Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time

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Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time
Evangelion 3.0+1.0 Poster.png
Japanese theatrical release poster
Japaneseシン・エヴァンゲリオン劇場版 𝄇
HepburnShin Evangerion Gekijōban 𝄇
LiterallyNew Evangelion Theatrical Edition 𝄇
Directed by
Screenplay byHideaki Anno
Based onNeon Genesis Evangelion
by Hideaki Anno
Produced by
  • Hideaki Anno
    Tomoyuki Ogata
StarringMegumi Ogata
Megumi Hayashibara
Yuko Miyamura
Maaya Sakamoto
Akira Ishida
Kotono Mitsuishi
CinematographyToru Fukushi
Edited byEmi Tsujita
Music byShirō Sagisu
Production
company
Distributed byToho
Toei Company Ltd.
Release date
  • March 8, 2021 (2021-03-08)[1]
Running time
155 minutes
CountryJapan
LanguageJapanese
Box office¥10.22 billion[2] ($92.7 million)

Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time (シン・エヴァンゲリオン劇場版 𝄇, Shin Evangerion Gekijōban)[a] is a 2021 Japanese animated science fiction film written and directed by Hideaki Anno and produced by Studio Khara. It is the fourth and final film in the Rebuild of Evangelion film series, part of the Neon Genesis Evangelion franchise.

After a protracted development and multiple delays, Thrice Upon a Time was released on March 8, 2021,[1] to positive reviews and became the highest-grossing film of the franchise. It was released internationally on August 13, 2021 via the Amazon Prime Video streaming service.

Plot[edit]

In Paris, a team from the Wille organization, led by Maya Ibuki, works on a system designed to restore the city to its previous state. Upon being attacked by Nerv forces, they are defended by the Wunder fleet and Mari Illustrious Makinami in Unit-08. Mari defeats the attackers, and the Wille team restores Paris.

Asuka Shikinami Langley, Rei Ayanami and Shinji Ikari, still despondent, are walking across the outskirts of Tokyo-3. They arrive at a settlement of survivors, and encounter Toji Suzuhara, Hikari Horaki and Kensuke Aida, now adults. Toji is a doctor and has a child with Hikari, while Kensuke is a technician, and all are friendly to Shinji. Asuka expresses frustration with Shinji, force-feeding him. As Shinji slowly recovers, Rei explores the village and settles down, working as a farmer. Shinji meets Ryoji Kaji, the son of Misato Katsuragi and the late Ryoji Kaji, who died averting Third Impact. Rei requires constant exposure to LCL and cannot maintain herself, decomposing in Shinji's presence.

Wunder arrives to pick up Asuka, and Shinji decides to go with her, despite protests from the crew. Shinji is placed in isolation. Meanwhile, Kozo Fuyutsuki, distressed over Shinji's treatment by Gendo Ikari in forcing him to experience the same loss as him, helps Gendo restart Unit-13. In response, Wunder heads to Antarctica. Before the mission, Asuka admits her past feelings for Shinji but states that she "grew up before him", referring to their actual ages being 28 but bodies being stuck at 14 due to the Curse of Eva, as well as Shinji's suspended animation between the events of 2.0 and 3.0. Shinji apologizes to Asuka for being indecisive in either saving or killing her whilst she was under the control of the Ninth Angel in Unit-03 14 years ago. Asuka accepts the apology and recognizes he is growing up.

Wunder is attacked by three Nerv ships and a swarm of EVA units. Asuka and Mari sortie and move to destroy Unit-13 before it can reactivate. However, Unit-02 refuses to attack Unit-13, forcing Asuka to remove her eyepatch, revealing the Ninth Angel contained within, converting Unit-02 into a "Pseudo-Evolved EVA"-Angel hybrid like Shinji's Unit-01 14 years ago. Unit-13 overpowers and absorbs Unit-02 according to Gendo's plan. Moments before being absorbed, Asuka is approached by her "original", revealing she is a clone of the Shikinami series. Meanwhile, the Wunder is attacked by a new EVA, Unit-09A.

