Eva:3.0+1.0 Trailer #2 Commentary Pt.2

Following on from this post, I’ll be taking a detailed look at the rest of the second 3+1 trailer. Just a note, I lightened and/or color-adjusted some of the cuts to get a better look at the contents; refer back to the official King Records upload to see the original presentation!

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Mari giving a wry little wave. What we can see of her plugsuit indicates it’s a new model, and isn’t simply a palette swap of her previous one (compare this to this). Black, huh? That’s quite a sharp deviation. The thing on the wall is an industrial control pendant, which you might use to operate heavy machinery. Curious. The relative proximity of this cut to the tease about Wunder going into space makes me wonder if Mari is departing for a Moon-based mission here, but that’s just wishful thinking on my part… ;)

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Well, Kaworu did say that they’d meet again, but… this is just weird! The lack of choker on either boy means this isn’t a flashback. Is this on the Wunder? I at first thought that Shinji wearing his uniform here was a giveaway that something was funny, but, lo and behold, you can see his uniform in this cut as well. Shinji was wearing it in the plug at the end of 2.0, so Wille being able to return his clothes to him is reasonable.

How do you explain this Kaworu, though? Shinji’s expression seems a bit severe, which is interesting. His mouth and neck are stiff and he’s not directly facing Kaworu. Whatever is going on here, Shinji doesn’t seem to welcome it. There’s nothing good to go on this early, but my own suspicion is that this isn’t a clone, or that Shinji is necessarily hallucinating (even though he likely has PTSD and nobody could blame him for doing so). Rather, I think this may be similar in cause to the strange Shinji-Rei phenomena happening throughout the films — seeing her on the street, seeing a vision of her inside Eva-01, talking to her inside his head while unconscious, etc. — though on a visual level it most closely resembles what Rei Q sees while she’s soaking. Shinji and Rei have a hidden connection which Gendo has taken advantage of in his plans, and Rei Q, being a Rei clone whose soul is “somewhere else”, logically is connected to Rei 2 as well. To relate this back to the trailer: Shinji had recently synchronized with Kaworu, so the two have a unique spiritual link, which may carry forward beyond Kaworu’s physical death.

Another thing I notice here is that Kaworu’s shirt is conveniently left out of frame. This could well mean absolutely nothing — or it could mean everything, in that khara is deliberately hiding something from us. The end of this post explores the issue, though it does require that entire thread for context.

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And a mere seven scenes later, we get… this. A disheveled-looking Rei — though we don’t know which one — in the foreground, and an incredibly ominous Fuyutsuki in the back. Rei’s eye shifts very slightly during the cut, but the overall effect here is still, for me, very doll-like. Compare one of the creepy close-ups from EoE. The background also brings to mind this awful place from 3.0.

There is certainly not much to go on, but it stirs the imagination, as I’m sure was intended. We have never seen Fuyutsuki depicted like this before, which suggests some sort of seismic shift in his character to come. If, as suggested last time, Gendo actually does sacrifice himself to Eva-13, then it’s another “I leave the rest to you, Fuyutsuki-sensei” situation. In the original series, the intense and uncompromising parts of Fuyutsuki’s personality took a back seat when the choice came down to “help the good guys over the long term quietly” or “get shot by the bad guys right now”. In the new movies, Seele are finally gone, and maybe Gendo will be “gone” too, leaving Fuyutsuki to act as he sees fit. This could get very interesting. Getting to see Fuyutsuki channel a little of his inner Gargoyle? Yes, please!

What’s going with this Rei is much harder to say. As I detailed last time, the trailer does provide a subtle hint that it may not be all peaches and cream for Tentative Name: Rei Ayanami. And, much as we want to see her learn and grow outside the confines of Nerv HQ, she will also need to return there sooner or later to answer that fundamental question: “Then, what am I?” If she is dependent on the facilities there to live (which “Until You Come To Me” might be implying, by showing Rei’s hand crumble away during her travels with Asuka and Shinji), that could also present a slight problem.

My general read on what’s happening in the shot itself: Rei is back at Nerv HQ seeking answers, and Fuyutsuki’s brought her to his shrine of assorted horrors in order to provide them. Except this isn’t like Shinji, where Fuyutsuki was trying to provide information for the boy’s benefit. Fuyutsuki’s playing a much darker game here. With the glassy doll-eyed look on Rei, it’s easy to imagine him nonchalantly telling her that she’s merely a soulless husk pretending to be human. Whatever’s going on, I look forward to it.

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First, note the scene number. A whole bunch of movie receives no representation in the trailer. How close are we to the very end here? None of the Eva movies have been split up into “scenes” before, so… there’s no way to say.

We get our first full-body look at New Eva-02 and… uh… Hmm. That’s not quite what I was expecting, though in retrospect I really should have known better. JA-02, Eva-02. Get it??

In case you have no idea what I’m talking about, at the end of Avant1 when Mari uses a special scanning mode on Eva-08 to look inside the Nerv Paris storage lockers, we can see Jet Alone 2 parts inside. (Main body and arms on the left here, legs on the right here.) In fact, a LOT of the lockers have “JA-02” written on them. I’d kind of been hoping to see a whole squadron of battle-ready space-faring Jet Alones or something, but I suppose merging one with Eva-02 is a surefire way to force the ‘bot back into relevancy. Bravo, Anno. Bravo.

