Rebuild of Evangelion

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Now with 40% less angst and more Badass!

"'Eva' is a story that repeats.
It is a story where the main character witnesses many horrors with his own eyes, but still tries to stand up again.
It is a story of will; a story of moving forward, if only just a little.
It is a story of fear, where someone who must face indefinite solitude fears reaching out to others, but still wants to try.

We hope that you look forward to the four new retellings of this story."
Hideaki Anno, reviewing Neon Genesis Evangelion in the announcement for Rebuild of Evangelion

In 1995, Hideaki Anno -- fresh out of rehabilitation caused by problems during the production of Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water -- started work on what was originally planned to be a mecha otaku's ultimate dream. Following his increasing disappointment in (and hatred for) the Otaku community, as well as issues in his personal life and Gainax's financial troubles, Anno transformed the show into the infamously brutal, often depressing deconstruction of the Super Robot Genre (and many common anime tropes) that is Neon Genesis Evangelion.

Fast forward to 2007: Hideaki Anno is Happily Married, as rich as Steven Spielberg, and arguably more respected than ever before by virtue of having created what could damn well be considered the most popular and influential anime franchise of the past decade. So, he decides to revisit the work that made him famous -- only without the depression influencing the story -- and makes plans to re-tell the story of the Evangelion saga by giving his Byronic Hero cast a second chance (literally or figuratively), making them somewhat more emotionally stable, and actually giving them hope and light at the end of the tunnel. A massive theatrical budget doesn't hurt, either.

Thus begins the salvation of Shinji Ikari, Rei Ayanami, and Asuka Langley Shikinami in the four-film saga known as Rebuild of Evangelion, directed by Kazuya Tsurumaki of FLCL fame. Two of the films have already been released; the third film is scheduled to be released in fall 2012, and the final film will be released in 2013.

The films in this series are as follows:

  • Evangelion: 1.0 Jo (Beginning)
    • You Are (Not) Alone.
  • Evangelion: 2.0 Ha (Breaking)
    • You Can (Not) Advance.
  • Evangelion: 3.0 Q[1] (Quickening)
    • You Can (Not) Redo.
  • Evangelion: Final

While Rebuild is by no means Lighter and Softer (the Nightmare Fuel remains just as soul-shattering in its intensity and horror as the original, if not more), if the tone of the second movie's ending holds true, this retelling promises not to be the suicide fuel that the original Evangelion was. Rebuild can best be characterized as the original staying on its medication: ultimately no happier than before, but a hell of a lot more stable.

If you choose to continue reading, you can (not) avoid being spoiled. You Have Been Warned.


Tropes that are (not) in the original series, and are only seen in the Rebuild saga include:
  • Accidental Pervert: When Asuka, startled by PenPen, runs out naked into the kitchen, Shinji turns around and accidentally sees her. She blushes and retaliates with a kick to the face.
  • Ace Pilot: Both Asuka and Mari are presented as such. Asuka fits it slightly better, as her fighting style can be described as technical and professional, while Mari's more "ballsy" approach is less strategic and more feral. Indeed, whatever complaints may exist concerning Ms. "Shikinami", Asuka in this version earns her Ace Pilot distinction early in 2.0, taking down an Angel single-handedly with grace and alacrity. If anything, Mari's the one who tilts more toward Informed Ability -- while she did take down an Angel solo at the start of 2.0, her unit was mostly destroyed, though she did rip its own arm off (feeling it happen, of course) and Unit 05 was self-destructed against her will after she'd won, and she later gets Unit 02 trashed to essentially fuck-all effect against Zeruel - who is admittedly the physically strongest Angel.
    • In the case of Asuka, she's a literal ace, being an Air Force pilot in this continuity before getting her Eva, so it makes sense that she'd have professional level piloting skills.
  • Actor Allusion: In the English dub, you might be able to notice that Kensuke could be a relative of Shinji.
  • Alternate Continuity: 1.0 is, more or less, a retelling of the first six episodes of the original series with minor alterations to the plot; 2.0 is where things go completely Off the Rails.
  • Always Save the Girl: Played straight in 1.0. Possibly Deconstructed Trope in 2.0, depending on where they take the narrative in 3.0.

Shinji: I don't care what happens to me. I don't care what happens to the world. But I'm bringing Rei back... I promise I'll save you, Rei... EVEN IF IT'S THE LAST THING I DO!!!

