"Breaking the world is easy enough. But rebuilding it, that isn't so easy."
— Kozo Fuyutsuki
In 1995, Hideaki Anno (fresh out of rehabilitation caused by problems during the production of Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water) begins work on what started out as a mecha otaku's dream show. Anno's increasing disappointment in (and dismissive disdain for) the Otaku community, as well as issues in his personal life and Gainax's financial troubles, causes him to transform the show into the brutally depressing deconstruction of the Super Robot Genre (and numerous anime tropes) known as Neon Genesis Evangelion.In 2007, Hideaki Anno (now Happily Married, filthy rich, and respected by his peers) decides to revisit the most popular and influential anime franchise of the past decade — but without his previous depression influencing the story. Anno plans to re-tell the Evangelion saga by giving his Byronic Hero cast a second chance (literallyor figuratively), making them somewhat more emotionally stable, and giving them hope and light at the end of the tunnel. (He also snags a massive theatrical budget to help his plan become a reality.)Thus begins the salvation of Shinji Ikari, Rei Ayanami, and Asuka Langley Shikinami in the four-film saga known as Rebuild of Evangelion, directed by Kazuya Tsurumaki of FLCL fame.The following four films make up the Rebuild saga:
Evangelion: || (Finenote alternatively, it can be interpreted as :||, which is a musical notation signaling a repeat.)
In spite of Hideaki Anno’s improved mental state, Rebuild does not have a Lighter and Softer tone compared to Neon Genesis Evangelion: horrific scenes from the original either remain equally horrific or end up more nightmarish than before. Each Rebuild film exponentially increases the dark tone to the point where people have argued that 3.0 is even grittier than the original series. Though the events of Rebuild don't always turn out well for the protagonists, this retelling seems to give enough glimmers of hope throughout its plot to promise that the story won't end up as soul-crushingly devastating as the original TV series. Think of Rebuild as the original ''Evangelion'' on proper medication: ultimately no happier than before, but a hell of a lot more stable.1.0 and about half of 2.0 slightly streamline episodes of the original series (episodes 1 to 6 and episodes 8 to 12, respectively). After that, the series goes Off the Rails; while 3.0 and the forthcoming 4.0 keep some details of the original series intact, they mostly venture straight into Alternate Continuity territory.Note: When released on home media, each film receives a few enhancements to its audio and visuals; the film's number receives an update to reflect this. 1.0 became 1.01 (DVD) and 1.11 (BD), 2.0 became 2.22, and 3.0 became 3.33. The films also receive other minor additions, but they don't affect the plot in any way. You'll find both sets of numbers used interchangeably on all the pages related to Rebuild for this reason.If you choose to continue reading, you can (not) avoid spoilers. You Have Been Warned.
The Rebuild of Evangelion films contain Rebuild-exclusive examples of the following tropes:
open/close all folders
Aborted Arc: None of the events in the 3.0. teaser trailer appear in the movie proper, though some of them may have occured during the 14 year Time Skip between the two movies.
Accidental Pervert: When Asuka, startled by PenPen, runs out naked into the kitchen, Shinji turns around and accidentally sees her. She blushes and retaliates with a kick to the face.
Ace Pilot: Both Asuka and Mari are presented as professional pilots, even though they have very different approaches to combat. Asuka's even an ex-Air Force pilot in this continuity.
Achilles Power Cord: The Eva's use power cords to function for prolonged periods of time, limiting their range and combat abilities. By 3.0. however, battery technology has advanced to the point that this is far less of an issue — though it does come conveniently in time for Asuka to be unable to stop Shinji executing Forth Impact. Luckily, Mari and Kaworu's... spirit are there to help.
Adaptation Explanation Extrication/Adaptation Induced Plot Hole: Either to cut down on time or to avoid "angst" a lot of material have been cut from 1.11 and 2.22. This results in character actions coming from apparently nowhere and many events happening without any explanation as to why and how. At times this can even lead to plot-holes like Shinji's class knowing that he is the pilot of Unit-01 without the scene where they figure it out being shown. 3.33 has apparently given up on trying to be friendly to new viewers at all. The film just assume you know that Kaworu is an angel and how an "Impact" is activated while throwing images and phrases at you that only means anything to those familiar with the original show.
Adaptation Name Change: Asuka's last name was changed from Soryu to Shikinami. Yui's maiden name was similarly changed from Ikari to Ayanami.note Gendo took Yui's last name in the original continuity.
As with the original series, the story takes place about 15 years after an event called "Second Impact" destroyed most of the world. In 3.0, the story jumps to 14 years after the "Third Impact", which wiped out most of what was left of humanity as well.
The Ageless: Being an Eva pilot may result in this, if Asuka and Mari are to be believed.
Alternate Continuity: Rebuild starts as a retelling of the original series, only to go completely Off the Rails in the second film and start telling an entirely new story.
Anime Theme Song: Utada Hikaru with "Beautiful World" for 1.0, "Beautiful World PLANiTb Acoustica Mix" for 2.0, and "Sakura Nagashi" for 3.0.
Apocalypse How: Evangelion revolves around a number of world destroying events.
Second Impact — Planetary/Societal Disruption. A massive explosion melts the Antarctic ice cap and tilts the Earth's axis. The seas flooded most coastal areas and are now poisoned, unable to sustain any life. Species on land perished due to the change in seasons and weather and humanity nearly wiped itself out in war. The reformed humanity is far more united than before but also in heavy denial about how much the world has changed.
Third Impact — Projected to be Planetary/Total Extinction. All of humanity believes another "impact event" will leave no survivors. This is why the world's governments are willing to throw all their money and support behind the bizarre and mysterious NERV.
"Near-Third Impact" — It turns out to be another Planetary/Societal Disruption in 3.0; numerous people die, and the world is changed.
Fourth Impact — Just like in the original series this is Gendo's ultimate goal, ie: Instrumentality. It's simply been bumped up a number thanks to Shinji accidentally triggering Third Impact without Lilith/Rei/Yui to guide it along the path Gendo desired it to take ... although we all know how well that worked out for him the first time around.
Apocalypse Wow: The end of 3.0. Remember Unit-01's halo slowly expanding into that vortex thing at the end of the second film? The third film names the phenomenon as the Door of Guf and at the beginning of Fourth Impact, Unit-13 opens one that's easily dozens of times as wide so violently it sweeps aside all clouds. Then the Geofront starts rising out of the ground and the Red Evas start to float by the millions, circling the event with the same otherworldly shrieking as the original series' Second Impact flashback. And we haven't even talked about entire buildings being alternately pulverized by the shattering ground or floating weightlessly in the air as Shinji stares in horror. To Ode to Joy.
Arc Words: "Did I save you/her?" throughout 3.0. This being EVA, the answer is no.
Art Shift: This occurs when Kaji tells Shinji about Misato and the Second Impact.
Attack Drone: the Nemesis Series. Also, the RS Hoppers (AKA Unit 13's AT-field drones).
The Atoner: Shinji tries to be this in 3.0. in order to make up for causing Third Impact. Subverted in that in the end, he only makes things worse.
Ax-Crazy: The dummy system rips targets into bloody shreds.
Badass: All the Eva pilots. Especially Shinji, circa the end of the second film.
Balance of Power: The Three-Active-Evas-per-Country-Limit imposed by the Vatican Treaty, which leads to sealing off Eva-02. It's not really balanced, seeing as Japan has all the working EVAs. Provisional Unit-05 was destroyed along with Angel 3 and Mark.06 is going to stop by NERV HQ pretty early in 3.0, probably. And aside from those, Unit-04 is missing (or destroyed) and Unit-03 became dinner for EVA-01, so it's far from balanced, really, when only one country has the EVAs, even if they get locked away.
Considering all the Angels are attacking Japan, it's probably better for the safety of the world that they have more Evas than not.
