After an enthusiastic and futile solo assault, Mari manages to revive a mangled Unit-2 long enough to help Rei and Unit-0 get through Zeruel's AT Field.
This turns into another awesome moment: Rei throws Mari back and thanks an EVA pilot she'd never met with what could very well count as her last breath.
For that matter, pretty much her entire fight with Zeruel, summed up in one line "POINT BLANK, SHITHEAD!"
"Modo hanten! Ura codo: ZA BEASTO!" (In the dub: "Invert Controls! Backdoor code: THE BEAST!")
During the fight with Zeruel, Mari finds Shinji and all but tells him to stop feeling sorry for himself. What makes this moment awesome? It works.
2.0 recreates the infamous elevator ride between Rei and Asuka from the series; when Asuka goes to slap Rei this time around, Rei intercepts it.
In the anime, Shinji crushes and cripples Toji, then threatens to destroy NERV Headquarters after getting locked in the loading bay. In the manga, he tries to start his job at the docking bay before Gendo raises Unit-01's LCL compression. In Rebuild, Shinji manages to level a good chunk of NERV Headquarters, set the fields around NERV headquarters on fire, and start stomping on the pyramid (as he points out that he has at least four minutes on the clock—enough time to destroy half of NERV Headquarters) until Gendo raises Unit-01's LCL compression.
"Give Ayanami... back to me!" At this point, the fandom officially stopped making fun of Shinji.
The dub gives Shinji an even better line in a creepier voice: "I want Rei... give her back!"
Those who watched the TV series first probably assumed that, after this point, Shinji had lost consciousness like in the original. And for good reason, since the EVA has gone berserk and it's wiping the floor with the angel's ass. However, the camera shows the entry plug and we can see that Shinji, not only is still conscious, but he's still piloting! And on top of that, he delivers probably the most epic Badass Boast in the entire series: "I don't care what happens to me... I don't care what happens to the world... I will save Ayanami, NO MATTER WHAT!" By that point, the Holy Shit Quotient is off the charts!
If you believe Shinji still controls Unit-01 at this point (and he hasn't driven it into berserk mode through sheer force of will), then you can consider what he accomplishes in this scene as nothing short of remarkable: Acting purely on instinct, Shinji becomes the first person to wield the full power of an Evangelion at will. He uses Unit-01's AT Field to create a replacement limb for the one Zeruel blasted off, then unleashes Eye Beams that only the Angels had used up until this point. Those beams annihilate Zeruel's multi-layered AT Field in one shot. If you ever wanted to see what the Evangelions can do beyond hitting, knifing, or shooting things, Shinji answers all of your prayers.
The moment just before Unit-01's ascension to godhood, this exchange happens between Shinji and Rei:
Rei: "It's fine, Ikari-kun. Even if I disappear, I'll be replaced. I'll be replaced."
Shinji: "You're wrong! There's no other Ayanami but you! That's why I'll definitely save you!"
The dubbed line further enforces just how few shits Shinji gives about any obstacle standing between Rei and himself:
Shinji: "You're wrong! You're the only Rei there is! And I'm saving you! Right now!"
Shinji reaffirmed Rei's worth as a person and declared that he would save her even if he has no idea how to save her. For all intents and purposes, he told the outlook of the television seriesto suck it.
Kaworu appears at the end of the film with Unit-06 and the (Not) Lance of Longinus to save the world; given his role in the original series, this act becomes beautifully ironic.
And why is Shinji doing all this? Because just like first time round Rei makes a big Heroic Sacrifice attempt to stop the Angel, not with a N2 mine but a huge ass missile. And her reason, if she kills them all that means Shinji will never have to pilot again, is pretty damn heroic. Then she thanks Mari for her help and orders her to retreat. All in that super calm voice of hers, but being Rei she's growling in comparison.
3.0: You Can (Not) Redo
The second teaser for 3.0. EVAs IN SPAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACE!!!
The Launch of Wunder. Misato kills an angel this time!!
The final battle outdoes absolutely EVERYTHING seen so far in the series: Unit-02 and Unit-08 versus a godlike Unit-13 assisted by the Mark.09.
Shinji, sitting in Unit-13 for the first time and otherwise being more or less a complete rookie, solos Asuka in her Unit-0' with literally over a decade and a half of piloting experience... and No Sells everything she throws at him until she runs out of power. Even then, Asuka seems more pissed at the fact that he Would Hit a Girl than getting her ass handed to her.
