|The Neon Genesis Evangelion movies were made to appease disatisfied fans. Many, including myself, do not find the official ending of the series appropriate in anyway. Fans showed their outrage about the last two episodes of the epic series, and Anno (the creator of NGE) heard them. He made two movies. Neon Genesis Evangelion: Death & Rebirth and End of Evangelion.
|Neon Genesis Evangelion: Death & Rebirth (I have not seen this movie)
This was the first movie Anno produced to replace the last two episodes of NGE.
Neon Genesis Evangelion: Death
Death was the first part of "Death & Rebirth". It's pretty much a flashback to the TV series, showing important events again. Significant relationships between characters (not romantic) and discoveries by NERV are made clear to make the viewer understand the following events better.
Neon Genesis Evangelion: Rebirth
Rebirth continues where Death ended. This is basically Episode 24, when Shinji falls into depressions after he has killed his only real friend Kaworu, who turned out to be an Angel. He seeks help from Asuka, but she can't help him as she is still lying unconscious in the hospital.
Meanwhile, Misato engages in some research on the Second Impact on her own. She finds out that Mankind had reached a deadlock of evolution and the Third Impact is needed to initiate the next step of evolution. She gets to know that mankind is the 18th Angel and that all life originates from Lilith.
Now with the Angel-threat gone The SEELE Organization wants to assume control of NERV and tries to get hold of the MAGI system. The virus-attack however is successfully deflected by Dr. Akagi Ritsuko's 666 Protector Code. SEELE decides to mount a physical attack - The traitor Gendou and his people have to be destroyed at all costs. They send in a special military unit to penetrate the NERV HQ.
The Slaughter at NERV Headquarters
A merciless attack starts as the elite military force engage NERV. The NERV security is more than unable to hold off the military forces. People at NERV are slaughtered without remorse or expection - women, children, just everyone is killed at sight - no prisoners whatsoever. Leaving a bloodshed trail the military head for the 3 children, who are their main target.
Soon the military even drops a N2 bomb and breaches the central command room, where Makoto, Shigeru and Maya have to fight for their lives. Asuka, who is still unconscious is put inside EVA-02 and the Evangelion dropped into the sea at Geo Front - the most secure place at the moment.
Shinji in the meanwhile sits below a staircase, without any motivation to flee or fight for his live - he doesn't care about anything anymore. Misato can barely rescue him from the elite soldiers. She drags Shinji into her car to take him to the EVA cage. Shinji maintains that he wants to die but Misato just replies: "You're still alive aren't you! Fight and live first, you can still die if you want after everything here is over!"
In the meantime, Gendou and Fuyusuki discuss SEELE's intentions. They come to the conclusion that the Third Impact, which SEELE wants to provoke will end in the death of mankind - and as already Yui once said: "nothing can be gained from death". Meanwhile, Asuka, lost in her unconsciousness fights a battle of her own. Memories of her past, her mother's suicide, her father's neglect torture her soul - eventually she realizes that she still can't go to her mother, as the place where her mother waits for her is death. A single thought manifests in her heart: "I do not want to die yet!" Asuka becomes obsessed by this thought and keeps repeating these words to herself, louder and louder until she screams it out at the top of her voice. That's the moment she awakens from her coma, full of energy to fight for her life.
Asuka being informed of the situation at NERV immediately rises from the sea and wrecks the military with all her power. The only thing the milary is able to do is to destroy EVA-02's umbilical cable, which leaves Asuka with 5 more minutes to fight. SEELE was expecting opposition from the EVAs, issues the launch of their own EVA-Units: the mass-produced Evangelions 05 to 13. Gendou is surprised that these series were already complete - they have S2 organs (no need for an external power supply), have wings to fly and require no pilots (dummy plugs control these units).
At this point, Asuka with barely 5 minutes of power left to fight and 9 hostile Evangelions arriving, the movie ends. The plot continues in the second movie "The End of Evangelion".
|Neon Genesis Evangelion : The End of Evangelion
The End of Evangelion consists of two parts like the Death&Rebirth movie. The first part actually is the "Rebirth" part of the first movie, which is shown again. The second part "Air / My Purest Heart for You" is the final chapter.
