It's been almost five years since the third and penultimate #RebuildOfEvangelion movie (the retelling of the landmark anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion) was released. Since then, dedicated #Evangelion fans have been waiting for the series' formal conclusion. After what has felt like an eternity, the filmmakers behind the animated movies have finally broken their silence and confirmed that the long-awaited grand finale of the Rebuild Of Evangelion movies has finally begun production.
Studio Khara, the animation studio responsible for bringing Rebuild Of Evangelion to life, just sent out a tweet that confirmed that discussions with the show's original creator, #HideakiAnno, have finally begun.
Check out a sneak peak of the meeting below.
In English, the tweet translates as a studio announcement in reference to Anno's latest work.
"Shin Eva meeting. We're hard at work in production!"
Anno serves as the writer, producer and chief director of the Rebuild movies, making sure that those directing each installment maintains the Evangelion vision and message despite the changes that were implemented. In fact, the fourth Rebuild movie, titled Evangelion: 3.0 + 1.0, was delayed mostly due to Anno's absence.
During a press event for his movie Godzilla Resurgence (or Shin Godzilla), Anno apologized for the finale's delay and discussed how working on the bleak third installment Evangelion 3.0: You Can (Not) Redo left him emotionally drained:
The previous work, Evangelion Shin Gekijōban: Q [Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo], scraped me down until I wasn't able to make anything anymore.
Anno may have felt burnt out after Evangelion 3.0, but he was (in his own words) "saved" by working on the Japanese reboot of the legendary kaiju, #Godzilla. Godzilla Resurgence was written and co-directed by Anno, and the reboot was both a critical and commercial success in Japan. The film won seven of 11 nominations at the 40th Japanese Academy Awards, including 'Director of the Year' and 'Picture of the Year'.
With the Godzilla reboot behind him, Anno now feels that he's more than ready to return to the anime that some consider to be his magnum opus, proudly saying:
"I feel like I can continue working on Evangelion."
At the time, it was speculated that Evangelion 3.0 + 1.0 would be released some time in 2015. The finale was originally teased at the end of Evangelion 3.0, but like all of the previous post-credits trailers in the Rebuild franchise, it should be taken with a grain of salt since they're almost always made up of scenes that never appear in the final product.
See the post-credits preview below:
[Source: Anime News Network]
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The (Real) Final Impact
Neon Genesis Evangelion followed the life and trials of 15 year old Shinji Ikari - an ordinary high school student who is forced to pilot the giant robot called the Eva Unit 01. Using the Eva, Shinji must fight giant monsters (known as Angels) that have emerged ever since a global cataclysm known as the Second Impact.
Together with his fellow mecha-pilots, Rei and Asuka, Shinji must keep the destructive Angels at bay while learning the dark truth of the world he lives in.
The anime and its finale movie, The End Of Evangelion, have since become the objects of praise and ridicule. Though lauded for taking the giant robot genre in a bleak and unexpected direction, others criticized Evangelion for being pretentious and needlessly depressing, accusing it of being on par with juvenile teenage angst.
During the series' original run in the '90s, Anno's initially optimistic vision for Evangelion was hindered by a multitude of problems, including troubles in his personal life, financial constraints within Studio Gainax, death threats, and his own growing disdain for the rabid otaku fanbase.
The Rebuild movies seemingly exist to make up for the errors of its predecessors. Now in a better place both financially and emotionally, Anno chose to revisit Evangelion to make it "as he wanted it to be," no longer hampered by the technical limitations of the '90s or his personal troubles.
Rebuild of Evangelion has been lauded for improving what was established in the original Evangelion series, even if the third part has been called out for being too convoluted for its own good. With Anno finally returning to his groundbreaking work that has since changed anime as a whole, fans can finally see Evangelion end the way it was meant to.