The same tropes that applied in NGE still apply (although to varying degrees), but of special mention here is Shinji, who, while having shut up many of his detractors after his stunt pulled at the end of 2.22, has attracted an interpretation that notes that while his actions and personality are more sympathetic than they were in NGE, they were alsoconsiderably less heroic. And then 3.33slaps you hard in the face with the latter problem and breaks Shinji so thoroughly that he erases much of the gains he made in 2.22 for the people who hated his original, passive personality.
In 3.33, are Misato and Asuka really as cold as they appear to be, or are they just too hardened by the 14 years after the Third Impact to properly show Shinji their affection? The movie certainly offers evidence for both with their actions.
In the case of Misato, there's plenty of evidence hinting that she is in fact a Well-Intentioned Extremist. Also, despite having a cold tone with Shinji, Misato never actually disparages him or treats him with the same kind of contempt that most members of WILLE do. She also notably still refers to him as "Shinji-kun" in the Japanese version, hinting that her feelings for him have actually not changed at all.note Misato's use of this particular honorific in regards to Shinji has always been to show a much closer relationship than "Ikari-kun" would Misato also never has a chance to talk with Shinji by herself, so it could be that she is only putting on an act in order to save face with the rest of the crew. It also was all about stated that it was Ritsuko who insisted on the bomb collar as a precaution, it's just that Misato made sure that she was the only one who could use it simply to keep people from killing Shinji out of retribution for the Third Impact.
Did Kaworu hide information from Shinji to get him to do what he wanted? Several of the things he tells Shinji are either extremely vague or contradictory of information we're told later.
Angst? What Angst?: Mari fits this trope. The other kids pilot because of various issues they have. As far as we can tell, Mari does it because fighting monsters in a giant robot is awesome.
Applicability: Transitioning from Neon Genesis Evangelion to Rebuild has many parallels with curing one's self of depression, much like Anno himself did between his work on the two versions of his flagship franchise; it can even be seen as Anno wanting to give his world and characters a new lease on life after he himself was given one. While NGE is highly existential, bizarre and bleak, Rebuild is much more stable, with a general tone of "hey, the world might seem screwed-up but it's not so bad after all now that you know yourself" in the first two movies. While 3.33 relapses into the cynical existentialism of the original show, such relapses are not unheard of for people getting out of depression, who occasionally go through episodes of losing hope and questioning themselves just as they did before.
Arc Fatigue: There are numerous delays in the film releases with the creators busy with other projects. 1.11 and 2.22 were released in 2007 and 2009 respectively, 3.33 released in 2012, and the fourth film still waiting at an uncertain air date. It's been 10 years since Rebuild started and with no release date in sight, a number of fans have gotten tired of the wait.
Shinji saving Rei and almost ending the world only with sheer willpower at the end of 2.22MAY qualify for one of the most awesomeass pulls in the history of anime. But as it turns out, the majority of humanity has, indeed, been wiped out as a result.
The "Curse of Eva" to some fans, as it can be interpreted as a Hand Wave to justify why Asuka and Mari haven't aged.
A Time Skip following the events of 2.0/2.22 doesn't sounds like a bad idea per se. But 14 years?!
Also Angel of Doom from 1.11, played during the fight with Ramiel. Fantastically epic, and can also be found on the second disc of the 1.11 DVD release as a music video.
From the ones without lyrics, Yamashita in Rebuild 2.22. Especially striking with the animation to go with it.
How has nobody mentioned Beautiful World? Intense, emotional, and sung by Utada Hikaru, among other things. There's even two versions: The original one, which played at the end of 1.11, and a remix at the end of 2.22. Both are great in their own regard.
Author's Saving Throw: One criticism of the original encounter between Unit 01 and Bardiel in the series was that Shinji didn't even attempt to defend himself from the possessed Unit 03, apparently preferring Suicidal Pacifism to even raising his arms. In 2.0/2.22 he actually tries to force his opponent's hands off his throat, but Bardiel sprouts an extra pair of arms from Unit 03's shoulders to overpower him, meaning he'd have to go all-out to win, a line he wouldn't cross. The fact that he knows it's Asuka inside rather than some unknown kid (he didn't know it was Touji in the anime, although he did in the manga) further justifies his hesitance to fight.
