As I’ve said in the unboxing video made to look at the packaging of this latest release that wraps up the Rebuild of Evangelion series, the keepsake edition created by GKIDS and distributed by Shout! Studio is far more attractive looking than Funimation’s. And as for why love this over the other?
That’s up to fans to figure out since the number of years it took to make this series was big, and during that time, negotiating the rights for North American distribution most likely had some troubling bureaucracy (like in the anime) as the final release is on the hands of another company to handle. While I don’t know the full story, I am hopeful a set will be offered, so I can see the cinematic presentation in full.
In this series, we have:
Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone — In this intro, we meet the mysterious Kaworu and Lilith in a film edit of what is essentially the anime series, episodes one to seven.
Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance — With this film, the series is sped through fast (8-23), and Mari Makinami is a new character. Asuka is reimagined and sports an eye patch.
Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo — The rather ironic title says it all, and instead of concluding the way the series did, it jumps ahead to deal with a “new” situation. NERV has a rival, and WILLE is not as what they seem. There’s more going on here, and it’s almost okay to start from here. However, a lot of character development points will get missed.
Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time – This chapter neatly wraps everything up, and goes to places that I didn’t expect, as the universe implodes, and…. (no spoilers are offered here, as this film is considered reviewed to death)
The years between making each film have been long. Hideaki Anno did not produce this cinematic take all at once, either! He took breaks and worked on other projects between films. I’m sure it’s needed, since to dedicate all that time like in what Peter Jackson did for the Lord of the Rings films proved demanding.
It’s tough to add further critique to a saga that’s over twenty years old. While I’m glad it’s never left the collective mind of anime fandom, to offer up something new wasn’t as hard or dull as I thought after giving the series a full rewatch. Even with the Rebuild of Evangelion, fans can either watch the films all in one go or a film a day, and still enjoy the IP for what it is, a psychological experiment that expands upon the lore, and perhaps encourages other filmmakers to continue exploring.
As for answering the question of will there be more? Hideaki Anno set a high bar for the genre that goes beyond being a simple show that blends theosophy with some high drama. It’s not like Gundam and nor is it even like another masterpiece, namely Five Star Stories. Like the perplexing titles that accompany each release, Only When the Bell Tolls will we know if there’ll be more.