Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time
While more digestible, the fourth and last instalment to the franchise Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time offers a completely different experience to watching the Evangelion series. With multiple delays to its name and almost a decade-long wait for its release, this follow-up touches hearts with a Thanos-level moral questioning, father and son estrangement, and friendships borne out of trauma. Beginning with a quick recap of its predecessors, this piece is less action and more motive exploration.
The highlight of the feature is definitely its soundtrack, which mixes English and Japanese songs to elevate each scene. This in tandem with the art provides an incredible cinematic experience. At times, the use of CGI undermines the picture’s sentimentality. This is odd as there are moments that would have benefitted greatly from these graphics, as opposed to the scenes that do make use of them. And, in typical anime fashion, with its fan service and angles, there is lacklustre animation in some shots, such as awkward body proportions and hazy details from afar.
Taking into account the fact that this is a sequel, Thrice Upon a Time has a lot to offer new viewers. With an ever-hopeful ending, curious proposed philosophies and brilliant visuals, the film will entice many to give the franchise a try – whether it be the series or the previous features. However, those unfamiliar with the lore of Evangelion might feel disconnected from the story. Likewise, the impact of the ending might not have the same emotional investment without knowledge of its build-up. Because the piece focuses on the inner conflict, growth and emotional development of the characters, anyone eager for the mecha action will find the first act a slow climb.
This ascent is made up of quiet and mundane moments, often showcasing the everyday lives of civilians, as well as protagonist Shinji Ikari dealing with PTSD and Asuka Langley Shikinami and Rei Ayanami lookalike trying to find exactly where they fit into all this normality. This sets the stage for a lot of waiting around and wondering when things will snap back into chaos and disarray. The movie itself dangles this prospect of peace and happiness, furthering the tension of the otherwise seemingly ordinary events taking place. This start is cathartic with the bittersweet ending that promises new beginnings in the midst of letting go.
Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time is released on Amazon Prime Video on 13th August 2021.
Watch the trailer for Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time here: