While some absolutely hated the movie in general, others suddenly loved2.0 once the finale of the movie began since it tied back to the subtitle (You Can (Not) Advance): even if you make these characters happier and better-adjusted...even if you make Shinji braver...even if you try to do everything "right"...in the end, everything and everyone is still doomed. In fact, make Shinji and Rei happy together, and the world seemingly ends faster. The only thing that prevented the end of the world was Kaworu somehow knowing exactly when to show up to prevent Unit 01 from going full Third Impact.
This realization only makes Kaworu's lines during the ending hit harder than ever, and make you wonder... "I'll make sure to make you happy THIS time, Shinji."
The same can be said of the Japanese subtitles to the first two movies: the first one (Beginning) is just a (Lighter but not softer) retelling of the first part of the series. And then there is the second one, Breaking, where everything goes Off the Rails.
Arguably also Asuka's injuries sustained during Unit-03's destruction by Unit-01. Along with the eyepatch, close examination of her body in the recovery room reveals that they mirror the ones she sustained in End of Evangelion.
Only seen in the trailer for 3.0 so far, but: Kaworu & EVA-Mark.06 descending into Terminal Dogma is done in an identical fashion to Kaworu & EVA-02 descending into Terminal Dogma in that original TV series. Subtle, but clever when you finally notice it.
The international titles of the films have the word "not" in brackets. This is because at the beginnings of the films, Shinji is in the state the title describes without the word "not." By the ends of the films, he reaches the state described by the title with the word "not"; i.e. At the beginning of 1.11 Shinji thinks to himself, "You Are Alone"; at the end of 1.11, "You Are [Not] Alone"; at the beginning of 2.22 Shinji thinks to the angels, "You Can Advance"; at the end of 2.22, "You Can [Not] Advance." At the beginning of 3.33 Shinji thinks to himself, "You Can Redo"; at the end of 3.33, "You Can [Not] Redo."
Additionally Shinji's thought pattern in the beginning of the movies relate to his resolve in the original series. But Anno has reformatted his outlook, and so Shinji is in the process of doing the same. Shinji is rebuilding his thought process by adding just one word that wasn't there before.
You just keep saying "End of the World" like it's a badthing...
This one works for the original series as well, but think about this: when Shinji sees (and then falls on) Rei while she's naked, she isn't phased at all. But then, in 2.0, you see that Gendo talks with her while she's in the LCL tube, naked. Presumably she's been doing this since she was young, so she grew up without a sense of shame.
If you look closely, you can actually see a quite big hole in EVA-01's chest armor, but it's not because pieces have broken off. So apparently SEELE expected EVA-01 to eat an Angel and adopt it's S2 Engine. Also doubles as Fridge Horror.
Dr.Ritsuko asking Katsuragi to help pass new security cards to Shinji and Rei, saying that she forgot. Considering whose words this is coming from and mentioning of Gendo's plan earlier, it just flat-out implies that this cannot be a coincidence.
On this topic, in the anime, Shinji threatens to destroy NERV Headquarters. In the manga, he tries to, but is stopped at the docking bay. In Rebuild, we cut to Shinji FUCKING Ikari having wrecked and leveled a good part of headquarters, pointing out that he has enough time to destroy half of it... if he wants. After an exchange, he proceeds to stomp the shit out of the pyramid. That is, until Gendo stops him by ordering that LCL compression be raised to maximum and causing him to pass out.
No, the irony is even worse, seeing as Shinji loses Kaworu (presumably) forever...dammit
Kaworu actually says they'll meet again before he dies.
The Dramatic Irony gets even heavier once you realise that Shinji's seemingly-unfortunate comment was right. Until that point, Shinji had lost his mother and his father—in spite of the latter being alive—and thought that he lost Asuka too. Meanwhile Gendo had not truly lost his wife because he had plans, plans he thought were guaranteed to work, to reunite with her, and had not lost his son either because discarding does not mean losing. So Shinji's comment, in spite of how seemingly missed it was, was actually right because at that point Gendo was incapable of understanding Shinji's pain of truly losing someone. The whole thing was Shinji's call to his father to try and reach out to him and instead of trying Gendo dismisses it by ordering to raise the LCL pressure. That serves to highlight how messed up their relationship as father and son is.