As Shinji realizes the true magnitude of his actions, the Wunder RAMS INTO THE EVA and fires a point-blank barrage that fails to cause any damage. At this point, the Mark.09 flies in with its own halos, Eye Beaming the ship several times before the Mark.09 latches on and almost manages to hijack it from its own crew until Asuka rejoins the fray. After an ineffective ranged attack, the Mark.09 retaliates with an Eye Beam that Asuka not only dodges but uses the blast wave of to proper herself at her opponent and engage Beast Mode in mid-air. She then proceeds to catch another Eye Beam with Unit-02's mouth, slap aside a third one then rip out the enemy Eva's throat with her Eva's teeth; the Mark.09 however immediately regenerates and tries to do the same with Unit-02... only for Asuka to apologize to her Eva and arm the self-destruct before ejecting. Oh, and the music during this entire sequence? The Wrath of God in All Its Glory.
And before she does that, she's able to get Rei-Q out of her identity crisis, in the middle of the fight.
Kaworu snapping out of his Heroic BSOD by stabbing Unit-13 (and by extension, Shinji and himself) with both spears then allowing theDSS Chokerto decapitate him. When that doesn't do the trick, God's Gift kicks in as Unit-08 leaps off of the Geofront after the falling Eva into a sixteen-plus kilometers drop and proceeds to physically tear Shinji's entry plug out of Unit-13, singlehandedly stopping Fourth Impact just as the song gets to the choral part about the world's creation. A more subtle CMOA comes from Mari's words - she doesn't get mad at Shinji for anything more than not standing up for himself. Not about Third Impact, not about his abandoning the Wunder, not even getting mad about him re-entering Eva. And she doesn't kill him - something probably no other character in the movie would have done. Even better, the action is immediately followed by the Geofront crashing back down onto the Earth, overshadowing Mount Fuji by several orders of magnitude. Epic cannot even begin to describe it.
Ramiel. Just... Ramiel. It deserves an award for the simple fact that until Shinji shoots it, it's absolutely blowing through anything and everything without effort. It predicts Unit-01's arrival and shoots it in the chest. When a shield comes up, it simply shifts over to another, even more powerful beam, and blasts the shield apart effortlessly. In an odd way, it almost seems to have a twisted sense of humor with its action. Until it gets shot, snaps, and proceeds to melt his way through a God-damn mountain to get at Shinji.
The particle cannon he was shot with deserves a mention too. It's a weapon that harnesses the power output of an entire nation to contain a great lump of antimatter that blasts through an AT field—one that's powerful enough to bend visible light—in a single hit! In the original NGE it also one-shots Ramiel. In Rebuild he took two hits, which again warrants another Crowning Moment of Awesome. He gets hit with the power output of an entire nation and lived! Course then it gets subverted and the second hit kills him.
Rebuild!Ramiel really shows how far Evangelion as a franchise has come, as in the original it was just a cool square but as of Rebuild, it was a force to be reckoned with.
Shinji: He gets one at the end of the movie, where despite being fried by Ramiel and being in intense pain, he gets back up. This, after Shinji spent most of the movie running away and crying / being depressed, had this editor cheering. Misato's speech of confidence (to Gendo) also deserves a mention.
And Rei gets a Crowning Moment when she jumps in front of one of Ramiel's blasts to protect Shinji, using a fricking space shuttle as a shield. Which leads to a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming when Shinji rescues her from the smoldering wreckage of Unit-00.
Let's just face it, the entire Ramiel battle (both original and Rebuild versions) is Made of Win.
Mari never fought the Fifth Angel, I presume you're talking about her debut fight against the Third. They changed around the order a bit, taking a lot of 'em out while adding a couple more. But yes, Mari is truly amazing in both of her fights. Total shame that Interim Unit-05 was destroyed (apparently sabotaged) in its first sortee. That thing was damn cool, even for an Eva.
Asuka's entrance and brief fight with "Clockiel". After harpoon shots are blocked by the Angel's AT Field, her Eva performs a kick, complete with her trademark battle cry, using the harpoons to break through the AT Field and pierce clean through the Angel's head, spearing the core in the process.
The fight against Sahaquiel in Rebuild of Evangelion: you get to feel the power of the Evangelions when you see them destroying highways by simply running over it and jumping over two power lines in a single leap. And just when you thought this couldn't get better, the Angel changes course and Eva-01 has to use some kind of elevated bend just to change direction. By now, the whole scene and music reduced you to tears. And then Shinji uses his AT field—his rarefied sense of self in physical form—to cancel out his EVA's wind resistance... and a giant robot the size of Godzilla breaks the sound barrier.