From what we can see here, Eva-02 has actually been restored considerably from the sorry state we saw it in at the end of Q. Even if the helmet and torso armor can hypothetically hide missing organic parts, that right arm doesn’t lie. Somehow we went from a few stray arm muscles to a complete, functional arm. Interesting. The hollowed-out Jet Alone chassis here initially gives the impression that there’s much less Eva-02 than there actually is; there’s a better look inside the brown shell coming up.

The left arm and the legs are 100% from Jet Alone 2, though. It seems Wille can get Eva flesh to regenerate, but they can’t outright replace entire units of the body that are missing.

The weird backpack seems to be some kind of missile launcher. It was first shown in Avant1, all the way on the left here. That absolutely crazy weapon could also be glimpsed behind Mari on the left here. In the side view, you can see a bulky rounded apparatus that looks… sort of like bagpipes??… on Eva-02’s back. I wonder if that’s meant to be a power reactor. Those tubes sticking out of it remind me of the original Jet Alone’s control rods. Having the reactor attached as a back module instead of loaded inside the main unit would make it possible to jettison if something were to go wrong, or if you needed to blow something up without killing yourself too, I suppose.

The low bitrate might make it hard to tell, but Eva-02’s falling into a writhing mass of Failures of Infinity. They look kind of like swarming insects. Pretty strange way for a bunch of headless Eva-01s made of core to move. After Eva-02 falls a certain distance, the launcher backpack comes off (can’t tell if deliberately or not), and the swarm starts to surge upward as Eva-02 dives deeper in.

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This shot seems to follow on the previous one directly. End of previous, Eva-02 had started diving into the swarm, and here we can see it spiraling downward (note the sun). Its destination is unknown, but that giant multi-weapon it’s toting tells us it means business.

I’ve heard Eva-02’s new look get compared to a “grizzled veteran”, and that’s… just about perfect. Here, 02 pulls off this “I’ve been through some real shit, so don’t screw me me!” feeling quite well. The “scar” (representing the eye lost all those years ago in the 10th Angel fight), the toothy underbite, the devil horns, all the strapped-on equipment, the jumbo gun like some kind of crazy space marine. It all takes some getting used to, especially those brown J.A. parts, but it’ll be great fun to see in action.

Note that here we can clearly see that the main JA body has been hollowed out and partly wraps around Eva-02’s torso, providing an extra layer of armor. I assume that if you go down far enough, Eva-02 does become 100% mechanical prosthesis, but there’s no way to make out that exact point here. Eva-02’s new Eva plating is the same as what we saw in Paris, though the right shoulder pylon looks modified.

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AAA Wunder passing over the camera POV, with Failures of Infinity strewn through the sky and partly blocking out the sun. We can see the Wunder’s power core as it goes over (look for the yellow-striped knobs in the second image), suggesting that, alas, Eva-01 gets to spend a significant portion of the movie in there. (If it’s stuck inside various containers for ANOTHER whole film, I revolt.)

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Well, they did tell us Final Impact was going to happen at the end of Q (in the preview), so this isn’t exactly a surprise or anything. Here we see the Wunder fly past a rather conspicuously-textured background, on past the edges of the Gates of Guf, tilting down toward the epicenter. The Failures of Infinity flying through the air look like they have a tendency to aggregate in clusters; maybe Eva-02 was dropped into one such cluster. This could mean nothing, but the core-speckle effect on the Failures that fly through the foreground is especially prominent.

What we can see of the Gates shows only red, white, and black — no other colors. Near Third Impact was distinctive for its Gates having no other colors, and if Final Impact has similarly red Gates, that would be a useful clue about how Impacts work. Alas, this close to the Gates’ edge, all of them are entirely red. (See: Second Impact; Fourth.) We’ll have to wait to see if the center is rainbowy or not!

What did the Wunder fly past on the way to the Gates? It looks like it could be the Black Moon (that giant goblet-shaped thing); the sheer quantity of Failures seems to point that way. (To give you an idea of how many: the Black Moon is about 30km from top to bottom. All of that red stuff suspended in midair? Countless Failures of Infinity.) And what’s at the epicenter? Who caused it? At this point, I’m tempted to refer back to my write-up in Pt.1 under Sn105 C001. It’s our friends at Nerv HQ, using Eva-13 and the Key of Nebuchadnezzar. Whether Gendo and Fuyutsuki are still a co-op, Gendo has become the Emperor Neo to Fuyutsuki’s Gargoyle, or whatever else.

Notice how these past four cuts are all part of scene 299, and consecutive: C001, C001A, C002, C003. Taking a stab at what’s happening here: Eva-02 gets dropped off outside the Gates, where it descends toward an unknown target amidst the Failure of Infinity swarms; and in the meantime Wunder heads for the Impact center. This indicates that, similarly to Fourth Impact, Wille’s attention is required in multiple places at once. What could be important enough outside of the epicenter that Wille needs to put their ace Eva-02 on the job? It’s impossible to not start weaving possibilities…

Come join us on the forum and speculate about what wondrous insanity awaits! See you next time!