If you listen closely to Give Me Wings, the song that plays at the end of 2.0 as Shinji starts to initiate Third Impact, you'll notice that it has shades of Canon in D Major...just like Komm, Susser Tod, which played over Third Impact in End of Evangelion. Symbolic or no, it's a hell of a callback on the part of Shiro Sagisu.
For fans following the "Rebuild is a Stealth Sequel" theory, Asuka's line in Episode 25 from NGE ("This is the end. One of many possible endings.") becomes this.
It may seem (and is) horribly depressing that Shinji didn't save Rei. You must remember, though, that she and Unit-01/Shinji sort of melded at the end of 2.0...though, this causes one to wonder as to what the hell happened to her
She is now literally inside Shinji's heart?
While it seems outlandish and crack at first, but a probable possibility is that Rei's original soul is inside Shinji's SDAT player.
Mari Illustrious Makinami is named after the HMS Illustrious. Illustrious was also known as 'Lusty'. Now, who is Ms. Fanservice here?
At first, the derail of the plot in 3.0 seems like an Ass Pull, but there's foreshadowing to the fact that we're not gonna follow the plot beat for beat with certain scenes happening way before they happen in the show (the elevator scene is a good example)
Seele-01 alludes to this at the end of 1.0, saying, "The apocrypha of the Dead Sea Scrolls has been passed into the Book of Law." Cut to a shot of Evangelion Mark.06 under construction. Gendo does this again in Q, saying the time has come to amend the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Here's one that comes from the movies' entire premise; "What if Anno made the series in his new, happier state?" Simple. It becomes even worse for the characters. Depression, cynicism and pessimistic philosophy can serve as defence mechanisms, these slowly break your will, yes, but also allow you to predict the future and prepare for the worst, therefore keeping you from feeling the full impact. Optimists, on the other hand, are much more unprepared and thus corruptible by the harsh realities, randomness and surprises of life, once they learn the hard way that life isn't fair, everything comes tumbling down, tumbling down, tumbling down.... In the Rebuild movies, Shinji wasn't a pessimist. He was actually on the rise; never well adjusted, perhaps, but rational, and slowly becoming happy. When the realities of the NGE series hit him, they hit Rebuild!Shinji a hundred-fold harder than NGE!Shinji. As a result, he was plunged far deeper into emotional pain. Think of it like having farther to fall, or that while NGE!Shinji was always low in emotional happiness and sanity, his depression kept him braced from falling much further. Rebuild!Shinji was climbing up... And so when the end of 2.0 and all of 3.0 hit, he fell. All the way to the bottom. That is how you Break the Cutie and invoke a Heroic Blue Screen of Death.
Some people would wonder why Kaworu took so long to realize that the two spears keeping Lilith sealed were both Longinus types and failed to properly warn Shinji. You have to remember that Kaworu is still an Angel, and therefore never ate the Fruit of Knowledge. He lacks the critical thinking and problem solving abilities humans take for granted, and cannot deal with unexpected situations easily.
If you are from the belief that Rebuild is a Stealth Sequel, the deviation of 2.22 and 3.33 from the original plot makes sense since, in true Evangelion fashion, it leads to a Deconstruction of the whole Reset Button premise.
Not everything is returned to it's original form (The moon and the sea)
The Reset Button left lingers of it's tools (The apparently marks of the MP Evas in 1.11)
It's the antagonist who are apparently aware of the Reset Button and actively work to make sure their plans succeed (Gendo's manipulations that lead to the awakening of Eva-01, the overthrowme of SEELE, and an unknown amounts of Rei clones to prevent any wildcard .)
The angels return as well, but this time, they adapt to become more efficient. (Ramiel's adaptation in 1.11, Sahaquiel, Bardiel and Zeruel's increase of power in 2.22.)
Even the doll that Asuka talks to in 2.22 would count, given that by EOE she managed to resolve her problems with her mother, and therefore, she no longer has that mental scar.
I just saw the musical motif in the whole series. 1.11= 1/9, 2.22=1/6, 3.33=1/3, :||=Repeat.
As an extension of above, the new name for Final, 3.0 + 1.0, is indeed an end and repeat of Shinji's original mental state, although in different circunstances: "You Can (Not) Redo, but You Are (Not) Alone".