In the Nerv vessel restraining the Wunder, Misato and Ritsuko Akagi confront Gendo. Ritsuko shoots him to no effect as Gendo has used the Key of Nebuchadnezzar to transcend humanity. Gendo reveals that the purpose of the Shikinami and Ayanami clones is to enact the Human Instrumentality Project, and enters Unit-13. A determined Shinji asks Misato to let him pilot Unit-01. Sakura and Midori Kitakami try to stop Shinji, but Misato protects him and is shot in the process. Misato apologizes to Shinji, saying that she was wrong to blame him and will take responsibility for his actions, as she is still technically his legal guardian. Mari takes Unit-08 and merges it with Units 09A through 12. Inside Unit-01, the original Ayanami clone appears before Shinji, apologizing for not being able to spare him from having to get into an EVA, but Shinji says it is alright.

Gendo and Shinji fight in a surreal "Anti Universe", and Gendo shows Shinji an "imaginary Evangelion", a "Black Lilith". Shinji meets Gendo, seeing a vision of his past experiences, including how Yui's loss traumatized him. As a result, Gendo wanted to initiate an "Additional Impact" for a chance to reunite with Yui. Meanwhile, Misato evacuates the crew of the Wunder and sacrifices herself and the ship to create the "Lance of Gaius", which gives Shinji the power to rewrite the world. Shinji talks with and provides closure to Gendo; to Asuka, returning her feelings so both can move on from their mutual childhood crushes; and to Kaworu Nagisa, revealing the existence of a cycle the cast is trapped in. Kaworu also talks with the elder Kaji, who helps him understand that his own happiness should not be tied to Shinji's.

Shinji says farewell to Rei, deciding upon a complete reset of the world, a "Neon Genesis", without Evangelions. Gendo and Yui sacrifice themselves to spare Shinji from needing to do so himself, which turns all the Failures of Infinity back into their original human forms and restores the world. Shinji then waits on a beach as reality resets until Mari comes back to get him, with her "Final Evangelion" being the last to disappear. The Children are all present as adults at a train station, with Asuka on her phone sitting on a bench and Rei and Kaworu speaking to each other. Shinji leaves the station with Mari, who playfully greets him the same way as their initial meeting; Shinji playfully reciprocates by briefly taking her glasses, and Mari remarks how he "finally sounds like a grown-up". As they leave, they transform from traditional animation to CGI to finally panning up away from them into an actual shot of real-world Hakone, Japan.

Cast[edit]

Character Japanese English
Shinji Ikari Megumi Ogata Spike Spencer
Misato Katsuragi Kotono Mitsuishi Allison Keith
Gendo Ikari Fumihiko Tachiki John Swasey
Asuka Langley Shikinami Yūko Miyamura Tiffany Grant
Sakura Suzuhara Miyuki Sawashiro Felecia Angelle
Rei Ayanami (tentative name) Megumi Hayashibara Amanda Winn-Lee
Mari Illustrious Makinami Maaya Sakamoto Deneen Melody
Ritsuko Akagi Yuriko Yamaguchi Mary Faber
Kaworu Nagisa Akira Ishida Daman Mills
Rei Ayanami Megumi Hayashibara Amanda Winn-Lee
Toji Suzuhara Tomokazu Seki Brett Weaver
Kensuke Aida Tetsuya Iwanaga Alejandro Saab
Hikari Suzuhara Junko Iwao Kimberly Yates
Maya Ibuki Miki Nagasawa Amy Seeley
Kozo Fuyutsuki Motomu Kiyokawa Michael Ross
Ryoji Kaji Kōichi Yamadera Sean Burgos
Shinji Ikari (adult) Ryunosuke Kamiki Spike Spencer
Midori Kitakami Mariya Ise Bijou Vann
Shigeru Aoba Takehito Koyasu Jaxon Lee
Makoto Hyuga Hiro Yuuki Joe Fria
Yui Ikari Megumi Hayashibara Amanda Winn-Lee
Ryoji Kaji (son)[*] Kōki Uchiyama
Koji Takao Akio Otsuka
Hideki Tama Anri Katsu
Sumire Nagara Sayaka Ohara

^ New character

Production[edit]

Early development and delays[edit]

