Continuing from last week, Natsuru is all excited and eager about going to sleep over at Sakura’s place, but as to be expected, Shizuku and Akane tag along uninvited. Sakura’s house is basically a museum of Entrail Animals of all varieties. In an attempt to get intimate with Natsuru, Sakura suggests playing a kissing game using Pocky Packy, but despite several means and methods to rig the results, she never gets to pair with Natsuru and thus declare the game void. Nonetheless, the biggest winner would have to be Akane, who got a kiss forcefully taken away from her by Shizuku, even if she failed to do the same to Natsuru. Sakura reveals that her favourite Entrail Animal is the Hiaburi Lion when questioned by Shizuku, but before we can see the connection with Kämpfers, Mikoto barges in unexpectedly.
That night, while Sakura and Akane argue over whether Natsuru should sleep over or not, Shizuku creates a diversion by pouring curry on Natsuru, which provides her with the opportunity to take the Hiaburi Lion away while the other girls try to get at nude Natsuru in the bath. The fight persists through the evening while Akane and Sakura are each determined to sleep with beside Natsuru, and she he ends up sleeping alone in the Entrail Animals room. Undaunted, Sakura creeps into his futon, not knowing that he is back in his male form, and tries to make out with him. Akane is not to be ignored, however, as she bursts into the room randomly firing shots and trying to break them apart, not knowing that Sakura has already fainted from the scare of the first few shots. She tries to confess to Natsuru in the meantime, but an interruption came in the form of a new Kämpfer, Ueda Rika, with a white bracelet. This new enemy is no idiot, as can be seen from how she decides to retreat when Shizuku initiates a warning attack at her.
Just watched Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance in the cinema.
In short, the plot has finally diverged from the TV series, with the introduction of a new pilot named Makinami Mari Illustrious, and what looks like a new hidden agenda behind the reason for Evas, though we already know that they exist not only to fight Angels. I love how they added in more humorous slice-of-life scenes in the movie to make things more engaging for the audience, and contributes to the character development through their reactions when facing certain situations.
Meanwhile, the characters’ personalities also became altered. Shinji is no longer as whiny as I remember him to be, Asuka is no longer a yandere for Kaji but now very much a tsundere for Shinji, and Rei… oh gosh, Rei. I totally miss Hayashibara Megumi’s voice and her soft voice still charms me even when I’m watching this movie 10 years after I originally fell in love with her. I swear, if she doesn’t end up in the final 10 on j1m0ne’s “Top 100 Seiyuu Everybody Should Know”, I’m gonna wring someone’s neck… Pardon me, I digress. Rei is now more open then before, smiles/blushes more and actually takes the initiative in trying to patch up things between Shinji and Gendo. I’m not sure how fanz would view this change. While some might welcome it, I personally prefer the Rei from 10 years back, though she is more emotionless inept at handling emotions and cares not for anyone not in her world (comprising of just her and Gendo). After all, Rei and Asuka were THE most popular female characters in the otaku world back then, and even now, and it must have had been a major decision to change their personalities considering how serious cases of backlash from fanz can be.
The animation, as to be expected, is stunning, seeing as how the producers have to re-draw everything from scratch. The action/battle scenes are especially captivating and I could hardly turn my attention away. However, I would prefer to wait till the Blu-Ray version so I can better enjoy the animation quality in the privacy of my room without having distractions such as weird behaviors from the other people in the cinema.
Ah, the music. Absolutely love it. This is surely another masterpiece by Shiro Sagisu, who composed for the TV series as well as Kare Kano, another show I adore. I’m glad to recognize familiar pieces still being incorporated into the movie since they are too closely-associated with certain moments to be passed up on. Playing happy, lovely songs of hope during the most gruesome battles is also becoming a trademark of Evangelion, which I welcome, though I know of others who wants to inset fast-paced violent pieces during battles to match the visuals.
To summarize, I love almost everything about the movie, but I’m still having reserves and concerns about the characters. Is there a need to introduce the new Makinami Mari Illustrious? She has yet to have much of a role in this movie, so I can’t determine for sure how important she is in the new adaptation. In addition, I’m still trying to adjust to the new Rei and Asuka, after sticking to the TV series (+ Death and Rebirth & End of Evangelion) for the past 10 years, and what happened to them by the end of the movie doesn’t leave me too happy.
So, if given the chance to rewatch the movie, I definitely would be glad to. But is it worth my missing handphone? Unfortunately, not yet, unless they give me a Rei nude scene back my old Rei. New fanservice moments + pantsu shots + a hotter Misato still are not enough for me.
PS: For those watching, remember to stay till after the credits!
“Thank you” the words for gratitude. Those words for the first time.