Evangelion: 3.33 You Can (Not) Redo's shocking time jump took a familiar story in a brand new direction. Neon Genesis Evangelion is an anime series created by Hideaki Anno that debuted in 1995 and takes place in a world that survived a catastrophe dubbed the Second Impact. The show follows a boy named Shinji, who is forced by his cold father to pilot a giant mech to fight mysterious creatures known as "Angels." The show features fantastic action sequences, but while it was originally aimed at a young audience, the show evolved into a dark psychological drama exploring themes like grief, loss, responsibility, and religion.
The original series of Neon Genesis Evangelion lasted for 26 episodes, but the philosophical two-episode finale left a lot of fans unsatisfied. This led to feature-length 1997 anime movie The End of Evangelion, which picked up from the events of episode 24 "The Last Cometh." The movie was a more action-packed finale to the saga, but it again left fans baffled by its ambiguous ending and themes. Nevertheless, the movie has been reappraised as a fascinating installment of the franchise.
Neon Genesis Evangelion ranks alongside the likes of Cowboy Bebop as one of the most popular anime series of all time, and it had a huge influence on other shows and movies like Pacific Rim. In 2006 the Rebuild of Evangelion movie series was announced, which is a reboot of the original show. The first installment Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone was released in 2007 and is a faithful recreation of the first six episodes of the series, with some new scenes thrown in. Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance is where it started to deviate, introducing new characters like Eva pilot Mari Illustrious Makinami and ending on a shocking note, where Shinji's attempt to save Rei causes him to accidentally trigger the Third Impact.
Evangelion: 3.33 You Can (Not) Redo from 2012 is where the Rebuild Of Evangelion started to dive into new territory. The story jumps ahead fourteen years from the Third Impact, with Shinji being recovered from his Eva unit. He's brought to an organization called WILLE, which is made up of former members of NERV, who are now intent on destroying their old organization. Shinji is despised by pretty much everyone for causing the Third Impact and is fitted with an explosive collar to prevent him from piloting another mech
Evangelion: 3.33 You Can (Not) Redo later finds Shinji exploring the ruins of NERV headquarters, and is taken to see his father Gendo. He's tasked with piloting a new Evangelion unit with Kaworu, who fans of the original series will remember as the seventeenth angel in disguise. The plot soon gets very complex from there, with Shinji learning about the end goal of the Human Instrumentality Project, that Rei is a clone of his late mother, and a plan to create a Fourth Impact.
Evangelion: 3.33 You Can (Not) Redo took the story in a direction fans were not expecting, and this resulted in a vocal backlash from some. The Neon Genesis Evangelion franchise has never played things safe, and this third entry took some risks with the time jump and exploring completely new ground. Compared to Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone - which was essentially a recap - Evangelion: 3.33 pulls the story in strange new directions. The production of the film would prove to be difficult for Hideaki Anno too, who took time out from the franchise to work on Shin Godzilla instead. After a long delay, the fourth and final chapter Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 is set for release in 2020. If the past is anything to go by, it will probably prove somewhat controversial too.