The film was announced alongside Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo for release in 2008 as the final part of the Rebuild series under the working title Evangelion: Final. After delays of the first three films, Evangelion: Final was expected for release in 2015.[3] In 2014, director and producer Hideaki Anno announced that due to other commitments, the film would be further delayed to an unknown date.[4] Following the troubled production of the third film, director and producer Hideaki Anno became depressed and stated publicly in 2015 that he could not work on another film.[5] As part of his recovery, Anno had also worked on Studio Ghibli's The Wind Rises under his mentor Hayao Miyazaki.[6][7] Toho (which co-distributes the film in Japan with Toei) also approached Anno with an offer to direct a reboot of its Godzilla film series, Shin Godzilla, which also contributed to the delay on 3.0+1.0.[8] Getting Toei and Toho in the same film had been a long-standing dream of Anno's.[9] Financial reasons also played a part. In 2014, Anno's Studio Khara loaned his former company Studio Gainax ¥100 million ($916,400). In 2016, Anno filed a claim for debt collection, fearing not only for the return of the money but also because of Gainax selling production materials to third parties,[10][11] after a precedent of other sales of intellectual property without informing him.[12] This was part of several legal issues surrounding Gainax and Evangelion.[13]

After a formal apology from Anno, animation director Takeshi Honda stated that the last film had resumed development after the production of Shin Godzilla ended in late 2016,[14][15][16] with Studio Khara tweeting on April 5, 2017, that development was going smoothly.[17] In May 2018, the studio put out a job listing for animation staff to work on 3DCG, VFX, and 2D animation starting on June 30, 2018.[18] Animation was going through the final check by October 2, 2020.[19] Dialogue recording wrapped on November 19, 2020.[20] On December 16, 2020, Studio Khara announced that compositing and editing work had finished.[21] In 2019 the film was scheduled for a June 27, 2020 release date but received two delays due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic, first scheduled for a January 23, 2021 release,[22] before being released on March 8, 2021.[23]

Development[edit]

Anno was very reluctant to return to work on the film in 2016.[24] In 2018, Anno had asked for the opinion of voice actors like Megumi Ogata (Shinji) on how to move the plot forward after 3.0.[25][26] Anno felt he could no longer understand Shinji and by now his current self was closer to Gendo than Shinji, and needed Ogata's input on how Shinji could recover after the events of 3.0. Anno felt that at that point the only people who could understand Shinji's feelings were Ogata herself and his personal assistant, Ikki Todoroki.[27] Anno himself had intended to go to Paris for Japan Expo 2019, but the film's continuing delays in production prevented him. Anno had often visited the film's music composer Shirō Sagisu, who lives half the year in Paris, and wished to pay homage to the city in the opening 10 minutes of the movie,[28] entitled AVANT1 ("before" in French), seeking to surpass his earlier depiction in Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water.[26] At the event, Ogata also recounted Anno had asked what ending she preferred "as Shinji".[26] AVANT1+2, including a further 2 minutes of the opening sequence, was also streamed on Khara's YouTube channel and Japanese Amazon Prime Video for free for two weeks.[29]

Dialogue for Parts A and B, set after AVANT, started recording in March 2019.[30][31] As there were several changes to the plot, many voice actors had to come back and record lines again. In 2020, due to the pandemic restrictions, production slowed down further and recording was mostly done by the voice actors separately as many dozens of takes were necessary, and they organized themselves through a Line group. This created a bond between the cast that was unprecedented in previous productions.[25][32][33][34] At the end of recording, Anno thanked the cast for their contributions. Yūko Miyamura, who played Asuka, was instructed to treat her character as completely separate from the series' Asuka Langley Soryu,[34][35] and the last thing asked of her was to write the character's full name in cursive herself to be used in the movie. She had lived in Australia for the past two decades, but was still unsure of how to write "Langley". Miyamura expressed her surprise at Anno's behavior near the end of production, in contrast to his behavior during the making of End of Evangelion: "Anno-san is amazing. He has become an adult".[33][36]

