This week, I was finally able to sit down and watch the second movie in the Evangelion movie trilogy, Evangelion: 2.22 You Can (Not) Advance. In comparison to the first movie, it has better action, better animation, and drastically deviates from the original storyline in more ways than one. Overall, it was a complete upgrade from the first movie and a fantastic addition to the Evangelion franchise.
The story picks up right after the events of the first movie. Shinji Akari and Rei Ayanami have worked together thus far to stop the advancing angels that have come to Earth to completely annihilate the entire planet. In the middle of another angel fight, a new and powerful evangelion emerges (piloted by a girl named Asuka Soryu) and defeats the angel single handily. Shinji and Rei begin to work with Asuka to strengthen their forces but they are far from the perfect team. Asuka acts very stubbornly and rude and Rei remains quiet and conserved while Shinji struggles internally with the weight of the human race on his shoulders as well as a crippling sense of loneliness. Through many hardships and struggles, the three pilots must defeat seemingly stronger enemies one after the other as humanity's last line of defense in preserving the lives of millions.
While the first movie set up a good foundation and was a nice way of revamping the series as a whole, it was missing a lot that was looking forward to seeing in the second movie, namely the addition of Asuka as the third Evangelion. Although she can be very off-putting to most of the characters in the movie, she is a very complex character that was illustrated very well in the original series. With that being said, halfway through the movie, something involving Asuka happens that caught me completely off guard. The deviations between the movie and the original series suddenly changed from minor things to completely rewriting the plot. It definitely led to some fantastic fight sequences and emotional moments, but I won't know if it was the right decision to make until I see the third and final movie. At this point, they have completely changed the outcome of the series and I am excited to see what they do with it.
Overall, the second movie is definitely my favorite out of the two and I'm hoping that they take it to the next level in the final installment of the movie adaptations.