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[ café reviews ]

Nagisa Kaoru -- the 17th angel?


Shinseiki Evangelion
(Neon Genesis Evangelion)
Episode 24: The Last Angel / The Beginning of the End, or "Knockin' on Heaven's Door"

Copyright: 1996 TV Tokyo / GAINAX / NAS (Japan), 1997 AD Vision (North America)
Length: 30 minutes
Rating: Contains Violence and Mature Situations, Parental Guidance Suggested
Format: Subtitled/Dubbed (VHS)

Screenplay: Satsukawa Akio, Anno Hideaki Director: Masayuki Producers: Kobayashi Noriko (TV Tokyo) Sugiyama Yutaka Character Design: Sadamoto Yoshiyuki English Version Executive Producer: John Ledford (A.D.V. Films) Translation by: Kimura Kuni

[ plot summary ]

vhs jacket

Flashback: a young Asuka has just learned that shes had been selected as an Evangelion pilot. Excitedly, she runs off to her mother's room announcing that she had been selected, thinking that finally, this would solved all her problems...

Asuka, now useless as an Evangelion pilot, has been taken by the intelligence division, and placed in hospital under sedation. But no sooner had Asuka been recovered, that a new EVA pilot -- the 5th child -- has been discovered, and sent to NERV from the committee directly. Yet there is something strange about this latest young boy, Nagisa Kaoru. Something unusual that Shinji finds disturbing, Rei strangely familiar, and a complete bewilderment to the Evangelion support staff.

[ capsule review ]

Shinji notices a singing stranger amongst the ruins of Tokyo 3

Shinji and Kaoru discussing the difficulties of human relationships

Kaoru has taken control of EVA-02

EVA-01 and EVA-02 in a battle to the finish

The combatants have a spectator in Rei.

'He's got the fate of humanity in his hand.'

And yet some more re-used footage from an earlier episode.

In a strange twist of irony, Anno turns Asuka into a reflection of her mother... In fact, this seems to be a pet theme of his, where one's fate is pre-determined, and that your own personality make-up will be a mere reflection of you parents'.

Instead of become a fully realised three-dimensional character, Shinji never seems to grow. He's always facing the same inner conflict, and seems unable to find a resolution. In fact, the same could be said for all the characters in this series. None of the characters actually grow. While this may be perfectly suitable for an unemotional Rei, this certainly does not work for any of the other characters in the series -- well, I guess it's fine for Pen-Pen, but your personality would freeze solid too if you made your home in a sub-zero!

The appearance of Nagisa Kaoru marks the "Beginning of the End" of this series... (sorry. I just couldn't resist the obvious, but then, neither could any of the folks at Gainax!). Unfortunately, this particular episode is full of similar such clichés: how about survival of the fittest? All beings creating some form of field? (Use the force, Luke!) Did any of the set design look strangely familiar? Almost as if they were pulled from the final Gunbuster episode? I've heard of artists having their own personal style, but this is ridiculous! The final insult has to be yet another long, protracted scene -- this time, Kaoru's own demise at the hands of Shinji, amidst the blaring chorals of Beethoven's Ode to Joy, as the denoument moves to the finalé. Remember the elevator scene? Well, add another 10 seconds or so. Maybe everyone should have started out singing, "He's got the whole world in His hands..." I didn't think that anything could have been any worse than the 51 second scene between Asuka and Rei, but I was wrong...
- AN, 98.08.30

[ café rating ]

Original: Subbed: Dubbed:
Story: N/R 2 stars N/R
Direction: N/R 2 stars N/R
Acting: N/R 2 stars N/R
Animation: N/R 2 stars N/R
Music: N/R 1 star N/R
Translation: N/A 4 stars
Overall Rating: N/R 2 stars N/R

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