Anno sought to bring in new talent and people outside the usual Evangelion core crew, like Darling in the Franxx creator Atsushi Nishigori, a protégé of his, while other core staffers like chief editor Masayuki largely stepped down in order to allow new talents to gain more experience.[37] In addition, the series' original character designer, Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, has had diminishing involvement since 3.0, and the new character designs are mostly done by Hidenori Matsubara. Anno had long stated his wish to revitalize the anime industry,[38][39] and saw the sponsorship of new creators as a prime way of achieving this, as well as the promotions of events backed by Studio Khara like the Japan Animator Expo.[40] Director Mahiro Maeda recounted Anno wanted him to figure out specific details of the plot on his own when asked. Similarly to production in the series,[41][42][43] Anno would take ideas from staffers but have the final word in plot decisions. Anno had also been an advocate of employing new and innovative animation technologies,[44] combined with extensive use of motion capture and computer-generated imagery, and employed them in the film.[37] Maeda and others noted nonetheless that Anno seemed to be directing the film more like a live action film than animation, including in the way he directed the voice actors, taking cues from theatre techniques,[45] after his previous experience outside Evangelion, despite the staff's own limited experience, something he had previously attempted in Cutie Honey.[46] He thought Anno "wanted to get out of here the most", but expressed his feelings in film sincerely.

Director Kazuya Tsurumaki details Anno wanted to try a new process for the film. Instead of first creating storyboards and then developing the animation based on them as is traditional, Anno proposed to first draw the animation cels and then draw the scenes from them. This technique was generally referred to by staff as "pre-visualization".[47] He was once more inspired from the usual process in live action, where scenes are first shot from multiple angles and then stories are created and then selected during editing. The latter half of the film, however, progressively returned to the traditional anime style.[48] Tsurumaki noted the original intention was that "the first 80%" of the Rebuild series would be a "compilation" of the original anime series, and the changes would only start with the last film, in keeping with earlier comments in 2006 by producer Toshimichi Ohtsuki regarding the intention that only the ending would be a major departure from the series, as staff felt End of Evangelion could not receive a sequel,[49] and the Rebuild movies were not going to be "metaphysical" like the original anime, but rather "oriented towards entertainment".[50] This eventually changed, and major changes started happening as early as Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance.[51] He also noted that the previously stated goal of "destroying Evangelion" through the character of Mari was entrusted to an external party. Anno would ask the opinion of many parts of staff, including those not involved in the actual film like office staff for their opinions on several nuances.[52] Anno's wife Moyoco Anno provided early designs for some characters.[53] Studio Ghibli also provided assistance to scenes set in the survivor's village.[54] For the village itself, Khara had a box model custom-built to orientate the artists, and Anno personally adjusted it to the smallest details like individual house layout, road with and utility posts to make it as realistic as possible.[55][56][57] Staff consulted with multiple professionals[58] and conducted research like sky-diving for maximum accuracy.[59]

A making-of documentary aired on Japanese broadcaster NHK in March 22, 2021, with the crew following production for 1214 days.[60] BS Japan also broadcast an extended version of the documentary on April 29, 2021, totaling 100 minutes of runtime, featuring unused footage.[61] Amazon Prime Video included the extended version of documentary in its international release of the film in August.[62] When production started in 2016, Anno initially intended to not involve himself much in the film, wishing to delegate most of it to his directors, particularly Tsurumaki, generally considered Khara's second-in-command,[40][63] but as the release date approached with mounting production problems he progressively took more control and took on more tasks directly, also driven by his perfectionism. Maeda was also not initially serving as a director, but was brought in the middle of production.[64] Kim Morrisy of Anime News Network described it as tumultuous: "There were several occasions shown when he decided that the work he had done at the time was insufficient and would scrap it entirely. The [final] D part of the script was eventually completed in early 2019, at the latest possible stage it could have been done to meet the deadline."[65][66]