  • Anime Theme Song: Utada Hikaru with "Beautiful World" for 1.0, "Beautiful World PLANiTb Acoustica Mix" for 2.0.
  • Apocalypse How: The backstory of Evangelion begins with such an event and the primary goal of NERV -- or so they claim -- is to prevent the story ending abruptly with another.
    • Second Impact -- Planetary/Societal Disruption. The explosion melted the Antarctic ice cap and tilted the Earth's axis. The seas flooded most coastal areas and are now poisoned, unable to sustain any life. Species on land perished due to the change in seasons and weather and humanity nearly wiped itself out in war. The reformed humanity is far more united than before but also in heavy denial about how much the world has changed.
    • Third Impact -- Projected to be Planetary/Total Extinction. After seeing the devastation of Second Impact, all of humanity could agree on one thing: Another such event would leave no survivors. This is why the governments of Earth were willing to throw all of their money and support behind the bizarre and mysterious NERV.
  • Art Shift: This occurs when Kaji tells Shinji about Misato and the Second Impact.
  • Ascended Extra: Kaworu started out as a Monster of the Week in the Anime -- an unusually significant one, granted, but a one-shot character nonetheless -- and became an infamous Ensemble Darkhorse. In Rebuild, he gets to have his existence foreshadowed in the first film and gets to be a Big Damn Hero/Villain at the end of the second.
  • As You Know: Ritsuko's explanation of Operation Yashima seems needlessly detailed considering how she was talking to Misato, the one who came up with the plan in the first place. This only happens in the original Japanese version, though. In the English dub, the dialogue is changed to Ritsuko listing all the key points of the operation before remarking that there's "nothing crazy about that".
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: Mari's default strategy.
  • Ax Crazy: The dummy system.
  • Badass:
    • All the Eva pilots. Especially Shinji, circa the end of the second film.
    • Certain Angels actually deserve some praise too. Ramiel (the blue octahedron) has gained Shape-Shifting capabilities. Bardiel (Unit 03) has the ability to grow 2 extra arms and generally kicks ass. Zeruel, combining elements from the old Zeruel and Armisael (the ring-like Angel), gets the honor of being Badass-Shinji's first and so far only target. And that's after having curbstomped Unit 02 in Beast-mode and Unit 00 (and eating the latter), as well as impaling Unit 01.
    • And one of the less badass, but still much more awesome Angels: Sahaquiel. While it's still just falling down from space, and no longer shooting giant objects at Earth, it looks a lot more awesome and terrifying, and what it does once Unit 01 catches it and the other Evas try to attack it is a lot menacing.
  • Balance of Power: The Three-Active-Evas-per-Country-Limit imposed by the Vatican Treaty, which leads to sealing off Eva-02. It's not really balanced, seeing as Japan has all the working EVAs. Provisional Unit-05 was destroyed along with Angel 3 and Mark.06 is going to stop by NERV HQ pretty early in 3.0, probably. And aside from those, Unit-04 is missing (or destroyed) and Unit-03 became dinner for EVA-01, so it's far from balanced, really, when only one country has the EVAs, even if they get locked away.
  • Bandage Babe: Aside from the usual type of fanservice involved with gauze and band aids, bandages are used to a symbolic effect in 2.0 on more than one occasion.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: At the end of 2.0, Shinji is granted the object of his current desires and it seems everyone else pays the price. Literally everyone. On the planet. The Eva seems to hear "forget everything else and save Rei" as "annihilate everyone else in the world and save Rei". Luckily, the worst effects are deterred, but not before Shinji is granted some nifty, if worrisome, gifts. Like, say, five minutes of deification, new powers for his Eva, and a badass set of red eyes.
  • Berserk Button: Unless you want to be reduced to a bloody mess by Shinji, we suggest you be nice to Rei.
  • Big-Budget Beef-Up: Everything got an upgrade for the films (even SEELE's logo!), but most notable amongst the Beef Ups are Ramiel (the Angel of Thunder) and Operation Yashima (which involves much more Five Rounds Rapid and property damage).
  • Big Damn Heroes: Shinji pulls his last minute save of the Bridge Bunnies again, just like in the series. Then he gets his ass kicked by the Angel, again, just like in the series. Then, when the EVA shuts down, he starts breaking down emotionally, begg--wait. What? He DOESN'T break down? Nope! Shinji ends up ripping Rei directly out of the bastard... kicking off the Third Impact in the process.
  • Big Damn Villains: Kaworu pulls this off in the end of 2.0, preventing the Third Impact by showing up in his Evangelion Mark-06 and impaling EVA-01.
  • Blind Without'Em: Mari
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Rei, Mari, and Asuka (Rei's not exactly blonde, but has a very light hair color nonetheless)
  • Blood From the Mouth: From both unit and pilot when Zeruel stabs through Eva-01 with its various tentacle ... sword ... bandage ... thingies.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: Oh HELL yes. Now almost every Angel explodes into a shower of blood-red, not blue this time. Sahaqiel takes the cake, effectively drowning the entirety of Tokyo 3 in a sea of gore. The effects of this are shown in the second film, where a giant water purifier is dedicated to undoing both Second Impact's red sea and Angel ichor.
  • Blood Knight: Mari again.
  • Call Back: Many, both subtle and not.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: After the Eva-03 incident, Shinji attempts mutiny against Gendo by attacking Central Dogma with his Evangelion, and was only stopped by the timely application of excessive LCL cabin pressure.
  • Cataclysm Backstory: As in the original series, the Second Impact is a very well-done example of this trope.
  • Caught the Heart on His Sleeve: Misato tries this with Shinji in 2.0, but he steps away, rejecting her.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Remember the Lance of Longinus and how it was used the last time to take out the Fifteenth Angel? Well, the Fifteenth Angel hasn't appeared yet in Rebuild, and Instrumentality can still be executed (as per End of Evangelion).
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Mari seems to be a tad detached from reality, at least when she is inside an EVA.
  • Conspicuous CG
    • Ramiel and Sahaqiel fit this to a tee, but there are other minor examples as well. Arguably an example of Tropes Are Not Bad, because although they stand out against the traditionally animated background they are also Eldritch Abominations, so it works.
    • Averted for the CG background characters. Who could have told all those people walking about Tokyo-3 were completely digital?
    • Arguably played straight in a few scenes where the Evas are CG.
  • Crash Into Hello: Mari to Shinji. With a parachute, no less.
  • Creepy Child: Kaworu. Though he has yet to truly show his colors, so far it seems he picked up all the creepiness that was dropped by Rei. Constant, unnerving smile? Check. Cryptic discussions with the secretive cabal on the surface of the Moon? Check. In the nude? Boy howdy, check.
  • Creepy Doll Hand Puppet: In something of a parallel (or antithesis?) to the main series, Asuka keeps (and talks to) a hand puppet that vaguely resembles herself. "ASUKA" is even written on its dress.
  • Curb Stomp Battle: Zeruel is on both ends of one.
  • Delayed Explosion: During the climax of the first movie, there's a scene where Ramiel blasts down a bunch of missiles headed towards him. It takes about a second for the first one to explode, and about two more before the last one does.
  • Demoted to Extra
    • Formerly fleshed out, relevant supporting character Dr. Ritsuko Akagi is almost nonexistent as far as plot contributions go in Rebuild, at least as of 2.0.
    • 2.0 had to cut most of the standalone "Action Arc", covering 12 episodes while the first movie covered only 6 from the original series. The Bridge Bunnies also lost most of their relative character development as a result, e.g. both Ritsuko and the Bridge Bunnies got most of their character development in episodes 11 and 13, which don't exist in Rebuild.
    • Kaji also loses quite a bit of importance, with his subplot about investigating NERV and SEELE being nonexistent (as far as what has been seen). There's a brief moment in which Kaji IS spying on Gendou and Fuyutsuki. Then there's the scene where Misato asks him some info on SEELE.
    • Toji, Kensuke, and Hikari, who at least had some characterization in the series, have been reduced to Those Three Guys in this version. Especially Toji, who is no longer the pilot of Eva-03, therefore losing any real plotline significance.
    • While certainly not an extra, Asuka also seems to lose quite a bit of an importance, even in her absorption of Toji's major plot point. She's only a major factor for about half of Evangelion 2.0, at which point she falls into a coma. Of course, she'll still be present in Eva 3.0 by all appearances, but all the same, her role seems fairly small considering to that in the TV series, even considering her late entrance (which was also true in the TV series, of course).
  • Despair Event Horizon: The Unit-03 test and its subsequent destruction affects Shinji so hard that he loses grip on reality, and he nearly destroys humanity when he kills Zeruel. Even worse, he doesn't care. It's yet to be seen if he will recover from this.
  • Determinator: Shinji turns into this near the end of the second movie.