Bandage Babe: Aside from the usual type of fanservice involved with gauze and band aids, bandages are used to a symbolic effect in 2.0 on more than one occasion.
Be Careful What You Wish For: At the end of 2.0, Shinji is granted the object of his current desires and it seems everyone else pays the price. Literally everyone. On the planet. The Eva seems to hear "forget everything else and save Rei" as "annihilate everyone else in the world and save Rei". Luckily, the worst effects are deterred, but not before Shinji is granted some nifty, if worrisome, gifts. Like, say, five minutes of deification, new powers for his Eva, and a badass set of red eyes. 3.0 reveals that Third Impact still wiped out a massive portion of humanity.
Berserk Button: Unless you want to be reduced to a bloody mess by Shinji, we suggest you be nice to Rei.
Big Bad: Gendo has become this as of the end of 3.0. Having manipulated the death of Kaworu, dethroning and removing SEELE from power, and has manipulated the events behind both third and fourth impact to fit his - and SEELE's - goal.
Big Budget Beef Up: Everything got an upgrade for the films (even SEELE's logo!), but most notable amongst the Beef Ups are Ramiel (the Angel of Thunder) and Operation Yashima (which involves much more Five Rounds Rapid and property damage).
Big Damn Heroes: Shinji pulls his last minute save of the Bridge Bunnies again, just like in the series. Then he gets his ass kicked by the Angel, again, just like in the series. Then, when the EVA shuts down, he starts breaking down emotionally, begg—wait. What? He DOESN'T break down? Nope! Shinji ends up ripping Rei directly out of the bastard... kicking offthe Third Impactin the process.
Kaworu pulls this off in the end of 2.0, preventing the Third Impact by showing up in his Evangelion Mark-06 and impaling EVA-01.
3.0. reveals that this wasn't enough to prevent the destruction of most of humanity from its effects, though.
Bloodier and Gorier: Oh hell yes. Now almost every Angel explodes into a shower of blood-red, not blue this time. Sahaqiel takes the cake, effectively drowning the entirety of Tokyo 3 in a sea of gore. The effects of this are shown in the second film, where a giant water purifier is dedicated to undoing both Second Impact's red sea and Angel ichor.
Calling the Old Man Out: After the Eva-03 incident, Shinji attempts mutiny against Gendo by attacking Central Dogma with his Evangelion, and was only stopped by the timely application of excessive LCL cabin pressure.
The Cameo: Kaworu after the credits of the first movie. Rei in the third.
Cataclysm Backstory: As in the original series, the Second Impact is a very well-done example of this trope.
The DSS Choker, although it's partially subverted because it kills Kaworu, not Shinji.
Chekhov's Gunman: Touji's sister, Sakura, who is only mentioned in the first film and appears in a voiceless cameo for a few seconds in the second film, shows up in the third film as an officer of WILLE.
The Chessmaster: It turns out Gendo not only knows that Kaworu is an Angel, he planned everything in 3.33. And it went just as planned.
Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Kaji is the only cast member from 2.0. who is absent in 3.0. Whether he's dead or imprisoned is not explained.
In addition; Toji, Kensuke, Hikari and Pen-Pen are also missing. For Toji, it's especially strange as Shinji finding his nametag at NERV implies his death, yet Sakura being nice to Shinji all the time implies the opposite.
See the character page to know why.
Cloudcuckoolander: Mari seems to be a tad detached from reality, at least when she is inside an EVA.
Combat Tentacles: Shamshel and Zeruel as usual, as well as the entity guarding the tesseract imprisoning Unit-01 at the beginning of 3.0. For the latter, the tentacles are identified as "indo-hashamas".
Ramiel and Sahaqiel fit this to a tee, but there are other minor examples as well. An example of Tropes Are Not Bad, because although they stand out against the traditionally animated background they are also Eldritch Abominations, so it works.
Averted for the CG background characters. Who could have told all those people walking about Tokyo-3 were completely digital?
Played straight in a few scenes where the Evas are CG.
3.0 takes this Up to Eleven, and not just with the Evas and Angels - most of the Wunder is CG, bridge, cockpit, seats, and bulkheads included, as well as the Nemesis Angels.
Cool Plane: Several examples, including an ekranoplan.
Creepy Child: Kaworu. Though he has yet to truly show his colors, so far it seems he picked up all the creepiness that was dropped by Rei. Constant, unnerving smile? Check. Cryptic discussions with the secretive cabal on the surface of the Moon? Check. In the nude? check.
Death World: The Earth goes from being simply post-apocalyptic to a much more empty wasteland after the Near Third Impact.
Delayed Explosion: During the climax of the first movie, there's a scene where Ramiel blasts down a bunch of missiles headed towards him. It takes about a second for the first one to explode, and about two more before the last one does.
Formerly fleshed out, relevant supporting character Dr. Ritsuko Akagi is almost nonexistent as far as plot contributions go in Rebuild, at least as of 2.0.
2.0 had to cut most of the standalone "Action Arc", covering 12 episodes while the first movie covered only 6 from the original series. The Bridge Bunnies also lost most of their relative character development as a result, e.g. both Ritsuko and the Bridge Bunnies got most of their character development in episodes 11 and 13, which don't exist in Rebuild.
Kaji also loses quite a bit of importance, with his subplot about investigating NERV and SEELE being nonexistent (as far as what has been seen). There's a brief moment in which Kaji IS spying on Gendo and Fuyutsuki. Then there's the scene where Misato asks him some info on SEELE.
He's completely absent in 3.0., and the events that have occurred have rendered his spying completely meaningless.
Toji, Kensuke, and Hikari, who at least had some characterization in the series, have been reduced to Those Three Guys in this version. Especially Toji, who is no longer the pilot of Eva-03, therefore losing any real plotline significance.
Like Kaji neither of the 3 appear in 3.0. In fact it's implied they all perished in 3rd Impact.
While certainly not an extra, Asuka also seems to lose quite a bit of an importance, even in her absorption of Toji's major plot point. She's only a major factor for about half of Evangelion 2.0, at which point she falls into a coma. In 3.0, she's a major factor for the beginning and end segments of the movie, but is all but completely absent in the middle.
Also, Rei is an important focus in 1.0 and 2.0, but is barely in 3.0 mainly because it's not the same Rei.
Despair Event Horizon: The Unit-03 test and its subsequent destruction affects Shinji so hard that he loses grip on reality, and he nearly destroys humanity when he kills Zeruel. Even worse, he doesn't care.
It gets worse in 3.0 after Kaworu's death and near Fourth Impact.
Interestingly, there's a possibility that the character in question can recover from this. Like he did in End of Evangelion, but possibly better.
Determinator: Shinji turns into this near the end of the second movie.
Shinji: "I don't care what happens to me! I don't even care what happens to the world! But I'm bringing Rei back! I promise I'll save you, Rei! Even if it's the last thing I do!!!"
Deuteragonist: A variation of this, since the role shifts with each movie.
In 1.11 it's Misato; in 2.22, Rei; and in 3.33, Kaworu; it has yet to be seen who is the next one.
Down the Rabbit Hole: As Badass and touching as the "Ayanami rescue" scene is, it should be noted that Shinji basically gives up on reality. This being Eva, it's not a good philosophy to follow - and the results are shown in 3.33.
Earn Your Happy Ending: If the story's progression is of any indication. Rebuild is not going to hand sunshine and rainbows on a plate to its cast, unless it's going to be under raining blood. But at least this time, it seems Anno is not going to have them grasp at thin air, either.
Eldritch Abomination: The technology behind the films has finally evolved to the point where the Angels have graduated from the freaky kaiju of the television series into truly mind-shattering, reality-defying fiends. They routinely exist simultaneously in multiple states of matter, flicker in and out of our dimension, and fiddle with the variables of E=mc2 like a child playing with Lincoln Logs.