Asuka Langley Shikinami. Reactions to her characterization falls into two camps — she is either hated by people that loved Asuka Langley Soryu, who consider Shikinami a toned down, cookie-cutter version who is more stereotypically Tsundere and lacks the backstory that made Soryu so compelling, or loved by people that hated the original version of the character, who view Shikinami as more sympathetic and likeable and less of a histrionic wreck, and find that her character development is better-executed than in the original series. There is absolutely a middle ground, but the two stances are so pronounced in the fandom that it's hard to notice. The issue becomes even more complicated with Asuka's 3.0 incarnation, where she's much rougher and more of a jerkass than she ever was before in either continuity but is also a more important and powerful character than in 2.0.
Mari. To some she's awesome, badass, and hot. Others dislike her for being a flat, unrealistic, and underdeveloped character only there for Fanservice with little effect on the plot and would rather have Asuka get more screentime, which is ironic as Anno have singled her out as the only character that is not "a part of him". While her lack of character development is somewhat justified because she's a supporting character in a movie-format continuity, some detractors point to the fact that Asuka was given new character development despite the format and her reduced role, and that doing the same to Mari could have made her more interesting. In fact, Mari was originally going to have a much smaller role in 2.0, but got an expanded role due to her popularity in 1.0's post-credits teaser.
WILLE to the fanbase, with one side sympathizing with them and supporting their treatment towards Shinji due to the fact that he pretty much ended the world, and another side calling them out and wanting Laser-Guided Karma to come to them in varied forms, ranging from a "Reason You Suck" Speech from Shinji to Tangification.
Q for people who were enjoying a less psychologically driven and angsty take on Eva, and for Shinji/Rei shippers who were overjoyed with their relationship being played up in the first two movies. On the other side of things, Shinji/Kaworu shippers probably had a field day with Q.
Similarly, fans are divided on the 3.33 version of Kaworu and his relationship with Shinji. Some appreciate Kaworu's unambiguously kind personality and his sweet friendship (and bucketloads of romantic subtext) with Shinji; others accuse him of being a Purity Sue who's much less interesting than earlier versions of the character. Notably, many who bash Rebuild Kaworu are still fans of the character (including some Shinji/Kaworu shippers)—they just don't like his Rebuild characterization. Opinion also varies depending on the exact fan community; Tumblr is generally fond of Rebuild Kaworu while 4chan tends to have a more negative view of him.
While the film series has received acclaim from critics, fans are more divided over the series. Some enjoyed 1.11 for being a visually-improved version of the series, while others were quick to call it a rehash for not deviating enough from the original work. 2.22 was liked for changing things up while still featuring what made the original series enjoyable, but detractors felt that it deviated too much from the source material. 3.33 quickly became this upon release. Some like it for returning to the series' plot with a different spin, while others hate it for changing so brutally almost all of the setting and not continuing on the threads 2.0 left.
Because the original Neon Genesis Evangelion is a divisive affair despite its impact and importance, there's also some debate on whether Rebuild is better or worse than the original series; its lack of the original series' psychological and highly depressing elements until 3.0 makes it more accessible, more fun and easier to follow but also less profound, less unique and less angsty. Some fans who hated NGE enjoy the Rebuild movies, and the reverse is also true; generally, people who were disappointed in NGEdespite its reputation were won over by Rebuild (or at least 1.0 and 2.0), which seems to have been one reason why the movies were made.
Covered Up: This doesn't apply to any Japanese person since it's a classic pop standard and children's song, but face it — the only reason you know about Tsubasa wo Kudasai (assuming you're not Japanese) is either because of 2.22, K-On!, or Dangan Ronpa 3.
Kaworu was even more popular this time around with fanartists and shippers than ever before, even in the first two movies where he was a One-Scene Wonder.
Asuka in 2.22, while still heavily marketed, played a far more marginal role than in the original series (where she was undeniably one of the main characters). Despite this, she was very well-received for being a more sympathetic character than her original incarnation and for undergoing more obvious Character Development. While 3.33 expanded on her role, she also Took a Level in Jerkass due to the circumstances, making her a more polarizing character than she ever was before in either continuity.
On the villainous side, Zeruel, Ramiel and Sachiel remain astoundingly popular enemies.
Another major source of Epileptic Tree fertilizer is Mari, who ends up being mysterious while somehow also being a Blood KnightCloudcuckoolander.
Even Better Sequel: While somewhat debated, 2.0 is generally agreed to be the best out of the Rebuild films, for having a good balance of optimism, darkness and character development while reimagining some of the most iconic elements of the TV series in a new format, and for giving Shinji a happy ending for once even if it ended up overridden (at least in the short term). It's even praised by people who disliked the original series (though the reverse is true as well).
Friendly Fandoms: Rebuild and Puella Magi Madoka Magica fans get along with each other mostly thanks to many similarities between Rebuild's Kaworu and Madoka's Homura. To wit: both are mysterious individuals whose concern and love of the main protagonist has been interpreted in romanticsubtext. It helps that Anno himself enjoys Madoka Magica and has praised the series for its characters and themes.
Growing the Beard: 3.33/Q, to some, is when Rebuild finally stops beating around the bush with its themes and starts trying to reach for some of the reflection and the emotional and psychological depth that made the original series engaging and memorable to begin with, instead of just being a more generic Cliff's Notes version of the series with forcefully inserted fanservice. But see also Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy on this page.
Remember how Shinji thought everyone hated him in the original series? In 3.33., that belief becomes reality.
The popular "Kaworu died for your sins" meme is taken quite literally here, with him dying to stop Shinji from totally ending the world.
Shinji's "Asuka! Sorry!" line from his battle with Kaworu in the original series becomes this after learning that the two of them fight each other in almost exactly the same situation this time around.
Also, Shinji's intense anger and confusion at Kaworu for betraying his trust in him in the original series becomes a lot more ironic in the third movie, where Shinji betrays Kaworu's trust in him for the same reasons.
In the last 10 minutes or so of 2.22, Shinji tries to fight authority and save a fellow Child from a homicidal beast and learns in 3.33 that he failed horribly, with horrifying and deeply scarring results, and is now resentful towards any adult authority figures left.
In the self-parodying radio drama Evangelion: After the End from 1996, Asuka complains that the new see-through design of the plugsuits are way too revealing. Turns out that she was ahead of the curve.
The Double Entry system from 3.33. As if Pacific Rim needed any more comparisons between it and Evangelion.
"Holy Shit!" Quotient: Off the fucking charts, particularly in 2.22. Pretty much everything in the fight against Zeruel, from Unit 2's shiny new Beast Mode to Unit 00's attack, to Zeruel lopping off limbs with ridiculous ease... And then it eats Unit 00, and Unit 01 eats him turns into a god or something...
A 26-second trailer for 3.33. Whenever Shinji isn't looking pissed off or at the brink of tears, he's smiling and blushing... with Kaworu.
3.33. pretty much takes this Up to Eleven, given how much time is given to show Shinji and Kaworu's relation. The entire piano scene sounds like they're making love, not discussing how much better duets make a song, and Kaworu getting this pose in◊ while the two go stargazing. "I was really born to meet you," indeed.
Asuka and Mari, though it's pretty one-sided on Mari's end, as she's fond of calling Asuka "princess" and Trolling her while maintaining the Cat Smile wearing demeanor that made her such a Memetic Molester to begin with.
Idiot Plot: Some reviewers believe the third film to have this, especially on WILLE's actions: while they have a good reason to hate Shinji, they should have either just shot Shinji dead or taken more time to explain to him thoroughly how things have changed on the time between his being absorbed into the Eva and him getting out (and if they hate him that much, then surely they would get a kick out of seeing his distress) rather than just applying liberal amounts of You Know What You Did and act surprised at him running away with Q-Rei in his desire to find out what the hell was going on (and thus decide to make things right, unwillingly triggering yet another Impact).
It's the Same, Now It Sucks!: Some fans and reviewers have leveled this complaint against 1.11, since it's a near-exact copy of the first 6 episodes, with a handful of new scenes and updated animation.
Shinji Can (Not) Win, and variations of the (). Normally done to mock Shinji's Butt-Monkey status.
"Shinji, get in the fucking robot!" or "Get in the fucking robot Shinji!" A phrase used by many fans who are confused by the characters's priorities in whether they want Shinji to pilot the EVA or not. It can also be used to make the characters look like jerks who blame Shinji for the damage he causes despite them being the ones who told him to do it. Exhibit A and B.
Fans and imageboards simply titling the infamous piano scene in 3.33 as "the gay piano" due to the unbelievably massive amount of Ho Yay that is in that scene. In fairness, it's hard to not interpret the scene that way.
Moe: The cuteness quotient of the boys and girls get turned up a lot in this retelling, and it helps that by 2.22, they spend more time actually being happy children rather than psychotic emotional wastelands.
Just watch the scene where Rei actually greets her classmates: when Shinji engages her in conversation, she's smiling the whole time. Rei, smiling for a consecutive eleven seconds. Did Third Impact happen while we weren't watching?
Gendo appears to actually care for his son this time around, and that he might actually become a better person this time... Until 3.33, where he reveals that he was just pretending to attempt to be a loving father just to further manipulate his son's emotions, and then saddle him with the emotional guilt of killing millions of people. He somehow became an even bigger dickhead than he was in the original series.
Narm: The supposedly cool introduction of Kaji... Ryoji Kaji in 2.22 is turned into a hysterical laugh-fest when his Japanese voice actor attempts to recite some English lines that are well out of his grasp. The effect is only compounded by the "What the hell?" face made by the person whom Kaji addresses, leaving one with the lingering suspicion that this was intentional on the creators' part.
Parts of the soundtrack border on this due to rather odd English lyrics.
The happy music and Shinji's screaming when he tries to save Rei will either scare you to death or send you into a laughing fit.
While the product placement has been noticeable before, it kinda takes you out of the film to see a prominently-displayed "Yamaha" logo on the piano that Shinji and Kaworu are playing. It's pretty impressive Yamaha was able to keep their company going after wide-spread genocide and the near-annihilation of the entire human race.
Some fans of the original NGE aren't too happy that merchandise and marketing for the original series was eventually phased out in favor of only marketing the Rebuild movies, despite the fact that the original show still completely dwarfs Rebuild in terms of merchandise due to its age.
Look at the Base Breaking Character section. Much of the hate for various characters comes from the fact that they're not the same as their original anime counterparts and people disliking the changes for various reasons. Thus making them replacement scrappies for themselves.
Some fans disliked Asuka in 2.22 for being an inferior, watered-down version of her original series self. In 3.33, she's a more proactive character and an Ace Pilot for WILLE, with a tougher design and personality akin to a bitter mercenary and with Mari as a sidekick; as such, some fans who disliked 2.22 Asuka enjoy her depiction in 3.33 for being different enough from her original incarnation to no longer be overshadowed, not to mention that they find her to be one of the character's most badass incarnations. However, this is a point of contention just like everything else in the film series, as some people dislike how Asuka has grown colder and harsher both in general and towards Shinji.
Ron the Death Eater: Asuka and especially Misato as depicted in 3.33 can fall into this, with some fans exaggerating their undeniable jerkassery or ignoring any of the reasons for their behavior. Never mind that said characters do act sympathetically in spite of the situation that they are in. Still, their attitudes and tight-lippedness towards Shinji are pretty inexcusable, so use your best judgement on this one.
The former character at least has a better reason for her bitterness given that she lost an eye because of Shinji's actions, so she gets off a little.
The Scrappy: Many have come to dislike Misato once she Took a Level in Jerkass in 3.33. Asuka growing colder is at least excusable, as she was an already dysfunctional child put through even more trauma that Shinji inadvertedly caused. But not only was Misato a grown woman and a caring mother-figure to Shinji in the past, but she actively encouraged him to follow his heart and do the thing that accidentally caused Third Impact. Yet now she treats him with the utmost contempt for it, showing him No Sympathy, and goes as far as to place a bomb-collar on his neck just in case he almost destroys the world again, stopping short of flat-out killing him. Time will tell if the final film salvages her.
Granted, her encouragement of Shinji was for him to pilot the Eva for himself, not for anyone else, and this was when she thought Unit-01 would simply curb-stomp the angel as it had in previous instances of it going berserk. She shuts up pretty quickly after Ritsuko explains that the unit has become "God-like" and they're witnessing The End of the World as We Know It. Whether you find her behavior in 3.33 understandable or not is a question of Alternative Character Interpretation.