Shinji: "I don't care what happens to me! I don't even care what happens to the world! But I'm bringing Rei back! I promise I'll save you, Rei! Even if it's the last thing I do!!!"

  • Disney Death: Asuka
  • Down the Rabbit Hole: As Badass and touching as the "Ayanami rescue" scene is, it should be noted that Shinji basically gives up on reality. If anything remains of the original series' philosophy, this is Bad with a capital B.
  • Duct Tape for Everything: Misato's poor car.
  • DVD Commentary: 2.22 features less a "commentary" in a traditional sense than a series of interviews between Mike McFarland and various people involved with the English adaptation (in order: Spike Spencer, Brina Palencia, Tiffany Grant, Allison Keith-Shipp, John Swasey, Trina Nishimura, and a sound engineer). Highlights include Spike Spencer dispelling the myth that he hates Shinji, Tiffany Grant describing her unspeakably adorable encounter with the daughter of Yuko Miyamura, and John Swasey invoking "The Other Darrin" by name.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Kaworu (natch), SEELE, and Lilith.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Rebuild is not going to hand sunshine and rainbows on a plate to its cast, unless it's going to be under raining blood. But at least this time, it seems Anno is not going to have them grasp at thin air, either.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The technology behind the films has finally evolved to the point where the Angels have graduated from the freaky Kaiju of the television series into truly mind-shattering, reality-defying fiends. They routinely exist simultaneously in multiple states of matter, flicker in and out of our dimension, and fiddle with the variables of E=mc2 like a child playing with Lincoln Logs.
  • Evajack: Mari seemingly jacks Unit-02 near the end of 2.0. Given that the piloting and construction rules for Evangelions and the like seem to carry over from the original series, how they were able to accomplish this is a matter of some debate.
  • Everything's Better with Rainbows: Yeah, there've been a couple so far... refracted through raining blood.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Asuka sports one in the 3.0 trailer, but then you realize what it references.
  • Fan Disservice: After consuming Eva-00 and Rei, Zeruel grows a hundred foot-tall female body. The unnaturally long arms and Angel-body for a head only reinforce just how wrong it is.
  • Fan Service
  • Female Gaze: Kaworu on the second movie. Nice view...
  • Foot Focus: Played to the heel with Asuka, to the point where even Unit-02 gets a foot focus shot during their introductory battle (which might be a tribute to the Inazuma/Rider Kick so often referenced in Gainax-derived works).
  • Four Is Death: Just like in the original series, Unit-03, the fourth numbered unit, needs to be terminated and severely wounds its pilot and Unit-04 blows Nevada clean off the map during its activation test.
  • Funbag Airbag: How often does a girl drop from the sky by parachute with her breasts landing right in your face? And Shinji thinks life is so hard for him.
    • Well, while his face had some protective padding, the back of his head gets clonked against the floor (ouch), which would take the fun out of that (or pretty much any) kind of situation.
  • Fun with Subtitles: In one translation, while lots of Techno Babble is floating around, there are too many voices at once, so all we read is BALLSBALLSBALLS.
  • Furo Scene: Not long, nor heavy with Fan Service, but one nonetheless.
  • Gainaxing: Mari. Complete with a blatant Male Gaze shot during the final battle. Naturally she lampshades it.
  • Gatling Good: Shinji uses one against Shamshel.
  • The Ghost: Averted; for the first time in franchise history, we see Toji's little sister in the second movie.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Mari and Shinji at the end of 2.0.
  • Gorn: Each time an Angel is killed (exception of Ramiel), it bursts into an ocean of blood and gore.
  • Gratuitous French: The majority of the background tracks' titles.
  • Heroic BSOD: Shinji, once again after the EVA-03 incident.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Of all people, Shinji shows signs of becoming this. Like in the original series, he wants to avoid becoming like his father. In the end, his sole motivation is to be reunited with a loved one, even at the cost of killing everyone else. Like father, like son.
  • High-Pressure Blood
    • Unit 01's blood spray from its eye socket during the fight with Sachiel, just like the original series.
    • It bursts up out of Unit-00's legs when Zeruel eats its body.
  • High-Speed Missile Dodge: Asuka does this in her debut battle, dodging a multitude of projectiles fired by an Angel.
  • Holding Your Shoulder Means Injury: Shinji does it after being hit by the abrupt landing of a parachuting girl.
  • Hot-Blooded: Despite the naysayers, Asuka still has some pretty fiery blood coursing through her veins. And Mari... well, let's just say that she would fit into the cast of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann pretty neatly. To say nothing of Shinji channeling Simon the Digger, Noriko and even some Naota in 2.0.
  • Hotter and Sexier: At times, the Fan Service is a lot more prevalent than in the original series.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming
    • The Japanese titles of the movies are derived from jo-ha-kyū, a pacing system used in theater and other Japanese art forms. The three parts can be translated as "beginning, breakdown, crisis", meaning that an action begins slowly and becomes steadily faster and faster as it reaches the end.
    • The title for 3.0 plays around with this a lot, taking advantage of the fact that "Q" sounds just like "kyū", and that "Quickening" is a suitable translation of the kanji involved. (Especially since, unlike a noh play, Rebuild will have a fourth act.)
    • When we recall that "Evangelion" can be translated as "Gospel", "Q" also evokes the Q Document, a hypothesized source of the Gospels.
    • On another note, "Q" in Japanese is A Worldwide Punomenon: it can literally mean "decision". Rewriting the above, the "jo-han-Q" can also literally mean "beginning, breakdown, decision". Finally, in That Other Wiki, one area for decision is Epileptic Trees.
  • Impaled Palm: Sahaquiel gives Shinji stigmata. Later, he's seen with bandages.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: In the aftercredits final scene of 2.0, the Mark-06 piloted by Kaworu literally smites the recently transcended Eva-01 with a lance-like weapon (which has a very different design from the classical "Lance of Longinus". Though the appearance doesn't match the series, the lances in EoE did change shape.
  • It Got Worse: The EVA-03 test with Asuka as its pilot, which is even more apparent compared to the series because of the more lighthearted first half and it being the starting point of going Off the Rails.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Asuka, though she is introduced in 2.0 as a textbook Jerkass; after some Character Development and a surprisingly mild case of Break the Haughty (which doesn't even involve actual breaking), she is shown to have a (somewhat) considerate, friendly and caring side as she reevaluates her opinion on some of the people around her and comes to some sort of tentative understanding with the introverted Rei Ayanami in this universe; she even takes her place in piloting Unit-03 in its ill-fated testing run so that the quiet girl could host a dinner party in the hopes of getting Shinji and Gendo closer to each other. It doesn't happen exactly because of the EVA-03 disaster.
  • The Juggernaut: Zeruel retains his status as the only Angel to breach NERV by brute strength alone. He even No Sells an N2 mine at point blank range without his AT field.
  • Kaworu Can Breathe in Space: Well, he isn't exactly human. And it's shown the Angels can breathe in space. Him being an Angel, after all...
  • Kids Rock: Two examples in 2.0: "Give Me Wings" (Tsubasa o Kudasai) and "Goodbye to These Days" (Kyou no Hi wa Sayounara). This either comes of as incredibly creepy, heartachingly tragic, or hilariously inappropriate.
  • Let Me Get This Straight...: English dub-only example; the scriptwriter turns the Egregious example of As You Know involving Ritsuko's explanation of Operation Yashima in the original into an example of this. It works... about as well as can be expected, anyway.
  • Letter Motif: Rebuild changes Asuka's surname from Soryu to Shikinami to fit in with both Rei Ayanami and the new girl, Mari Makinami (while keeping the Vehicular Theme Naming from the original).
  • Lighter and Softer: Not that it doesn't have some decidedly dark moments, but so far Rebuild is most definitely this in comparison to the original series -- the characters angst less and aren't as emotionally crippled while still having the same base problems as before, and they aren't subjected to quite as much trauma and Mind Rape that they are in the original (not yet, anyway). Not that being less dark than Neon Genesis Evangelion is particularly difficult.
  • Love Epiphany: Well, in a sense. Rei describes to Asuka her feelings towards Shinji, which Asuka realizes is love. In short, the wrong person has the epiphany.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: Each and every Angel dies this way.
  • Meganekko: Mari Illustrious Makinami.
  • Marshmallow Hell: Or "why parachutes are fun". Even more hilarious because this is the second time that Shinji ends up being an Accidental Pervert, and also the second time that he's the only one freaked out by it (this isn't counting when he sees Asuka naked earlier in 2.0 -- referring strictly to boobs here).
  • Massive Multiplayer Crossover: 1.0 appeared in Super Robot Wars L.
  • Meaningful Name: Jo-Ha-Kyu is a Japanese aesthetic whereby a performance art (theatre, Tea Ceremony, kendo, etc.) should begin slowly, break tempo, and then finish swiftly. Think the three acts of a Western play: set-up, confrontation, and resolution.
  • The Missing Faction: EVA-07. Units-00 through 06 are present and accounted for, as is Unit-08 as of 3.0, but there has yet to be a canoical Unit-07.
  • Mood Swinger: Asuka suffers a case of this in the movie, regarding her lunch. You know what about, you know EXACTLY what.
  • Mood Whiplash: Compared to the series and 1.0, 2.0 has a much more Lighter and Softer feel to it, with everyone happier than the original series... then Asuka becomes the pilot of EVA-03, and It Gets Worse.
  • Mr. Exposition: While she was already fairly good with explaining what the hell was going on in the original series, Ritsuko Akagi's role has arguably been reduced to this in Rebuild due to her being Demoted to Extra.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Rebuild, being a film series that no child can accidentally see, allows Anno to bring-on-the-sexy by the truckload this time. Rei, Misato and especially Asuka get a LOT more screentime in extremely Nosebleed provoking poses and (lack of) clothing. However, they have really stiff new competition in the new Ms. Foreign Fanservice, Mari Illustrious Makinami.
  • Mythology Gag
    • Many of the additions/changes from 2.0 reference Evangelion side projects. For example, the "experimental" plug suit was mentioned (but obviously never shown) in the radio drama on the Addition CD.
    • And of course Toji's reaction when the topic of Unit-03 comes up.
    • If you watch carefully, you'll notice that Shinji's SDAT skips to track 27, which it never did in the TV show, just before 2.0 goes completely Off the Rails. Even lampshaded by Shinji's finding it odd.
    • Don't forget the infamous Asuka and Rei scene on the elevator (awkward silence, thankfully only 12 seconds this time around).
    • One that has fans particularly suspicious is Kaworu's claim that he'll make Shinji happy this time, although he says something different in the English dub.
    • Sahaqiel's redesign has him looking sort of like a combination of Matariel and Leliel, neither of whom made an appearance in the movie, before turning into something that more closely resembles his old Giant Eye of Doom form.
    • Give 2.0's version of The Beast a listen. (It plays as the contaminated Unit-03 attacks.) In the background, there's a bit of ominous chanting. Some may argue that it's a pointless addition. You wouldn't notice it at first, since the syllables are spaced out, but they're chanting "hallelujah". Consider that Asuka's inside 03. Definitely rings a few bells, doesn't it?
    • On this note: when it came to the original Unit 03 fight in the TV series, a lot of people's reaction to the fight with Unit 03 was "Well, why the hell didn't Shinji think to at least grapple with it and prevent it from choking him, he didn't have to just give up". Come 2.0, Shinji does in fact manage to pry Unit 03's hands off of 01's neck and for a moment it seems he can at least fight it to a standstill... and then Unit 03 sprouts two more arms, allowing it to pin 01's arms and strangle it at the same time, leaving Shinji properly helpless.
    • Watch Eva-02 during the climax of 2.0 very closely. You'll notice that once beast mode is activated and its armor starts breaking off, the head elongates into a shape very reminiscent of the MP Evas from End of Evangelion.
    • Speaking of this scene: the musical piece used to represent a berserk Eva throughout the franchise is called "The Beast", as noted above. What passcode does Mari use to unlock Unit 02's "deliberate berserk" mode? "Za Beasto", of course. Ironically a different, original musical number plays at this point.
    • And then, of course, there's the fact that after a decade and a half, we finally get to see... Toji's sister. And she's all better too!
    • In End of Evangelion, Shinji as a child builds a pyramid out of sand, then stomps on it. After the Bardiel incident in Rebuild, in his anger Shinji stomps on the NERV headquarters pyramid for real.
    • As noted below, the "Asuka kicks Shinji for seeing her naked" scene happened in Girlfriend of Steel, though under slightly different circumstances.
    • The opening shots of 1.0 (and the red sea in general) are rather evocative of End of Evangelion.
    • 2.0's depiction of Second Impact is clearly End of Evangelion inspired. Right down to a song with clear Musical Nods to both "Komm, Susser Tod" and its unused sister piece, "Everything You've Ever Dreamed".
    • The animation during Unit 02's introductory scene -- in which she dodges and weaves through a series of Angel limbs -- is an almost exact recreation from the scene in The End of Evangelion in which she dodges and weaves through a series of JSSDF missiles.
  • Never Trust a Trailer
    • The teaser for 2.0 showed Misato slapping Ritsuko, suggesting that Leliel (the 12th Angel) would be present in 2.0; it was not. It wasn't just speculation bait: even the slap itself was absent from the theatrical release.
    • A similar situation exists with Mari: in the trailer she was shown looking at a flight of birds that was fleeing the city... with what looks to be the opening barrage of cross-blasts from Zeruel. Mari also looks practically melancholy here... which is something she seems nearly incapable of in the final movie. In the end, Mari was busy Evajacking Unit 02 when Big Z showed up.
    • Oddly, a scene like the trailer one was included in the final movie... one that just showed her looking at the city at dusk as a flock of birds flew away from the city center. It seems to serve no purpose other than being brief eye candy now.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Some of the things Shinji does with the Unit 01 in 2.0 are completely amazing, especially since we haven't seen anything like them before. Particularly his use of the AT Field to THROW an Angel across the Geofront, in the form of a giant FIST no less. For that matter, replacing the cut-off arm not with a new one grown from Zeruel's cutter material but forming a pure AT field arm. Not to mention the previously-reserved-for-the-Angels Eye Beams.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: 2.0 ends with Shinji saving Rei, but starting Third Impact in the process. The day ends up being saved by Kaworu.
  • No Endor Holocaust: During the operation against Sahaqiel, most of the Kanto Plain is crushed underfoot by the Evas moving at supersonic speeds. After Sahaqiel's destruction, anything not leveled by the sonic boom is annihilated by a massive flood of "Angel Blood". No mention has yet been made of the billions of dollars in property damage.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: "Kind" is apparently a synonym for "fucked" in Rebuild. Asuka pilots EVA-03 for Shinji and Rei's sakes. Misato calls her "kind" for this, just like Hikari dubbed Toji kind before the same ordeal in the original. And then... yeah.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Unit-01 under the influence of the Dummy Plug. Later, Zeruel on Mari, Rei, and briefly on Shinji while Unit-01's out of power, right up until Shinji's Heroic Spirit Curb Stomps him.
  • No Name Given: As of 2.22, unlike in the TV series, the Angels themselves (except for Lilith) have no names. Officially, they are only referred to by numbers -- "the Fourth Angel," "the Fifth Angel," and so on. Even Super Robot Wars L, the only Super Robot Wars game to showcase Rebuild thus far, uses this system. However, most of the fandom uses their TV series counterparts' names, where applicable, for simplicity's sake. This is especially important when comparing the two media, as the order of their appearance is significantly different.
  • Won't Work On Me
    • The AT Field allows most Angels to do this against traditional weapons.
    • Zeruel took this a step further. Even without his AT Field he survived a point-blank N2 mine blast without a scratch.
  • Noodle Cyborgs: You may notice in this new version of Eva that along with redesigns of several of the Angels, the Evas are alot more stringy looking than they were in the original series [2]
  • Not Quite Dead: In the climax of the first movie, as Shinji fires the first shot at Ramiel, it first appears that it hit, as Ramiel practically explodes, making an utterly insane scream and covers several buildings with blood... Then he reforms himself and blows up a mountain.
  • Official Couple: Seemingly, Shinji and Rei as of Rebuild 2.0. Seemingly. Remember, Evangelion is a franchise that has never exactly been nice to this trope, and Shinji still doesn't know that Rei was partially made from his mother's DNA.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: At first impression the music that accompanies Angel battles seem to be this, but they're actually in grammatically correct English.

Angels of doom come call-ing, with no mer-cy / No fear, no heart, no judgement, no cle-men-cy.

  • OOC Is Serious Business: That doll Asuka has with her in 2.0? That's the same one from the original series, complete with "ASUKA" labeled on it. For some reason, she kept it, even though it was an indirect relation to her mother's death. But that's not the main point: All There in the Manual states that Asuka talks to it whenever she feels OOC (i.e., not her Fiery Redhead, Jerkass side, but her Shrinking Violet side). Considering the direction of Rebuild, that doll may have an entirely new meaning.
  • The Other Darrin
    • While the Japanese version keeps the same cast as the original version, the only ones that are the same in the dub are Shinji, Misato, and Asuka. (Gendo is a half-example, as his voice actor from the Director's Cut dubs was brought back, but he was already an Other Darrin to the voice of Gendo in the original series and movies, Tristan Mac Avery.)
    • Averted in the Italian dub, where all voice actors from the original reprise their respective roles... except for Kaworu, who has the voice actor from the first dub of End of Evangelion (yeah, End of Evangelion has been dubbed twice in a five years span, with the same dubbing director and the same voice actors from the original series, except for Misato, Kaworu and Aoba in the first dub. Long story.)
  • Our Angels Are Different: The Angels are even more Lovecraftian -- similar to the Cherubim's appearances in the Bible and the Talmud.
  • Overdrawn At the Blood Bank: Actually deconstructed. The Angels now completely liquify into blood (LCL?) when they die instead of simply exploding, to the point of flooding Tokyo-3 each time. The beginning of the second movie has a trip to an aquifer/aquarium made to purge both the red water from Second Impact and Angel blood left over. This might seem excessive, but when you think about the size of some of the Angels and the sheer volume of material converting to liquid....
  • Parental Substitute: Misato to Shinji (as usual), this time sans the original series' Unresolved Sexual Tension.
  • Pep Talk Song: The lyrics to "Beautiful World" seem to pretty clearly have Shinji as their subject, apparently sung from the perspective of someone who cares for the boy and wants to see him grow into his potential. The versions ending each film even seem to reflect the person he makes the deepest emotional connection with in each film (Misato in the first, Rei in the second).
  • Pet the Dog
    • See Jerk with a Heart of Gold; even Gendo, of all people, is showing signs of wanting to be a better person -- by agreeing to attend a party where everyone cooks a dish and where he can spend father-and-son-time with Shinji. This is a marked improvement over the Gendo from the original series, even if it did take some prodding on Rei's part (or Yui's, to be precise). While the desire to reconcile with Shinji is actually quite genuine (Gendo cannot say no to Yui, even if that Yui is result of him spacing out during the dinner with Rei), it's unknown if Gendo actually uses this occasion to further his plans (he states in 1.0 that making Shinji and Rei friends -- or something more -- is one of the crucial parts of his plan). It doesn't matter in the end, though.
    • Gendo seems awfully insistent about why he activated the dummy plug. "You would have died." Either he's just playing the situation, or he's doing what must be done to keep his promise to Yui and to save his son.
    • Watch Gendo's face when Shinji asks to pilot Unit-01 again near the end of 2.0 -- watch the expression when "Father!" is yelled. THAT was unexpected.
    • Not to mention that during the dummy plug sequence they removed the infamous shot of Gendo with the malicious smile as 01 viciously beats 03.
  • The Power of Love: Shinji reactivating Unit 01 to save Rei was only possible due to this.
  • Pre-Ass-Kicking One-Liner
  • Precision F-Strike: "Just... fucking... die!!!"
  • Product Placement
    • The camera lingers on brand-name foods occasionally.
    • When Shinji first opens Misato's fridge, she has shelves packed full of Doritos and Yebisu beer.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: Shinji's actions in the second film. See the Alternate Character Interpretation for more.
  • Reconstruction: Of the source material. It's even right there in the title. Seemingly used as an apology for everything the original series did to the viewer, though those things are still there just much milder.
  • Recycled Soundtrack
    • Both films used a lot of music tracks that were already in the original Neon Genesis Evangelion.
    • 2.0 uses several tracks from Kare Kano (Hideaki Anno's next series, with music by the same composer) and one track from the 1979 semiclassic The Man Who Stole the Sun.
    • Stilt-Angel's theme sounds plucked right out of Bleach (another soundtrack by Shirow Sagisu).
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: When Shinji snaps.
  • Restraining Bolt: Unit 02 has literal restraining bolts intended to limit is power and maintain its pseudo-human nature. Mari was able to release them to activate the Beast mode. It's likely that these restraints are also present in the other Evas, though 02 may have the most complete set as a production model.
  • Same Character but Different
  • Self-Destructive Charge: The final battle of the second movie is this, full-stop. Not only is Shinji increasing his plug depth to the point that his life is in mortal danger, but when he reaches for Rei, his skin starts to split open.
  • Scary Shiny Glasses
    • It wouldn't be Evangelion without'em. Though in at least one case, the shininess is shown to come from a screen rather than Gendo's sheer awesome.
    • Mari can switch between Meganekko and Scary Shiny Glasses at the drop of a hat.
  • Scenery Censor: Asuka becomes a victim of this trope after her shocked reaction at seeing Pen-Pen in the shower for the first time, standing in the exact same position where Shinji was when he was scared by the penguin... though this time, she got the addition of a bent straw (too hard to explain verbally, see the film) to protect her modesty in 2.0. Shinji, however, gets to see her full frontal -- and receives a full-on Megaton Kick to the face as punishment. Said kick may have been a Mythology Gag to the prologue of Girlfriend of Steel, a.k.a. the Mana Kirishama game.
  • Scenery Porn
