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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Characters show perseverance and courage to motivate themselves and others against huge odds. However, the overall tone is incredibly bleak, with just a glimmer of hope given.
Positive Role Models
Misato Katsuragi is an assertive leader in a crisis. Shinji Ikari is a young man forced to burden a huge responsibility. He is depressed and wants to die. Asuka Langley Sohryu tries her hardest to live in a perilous crisis. She finds a reason to fight. A group of people trigger a devastating event that has repercussions for all humanity.
Animated characters are mix of male and female, Japanese and American.
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Violence & Scariness
Strong, bloody violence. Soldiers kill guards with machine guns, knives, and flame throwers. Many corpses shown. Military vehicles bombard a base. Massive destruction caused by atom bomb style blasts. Disturbing images. Giant living mecha creatures are ripped apart. Character smashes a kitchen and then strangles a friend. Monsters take their lives by spearing themselves through the heart. Adult grabs a teen's naked breast. Another adult kisses a 14-year-old in an effort to inspire them into action.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Character masturbates at bedside of hospitalized friend whose breasts are exposed. Semen shown on their hands. Kissing. Characters having sex are reflected in someone's eyes.
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One use of "bastards," in subtitled version.
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Products & Purchases
The movie is part of the Evangelion franchise, which includes merchandise, TV shows, and movies.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion is a feature-length retelling of the final two episodes of the 1995 anime series, Neon Genesis Evangelion. The film features far more violence, mass destruction, and scenes of a sexual nature than the series. The movie is also disturbing, bleak, and complicated. It is not intended as a standalone film, so knowledge of events from the TV show are needed for a full appreciation of the story. Characters are in the middle of traumatic events and the tone is frantic and despairing as the future of humanity is in the balance. There is strong bloody violence and fantasy fights involving humans and huge mechanical humanoids. The movie has deep commentary on the destructive impulses of humans but offers strong hope amid the dark storyline. The movie also features sexual content, with a boy masturbating while looking at a hospitalized friend whose breasts are exposed. An adult woman kisses a boy and an adult man gropes a teenage girl's naked breast. It features artistic sequences that are both disturbing and beautiful. There is both a Japanese version with English subtitles and an English-dubbed version available. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Profound, disturbing and beautiful, this is an anime masterpiece, albeit with one big caveat. Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion relies on you having seen the original TV series. There are no concessions to casual viewers, and no recap of the 24-episodes-worth of frantic drama that led to the harrowing events of this movie. The incredible Japanese voice cast make the characters entirely crushing, heartbreaking, and desperate. Creator and director Hideaki Anno is relentless in his vision that lays bare the destructive nature of humans. His portrayal of armed conflict is a vision of hell. Even the mecha fights, which in other movies are fist-pumping thrill rides, here are melancholic and desperate. We know the pilots and the hideous time they're having. Everyone in the movie is a fully developed character. Their internal life is just as important as their external, which lets the confident direction shine.
While it's decidedly bleak, it's not entirely one note and takes surprising turns. One section is an assault of images, with an existential conversation between two characters over the top of it. They, like the movie, are questioning life and emotions. It's an unforgettable section, equal to the spectacle of Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey but with more to say. Japan is the only country to have been attacked by nuclear bombs and the blast shadow looms large over its art. Here, the prospect of total destruction is faced head-on, unblinking. This movie is art that helps make sense of it and dreams of a way forward.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.