Saturday, May 29, 2010

Ride to ruin and the world’s ending!!!

In an effort to do something different on this ‘blog’ for once, I have decided I would instead comment on something other than games. While games and gaming are one of my most frequently engaged hobbies/interests, it is not however the only one I have. Another happens to be anime. However, only slightly.

There is a lot of anime out there that, while I don’t dislike, I don’t see myself watching addictively at any point. I am a fan of serious anime, or anime where things are set in a semi-realistic universe in which characters don’t react and behave ridiculously with their faces turning stupid all of a sudden (aka. Sailor Moon style). I was never into Pokemon or Dragon Ballz or any of that ridiculous nonsense, mainly because to me they seemed a bit too outrageous (and a little childish). No offense to anyone who is a fan though…

Neon Genesis: Evangelion is undoubtedly my favourite anime. It is debatably the best anime of all time. I won’t bother explaining the story because that would be a task within itself, but you should know that the story is nearly 15 years old. One of the first animes to strike an oilwell of success in western countries, it definitely struck a chord with my being when I first watched it on SBS at age 12. I held it in very high regard and still do today. Yes, I am a fanboy. Fuck you.

Nevertheless it is also the topic of this post. Evangelion Rebuild 2.22, a modernised and slightly different take on the original story was recently released on DVD and Blu-Ray in Japan after a cinema release nearly a year before. The Rebuild series of movies intend on bringing the franchise back, one last time, telling the story the way the original series director (Hideaki Anno) wanted to tell it. In my opinion, the movies have been a stunning success and are revolutionizing how anime is made. The level of visual detail, musical score, voice acting (Japanese at least) and minor plot changes have so far made for some incredibly epic and suspenseful story telling. That’s even with knowing how the story goes, or at least how you think it’s going to go…

Simply put, I like epic films. To me they are timeless in their message and infinite in their replay-ability. Any film that at some point creates a spine-tingling moment of overpowering awesomeness is in my opinion, an epic film. Some examples from movies include the last march of the Ents in The Two Towers, the charge of the Rohirrim in the Return of the King and the Dragon opening fire in Avatar. Why am I bringing this up? Because the Evangelion Rebuild movies do it as well.

Maybe I’m just sentimental and nostalgic about watching the original series over a decade ago, but I did find Rebuild 2.22 (and 1.11 before it) to be quite epic. Although a large number of the Angels were squished together to form singular battles, the fights themselves were really quite cool with interesting additions. I don’t enjoy being a critic of anything as I think being a critic is to purposefully draw negativity to things that should really just be enjoyed for what they are, for better or worse. That said, I do have a minor disappointment, that being the level of interaction given to Asuka’s character. The fiery red haired bitch (my favourite character) seemed to almost be given a background role. One of her big fights in the original series was replaced by Mari, a new female character who also seems under developed.

She does have a nice ass though, so I guess she can be forgiven. I suppose it is difficult to fit both the original and new content into a 2 hr sitting. Unlike many forum posts I have read, I actually enjoy and approve of the new story (so far), mainly because it seems even more serious than before. It also helps to view it from an ‘alternate universe’ perspective. Although it certainly has its ‘bizarre’ scenes, the whole Japanese madness that is prevalent in lots of anime is well toned down here which in my opinion appeals to a larger, more adult demographic. Having watched to final ending to 2.22 (after the credits) I am really quite interested to see where they go from here. I really hope they don’t go the way of End of Evangelion …

… but part of me kind of wants them to.

Below: An old AMV I made using original series/movie footage

No comments: