Guest Author - Lesley Aeschliman
When FUNimation released Evangelion 2.22 You Can (Not) Advance, it was released on both DVD and Blu-ray disc. This review focuses on the Blu-ray pressing of the film.
Evangelion 2.22 You Can (Not) Advance contains some of the plot points that appeared at this same point in the original Neon Genesis Evangelion television anime series; however, some of the details surrounding these plot points have been changed. This film also introduces a new character named Mari; after piloting the Eva Unit-05 that self-destructs, she tries to covertly enter Tokyo-3. Near the end of the film, Mari finds herself piloting Eva Unit-02.
When I watched this Blu-ray of the film, it was the second time that I watched the movie. The first time I saw this film, I really couldn't figure out what purpose Mari served in the story. Watching the film again, I realized she had a slightly bigger role in the story than I remembered, but I'm still not entirely sure what Mari actually adds to the story yet. Hopefully she will become a more important character in the third film.
My biggest problem with this film, however, is the fact that Asuka's character isn't developed nearly as much as it needed to be for one of the plot points that happens in this movie. Since I was already familiar with this character from the original anime series, I could understand the emotional impact of what happens to this character; however, for a viewer who is getting their first exposure to Neon Genesis Evangelion through these "rebuild" films will more than likely not have the same understanding.
One of the highlights of this film is the new scene where Kaji takes Shinji, Rei, Asuka, Toji, and Aida on a field trip to an area that is trying to rehabilitate the ocean and preserve the sea life that was still left after the Second Impact. This scene helps to establish what the world is like after the Second Impact a lot more than anything shown in the original anime series did.
The Blu-ray pressing comes with the exact same booklet that was packaged with the DVD release. This booklet includes an introduction, an explanation of the "Rebuild of Evangelion 2.02" bonus feature that appears on the second disc, pictures and write-ups for the characters and mecha in the film, a glossary to some of the terms used in the film, explanations of some the kinds of shots that appear in "Rebuild of Evangelion 2.02," and full page pictures of Asuka and Mari.
When it comes to the video quality of this Blu-ray, I noticed a significant difference between the image quality on this disc and the image quality on the DVD of this film that I had viewed previously. According to the back of the box, the video is 1080p High Definition 16x9 HD Native, the audio is Dolby TrueHD: English 6.1 and Dolby TrueHD: Japanese 6.1, and subtitles are available in English.
The bonus features on the Blu-ray pressing are exactly the same as the bonus features on the DVD release of the film. These include commentary by the U.S. cast, trailers for the film, the 22-minute "Rebuild of Evangelion 2.02" feature, a remixed scene, four omitted scenes (however, all you see are "work in progress" versions, since none of them were actually ever animated), and trailers for releases that FUNimation was promoting at the time this Blu-ray disc was released.
Evangelion 2.22 isn't a bad film, although there are some ways in which I feel it could have been done better. However, if you're a Neon Genesis Evangelion fan who enjoys these films and has the capability to watch Blu-ray discs, I would recommend adding this Blu-ray release of Evangelion 2.22 You Can (Not) Advance to your home video library.
I wrote this review after watching a copy of this Blu-ray disc that my husband purchased for me as a gift.