The Emperor: Kaworu calls Gendo the "King of Lilims" in 3.0.
Everybody's Dead, Dave: As of Q, all of Shinji's friends and classmates have kicked it. Touji, Kensuke, Hikari, Pen Pen, most likely even Kaji.
Except for Kaworu, but he did say Shinji they'll meet again.
Evil Counterpart: Unit-13 is seemingly this to Unit-01. Not only do they have the same coloration, armor design and Shinji as pilot, both enter into a "pseudo-evolved form" after consuming an Angel (Zeruel for Unit-01, Twelfth Angel for Unit-13), starting an Impact in the process. The only difference is that Unit-01 triggering Third Impact was accidental, while Unit-13's triggering of Fourth Impact was completely deliberate, if not with the desired outcome.
Explosive Leash: WILLE puts one on Shinji to kill him in case he makes the situation worse again. Kaworu later takes it off him and puts it around his own neck, which he uses in the climax to sacrifice himself.
Explosive Overclocking: during the Wunder's startup scene, all the cables connecting the ship to the various generators and condensers carried by the escort fleet went yellow-hot and violently exploded from the sheer power pumped through them.
Eye Beams: One of the Angels' powers. Used by Eva Unit-01 in 2.0 and 3.0.
Eyecatch: Each film contains one around the midpoint, showcasing the film's English name in the same way that the episodes of the original show did.
Fish out of Temporal Water: A major part of 3.0. is Shinji waking up 14 years after 2.0. and realizing/coming to terms with just how much has changed- and how much of it is his own fault.
Foreshadowing: In 3.0, Shinji ends up playing a game of shogi against Fuyutsuki, and Fuyutsuki tells Shinji that he will lose in 31 turns. Exactly 31 minutes later in the film, Kaworu dies and Shinji is sent into another traumtic coma, with Gendo and SEELE's plan going on unhindered..
Gecko Ending: Not content with simply regrowing a new tail for the series, 3.0 ensures that everything below the "neck" of Evangelion is going to be completely new thanks to Anno's timey wimey fuckery.
The Ghost: Averted; for the first time in franchise history, we see Toji's little sister in the second movie.
Then in 3.0., not only does she finally get a name (Sakura), she becomes a minor character, as a Second Lieutenant in WILLE.
In 3.0 Asuka's eye glows just like Mari's did when activating Unit-02's Beast Mode. Her left eye also appears to glow despite being presumably either damaged or lost, and being blue instead of the usual green associated with Beast Mode.
Gorn: Each time an Angel is killed, it bursts into an ocean of blood and gore.
Gone Horribly Right: A meta example. "So, you want Shinji to be less of an Angst-ridden shmuck and more of a Badass? Here you go. It's only going to cost most of what's left of humanity and almost every good relationship he had. Which adds more angst."
Gone Horribly Wrong: The expedition to find Adam, like in the original series, is what causes the Second Impact.
Heroic BSOD: Shinji, once again after the EVA-03 incident.
Shinji spends most of the second half of 3.0. like this after it's revealed he caused Third Impact, which wiped out most of humanity. Then, after Kaworu sacrifices himself, he falls into an even worse state, mirroring his condition in the first half of End of Evangelion.
Heroic Sacrifice: Kaworu pulls one at the end of 3.0 in order to prevent Fourth Impact. Subverted in that it doesn't actually stop it- it's Mari ejecting Shinji's plug out of Eva-13 that does the trick.
The scene was extremely ambiguous. Mari was unable to pull the plug out until a very pale figure of Kaworu appeared on screen and afterwards, the Eva shut down completely, allowing Mari to pull out the plug. The ending has Ritsuko wondering who they should thank for this, indicating (just like the soundtrack God's Gift) it was Kaworu's interference that somewhat played on their favor. Of course his image only appeared after she got the entry plug eject also makes it possible that it was Mari, which is why its ambiguous.
Slightly subverted in the fact that Shinji was added as the second pilot as a failsafe precisely because it was feared Kaworu would sabotage the plan.
Heroic Second Wind: Shinji invokes this at the end of the second film after Unit-01's internal battery runs out.
Hero with Bad Publicity: Shinji becomes one in 3.0., as his causing of Third Impact, which wiped out most of humanity, has earned him universal hatred from almost everyone else.
He Who Fights Monsters: Of all people, Shinji shows signs of becoming this near the end of 2.0. Like in the original series, he wants to avoid becoming like his father. In the end, his sole motivation is to be reunited with a loved one, even at the cost of killing everyone else in the world. Like father, like son. He does get better in 3.0. Kind of better, anyway.
As anything else in Evangelion, this is subject to Alternate Character Interpretation. Unlike his father, Shinji had no bloody clue what was happening, or what was at stake. He does not "get better", he simply finds out what happened.
Hold Me: Asuka does this in her tsundere fashion, entering Shinji's bed at night and lying with her back to him.
Hope Spot: Kaworu's actions at the end of the second movie had quite a few fans believing (well, hoping) that he'll be spared and live through the end of Rebuild. He is gruesomely killed in the sequel.
Hot-Blooded: Despite the naysayers, Asuka still has some pretty fiery blood coursing through her veins. And Mari... well, let's just say that she would fit into the cast of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann pretty neatly. To say nothing of Shinji channeling Simon the Digger, Noriko and even some Naota in 2.0.
The Japanese titles of the movies are derived from jo-ha-kyu, a pacing system used in noh theater and other Japanese art forms. The three parts can be translated as "beginning, breakdown, crisis", meaning that an action begins slowly and becomes steadily faster and faster as it reaches the end.
The title for 3.0 plays around with this a lot, taking advantage of the fact that "Q" sounds just like "kyu", and that "Quickening" is a suitable translation of the kanji involved. (Especially since, unlike a noh play, Rebuild will have a fourth act.)
When we recall that "Evangelion" can be translated as "Gospel", "Q" also evokes the Q Document, a hypothesized source of the Gospels.
On another note, "Q" in Japanese is a pun: it can literally mean "decision". Rewriting the above, the "jo-ha-Q" can also literally mean "beginning, breakdown, decision". Finally, in That Other Wiki, one area for decision is Epileptic Trees.
Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: In the aftercredits final scene of 2.0, the Mark-06 piloted by Kaworu literally smites the recently transcended Eva-01 with a lance-like weapon (which has a very different design from the classical "Lance of Longinus". Though the appearance doesn't match the series, the lances in EoE did change shape.
This is a different lance, known as the "Lance of Cassius."
Ironic Echo: The Ending ofMovie 3 is full of these to Episode 24 of the TV Series and the End Of Evangelion Movies.
Exhibit A: Episode 24 and End : (1) Kaworu dies from having his body pulverized by Shinji and his head being all that remains. (2) A catatonic Asuka being strangled by Shinji (3) While a giant pale-white Rei overlooks the desolation.
In a musical sense, in 2.22, Shinji and Asuka's bounding scene has a slow paced piano piece as soundtrack; when Shinji and Asuka meet again in 3.33, there's a fast paced piano piece on the background.
By the end of the movie, when Asuka finds Shinji, she later states that him he didn't saved her, given which were the Arc Words of 3.33 and what happened in the movie...
Exhibit B: You Cannot Redo: (1) Kaworu having his head pulverized in front of Shinji with his body being all that remains. (2) A catatonic Shinji being beaten and dragged by Asuka. (3) While a black clad Rei follows them to saftety through the desolation.
I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Asuka to Shinji. Basically her motivation for being the test pilot for Unit-03 in the end, allowing him to go to Rei's party.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Asuka, though she is introduced in 2.0 as a textbook Jerkass; after some Character Development and a surprisingly mild case of Break the Haughty (which doesn't even involve actual breaking), she is shown to have a (somewhat) considerate, friendly and caring side as she reevaluates her opinion on some of the people around her and comes to some sort of tentative understanding with the introverted Rei Ayanami in this universe; she even takes her place in piloting Unit-03 in its ill-fated testing run so that the quiet girl could host a dinner party in the hopes of getting Shinji and Gendo closer to each other. It doesn't happen exactly because of the EVA-03 disaster.
