After being postponed twice, the “Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time” (also known as Shin Evangelion) finally hit Japanese theaters on Monday. The final of 4 films in the Rebuild of Evangelion series, which started 14 years ago in 2007, brings the story to a close.
As of this writing there is no official release date for any overseas versions of the film.
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Originally scheduled for release on June 27, 2020, it was announced in April that the film had been removed from the schedule due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic. It was later rescheduled for January 23, 2021. On January 14, 2021, the film was removed from the release calendar again. On March 8, 2021, many months after the original release date, the film finally hit theaters.
The new release date was suddenly announced just 10 days in advance, which, after 6 months of delays, was rather abrupt. While it seems too short a timeframe to adequately promote, Japanese media has been blown over by an endless wave of collaborations and advertisements to spread the word.
Flocking to the Theaters
It was reported that IMAX theaters across Japan sold out immediately — even in the midst of a pandemic and a recently-extended state of emergency in several prefectures.
This showed how strong the popularity of the series is and the high expectations for the final film in the Rebuild of Evangelion film series. People even began queueing in advance to be able to see it.
Now that the 26-year journey of Evangelion has come to an end, how did the internet react to the franchise’s latest production?
Well, it’s far too early to turn to English review sites, but the imdb of Japan, eiga.com, currently has the film at a rating of 4.3 out of 5. It’s also taken the #1 spot for “hot films” here in Japan. So it’s very promising!
Judging from the reviews, there’s a real feeling of finality to the series, and some people noted that they felt like their “youth [was] over”. It’s as if the director has said to the fans that after 26 years in the making, ‘now you have become an adult’.
I can relate to this because I also saw Neon Genesis Evangelion for the first time when I was a child, and the ending always seemed rather hollow, inconclusive, and confusing. But now there is a definitive ending and this film seems to have filled the hole that was left at the end of the original anime.
One user gave it a five star and stated, “I’m not the biggest Eva fan, but this really felt like the last one.”
Another flavor of relatable commets: “I can’t keep up with it because it’s difficult [to understand], but it’s interesting! Maybe we’re just enjoying the Evangelion atmosphere.” It took me multiple viewings to really get to grips with the whole story of the first three films, too!
As a fun aside, this film has the longest runtime of any Evangelion movie ever (2 hours 35 minutes), it’s an incredibly dense film. Even so, many reviewers agreed that they would watch it again.
How to Catch Up & Get Ready
The “Rebuild of Evangelion” series reimagines the TV anime “Neon Genesis Evangelion” that was broadcast from 1995 to 1996, as a four-part film series. While the movies are meant to stand alone, the first three films are so fast-paced due to how condensed the story has become, that a lot of terminology and concepts aren’t clearly explained.
For those with the time and patience, it may be ideal to watch all of “Neon Genesis Evangelion” before embarking on “Rebuild of Evangelion” to keep the inevitable confusion by the story to a minimum.
Whether or not you want to dive into the original series, you will definitely want to catch up on the Rebuild films before attempting the latest:
- “Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone” (2007)
- “Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance” (2009)
- “Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo” (2012)
Without reading spoilers, it seems most people were happy with a conclusion for the franchise that finally stuck, but were also sad to see it end. As always, Evangelion stays true to itself to the end, and is very fast-paced and complex.
Get hyped for the new movie by picking up some goods at HobbyLink Japan!
Remember: always order ASAP, because sometimes these kits or figures can sell out very fast!