Remember the themathic of The Four Loves of Shinji in the original series? well, in the Rebuild movies it's used again in the form of the Deuteragonist role, which is aided by the fact that some of the UST of the original series has been left aside.
Misato (Storge) and Kaworu (Agape). What Rei and Asuka are is yet unknown, FINAL will determine their placements, provided that Asuka does indeed take the role of Deuteragonist.
Why does the Curse of Eva stunt a pilot's growth? In the original series, and possibly in Rebuild too (it appears to still hold for Eva-01 at least), the majority of Evas are controlled through the synchronization between mother (resident soul/control system) and child (pilot). Assuming this concept still exists in some capacity in Rebuild, the influence of the mothers' souls may be preventing the children from growing up, in an attempt to preserve their bond.
While the lack of communication is seen as something that could had been avoided, and as such, most of the plot of 3.33, it is actually a realistic result for the crew of Wille to act as such: living in a perpetual battlefield is something that takes its toll on everyone, there's no room for personal growth or second thoughts; regardless of the amount of true guilt Shinji, who had an unwitting hand on Third Impact, would have, such a thing would mean nothing to the people who had to deal with the broken world that was left behind.
Why is the trailer for 3.33 playing the song "Quatre Mains"? Simple: in French, it means four hands, as in the one for Evangelion-13 unit.
The (album) name of the song that plays during EVA-01's rampage in 2.22 ("Sin From Genesis") is actually a meaningful title rather than something simply named appropriately. It is meaningful because it's not EVA's AT-field wielded through the pilot but rather the pilot's AT-field wielded through the EVA unit. So what fuelled EVA-01's AT-field that was powerful enough to overpower that angel, what powered all the cross-shaped explosions and eye beams and stuff that no EVA unit was capable of before, was Shinji's Fruit of Knowledge/Wisdom. Shinji's "sin from genesis".
3.0 feels empty, both in-universe and as a movie. The scenes are minimalistic. Fights are few and far between, and dialogs between characters are noticeably reduced. Keep in mind that one of the central theme of original NGE is human communication/interaction and lack thereof.
Asuka playing with the doll in 2.0. If you've seen the original series, you'll appreciate why this is so messed up.
Kaji's joke-flirting with Shinji. Admittedly hilarious the first time you see it, but halfway towards the fridge is when you realize Kaji came on to a 14-year-old boy! Even as a joke, very Dude, Not Funny!. And any judge would be inclined to agree.
People keep repeating that as a fact even though most prefectures have long since moved the age of consent to 15 or 16. But it's not like Kaji would be in trouble anyway; Shinji clearly manages to take a joke after the initial shock, and Kaji doesn't so much as touch him anyway.
And of course, their loved one is genetically speaking the same person.
Well, if it's anything like the original continuities (which, with 2 movies left...) it will involve Rei and Adam in some way initiating Instrumentality. So, really, Kaworu's Big Damn Hero moment furthers Gendo's plan (probably).
Gendo says flat-out in Rebuild that he's trying to PROTECT the world (this time, at least). Who knows what his plans are, other than that getting Rei and Shinji together is part of it? Note, PART of it. Not the END of it.
The Oceans aren't just red, they're filled with Angel Blood. Cool, Ok, we can gather this from context. But it's not just one part of the ocean. It's the ENTIRE BODY OF WATER. The Whole Thing. Just what exactly were the first three angels to cause the need for water purification for the entire Planet? Assuming this ISN'T just a second time around....
While some of the inland lakes, rivers and streams are presumably full of Angel blood after the series starts, the Oceans could be experiencing an enormous Red Tide of some sort caused by the dramatic increase in Global temperature and the lack of oceanic currents resulting from the melting of the Antarctic ice cap. I had assumed that was what the red ocean was supposed to mean and why the purification plant was for.
Wondering why Unit 01 crushed Unit 03's entry plug in its mouth instead of its fist this time? Wondering how Asuka is in good enough shape to continue as a pilot in part 3 even after being inside the plug as it was crushed whereas Toji was crippled for life (and even died in the manga)? Try this little experiment- take a pencil or some other long, thing object and squeeze it in your fist. Note which parts are under pressure. Now, pulling your lips back as far as you can, insert the pencil in your mouth sideways until its past your incisors and bite down on it. Again, note which parts are under pressure. By crushing the entry plug in its jaws rather than its fist, Unit 01 avoided seriously crushing the middle part where Asuka was sitting, resulting in her injuries being comparatively minor compared to Toji's. Far more shocking, but far less brutal!