In the documentary, Anno is depicted as frequently late or absent from the studio, or would often stay overnight adjusting individual scenes he was unsatisfied with. Part A had been rewritten 40 times due to the difficulty staff had in depicting it, and at one point Anno was so lost on how to resolve the storylines he considered restarting it from scratch after nine months of work. Anno told the documentary crew he wouldn't miss working on the franchise and said everything he needed to, but felt finishing his work remained a priority, even at the expense of his well-being. He told Ogata later at post-production that he'd indeed miss it.[27] Hayao Miyazaki described Anno as "one who sheds blood for his films". Upon finishing production, Anno preferred to immediately start work on a script for a new production while his staff was watching the first screening together.[67] Gainax co-founder Toshio Okada criticized the documentary as "sloppy" and "propaganda" trying to make Anno look better, claiming Anno's live-action approach in fact took inspiration from Hiroyuki Yamaga's work in Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honnêamise instead of being sui generis as the documentary implied,[68] and Anno noted the crew was in fact not present during the highly intense production of Part D for several months, nor did it cover him thanking the staff at the end.[48]

On March 28, 2021, the cast was fully reunited for the first time in 14 years and held a stage greeting, commenting on the film and their bond to the characters.[32][69][70] On April 12, 2021, directors Anno, Tsurumaki and Maeda, as well as Ogata, held another stage greeting.[71][72][73] On June 26, 2021, Anno held a live stream on singer Hikaru Utada's Instagram page, and debated the film.[74] On June 27, 2021, another cast greeting was held. Mari's voice actress Maaya Sakamoto explained she had been absent from the previous events because she felt apprehensive over the details she knew about Mari's character that Anno told her, but refused to share them: "I will take secrets to my grave".[75] A last stage greeting was held on July 11, 2021. Anno felt he had now done everything he could with anime, and accordingly Khara denied reports that he was working on a reboot of a popular animation series.[76] He also noted he initially attempted a shorter two hour runtime, but had to extend it.[77]

Anno had originally intended on making a new Evangelion story since 2000[78] and has intended to open up the franchise in the future to new creators and turn Eva into a "new Gundam", using the Rebuilds as a foundation for this,[49] but 3.0+1.0 is intended to be his final Evangelion work.[79][80][81] The Animator Expo already featured three independent works based on the franchise: Evangelion – Another Impact[82] and Neon Genesis IMPACTS, as well as until You come to me, a short film intended to showcase the talent of younger Khara animators, not as an official trailer.[83] In an interview in August 2021, Anno stated other parts of the franchise and story might be revisited later.[84][85] Staff also commented on doubts over this being the "end of the story".[86]

Music[edit]

On December 9, 2020, it was announced that the theme song will be "One Last Kiss". The song, performed by Hikaru Utada and co-produced by Utada and A.G. Cook, was scheduled to be released for digital download on January 24, 2021, and as an extended play CD and LP record featuring remastered versions of the previous Rebuild of Evangelion theme songs on January 27, 2021.[87] It was released alongside the film on March 9, 2021, with a planned international release for summer 2021.[88] Utada noted this was the first time they wrote the song's lyrics based on reading a finished version of the film's script, instead of simply skimming over early rough drafts.[89] Anno also directed the music video for the song.[90]

A soundtrack album, titled Shiro Sagisu Music from "Shin Evangelion", was scheduled be released on February 10, 2021,[91] but was also delayed due to the delay of the film.[92] It was released on March 17, 2021.[93] The 3-disc score utilized several revamped tracks from Sagisu's previous works for Anno, like Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water and Kare Kano, as well as featuring cover versions of "VOYAGER ~ Hizuke no Nai Bohyou" by Megumi Hayashibara, originally written and performed by Yumi Matsutoya for 1984's Bye-Bye Jupiter, and a cue from 1977's The War in Space, originally composed by Toshiaki Tsushima.[94]

A vocal song based on the track "what if?: orchestra, choir and piano" from the soundtrack album titled "Shiro SAGISU << what if? >> Yoko TAKAHASHI ver." was released as a digital single on August 31, featuring Yoko Takahashi and arrangements by Sagisu himself.[95]

Release[edit]

On July 6, 2019, Khara screened the first ten minutes of the film on Japan Expo in Paris, Anime Expo in Los Angeles and CCG Expo 2019 in Shanghai.[96] The film was originally scheduled for release on June 27, 2020.[97]