  • Schedule Slip: Boy howdy. For one thing, the tetralogy was supposed to have been concluded in 2009. According to a Summer 2011 interview with one of Gainax's animators, 3.0 hadn't even entered pre-production by then. Now it's slated for release in fall 2012, with 4.0 scheduled for sometime in 2013.
  • Schizo-Tech: Rotary phones and Shinji's tape player exist harmoniously alongside modern laptops and cell phones. The Tape Player is said to be his father's, and it's one of Shinji's last possessions from him (indeed, Shinji throws it away later when he rejects his father's orders, so he might have kept it as a keepsake rather than it being a common item). Rotary phones require much less power than push button phones (being mechanically powered), and in the resource-scarce world after the Second Impact, that would make them useful.
  • Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale: Anno and crew actually seem to be trying to avert this as much as possible this time around. A good little example is during Unit 05's bootup sequence at the start of Rebuild 2.0; evidently Joe Average Evangelion has ~250 terabytes of active memory, which seems about right for all the calculations an Eva would need to operate.
  • Ship Tease: A lot more obvious this time, particularly between Shinji and Rei. This may or may not end up being squicky this time, depending on whether or not Rei and Shinji are pseudo-brother-sister this time around.
  • Ship Sinking: Considering what Rei says when she tries to use an N2 mine on Zeurel ("I'll make it so Ikari never has to pilot again.") and just how far Shinji later goes to save Rei in his fight with Zeruel in 2.0, some may think this.
  • Shout-Out
    • After Unit-1 goes berserk in 1.0, Shinji can be seen wearing Naota's 90 Degree shirt.
    • In 2.0, we're shown the image of a building that looks quite similar to Naota's house [dead link]. It helps that there's a Vespa parked nearby.
    • EVA-02 in Beast Mode looks, especially after getting shot to hell and back by Zeruel, like the God Warrior in Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (which was designed by Anno himself, long before Evangelion).
    • Alternate mixes of "Tsubasa o Kudasai" and "Kyou no Hi wa Sayonara" on the 2.0 soundtrack are specified as "Tributes to 'Sound of Music'".
    • Misato's cell phone ring is one of the early roars/flight noises for the classic Kaiju King Ghidorah, and has then been re-used for various aliens through the 60s and 70s.
    • Here's one to Star Trek, of all things. When Shinji gets his temporary ID card early in 1.0, "NCC-1701A" can clearly be seen on it.
    • The ending of 2.0 was purposefully modeled after that of Revolutionary Girl Utena.
  • Sigil Spam: NERV puts their logo on everything! SEELE gets to join in on the fun, too.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: While 1.0 is a little less cynical in general, 2.0 starts out more idealistic (distant fathers wanting to change for their sons, jerks reaching out and opening their hearts, and diffident boys growing into genuinely brave men), then goes back into cynical with the arrival of EVA-03 with Asuka replacing Toji and culminating with Shinji giving up on reality and starting Third Impact just to save Rei. It remains to be seen where the scale will go in 3.0 and Final.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Wouldn't be Evangelion without it! Twice in 2.0: A children's song plays while Unit-01 munches on the out-of-control Unit-03, and it plays again when Shinji kicks off the Third Impact.
  • Space Base: Tabgha Base, NERV's lunar base, the site of Evangelion Mark.06's construction and Kaworu's home until the end of 2.0.
  • Spider Mech: EVA-05, though not by choice, since they sent it into combat in an emergency.
  • Spot the Thread: There are several visual indications that Rebuild is more than a direct remake of the original Evangelion, including:
    • The red ocean at the beginning; it's a result of Second Impact in Rebuild, but it distinctly mirrors the red/orange ocean from End of Evangelion.
    • The scene right at the end where we see what looks like the original version of Lilith in a grave on the Moon.
    • The enormous red streak running across the moon's surface, mirroring the blood spray that Rei/Lilith left on the moon in End when she died.
    • Kaworu's line at the end of 1.0, "This time, I'll make you happy." This time?
  • Stealth Hi Bye: Misato pulls off a superb Stealth Hi on Shinji & Asuka while the latter is complaining about the "lack of privacy" (sliding doors) in Misato's house. The two are appropriately freaked out once they notice her.
  • The Stinger: Each movie has one in the form of a "Next Episode Preview" recalling those of the original TV series, complete with Misato's promises of fan service. 2.22 goes one step further, adding an entire additional scene between the credits and the preview.
  • Super Prototype: As in the original series, EVA-01 (the "Test Type") seems to be a whole lot more powerful than the later production models. And then there is the Mark-06, Kaworu's very own EVA, which is openly described as having an "odd" construction method. Which is to say, it's built on top of something that looked a lot like series-Lilith. This seems to be a reference to the mass grave of Eva-prototypes Ritsuko referred to as a "dumping ground" as she revealed it to Misato.
  • Surprisingly Good English
    • The opening of 2.0 is almost entirely in fluent, clear English (except for Kaji). Mari's phone call later in the movie is also in English, albeit accented.
    • Mari's voice actress -- the reknowned Maaya Sakamoto -- is actually fairly fluent with English and finally gets to show it off for a major production.
    • All of the English on the computer screens is grammatically and semantically accurate, too. There were a couple typos in the original release... which were all fixed for the Blu-ray.
      • Some of the English in the Bethany Base sequence is still a little off, but only compared to what a "real" computer display would read like. ("bound for Akron" when the actors are obviously saying "Acheron" is the most obvious.)
      • Forget English, Russian is correct on the same screens.
    • The songs that play in background music in certain fight scenes had surprisingly good English as well.
  • Symbolic Blood: When an Evangelion is injured, the corresponding body part of the pilot is wreathed in foamy bubbles.