Part of the reason why Shinji invoked Instrumentality in the original show was because he thinks everyone secretly resents or hates him, given his self-doubt and lack of self-esteem. With 3.0 showing that this idea has become reality, it's a guarantee that everyone's going to be fucked if Shinji gets into the same position he had in EoE. Might also serve as a Nice Job Breaking It, Hero! towards WILLE.
In the original series, Ritsuko destroyed all of the Rei clones as part of her mental breakdown, which meant Gendo was forced to depend only on Rei III; in 3.0 it's stated that there were multiple clones of Rei over the 14 years of Time Skip. this means aswell that Gendo doesn't have to depend on Rei Q to start Instrumentality.
The extent of Gendo's manipulation as of 3.0 can count as this.
First, the mere existence of WILLE, given the Time Skip of 14 years and the implied continous fighting, one would wonder why didn't he finished them off, the answer? to ensure Shinji's isolation and eventual breaking. Since WILLE is shown to be formed of ex-members of NERV and after certain events the majority of them only shows hostility towards him, which in turn means that the only people who were close enough to him no longer are and that they're unwlling to tell him anything of what happened or even care for him.
Second, the relationship between Shinji and Rei; Gendo pushed them to get closer from the shadows through the first two movies, as a result at the end of 2.0, Shinji's attempts to save her due to this also brought the awakening of Eva-01 and Third Impact as a side effect, which was exactly what Gendo had planed. By 3.0 it's shown that it wiped out a great amount of people and completely destroyed the biosphere and has earned Shinji, as stated above, the hatred of his past partners and friends, the eventual rescue of Rei Q exploits his previous and current relationships and the lack of information to Nerv's benefit. Afterwards, the Gut Punch is delivered by Fuyutsuki, the Rei he knew is dead or trapped in Eva-01, and the Rei that he interacted with is only one of many clones of her effectively destroying most of Shinji's remaining sanity and any attempt of him to get close to her.
Third and finally, the eventual friendship of Shinji and Kaworu, given his true desire to help Shinji and humanity as a whole, he reveals the truth of what happened 14 years ago, which also is the reason of WILLE hate of Shinji, and, as the revelations almost crush Shinji, he becomes his Living Emotional Crutch and sets off with him to pilot Eva-13 and save the world, however, when they arrive at Central Dogma, Kaworu realizes too late that they were set up to begin the Fourth Impact and, thanks to Shinji's desperation and Asuka's lack of will to talk, they fell into Nerv's trap. It gets worse as Kaworu is forced to act as the final angel and becomes the trigger of Fourth Impact, to prevent it, he makes a Heroic Sacrifice that takes any remain of Shinji's sanity and allows Eva-13's awakening.
Still here? the only Wild Card that remain are Asuka and Rei-Q, and as the end of 3.0 hints (Shipping aside), it will be Shinji's eventual relationship with either of the two in 4.0 which will determinate the fate of the world.
Asuka's relationship with Shinji after the Time Skip: if her actions indicate anything it's that she doesn't outright hate him, but the years of fighting and living in a wasteland had made her unable not to hurt him. This means also that their relationship is just as bad if not worst than near the end of the original series.
The Curse of Eva. It never gets explained what it causes, but the possibilities aren't pretty.
It simply halts the growth of those that suffer from it. In this case, Asuka, Shinji and Mari will be the doomed to always be a teenager, and will never mature physically and, in part, mentally.
It makes the body reflect the mental age of the one who suffers from it, the implications behind this is that neither Asuka or Mari have truly matured in the 14 years of Time Skip.
From those not familiar with Evangelion series as a whole, Shinji befriending Kaworu in 3.0 who is heavily hinted from the start that he's not 'normal' can feel a bit out of place. (For example, magically fixing cassette player or doing nothing but play piano) But at this point Shinji not longer cares about anyone, be it himself, his former friends, NERV or his dad.