In April 2020, it was announced that the film had been removed from the schedule due to concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, and the film was later rescheduled for release on January 23, 2021.[98][99] The theatrical release poster was revealed shortly afterwards with the tagline "Bye-bye, all of EVANGELION.", indicating that this would likely be Anno's final Evangelion-related project.[100] Anno released a statement via Studio Khara's Twitter in October apologizing for the delay while confirming the film was near completion. Khara suggested the run time of the finished film could be over two hours, with the "D-part" clocking in at 41 minutes. They also reported that as of October 2 the film was undergoing a "rush check", a final check of the animation before editing.[101] On January 14, 2021, the film was removed from the release calendar again.[92] On February 16, 2021, it was reported that the film would be 154 minutes long, making it the longest film in the Rebuild tetralogy and one of the longest animated feature films ever, behind the films In This Corner (and Other Corners) of the World, Final Yamato, The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya, and Revival of Evangelion.[102][103]

On February 26, Utada Hikaru's staff account on Twitter reported that the film's feature song "One Last Kiss" would be released on March 8, 2021, with a link to their website with more information confirming a new release date for the film of March 8, 2021.[104] This was also confirmed on Studio Khara's website, along with a runtime of 155 minutes.[1][105]

Updated release[edit]

An updated version of the film, titled Evangelion: 3.0+1.01 Thrice Upon a Time, was released in Japanese theaters on June 12, 2021. This version features updated cuts of various scenes while not changing the overall story of the film.[106] It also accompanied the distribution of a 36-page booklet called Eva-Extra-Extra, including non-canon illustrations by staff and a prequel manga set before the events of the previous film, Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo, called Evangelion: 3.0 (-120min.), written by director Kazuya Tsurumaki under Anno's supervision.[107] The manga was Anno's initiative, and began production on April 11.[108]

Internationally, Amazon Prime Video acquired exclusive streaming rights to the film; it was released in worldwide on August 13, 2021, excluding Japan.[109][110] However, on July 20, 2021, Amazon Prime Video announced that it will also stream the film in Japan on the same day as its international release.[111] It featured full re-dubbings of the previous Rebuild films, including several voice actors from the A.D. Vision and Manga Entertainment localizations of the original series and films, in place of the mostly new cast used in the Funimation adaptations of the Rebuild series and Netflix's adaptation of the series. Like Netflix's release, it also included a full re-translation by Khara's in-house translator, Dan Kanemitsu.[112]

Reception[edit]

Japanese reception has been largely positive. The Asahi Shimbun released a series of reviews from Japanese academics and critics.[113][114] Hiroki Azuma praised the film as a "grand masterpiece". He considered that, although it outwardly looks like a science fiction film, it is in reality a confessional I-novel by Anno.[115] Commenting on Anno's style, anime director Mamoru Oshii shared this perception, and considered that Anno is "more of a producer than a director these days" and felt that he lacked a theme.[116] In a later interview with comedian Hitoshi Matsumoto, Anno himself later echoed this, saying that as a director he could afford to be a child, but not after he started producing.[117] Akiko Sugawa praised the portrayal of its female characters.[118] Japanese aggregator site Eiga.com and others[119] praised the movie for fulfilling its promise of being easily approachable to a viewer not familiar with the original Neon Genesis Evangelion, reiterating its role as a stand-alone story, but also likening it to the series' status as a pop culture phenomenon in view of the many emerging analyses,[120] a view shared by the cast.[121] On aggregator site Filmmarks, the film attained the highest first-day satisfaction score in its history.[122]