The Juggernaut: Zeruel retains his status as the only Angel to breach NERV by brute strength alone. He even No Sells an N2 missile at point blank range without his AT field.
Kaworu Can Breathe in Space: Well, he isn't exactly human. And it's shown the Angels can breathe in space. Him being an Angel, after all...
Kill the God: Gendo proclaims that God is dead with the death of Kaworu in in 3.0, and that Fourth Impact will "kill God".
La Résistance: WILLE, comprised of ex-NERV members, is this to NERV and SEELE.
Legal Jailbait: Asuka and Mari in 3.0, now 28 years old and not having aged a DAY since the Third Impact thanks to an ambiguous side-effect of piloting the Evangelions for 14 long years.
Let Me Get This Straight: English dub-only example; the scriptwriter turns the egregious example of As You Know involving Ritsuko's explanation of Operation Yashima in the original into an example of this. It works... about as well as can be expected, anyway.
Lensman Arms Race: "3.0" really hammers this one home. 14 years worth of post impact development has led to both sides making huge strides, including gigantic flying battleships, truly mass produced EVAs, longer running times, particle beam weaponry, and a limited ability to create artificial Angels, mass AT fields, and use AT fields as propulsion.
Letter Motif: Rebuild changes Asuka's surname from Soryu to Shikinami to fit in with both Rei Ayanami and the new girl, Mari Makinami (while keeping the Vehicular Theme Naming from the original).
Lighter and Softer: Not that it doesn't have some decidedly dark moments, but so far Rebuild is most definitely this in comparison to the original series — the characters angst less and aren't as emotionally crippled while still having the same base problems as before, and they aren't subjected to quite as much trauma and Mind Rape that they are in the original (not yet, anyway). Not that being less dark than Neon Genesis Evangelion is particularly difficult. 3.33 is much darker than previous films, with Shinji back to his Butt Monkey status and getting traumatized all over again.
The Lost Lenore: As in the original show, Yui for Gendo, but as of Q, the second Rei seems to have followed her footsteps. She is physically gone, but her shadow still hangs heavily over the movie - for once, her relationship with Shinji was instrumental to turning the setting into a postapocalyptic wasteland, Shinji mentions her, his attempt to save her or other facets of her character and their relationship in half the scenes he's in, all of which ends up throwing her currently active clone into existential horror.
Love Epiphany: Well, in a sense. Rei describes to Asuka her feelings towards Shinji, which Asuka realizes is love. In short, the wrong person has the epiphany.
Male Gaze: Having lost the Stripperiffic outfit she was complaining about towards the end of the previous movie, Asuka seems to have a lot of establishing shots in 3.0 featuring the groin or buttocks of her plug suit.
Marshmallow Hell: Or "why parachutes are fun". Even more hilarious because this is the second time that Shinji ends up being an Accidental Pervert, and also the second time that he's the only one freaked out by it (this isn't counting when he sees Asuka naked earlier in 2.0 — referring strictly to boobs here).
Meaningful Name: Jo-Ha-Kyu is a Japanese aesthetic whereby a performance art (theatre, tea ceremony, kendo, etc.) should begin slowly, break tempo, and then finish swiftly. Think the three acts of a Western play: set-up, confrontation, and resolution.
"Quickening", in addition to referring to speeding up, also refers to an unborn child's first movements, or bringing something to life. Given that at the end of 2.0, Shinji and Rei are stuck in Unit-01...
Each of the English subtitles also bears meaning to the plot of their respective movies.
You Are (Not) Alone: Shinji is, indeed, not alone throughout the movie, since he has support from Misato and Rei.
You Can (Not) Advance: Shinji spends much of the movie trying to get close to his father and win his approval. When Gendo has Unit-01's dummy plug eviscerate Unit-03 and almost kill Asuka, though, all hopes (or desire) to earn his father's love go right out the window.
Men Are the Expendable Gender: See that page image? As of the end of 3.0, Shinji is the only male character in it who isn't dead. Two of them died offscreen in Third Impact. As for the women—Asuka, Mari, Misato, and Rei—they're all still alive (Rei got absorbed into Eva 01, but received a clone replacement; the others are the originals).
Mood-Swinger: Asuka suffers a case of this in the movie, regarding her lunch. You know what about, you know EXACTLY what.
Mood Whiplash: Compared to the series and 1.0, 2.0 has a much more Lighter and Softer feel to it, with everyone happier than the original series... then Asuka becomes the pilot of EVA-03. Then in 3.0., after the slightly hopeful ending of 2.0., we find out that Shinji's actions at the end of 2.0. did cause Third Impact and wiped out most of humanity, sending the film into pure Darker and Edgier territory.
The after-the-credits trailer for Final contains Misato's "Service, service!" from the original series. This is after the ending that leaves Shinji horribly traumatized (again) and Gendo poised to win and initiate Fourth Impact.
Fuyutsyki gets to play this role in 3.0 when he has a conversation with Shinji over a game of shoji.
Ms. Fanservice: Rebuild, being a film series that no child can accidentally see, allows Anno to bring-on-the-sexy by the truckload this time. Rei, Misato and especially Asuka get a LOT more screentime in extremely Nosebleed provoking poses and (lack of) clothing. However, they have really stiff new competition in the new Ms. Foreign Fanservice, Mari Illustrious Makinami.
Many of the additions/changes from 2.0 reference Evangelion side projects. For example, the "experimental" plug suit was mentioned (but obviously never shown) in the radio drama on the Addition CD.
And of course Toji's reaction when the topic of Unit-03 comes up.
The series also continues the Running Gag of Kensuke wanting to pilot an EVA but getting denied the chance. In the original series NERV and SEELE switch over to the Dummy Plug system before his name comes up in the Marduk file, the video games and mangas where he does become a pilot aren't canon, and in Rebuildhe (probably) dies in Near-Third Impact along with Toji and Hikari.
If you watch carefully, you'll notice that Shinji's SDAT skips to track 27, which it never did in the TV show, just before 2.0 goes completely Off the Rails. Even lampshaded by Shinji's finding it odd.
Taken even further in 3.0., where the main two tracks that Shinji's SDAT player plays are tracks 27 and 28, symbolizing that the movies are now entirely Off the Rails.
Don't forget the infamous Asuka and Rei scene on the elevator (awkward silence, thankfully only 12 seconds this time around).
One that has fans particularly suspicious is Kaworu's claim that he'll make Shinji happy this time, although he says something different in the English dub.
Sahaqiel's redesign has him looking sort of like a combination of Matariel and Leliel, neither of whom made an appearance in the movie, before turning into something that more closely resembles his old Giant Eye of Doom form.
Give 2.0's version of The Beast a listen. (It plays as the contaminated Unit-03 attacks.) In the background, there's a bit of ominous chanting. Some may argue that it's a pointless addition. You wouldn't notice it at first, since the syllables are spaced out, but they're chanting "hallelujah". Consider that Asuka's inside 03. Definitely rings a few bells,doesn't it?
On this note: when it came to the original Unit 03 fight in the TV series, a lot of people's reaction to the fight with Unit 03 was "Well, why the hell didn't Shinji think to at least grapple with it and prevent it from choking him, he didn't have to just give up". Come 2.0, Shinji does in fact manage to pry Unit 03's hands off of 01's neck and for a moment it seems he can at least fight it to a standstill... and then Unit 03 sprouts two more arms, allowing it to pin 01's arms and strangle it at the same time, leaving Shinji properly helpless.
Watch Eva-02 during the climax of 2.0 very closely. You'll notice that once Beast Mode is activated and its armor starts breaking off, the head elongates into a shape◊ very reminiscent of the MP Evas from End of Evangelion.
