Evangelion is ending once again, which means it’s time for the legendary anime to go absolutely nuts.

June 27 was supposed to be a big day for anime fans, since it when the new Evangelion movie was scheduled to open in Japan. A new theatrical installment in one of the most influential works in anime history would have been enough to get excited about on its own, but the new film, officially titled Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time has the added significance of being not only the first new piece of Eva animation in eight years, but also the conclusion of the four-part Rebuild of Evangelion film series that’s supposed to serve as the final ending of the franchise that started in 1995.

So there were a lot of people who were disappointed when word come down from production company Studio Khara that Eva 3.0+1.0’s premiere is being postponed indefinitely because of the coronavirus pandemic. And while we’re still in the dark over when we’ll get to see the movie, Khara has at least given us a new preview of what we’ll see.

Juxtaposing a joyfully jazzy soundtrack with some dark and disturbing visuals, the new trailer for Eva 3.0+1.0 opens with one of its titular combat biomecha gliding through the sky either above or among a swarm of indeterminate creatures moving in an insectile style. A ground-level scene then shows the world tinted a purplish red shade not unlike dried blood, with gargantuan, seemingly disembodied arms and legs arcing across the landscape.

We do get some glimpses of cheerier-looking blue skies as the trailer checks in with Eva pilots Asuka and Rei, though a later shot of the normally unflappable and non-emotive Rei with a terrified expression makes us wonder what sort of unimaginable revelation she’s just been struck with.

Also showing up in the preview are fellow Eva pilot Mari, often-forgotten protagonist Shinji, and, in a surprise considering some of what’s transpired so far in the storyline, Shinji’s confidant and walking translation challenge Kaworu. There’s also a shot of Evangelion Unit-13, which we see mysteriously crucified in a facility where director Hideaki Anno’s fondness for repeating industrial patterns on display.

▼ “Mysteriously crucified” is actually a pretty good way to describe a lot of Eva’s emotional beats.

In typical Eva fashion, it’s all but impossible to tell what’s going on, but the scale of the conflicts and bizarre environments suggest that, as with the final episodes of the Eva TV series and 1997’s End of Evangelion movie, Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time continues the tradition of the franchise’s ostensible endings throwing off all inhibitions in order to tell a story of the exact scale and impact Anno wants, and so whenever it finally does start showing in theaters, fans will be ready (and probably clean-shaven).

Source: YouTube/株式会社カラー khara inc.official via Hachima Kiko
Images: YouTube/株式会社カラー khara inc.official
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