  • Take My Hand: Both 1.0 and 2.0 end with Shinji offering Rei his hand, with the latter being a Crowning Moment of...a lot of things, really (irony amongst them).
  • Taking You with Me
    • In her debut, Mari does this to take down an Angel. She ends up OK; her EVA and the Angel don't. This was apparently purposefully planned out by the NERV commanders.
    • Later on, Rei attempted the same with Zeruel and an N2 mine. As it turns out, Zeruel's body is Ragnarok-proof; Unit-00 isn't.
  • Ten-Minute Retirement: Both of Shinji's instances of this in the original series are repeated (after the Shamshiel fight and after the EVA-03 incident).
  • Theme Naming: The same as the original series, with a partial change (Asuka lost a carrier in her full name).
  • There Are No Therapists: A very meta aversion. No matter how this ends, it's nice to know Anno's a lot happier then when he started the franchise.
  • Throat Light: Unit 01 vs. Zeruel, complete with breath that sounds like pissed-off winter. But no breath weapon to accompany the Eye Beams.
  • Through His Stomach: Rei's opening up in 2.0 is triggered by Shinji giving Rei some food. Both Asuka and Rei attempt to do this to Shinji, though in Rei's case it's to get Shinji and Gendo to reconcile. But then It Got Worse.
  • Tokyo Is the Center of the Universe: Naturally, considering where it's where Lilith is kept.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Shinji once again against Zeruel. And to top it off: while it's ambiguous why Unit 01 reactivates in the series... it's extremely obvious that it was Shinji himself forcing his Eva to reactivate this time around.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: Specifically, Asuka's eyepatch appearance during the trailer for 3.0. Although we knew they were still alive, we weren't sure if they were still human.
  • Tsundere: This time around, Asuka is closer to an actual Tsundere than just a female-Jerkass, in that she actually expresses her better side through kind behavior towards other people, rather than holding it in.
  • Unexplained Recovery: Asuka in the third movie. Good thing the trailer let us know that ahead of time.
  • Unstoppable Rage: After Unit-01 takes out the infected Unit-03 with Asuka inside using the dummy plugs, Shinji goes berserk and starts attacking the NERV pyramid himself until Gendo gets bored and orders the LCL pressure inside the EVA to unsafe levels, causing Shinji to pass out (so actually a Very Stoppable Rage, as it turns out). And then, there is his behavior in the battle against Zeruel.
  • Updated Rerelease
    • 1.01 and 1.11, we're looking at you. 1.01 added several new elements to the original theatrical release of 1.0, and 1.11 fixes problems with that release (most notably, severe darkness issues). Although there were certainly fans in a rage when Funimation announced they'd be releasing 1.01.. .given that 1.11 had already been out for months in Japan.
    • Fans in the UK luckily did not have to suffer this; 1.01 and 1.11 were released as a double-disc set, albeit several months after the US release.
    • The DVD of 2.0 was similarly tweaked and released as 2.22.
  • Values Dissonance: In-universe example. Asuka grumbles at least thrice about the Japanese, including apologizing a lot, not spitting it out, and Japanese doors. Misato interrupts one of these rants by demonstrating another annoying Japanese cultural Quirk: Fucking Ninjas!
  • Vapor Wear: As noted by Asuka, the experimental plugsuit during the EVA-03 test is even tighter than standard issue and barely covers anything. It's actually a full-body-covering suit, but the lighter midsection looks like it's not there at all; it actually seems to be made of two different materials, and the orange section is much more sheer than the rest. How sheer? Butt-cleavage sheer. God bless Rebuild.
  • Ventriloquism: Asuka having a 'conversation' with her doll about not needing others, in a highly unsettling scene.
  • Victory Is Boring: Discussed between Misato and Ritsuko during Shinji, Rei, and Asuka's Eva-test.
  • Wham! Episode: The second half of 2.0 has Asuka and Unit-3 being mauled (she survives, but is comatose) and Rei being eaten by Zeruel. Shinji then completely gives up on reality, life and himself by becoming ridiculously powerful with his EVA's AT Field. Furthermore, he decides to start the Third Impact to save Rei. It's only with the intervention of Kaworu that the apocalypse is averted, and even then most of the Evangelion Units have been demolished while there are still more Angels to come, with both Shinji and Rei trapped inside EVA-01. Given that this is Eva, 3.0 and Final will probably have moments of their own.
  • What Do You Mean Its Not Symbolic: An Evangelion tradition, well-represented.
    • One new occasion in Rebuild 2.22 is a certain location, approximately 15 minutes into 2.22. Here's a hint: Nine round pools of water, connected by small canals and with a round platform in the center of the arrangement. Anyone who's watched EoE has seen this before (they form the Tree of Sephiroth a.k.a. the Tree of Life, just like the MP EVAs did.
  • Weird Moon: It's got an enormous bloodstain stretching across it. Perhaps a nod to EoE.
  • World of Adaptational Badass
    • Beginning at the start of 1.0, with Sachiel. For one thing, the standard military hits the opening Angel with LOTS More Dakka than in the original, and we get a better look at how destructive the N2 Mine is. None of it works. And we also get a shot of the Angel levitating briefly, something it couldn't do before. Finally, although this is more backhanded, Sachiel vs. Unit-01. Yes, Unit-01 still CurbStomps him. The difference, is that the sequence takes noticeably longer than it did in the series. Even if Sachiel can't hope to win, he can still last a bit longer than before.
    • Then, we skip to the battle against Ramiel. For the sake of keeping a short example, just compare the original fight against the one in Rebuild. Ramiel, Shinji, and to one degree even Rei have clearly taken numerous levels in badass.
    • Moving on to 2.0, Asuka takes out an Angel all by herself.
    • Then, cue the Tenth Angel. What happens when The Juggernaut Takes A Few Levels In Badass? Zeruel. What happens when Shinji starts playing Unstoppable Rage even better than Unit-01? Third Impact.
    • And then, finally, Kaworu.
  • World of Cardboard Speech: Shinji gives a variant of this, both to himself and those trying to talk him down, at the end of 2.0 as he finally realizes he has something to fight for.