Speaking of this scene: the musical piece used to represent a berserk Eva throughout the franchise is called "The Beast", as noted above. What passcode does Mari use to unlock Unit 02's "deliberate berserk" mode? "Za Beasto", of course. Ironically a different, original musical number plays at this point.
And then, of course, there's the fact that after a decade and a half, we finally get to see... Toji's sister. And she's all better too!
In End of Evangelion, Shinji as a child builds a pyramid out of sand, then stomps on it. After the Bardiel incident in Rebuild, in his anger Shinji stomps on the NERV headquarters pyramid for real.
As noted below, the "Asuka kicks Shinji for seeing her naked" scene happened in Girlfriend of Steel, though under slightly different circumstances.
The opening shots of 1.0 (and the red sea in general) are rather evocative of End of Evangelion.
The animation during Unit 02's introductory scene — in which she dodges and weaves through a series of Angel limbs — is an almost exact recreation from the scene in The End of Evangelion in which she dodges and weaves through a series of JSSDF missiles.
Shinji falls into a Heroic BSOD at the end of 3.0. that leaves him in a state where he can't even move and Asuka has to drag him around, similar to End of Evangelion. There are also several extreme close-ups of Shinji's widened eyes under duress.
In the climax of 3.0., the Ode to Joy plays again in a similar situation as the original.
As with the manga, Kaworu is introduced playing Ode to Joy in a ruined area. However, unlike the manga Kaworu, Shinji takes an immediate liking to him.
A similar situation exists with Mari: in the trailer she was shown looking at a flight of birds that was fleeing the city... with what looks to be the opening barrage of cross-blasts from Zeruel. Mari also looks practically melancholy here... which is something she seems nearly incapable of in the final movie. In the end, Mari was busy Evajacking Unit 02 when Big Z showed up.
Oddly, a scene like the trailer one was included in the final movie... one that just showed her looking at the city at dusk as a flock of birds flew away from the city center. It seems to serve no purpose other than being brief eye candy now.
An interview with the staff indicates that there were significant script rewrites between 1.0 and 2.0, hence the altered and missing scenes in the teaser.
How much of the 3.0. teaser in 2.0. ended up getting used in the movie proper? None of it.note Though certain elements in the trailers were used in the movie, such as Asuka with an eyepatch.
In all the trailers for 3.0., Shinji's bomb collar was edited out of all shots.
New Powers as the Plot Demands: Some of the things Shinji does with the Unit 01 in 2.0 are completely amazing, especially since we haven't seen anything like them before. Particularly his use of the AT Field to THROW an Angel across the Geofront, in the form of a giant FIST no less. And for that matter, replacing the cut-off arm not with a new one grown from Zeruel's cutter material, but forming a pure AT field arm. Not to mention the previously-reserved-for-the-Angels Eye Beams.
Or so it seems. 3.0. reveals that Third Impact still wiped out most of humanity. Then Shinji tries to make up for it by redoing the events with the Lance of Longinus and Spear of Cassius, which also requires two souls to wield. Kaworu aids him with Rei Q joining them on orders, but Kaworu realizes they've both been manipulated and tries to warn Shinji not to pull out the lances. However, Shinji ignores his pleas and causes Fourth Impact, leaving Kaworu to perform a Heroic Sacrifice to fix things.
No Endor Holocaust: During the operation against Sahaqiel, most of the Kanto Plain is crushed underfoot by the Evas moving at supersonic speeds. After Sahaqiel's destruction, anything not leveled by the sonic boom is annihilated by a massive flood of "Angel Blood". No mention has yet been made of the billions of dollars in property damage.
Subverted in 3.0. Shinji starts the Third Impact at the end of 2.0, and Kaworu appears to have stopped it in time. Everyone let out a collective sigh of relief... until it was revealed that most of humanity got annihilated.
No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: "Kind" is apparently a synonym for "fucked" in Rebuild. Asuka pilots EVA-03 for Shinji and Rei's sakes. Misato calls her "kind" for this, just like Hikari dubbed Toji kind before the same ordeal in the original. And then... yeah.
In 3.0.Shinji tries to make up for causing Third Impact - despite Kaworu's protests. The result? Not only has he made things worse, it also resulted in Kaworu, the only person who treated him well throughout the whole movie (and throughout the whole film series) dead.
Noodle Cyborgs: You may notice in this new version of Eva that along with redesigns of several of the Angels, the Evas are alot more stringy looking than they were in the original series note Such as when Unit 03 goes berserk or when Mari takes control of Unit 02 and uses its Beast Form.
No Name Given: As of 3.0., unlike in the TV series, the Angels themselves (except for Lilith) have no names. Officially, they are only referred to by numbers — "the Fourth Angel," "the Fifth Angel," and so on. Even Super Robot Wars L, the only Super Robot Wars game to showcase Rebuild thus far, uses this system. However, most of the fandom uses their TV series counterparts' names, where applicable, for simplicity's sake. This is especially important when comparing the two media, as the order of their appearance is significantly different.
No Range Like Point-Blank Range: Mari seems to think so when she fires Unit 02's shoulder fin-mounted spike-launcher at Zeruel's face, with the English dubbed version even shouting "Point blank, shit-head!!!" as she pulls the trigger.
Not So Dire: One scene in 2.0 is Rei ominously holding a large kitchen knife. No, someone didn't goof and give her the opportunity to slit her wrists, she wants to learn how to cook.
Oh Crap: Kaworu, of all people, displays this look in 3.0. when he realizes that he and Shinji have been deceived into believing Fourth Impact would fix the damage from Third Impact, when it reality it'll just finish the job.
Older Than They Look: Asuka and Mari in 3.0., (who are 28 years old) have not physically aged due to piloting the Evangelion, which stilts their aging in some way. Asuka even starts calling Shinji "brat" instead of "stupid" now that she's 14 years older than him mentally.
Ominous Latin Chanting: At first impression the music that accompanies Angel battles seem to be this, but they're actually in grammatically correct English.
Angels of doom come call-ing, with no mer-cy / No fear, no heart, no judgement, no cle-men-cy.
One-Way Visor: Gendo wears one that closely resembles Keel's in 3.0.
While the Japanese version keeps the same cast as the original version, the only ones that are the same in the dub are Shinji, Misato, and Asuka. (Gendo is a half-example, as his voice actor from the Director's Cut dubs was brought back, but he was already an Other Darrin to the voice of Gendo in the original series and movies, Tristan MacAvery.)
Averted in the Italian dub, where all voice actors from the original reprise their respective roles... except for Kaworu, who has the voice actor from the first dub of End of Evangelion (yeah, End of Evangelion has been dubbed twice in a five years span, with the same dubbing director and the same voice actors from the original series, except for Misato, Kaworu and Aoba in the first dub. Long story.)
Our Angels Are Different: The Angels are even more Lovecraftian — similar to the Cherubim's appearances in the Bible and the Talmud.
Our Souls Are Different: SEELE is this mixed with Time Abyss and The Ageless type of immortality. They've been around since the beginning, gave man civilization, have changed their appearances over time, and have been working towards instrumentality since the beginning. Gendo kills them all off by simply turning them off.
Overdrawn at the Blood Bank: Actually deconstructed. The Angels now completely liquify into blood (LCL?) when they die instead of simply exploding, to the point of flooding Tokyo-3 each time. The beginning of the second movie has a trip to an aquifer/aquarium made to purge both the red water from Second Impact and Angel blood left over. This might seem excessive, but when you think about the size of some of the Angels and the sheer volume of material converting to liquid....
In 3.0, not so much. She feels extremely conflicted about Shinji for being the cause of Near-Third Impact and the death of most of the Earth.