Spoiled by the Format: Audience members know that Shinji setting off Third Impact at the end of 2.22 wasn't going to take, since there are still two more movies to go. Except itdidtake - it just didn't take out all of humanity this time.
Superlative Dubbing: The dubs for the movies, particularly the second one, have been heaped with praise, even from people who hated the dub of the original series.
They Changed It, Now It Sucks: Inevitable, considering that the original series has been analyzed and over-analyzed for every day of the decade since its release.
Asuka's English VA, in the commentary, noted that she was sorta disappointed with the fact that, 1.) Asuka is not obsessed with Kaji in 2.22 (in fact, she barely notices he exists) and 2.) Never got to speak German. She subverts this, though, as she still loves being Asuka, and is glad Asuka survived getting smashed during the Bardiel battle.
3.33 is getting hit by this due to its drastic departure from the previous series, and even the previous movie.
Unlike the original show, none of the Angels are identified by name, and are always referred to with descriptors such as "the Third Angel", "the Fourth Angel", etc. Not only does this mean that the new Angels have no official names, but it gets rather difficult, tedious and annoying when used in merchandise and marketing, when Khara could have at least gone by a Comic-Book Movies Don't Use Codenames route and still used the Angels' names outside the movies themselves.
They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Asuka, specifically in 2.0. While Shinji and Rei keep a lot of the development and backstory they had in the original series, Asuka's role has been stripped down drastically. Her backstory is completely absent, as are some of her quirks such as speaking German and obsessing over Kaji, resulting in a more typical tsundere character as opposed to the original Asuka's deconstruction of the concept. Additionally, the infamous Mind Rape part of her story is reduced to her replacing Toji in the Bardiel incident, which ultimately results in her being absent from the rest of the movie and replaced by Mari as Unit-02's pilot. However, this is one of many things disputed by the fandom, as some people feel that Asuka's character arc in 2.0 is easier to follow and more compelling than in the original series, making her a more sympathetic character.
This Is Your Premise on Drugs: Inverted. Whereas the original series could be described as a giant robot show off of meds, these movies are on the metaphorical meds, in an attempt to make the series more sane. Being Evangelion, though, things become more insane over time.
Played straight with 3.33, though. That movie basically walks into the bathroom and swallows the entire med cabinet in one go. It makes The End of Evangelion seem subdued in comparison.
One reason why 1.11 and 2.22 have a Broken Base. While Neon Genesis Evangelion is a polarizing series, those that love it really love it and view it as an all-time classic and an animated masterpiece. As such, the first two Rebuild movies are very solid and stable on their own merits, but it's for that very reason that some diehard NGE fans find them disappointing - they lack the emotional depth, character exploration and introspection that defined the original show.
This is also a major criticism of 3.33, as it tries to copy the gritty Mind Screw tone of the original series without actually exploring the psychological issues behind it and, therefore, having any sort of clear meaning. In addition, 2.22 was so beloved by many viewers that expectations were sky-high for 3.33, so when it came out, while it did score loads of money, it left many feeling disappointed.
Uncanny Valley: In spite of the character being more sympathetic overall, Rebuild of Evangelion manages to have Rei be even further in the Uncanny Valley. The ominous BGM that always plays in her presence (at least in the beginning) made it quite clear that Shinji definitely senses something very unsettling in her.
Zeruel after it absorbed Rei definitely qualifies. The bottom of a woman body topped with an angel? Augh.
Uncertain Audience: It's unclear whether the Rebuild movies are intended for the shonen demographic or for the seinen demographic. While the original Neon Genesis Evangelion was a shonen show with some seinen elements, its mature tone and newfound seinen-esque audience came as a surprise at the time. With Rebuild, everyone was more or less expecting that there would be mature content and themes and that adult fans would be the most profitable demographic. Magazine-wise, the movies were mostly promoted in Young Ace, a seinen magazine that carried the NGE manga. That said, the tone is lighter and more action-based than the original show until 3.0, and no official statement has been found on whether the movies are shonen or seinen.
Visual Effects of Awesome: It's amazing how modern special effects enhanced the battles from the original TV series. Ramiel exhibits this best: while it still appears as a giant blue octahedron, it morphs and changes shape in incredible ways that would've been impractical in the 90s.