Reviewers also noted the film's deeply divisive reception among Evangelion fans, with the ending proving particularly controversial.[123] Gainax co-founder, Toshio Okada, promulgated an association between the character of Mari and Anno's wife Moyoco,[124] rebuffed by significant backlash from Khara staff,[125][126] Moyoco,[127] and Anno himself,[128] instead pointing out to Tsurumaki's responsbility for developing her and similarities to his earlier characters from FLCL and Diebuster, which shared her voice actress, and Anno's detachment from her creation.[125][129] Similarly to End of Evangelion, reviewers considered the film to have the theme of "moving into reality", but were divided on the effectiveness of its execution and the resolution of its plot lines.[130][131] Bunshun Online concluded that unlike the 1997 film, 3.0+1.0 did not intend to give viewers a mystery to solve, but to provide a more straight-forward answer.[132] Writers for Yahoo! Japan and others agreed on its distinctiveness from the previous work, reflecting a different cultural context and personal state of Hideaki Anno, speculating his time at Ghibli had greatly influenced him,[133] with a less multifaceted story[134] where Shinji's character had been completely "consumed" by Anno attempting to break the "Otaku curse" represented in-story by the "Curse of Evangelion",[135][119] and considered the ending could only be explained with background knowledge on Anno's life, and how this controversy would likely drive more heated discussion in the near future,[136] with fan backlash coming even at small subsequent statements by Anno[73] and other staff.[137] Anno had partly re-created his hometown of Ube as it existed during his youth for the ending scene, prompting tourism from fans to the town.[138]

In contrast to the negative receptions of its predecessor Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo, American critical reception has been extremely positive. As of September 2021, it holds a 100% score on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes with 13 reviews.[139] According to Metacritic, which calculated a weighted average score of 85 out of 100 based on 6 critics reviews, the film received "universal acclaim".[140] Richard Eisenbeis of Anime News Network noted the film's close connections with End of Evangelion on a thematic and narrative level and praised its characterization, while also noting its different themes, but criticized its world-building, and also the lack of development given to Mari to justify her role in the plot.[141] Kyle McLain of IGN praised the film for having themes of maturity, hope and positivity, but disliked the final act as "inscrutable".[142] Matt Schley of The Japan Times shared his opinion, saying: "Thrice is not the charm for those hoping for a definitive, easy-to-understand ending for Evangelion. Like its predecessors, 3.0+1.0 raises more questions than it answers. Time is a circle."[143] Justin Harrison of The Spool called it "a deeply moving motion picture".[144] SoraNews24 expressed puzzlement at the ending, but noted the film is "complex, hits different people in different ways, and is something that immediately triggers a repeat-viewing reaction".[145] Crunchyroll's Daryl Harding noticed the film "goes pretty meta" and praised its direction, but repeatedly criticized the animation.[146] Otaquest's Chris Cimi noted the film builds an aesthetic that is meaningfully different from the series' "iconic visual language", to a point of contention: "The CG sure does look like CG".[147]

Box office[edit]

Anno stated his desire to see 3.0+1.0 break the ¥10 billion mark, which he considered would be a landmark for robot anime.[73] The film was released in Japan on March 8, 2021 earning ¥802,774,200 ($7,387,198) on its first day, outdoing its predecessor by 23.8%[148] and breaking the IMAX opening day record in Japan.[149] The film grossed ¥3,338,422,400 ($30,596,851) in its first week,[150] ranking #1 in Japan in its opening week.[151] In 21 days, the film sold 3,961,480 tickets and grossed ¥6,078,211,750 ($55,492,310) in Japan, outdoing 3.0's total earnings of ¥5.3 billion.[152] In 30 days, it surpassed ¥7 billion ($63.77 million), completing four weeks as #1 in Japanese box offices.[153] On May 8, it surpassed Shin Godzilla and became Anno's highest grossing film at ¥8.28 billion ($75.72 million).[154] With the 3.0+1.01 updated release on June 12, the film jumped back to top box office spot after spending a weekend out of the top 10 chart[155] and on June 15, exactly the 100th day since release, achieving a 960.5% increase,[156] reached ¥9 billion ($81.7 million).[157] On July 13, it was announced that the film has exceeded ¥10 billion, becoming the first ever film distributed by Toei to hit this box office milestone[158] and ending its theatrical run on July 21 pocketing ¥10.22 billion with an attendance number of 6.69 million people.[159] It also broke Amazon Prime Video's all-time high day-one view amount since its launch in Japan.[160]

References[edit]

CC-BY-SA icon.svg Text was copied/adapted from Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon A Time at EvaGeeks wiki, which is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 (Unported) (CC-BY-SA 3.0) license

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  1. ^ Bar line is used in musical notation to indicate ending, or a repetition.

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