Pep Talk Song: The lyrics to "Beautiful World" seem to pretty clearly have Shinji as their subject, apparently sung from the perspective of someone who cares for the boy and wants to see him grow into his potential. The versions ending each film even seem to reflect the person he makes the deepest emotional connection with in each film (Misato in the first, Rei in the second).
Alternatively, it's Kaworu's POV before he got to be reunited with Shinji again which was the set-up foreshadowing of all the two movies (lampshaded by the script with a cutscene where Gendo saying now, after Kaworu's arrival, "it begins"), he even wants to fix the world and make it beautiful with him: "Boku" and "Kimi" in the song indicate the talker is a boy. Kaworu uses them to speak. The ending song changes after they finally meet in 3.0.
See Jerk with a Heart of Gold; even Gendo, of all people, is showing signs of wanting to be a better person — by agreeing to attend a party where everyone cooks a dish and where he can spend father-and-son-time with Shinji. This is a marked improvement over the Gendo from the original series, even if it did take some prodding on Rei's part (or Yui's, to be precise). While the desire to reconcile with Shinji is actually quite genuine (Gendo cannot say no to Yui, even if that Yui is result of him spacing out during the dinner with Rei), it's unknown if Gendo actually uses this occasion to further his plans (he states in 1.0 that making Shinji and Rei friends — or something more — is one of the crucial parts of his plan).
Watch Gendo's face when Shinji asks to pilot Unit-01 again near the end of 2.0 — watch the expression when "Father!" is yelled. THAT was unexpected.
Not to mention that during the dummy plug sequence they removed the infamous shot of Gendo with the malicious smile as 01 viciously beats 03.
Please Put Some Clothes On: In Q, Shinji asks this of ReiQ after he finds her naked in her quarters. What may have been funny under other circumstances becomes rather something of an Ironic Echo to Shinji's fateful visit to Rei's appartment; During the following conversation, it becomes apparent that the person he's talking to is NOT our Rei...
Poor Communication Kills:3.0 may as well be the poster boy for this trope. Shinji is trying to figure out what the hell happened after 2.0, but all his inquiries get him are death threats by Misato, a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown by Asuka and collective, angry silence (or untimely interruptions, the beatdown being an example) from everyone else. He doesn't even know that there are other Rei clones, or that he caused Near-Third Impact, or that it's been 14 years since then until two-thirds through the film. And to top it all off, it was Kaworu who ultimately had to fill him in.
The ultimate communication failure is probably Shinji not listening to Kaworu when he tries to tell him not to pull out the spears. They're both at fault really, because Kaworu doesn't bother to explain that doing so would cause Fourth Impact, while Shinji was so desperate to try to fix everything that Kaworu's vague warnings went through one ear and out the other.
The Power of Love: Shinji reactivating Unit 01 to save Rei was only possible due to this.
While not outright subverted or deconstructed, the basic trope is still warped in an interesting way: In most works, the power of love is what causes the villain's undoing, a force that screws up their plans because they cannot comprehend it. This includes Eo E itself where Rei's love for Shinji makes her betray Gendo. Here, however, the antagonists explicitly pushed the two of them together with the intentions of exploiting the strength of their connection and set Shinji up to inadvertedly blow up the earth in his attempt to save her. Also, whether he actually saved her or not is currently up in the air as of the Gut Punch conga that was 3.0.
Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: WILLIE; an amalgamation of whatever military organisations survived Third Impact, including soldiers who grew to maturity since then who've been given whatever hasty training was possible during the struggle to survive.
Ramming Always Works: Subverted: in the climax of 3.0., the Wunder rams into Eva-13 in its new godly form, which, while still causing damage, isn't enough to stop it.
This also applies to the Evangelions, infact, red eyes apparently precede an awakening.
Renegade Splinter Faction: WILLE to NERV. Inverting the trope, WILLE's goals are benevolent compared to its progenitor agency.
Reset Button: In Q, the Lances of Cassius and Longinus (along with two souls to wield them) can be used as such, or rather, it's suggested it will simply restore the earth back into a planet humans can survive on as the earth is slowly becoming uninhabitable for humans. What they find instead is, in fact, two of the same lance that continues the obliteration of human civilisation rather than undo it, much to Shinji's immediate horror.
Restraining Bolt: Unit 02 has literal restraining bolts intended to limit is power and maintain its pseudo-human nature. Mari was able to release them to activate the Beast mode. It's likely that these restraints are also present in the other Evas, though 02 may have the most complete set as a production model.
Replacement Goldfish: Averted with Shinji and Rei Q. Once he has acertained that she is not the same girl he knew and that her being a clone doesn't make her the same person, he mourns "his" Rei and treats Rei Q like the Empty Shell-like stranger she appeared to be at the time. This also shows that he wasn't just seeing Yui in her, because Rei Q still looks like Yui.
Right Hand Versus Left Hand: The finale of Q. So much. Both Shinji and Asuka were actually trying to save the world - But only one of them had correct intel on what pulling those accursed spears would actually do. Meanwhile, Kaworu figures out what Gendo was really planning; but instead of listening to him, Shinji decides he must have gone nuts if he's taking Asuka's side, so he disconnects Kaworu's Eva controls and charges off to accidentally almost destroy the world again... almost a literal example.
Shinji's tape player counts as well in a Spot The Thread way, specially in 2.0 and 3.0; in the first, it's linked with his desire to bond with his father, after the Eva-03 incident, he throws it away, only to be found by Rei afterwards, by the time of the fight with Zeruel and what happened afterwards, it comes to represent his hope; in the latter, this meaning is carried on but in a different context, as in the hope of atonement and redemption that Kaworu gives to him, signified by him in bringing the tape into the entry plug of the Eva-13, after the near Fourth Impact and Kaworu's death, he accidentally drops the tape while Asuka drags him into the wild, reflecting his loss of hope and will to live.
Set Right What Once Went Wrong: What Shinji and Kaworu intend to do with the spears - By Kaworu's words, "What has been changed by EVA can also be changed back by EVA". Unfortunately, they didn't know the movie they were in was called "You can (not) redo".note Kaworu wanted to bring forth change (as his words explicitly say over there) for the lilin's survival and help Shinji atone for his sins, meanwhile Shinji wanted to bring back the world of the past and deny change ever happened or would happen. Shinji just tragically misunderstood in his desperation. There was a very distinctive difference between their intentions ultimately: Kaworu wanted to move forward and change, while Shinji wanted to move backwards and remain the same.
Self Destructive Charge: The final battle of the second movie is this, full-stop. Not only is Shinji increasing his plug depth to the point that his life is in mortal danger, but when he reaches for Rei, his skin starts to split open.
Scenery Censor: Asuka becomes a victim of this trope after her shocked reaction at seeing Pen-Pen in the shower for the first time, standing in the exact same position where Shinji was when he was scared by the penguin... though this time, she got the addition of a bent straw to cover her nipples in 2.0. Shinji, however, gets to see her full frontal — and receives a full-on Megaton Kick to the face as punishment.
Schedule Slip: The tetralogy was supposed to have been concluded in 2009, which, to put things into perspective, is when the second film was first released. This may have to do with the plot of 2.0 being revised during development, as the 1.0preview would suggest''.
Now the official website has removed the 2013 release date for 4.0. The projected release date is now... Winter 2015.NOOOO!
Schizo Tech: Rotary phones and Shinji's tape player exist harmoniously alongside modern laptops and cell phones. The Tape Player is said to be his father's, and it's one of Shinji's last possessions from him (indeed, Shinji throws it away later when he rejects his father's orders, so he might have kept it as a keepsake rather than it being a common item). Rotary phones require much less power than push button phones (being mechanically powered), and in the resource-scarce world after the Second Impact, that would make them useful.
Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale: Anno and crew actually seem to be trying to avert this as much as possible this time around. A good little example is during Unit 05's bootup sequence at the start of Rebuild 2.0; evidently Joe Average Evangelion has ~250 terabytes of active memory, which seems about right for all the calculations an Eva would need to operate.
