Just marathoned all three movies of Rebuild of Evangelion.
I’ve seen the first two already, but wanted continuity.
First of all, if you’re new to me, you should know that my highest goal in life has always been the destruction of Evangelion. I want to destroy the visceral apocalypse that has confined me within its “reified eschatology” (here, echoes of the prophecies of the end of the world still linger in hollow ruins long after the prophecies have been fulfilled). I want to free myself from this grand narrative that sets the context of everything I do.
The first two Rebuild movies violated everything I held holy. At least my first viewing of the two movies made me feel that way. Ayanami felt like a third-rate moe copy of the Ayanami clones in other anime that followed Evangelion. The foreboding nothingness in the original series was replaced by a promise of love and hope so sincere in its saccharine simplicity that I am convinced that Anno’s marriage has changed him from one who just wants to end it all, to a fool trying to share in futility the experience of love that altered him forever. The latter is not an impossible feat given how Madoka Magica achieved it in the grandest fashion. It is as if the last two episodes of Eva TV (with the iconic moe Ayanami late for school with bread in mouth) were truly intended to be the real ending. And while those two episodes were exceedingly brilliant, as an “ending” they were far too weak and too petty to go against the momentum of what 24 episodes tore out to create a gaping vacuum. Only the “End of Evangelion” movie took the entire series to its natural conclusion: to more nothing.
The third Rebuild movie impressed me. It wasn’t dumbed down like the first two, and the characters were true to their original personalities (even Ayanami). It stood for all the invasive changes that made the Rebuild unrecognizable. The unfamiliar “ceilings” that invoked my autoimmune rejection became parts of a plot that completely severed itself from the original universe. I no longer associated the Rebuild with the original, but considered it as something else. Because it is in fact something entirely else.
In the dialogues between Kaworu and Shinji, Kaworu emphasized Anno’s intentions for the Rebuild especially when Kaworu said, “Instead of seeking change, you prefer a void, merciless abyss of a world” and “Destroying the world is only too easy. Rebuilding it is not so simple, however.” I disagree. My idea of destruction is to create something without a reference to what is being destroyed. To cease being defined by the thing, to end the propagation of its meaning. And that is a near impossible task, from social to artistic to political to scientific frameworks: Willful ignorance may not work for people are prone to reinvention, and deliberate avoidance emphasizes what is missing. Madoka Magica is the miracle that accomplished just that. I’m still looking forward to the final movie of the Rebuild and I am putting my faith in Anno’s grand promise that “everyone will find love in the end.”