understood in a way as at the end he is just someone who loved his wife too much. All of this depth in every character along with the amazing storyline truly makes the Rebuild of Evangelion films a masterpiece.
Rebuild of Evangelion Critical Reception
The first film Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (NOT) Alone received a rating of 7.7/10 based on 21k reviews on IMDb. It received a rating of 67% on Rotten Tomatoes and 8/10 in MyAnimeList.
The second film Evangelion: 2.0 You can (NOT) Advance received a rating of 8.0/10 based on 18k reviews on IMDb. It received a rating of 78% on Rotten Tomatoes and 8.34/10 in MyAnimeList.
The third film Evangelion: 3.0 You can (NOT) Redo received a rating of 7/10 based on 12k reviews on IMDb. It received a rating of 62% on Rotten Tomatoes and 7.61/10 in MyAnimeList.
The final film Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice upon a Time received a rating of 8.2/10 based on 5k reviews on IMDb. It received a rating of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes and 8.7/10 in MyAnimeList. It also received a rating 8/10 in IGN.
The Movie Culture Synopsis
There are a lot Mecha animes out there but very few which are truly noteworthy. Evangelion can be said to be the progenitor of Mecha anime. The Rebuild of Evangelion series of films completely redefine the story of Evangelion but at the same time it keeps to the originality of the plot and characters without making too many changes.
The fact that it also deals with psychology as a genre is also a unique characteristic of this anime film series. The depth of all the characters, the amazing visual of the fights, the untold drama and the effects of being human is what makes this entire film series a note worthy watch.
If you want an anime series you just can’t get out of your heads, then watch the rebuild of Evangelion film series and you won’t be able to forget.