Sequel Escalation: The TV series / End of Evangelion ended with Third Impact. In this version, "Near" Third Impact happens at the halfway mark, Fourth Impact partially occurs in 3.0, and there's still one more movie to go.
Ship Tease: A lot more obvious this time, particularly between Shinji and Rei.
3.0 applies a bit more of this sort of shipping, as well as going off in a different direction. Namely, between Kaworu and Shinji, as well as some less prevalent teasing between Asuka and Shinji. For the latter, there's the fact that he's happy that she's alive, even though she harbors a serious grudge against him, and there's also the fact that she's the one who drags him out of the cockpit after his serious Heroic BSOD.
Ship Sinking: Considering what Rei says when she tries to use an N2 missile on Zeruel ("I'll make it so Ikari never has to pilot again.") and just how far Shinji later goes to save Rei in his fight with Zeruel in 2.0, some may think this is the case for Asuka/Shinji.
As of 3.0, The tables may have turned, interestingly enough. The real Rei is still stuck elsewhere, and Shinji absolutely will not accept Rei Q as a replacement. He seems to attach himself to Kaworu in the movie, and shows signs of partially taking attraction to Asuka. Asuka, however, does not return the sentiment, since she's now technically twice his age, and her words and actions make it very clear that she thinks of him as a selfish, immature child, to the point that she changes his nickname to "brat Shinji."
At this point, Shinji may very well end up alone. Final shall reveal the end result....
Eva Unit 02's introduction has Gunbuster written all over it in neon letters. Not only does 02 have its fins replaced with flight packs that look suspiciously similar◊ to the Gunbuster's main engines◊, but it defeats the clock Angel with an almost exact recreation of the Inazuma Kick.
Similarly, Ramiel shooting down the inbound missiles in the climax of 1.11 is a direct reference to Gunbuster's legendary use of the Buster Beam to dispatch an entire fleet of space monsters.
The scenes at Nerv's moonbase contain several direct references to 2001: A Space Odyssey, Especially in the design of the ships Gendo and Fuyutsuki travel in.
The trays of food (consisting of neat rectangular bricks of colored mush) that Shinji receives in 3.0 look exactly like the food dispensed aboard the Discovery.
This might be a stretch but the scene where where Shinji's spent cartridges fly and crush stuff around him could be a reference to episode 41 of Samurai Jack where the same thing happened in an extremely simmilar fashion.
In 3.0, Misato refers to the Wunder as a "ship of hope". This line, as well as the concept of the ship itself, is an homage to Space Battleship Yamato.
The 3.33 intro has a Live Action switch into a homage to old kaiju films, as some sort of Evangelion descends into Tokyo-3, made out of hi-quality cardboard cutouts, and proceeds to completely annihilate it with a mouth-laser similar to Godzilla's as more and more descend from the sky.
Ramiel’s high-pitched shrieks are the same as the ones produced by the space monster from Diebuster.
Sigil Spam: NERV puts their logo on everything! SEELE gets to join in on the fun, too.
Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids! / Silly Rabbit, Cynicism Is for Losers!: The two are present in 3.0, the first is shown in the consequences from Shinji's actions in 2.0 and to a lesser extent in the climax of 3.0 in which Shinji's desperation makes him trigger Fourth Impact; the latter, on the other hand, appears at the first half and near end of 3.0: in the former, Misato's (and perhaps WILLE in general) bitterness and distrust towards Shinji is what makes him go with Rei Q when she comes for him; and at the end, Asuka's lack of will to talk or reason with Shinji is what pushes him to his break point and eventual retrieval of the lances.
Soundtrack Dissonance: Wouldn't be Evangelion without it! Twice in 2.0: A children's song plays while Unit-01 munches on the out-of-control Unit-03, and it plays again when Shinji kicks off the Third Impact.
Q does it as well, with "Ode to Joy" playing as Shinji accidentally sets off Fourth Impact. It wouldn't be Evangelion without Beethoven, either.
Space Base: Tabgha Base, NERV's lunar base, the site of Evangelion Mark.06's construction and Kaworu's home until the end of 2.0.
Spider Mech: EVA-05, though not by choice, since they sent it into combat in an emergency.
Spot The Thread: There are several visual indications that Rebuild is more than a direct remake of the original Evangelion, including:
The red ocean at the beginning; it's a result of Second Impact in Rebuild, but it distinctly mirrors the red/orange ocean from End of Evangelion.
In the opening scene in 1.0, we see a picture of some houses flooded by the red water, with an outline of what looks like an MP EVA in the cross-position from the end of End, where the MP EVAs had fallen to the ground.
The scene right at the end where we see what looks like the original version of Lilith in a grave on the Moon.
The enormous red streak running across the moon's surface, mirroring the blood spray that Rei/Lilith left on the moon in End when she died.
Kaworu's line at the end of 2.0, "This time, I'll make you happy." This time?
In 3.0, Gendo briefly speaks to the head of a dead, smiling, Rei corpse.
Kaworu was the First Angel before being forced into acting as the Thirteenth in 3.0.
In 3.0, Kaworu tells Shinji "I really was born to meet you", paralleling a conversation from the original series where he told him "Maybe I was born to meet you".
The angel sealing runes count as this, specially in 3.0 where they are featured in Shinji's DSS Choker and Asuka's Eyepatch of Power, amongst other examples.
Stealth Hi/Bye: Misato pulls off a superb Stealth Hi on Shinji & Asuka while the latter is complaining about the "lack of privacy" (sliding doors) in Misato's house. The two are appropriately freaked out once they notice her.
The Stinger: Each movie has one in the form of a "Next Episode Preview" recalling those of the original TV series, complete with Misato's promises of fan service. 2.22 goes one step further, adding an entire additional scene between the credits and the preview.
A Storm Is Coming: The Eva being brought over from the United States is airlifted into a storm cloud approaching over the Arizona desert. Lightning flickers and thunder rolls ominously.
Super Prototype: As in the original series, EVA-01 (the "Test Type") seems to be a whole lot more powerful than the later production models. And then there is the Mark.06, Kaworu's very own EVA, which is openly described as having an "odd" construction method. Which is to say, it's built on top of something that looked a lot like series-Lilith. This seems to be a reference to the mass grave of Eva-prototypes Ritsuko referred to as a "dumping ground" as she revealed it to Misato.
In 3.0, the Mark.06 is revealed to be the can for the Twelfth Angel itself, which has its entire body being a core. The Mark.09 and Unit-13 counts as well:
The Mark.09, a Unit-00 lookalike, is an Angel-like entity referred to as "Adams' Vessel" and is outright confirmed to have been the entity originally controlling the Wunder. It even tries to hijack the ship during the final battle.
Unit-13 was built specifically for starting Fourth Impact. Uniquely among Evas, it has two entry plugs and accordingly two pilots, making its AT-field extraordinarily strong. In the final battle, the Eva's "pseudo-evolved form" was impaled by not one but TWO Spears of Longinus AND one of its pilots committed suicide in the entry plug... yet the Eva still kept going until the other pilot's entry plug was forcibly ejected.
Super Robot Wars: Debuted in L, despite the fact that the series was still running at the time.
The opening of 2.0 is almost entirely in fluent, clear English (except for Kaji). Mari's phone call later in the movie is also in English, albeit accented.
Mari's voice actress — the reknowned Maaya Sakamoto — is actually fairly fluent with English and finally gets to show it off for a major production.
All of the English on the computer screens is grammatically and semantically accurate, too. There were a couple typos in the original release... which were all fixed for the Blu-ray.
Some of the English in the Bethany Base sequence is still a little off, but only compared to what a "real" computer display would read like. ("bound for Akron" when the actors are obviously saying "Acheron" is the most obvious.)
Forget English, Russian is correct on the same screens.