Remember when Shinji threatened to attack NERV headquarters, after the whole thing with Toji and Unit 03/the thirteenth Angel? In Rebuild Shinji takes this to its logical conclusion by actually attempting to tear down the headquarters when Asuka is the one stuck in Unit 03 while he's being forced to "Murder" her. Holy Shit Quotient be damned.
Zeruel. In Neon Genesis Evangelion it was a torso with toilet paper arms. In Rebuild, Zeruel lives up to the title of "Angel of Might", being wrapped in flattened tentacles, using an AT-Field with DOZENS of layers, surviving an N2 bomb at point blank range without its AT-Field, and actually -eating- Rei and Unit 00 to transform into a new and disturbing form.
Zeruel approaches Tokyo-3; like all the other Angels, he's bombarded by gunfire and missiles but they don't have any effect. But unlike the other Angels, it takes just one attack from Zeruel to pierce through all 24 layers of armor below the city. That's right, Zeruel completely breaches the Geofront's strongest shields with just one attack. Even the original series' Zeruel wasn't that powerful.
Early in the battle with Zeruel, Mari Makinami, in command of Unit 02 (it's a long story) and gets it to go into its berserker state (which looks disturbingly similar to the Mass-Production Eva's from End of Evangelion (or [[Spider-Man Carnage]]) first smashing the multiple AT-Fields of her opponent with appalling ease then to tear down the same with her Eva's maw to let Rei get a shot at it with a nuke. Of course, as in the original series, it doesn't work, but it's still pretty awesome to watch, and is practically a CMOA for the animation team as well. She then goes on to give Shinji the Rousing Speech leading to his-and (at of this writing) arguably Rebuild’s greatest Crowning Moment.
Say it with me: Invert Mode! Code: THE BEAST!
Shinji/Unit 01 versus Zeruel, which has consumed Rei/Unit 00 and can now access Terminal Dogma without triggering the self-destruction of the base. Shinji saves Misato and everyone else at HQ with a punch to Zeruel. Fights inside NERV HQ and out despite losing an arm. Fights until his EVA loses power, as it did in the original. And then, instead of the Eva going berserk and fighting on its own a la 400% synch rate, manages to start the Eva up again with the power of his own will, and controls it the whole time.
Three very terse words: "Give Ayanami back!". Cue a beatdown of divine proportions and a "Take My Hand" scene that is as badass as it is touching.
He. Became.GOD. I don't really think I need to extrapolate on this, but... words just can't do it justice. It's... His halo (did I mention the halo of raw energy? Because there's a halo of raw energy) turns into a tear in the fabric of reality. This scene is epic in every sense of the word. It's really a testament to a series when we can look at the protagonist and go from "Well, at least the world isn't -technically- dead" to " I can see forever in his EYES!".
It has been neglected to mention that Shinji and 01, in Rebuild 2.0, basically Rocket Punches Zeruel (with an energy arm, no less). As the Rocket Punch-esque attack starts up, Zeruel almost looks like it's in shock that the puny imitation-angel, that it had nearly fatally wounded seconds ago, is now doing things only Angels could do, such as having the power to become either a God or a Devil.
Am I the only one who thought that Shinji declaring he was he pilot of Eva-01 to Gendo in the second movie was awesome? More so in the dub, Spike Spencer's voice acting in the original series during this scene sounded like Shinji was unsure, but this time around, it's a full out declaration that sounds filled with determination. Spike really improved significantly. Here's the exchange":
Shinji: "LET ME PILOT IT!" *panting since he just ran all the way to the cage* "Please, please, you have to let me pilot Unit 01."
Gendo:"What are you doing here?"
Shinji: *clenches fist* "FATHER! IT'S ME! THE PILOT OF EVANGELION UNIT 01, SHINJI IKARI!"
In a meta sense, many people showed a dislike for Rei-Q due to her being a replacement for the more likeable Rei of 2.22, which is exactly the same reaction that Shinji had by the end of 3.33; Anno was really able to make an Intended Audience Reaction this time around.
Perhaps most awesome of all, in a meta sense, is how FUNimation managed to bring on most of the original voice actors of the main characters to reprise their iconic roles. Spike Spencer was still doing voice work before Rebuild, but worked out of LA, so no one could've expected him to not only reprise his role, but improve upon it with years of experience gained in the time since dubbing End of Evangelion. Even moreso is Allison Keith, the voice of Misato: she hadn't done any voice acting in a long time, having taken on a job as a teacher. Yet, her Misato is still as great, if not greater, than before!
And just think, there's a fourth one coming. It can only go up.