Shinji: I don't care what happens to me. I don't care what happens to the world. But I'm bringing Rei back... I promise I'll save you, Rei... EVEN IF IT'S THE LAST THING I DO!!!

  • A Worldwide Punomenon: As noted in Idiosyncratic Episode Naming, "Q" has multiple meanings in Japanese. Starting with the obvious, "Q" is used as a substitute for "kyu" [3], which indicates a faster-paced storyline than the previous. When used literally in Japanese, "Q" [4] is used as an abbreviation. Both definitions are extremely climatic points present in the original series and End of Evangelion. In fact, the former was used for the final two episodes of the series, and the latter was mostly based around Shinji's decision for saving the world.
  • You Are Not Alone: The subtitle of the first of the Rebuild films is surprisingly appropriate.
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz: The new title is spelled very oddly. For some reason, it seems to be spelled in the Touhouku dialect. Originally, the gairaigo (transliterated into Japanese) spelling in katakana (alphabet used for foreign words) was E-va-n-ge-ri-o-n. In Rebuild, it's spelled Ye-va-n-ge-ri-wo-n in katakana. Even though /wo/ is pronounced the same as /o/ in modern Japanese, sort of making sense, the phoneme /ye/ isn't used in modern Japanese anymore, which is weird.
  1. or "kyū", if you like; see Idiosyncratic Episode Naming below
  2. Such as when Unit 03 goes berserk or when Mari takes control of Unit 02 and uses its Beast Form.
  3. Quickening
  4. Decision