The songs that play in background music in certain fight scenes had surprisingly good English as well.
Taking into account that Anno has gone into rehabilitation, then a possible interpretation of some parts of the plot of3.33 can be counted as a general slap to the face to the deep end of the scale of cyniscism in the form of WILLE (and by extension, Asuka and Misato): their general attitude, overall bitterness and the obvious lack of communication is what alienates Shinji to leave them at the beginning. If that wasn't enough, the fight at Central Dogma and the following events could have been prevented had Asuka stopped to talk to Shinji, who was clearly confussed and willing to reason with her. In short, while reckless idealism leads to mistakes, complete cynicism accomplishes nothing, and in fact, can be even worse at times.
Both Sadamoto’s poster for Q and Honda’s artwork have set Shinji and Kaworu in a sky full of stars with each under Vega and Altair and with the Milkyway running between them. A direct allusion to the star crossed lovers from the legend and the stars associated with them.
Furthermore the official theater booklet for 3.0 held interviews by the Khara staff including Megui Ogata and Akira Ishida that described Kaworu and Shinji as having been linked through “past cycles” and only being able to be around each other for a brief time.
A very meta aversion. No matter how this ends, it's nice to know Anno's a lot happier then when he started the franchise.
Played straight for many of the embittered survivors of Near Third Impact in 3.0.
Throat Light: Unit 01 vs. Zeruel, complete with breath that sounds like pissed-off winter. But no breath weapon to accompany the Eye Beams.
Through His Stomach: Rei's opening up in 2.0 is triggered by Shinji giving Rei some food. Both Asuka and Rei attempt to do this to Shinji, though in Rei's case it's to get Shinji and Gendo to reconcile.
Thirteen Is Unlucky: In this version, Kaworu is the 13th Angel. We also have Eva-13, built to cause Fourth Impact.
Time Skip: "3.0" starts off 14 years after the events of "2.0".
Took a Level in Badass: Shinji once again against Zeruel. And to top it off: while it's ambiguous why Unit 01 reactivates in the series... it's extremely obvious that it was Shinji himself forcing his Eva to reactivate this time around.
Trailers Always Spoil: Specifically, Asuka's eyepatch appearance during the trailer for 3.0. Although we knew they were still alive, we weren't sure if they were still human.
Trauma Conga Line: Shinji goes through this big time in 3.0.He wakes up after thinking he saved Rei, only to find out not only was she not saved, 14 years have passed and all his friends and allies hate him. He goes back to NERV, only to find that the Rei there is nothing more than a clone, and that his attempts to communicate with her are useless. Then he finally manages to find comfort in Kaworu, the only one who treats him with kindness, only to find out that he caused Third Impact and wiped out most of humanity. Thinking he can fix this by causing Fourth Impact, he goes with Kaworu to try to fix things, only to end up making them worse when it's revealed that Fourth Impact will wipe out the rest of humanity, forcing Kaworu to sacrifice himself before Shinji's eyes. By the end, he's a complete wreck.
A Tragedy of Impulsiveness: The finale of 3.0. Talk first, shoot later, Asuka, especially if the enemy seems willing to talk! Hear Kaworu out before you touch the artifacts of Doom, Shinji! And Kaworu...couldn't you have thought of any other course of action that the one you took?
Trilogy Creep: Originally, the series was to be two individual features followed by two shorts packaged together as a third "film". After the resounding success of 2.0, however, plans apparently changed and 3.0 and 4.0 were both expanded and made into feature-length movies themselves.
Tsundere: This time around, Asuka is closer to an actual Tsundere than just a female-Jerkass, in that she actually expresses her better side through kind behavior towards other people, rather than holding it in. Far heavier on the tsun in 3.0, after what she's been through.
Two Beings, One Body: Evangelion Unit-13 is piloted by both Shinji and Kaworu. In addition, the preview for Evangelion 4.0 shows an EVA composed of one half of Unit-02's body and one half of Unit-08's body stuck together, entitled Unit 2+8. Whether Asuka and Mari pilot this EVA together or not is, as of yet, not known.
Unstoppable Rage: After Unit-01 takes out the infected Unit-03 with Asuka inside using the dummy plugs, Shinji goes berserk and starts attacking the NERV pyramid himself until Gendo gets bored and orders the LCL pressure inside the EVA to unsafe levels, causing Shinji to pass out (so actually a Very Stoppable Rage, as it turns out). And then, there is his behavior in the battle against Zeruel.
Updated Re-release: 1.01 and 1.11, we're looking at you. 1.01 added several new elements to the original theatrical release of 1.0, and 1.11 fixes problems with that release (most notably, severe darkness issues). Although there were certainly American fans in a rage when Funimation announced they'd be releasing 1.01...given that 1.11 had already been out for months in Japan. Fans in the UK luckily did not have to suffer this; 1.01 and 1.11 were released as a double-disc set, albeit several months after the US release. Meanwhile 2.0 and 3.0 were similarly tweaked and released as 2.22 and 3.33, but without the problem of staggered DVD and BD releases.
Vapor Wear: As noted by Asuka, the experimental plugsuit during the EVA-03 test is even tighter than standard issue and barely covers anything. It's actually a full-body-covering suit, but the lighter midsection looks like it's not there at all.
Ventriloquism: Asuka having a 'conversation' with her doll about not needing others, in a highly unsettling scene.
Victory Is Boring: Discussed between Misato and Ritsuko during Shinji, Rei, and Asuka's Eva-test.
1.0 is more or less a shot-for-shot remake of the first 6 episodes of the series... Until Ramiel shows up, and completely wrecks Shinji. Misato then shows him Lilith. After Ramiel is defeated, things seem to go back to normal... but then, there's The Stinger, which has Kaworu on the moon, with the tombs of other Angels.
The second half of 2.0 has Asuka and Unit-3 being mauled (she survives, but is comatose) and Rei being eaten by Zeruel. Shinji then completely gives up on reality, life and himself by becoming ridiculously powerful with his EVA's AT Field. Furthermore, he decides to start the Third Impact to save Rei. It's only with the intervention of Kaworu that the apocalypse is averted, and even then most of the Evangelion Units have been demolished while there are still more Angels to come, with both Shinji and Rei trapped inside EVA-01.
3.0 ends on the note of Shinji causing the 4th impact and Kaworu dying to stop it.
Hell, All of 3.0 could be considered one. From showing that Kaworu was too late to stop much of the damage from the Third Impact to Shinji's second fuck up, there's very little non-wham.
Beginning at the start of 1.0, with Sachiel. For one thing, the standard military hits the opening Angel with LOTS More Dakka than in the original, and we get a better look at how destructive the N2 Mine/missile is. None of it works. And we also get a shot of the Angel levitating briefly, something it couldn't do before. Finally, although this is more backhanded, Sachiel vs. Unit-01. Yes, Unit-01 still CurbStomps him. The difference, is that the sequence takes noticeably longer than it did in the series. Even if Sachiel can't hope to win, he can still last a bit longer than before.
Then, we skip to the battle against Ramiel. For the sake of keeping a short example, just compare the original fight against the one in Rebuild. Ramiel, Shinji, and to one degree even Rei have clearlytaken numerous levels in badass.
Xtreme Kool Letterz/Ye Olde Butcherede Japanese: The new title is spelled very oddly. For some reason, it seems to be spelled in the Touhouku dialect. Originally, the gairaigo (transliterated into Japanese) spelling in katakana (alphabet used for foreign words) was E-va-n-ge-ri-o-n. In Rebuild, it's spelled Ye-va-n-ge-ri-wo-n in katakana. Even though /wo/ is pronounced the same as /o/ in modern Japanese, sort of making sense, the phoneme /ye/ isn't used in modern Japanese anymore, which is weird (neither is /wo/, outside of particles), which this isn't, but they've been using it for Kaworu's name since the original series.