EVANGELION : AIR
Misato talks to Asuka for a last time via cellular phone and tells her to destroy the EVA series to prevent the Third Impact, before she drags Shinji along to EVA-01's hangar. Asuka takes out her full battle fury on the EVA series who seem to be superior to EVA-02 but lack the combat experience of Asuka. As Misato and Shinji arrive at the hangar-hatch, Misato is injured in a gunfight. She gives Shinji last instructions and an "adult" kiss before she parts with her last words: "We continue the next time when this all is over". Just when the hatch closes Shinji realizes that his mouth is full with Misato's blood - that there will be no next time at all.
Meanwhile, Asuka makes excellent progress - even with only 5 minutes combat time she trashes all 9 EVA series. However just as she strikes down the last EVA a Longinus Spear appears out of nowhere and pierces her eye. As this wasn't enough her power suppy depletes and her EVA is motionless.
Gendou and Rei head for the Terminal Dogma where Lilith hangs on the cross. There they meet Ritsuko who tries to self-destruct the NERV base but is betrayed by her own computer - Casper. Gendou, pointing his gun at her tells her how much he loved her but Ritsuko only replies: "Liar !" before Gendou shoots her. Outside the base, Shinji finally manned EVA Unit-01 and sees what happened to Asuka - the EVA Series had revived and torn Asuka's EVA apart, eating what remained of EVA Unit-02. Screaming in horror Shinji meets the incoming EVA Series.
EVANGELION : My Purest Heart for You
Instead of attacking EVA Unit-01, however, the EVA-Series form a strange formation around it and the Longinus Spear appears in front of EVA-01. Soon it becomes clear - the Evangelions are forming a Tree of Life - the Third Impact finally began. A cataclysmic explosion engulfs Japan and parts of Korea.
Meanwhile, Gendou orders Rei to take him into Lilith, but she refuses and goes into Lilith alone - here, Gendou's objectives become clear, he wants to control the outcome of the third impact, and with this his last chance to control the Impact is lost. As Rei and Lilith merge, a new huge creature is born, which floats towards the sky.
The new creature, who looks like a giant Rei rises and holds EVA Unit-01 with its hands. Now the whole planet is engulfed in a multi-colored fire as all human souls leave their bodies, which dissolve into L.C.L. During this transition to the metaphysical, people's dreams merge with reality. Gendou's last words before he dissolves are "I am sorry Shinji". All the souls float towards the giant Rei and are absorbed - there will be no more strangers in the world as the new mankind will be one being.
The giant Rei begins to explain the nature of mankind's existance to Shinji. Rei points out the lack of dreams in reality and mankind's search for identity in a sea full of other strangers. She shows Shinji what it means to grow up, which also involves the longing for the opposite sex. EVA-01 (and Shinji) are the last to be absorbed by the giant Rei, but EVA Unit-01 breaks free of Rei, leaving a gushing wound on the creature, where the souls float out of Rei again. The giant creature falls apart and EVA Unit-01 (along with the Longinus Spear) floats away into the depths of the universe.
Shinji awakens on the beach of a desolate world. Parts of the giant creature are scattered across the landscape, which is illuminated by a strange red light. To his surprise a wounded Asuka lies beside him on the beach. He starts to strangle her again, still frustrated that she always kept refusing him. This time however Asuka doesn't hit Shinji for it but caresses him. Perhaps she has finally learned to show her feelings - indeed she feels sick doing that - her words "I feel sick" conclude the movie, which leaves this final scene open for interpretation, but it seems like Shinji and Asuka became the new Adam and Eve of a new generation of mankind .
mikomi's opinion: This movie will not stand on its own, you must watch the series beforehand! I cannot stress this enough. After watching EoE, I was greatly disturbed, but somewhat satisfied as well. Although it can be very hard to watch at times, and is very graphic *shudders* it was a much more befitting ending that answered some questions, as well as presenting some new ones. This movie is the 'must watch' of the two. I don't think Death and Rebirth needs to be watched to understand this movie. Watch this movie if you can!