A Japanese epic animated science fiction film co-directed, written, and produced by Hideaki Anno is scheduled for release in 2021 under the title Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time. The fourth and last instalment of Studio Khara’s Rebuild of Evangelion film series, which is itself part of the larger Neon Genesis Evangelion franchise, this film was produced in 2017.
Despite its long production and numerous delays, the March 8, 2021 release of Thrice Upon a Time was met with universal praise. It went on to become the highest-grossing picture in the franchise and the second-highest-grossing Japanese film of 2021 with a total of 10.28 billion. On August 13 of the same year, it was made available on the international Amazon Prime Video service. GKIDS purchased the theatrical and home media distribution rights to the picture in North America on June 17, 2022.
Maya Ibuki leads a team from Wille to restore Paris to its previous state in Paris. When Nerv attacks, Wunder and Mari Illustrious Makinami in Unit-08 defend them. Mari and Wille restore Paris.
Asuka Shikinami Langley, Rei Ayanami, and Shinji Ikari walk about Tokyo-3. They find Toji Suzuhara, Hikari Horaki, and Kensuke Aida as adults in a survivors’ village. Toji is a doctor and has a child with Hikari; Kensuke is a technician; they all like Shinji. Asuka force-feeds Shinji with frustration. Rei explores the village and becomes a farmer as Shinji heals. Ryoji Kaji, Misato Katsuragi and Ryoji Kaji’s son, perished during Third Impact. Rei decomposes in Shinji’s presence without LCL.
Shinji decides to travel with Asuka despite the crew’s objections. Isolating Shinji. Kozo Fuyutsuki, upset by Gendo Ikari’s treatment of Shinji, helps him restart Unit-13. Wunder travels to Antarctica. Asuka admits her prior affections for Shinji but says she “grew up before him,” referring to their true ages of 28 but bodies stuck at 14 due to the Curse of Eva and Shinji’s suspended animation between 2.0 and 3.0. Shinji apologises to Asuka for being undecided about saving or murdering her 14 years ago in Unit-03. Asuka accepts his apologies and acknowledges his growth.
Nerv ships and EVA units attack Wunder. Asuka and Mari attack Unit-13 to prevent its reactivation. Asuka removes her eyepatch to reveal the Ninth Angel within Unit-02, transforming it into a “Pseudo-Evolved EVA”-Angel hybrid like Shinji’s Unit-01 14 years earlier. Gendo’s plan has Unit-13 swallow Unit-02. Asuka’s “original” reveals she’s a Shikinami clone just before she’s absorbed. Unit-09A attacks the Wunder.
Misato and Ritsuko Akagi confront Gendo in the Wunder’s Nerv vessel. Ritsuko shoots Gendo, but he transcends humanity with the Key of Nebuchadnezzar. Gendo discloses the Shikinami and Ayanami clones’ intentions and enters Unit-13. Shinji requests to pilot Unit-01 from Misato.
Misato saves Shinji from Sakura and Midori Kitakami, who shoot her. Misato apologises to Shinji for blaming him and says she’ll take responsibility for his behaviour as his legal guardian. Mari unites Unit 08 with 09A-12. Inside Unit-01, the original Ayanami clone apologises for not being able to save Shinji from an EVA.
Gendo and Shinji fight in a strange “Anti Universe,” and Gendo shows Shinji an “imaginary Evangelion” Shinji sees Gendo’s background, particularly how Yui’s death impacted him. Gendo sought an “Additional Impact” to reconnect with Yui. Misato evacuates the Wunder’s crew and sacrifices herself and the ship to produce the “Lance of Gaius” Shinji gives Gendo, Asuka, and Kaworu Nagisa closure by exposing the cast’s cycle. Elder Kaji helps Kaworu recognise that his happiness shouldn’t be bound to Shinji’s.
Shinji bids Rei farewell and decides to restart “Neon Genesis” without Evangelions. Gendo and Yui sacrifice themselves to save Shinji, restoring all people altered in the Near Third Impact and the Earth. Shinji sits on a beach while reality resets until Mari returns with her “Final Evangelion.” Shinji and Mari leave the Children at a railway station to see the outside world.
Khara presented the film’s opening ten minutes at Japan Expo in Paris, Anime Expo in Los Angeles, and CCG Expo 2019 in Shanghai on July 6. The film was set for June 27, 2020.
In April 2020, the film was taken from the schedule because of the COVID-19 epidemic and rescheduled for January 23, 2021. The theatrical release poster read “Bye-bye, all of Evangelion,” hinting that this would likely be Anno’s final Evangelion-related endeavour.
Evangelion : 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo – Studio Khara – 2012
Illustration made by Akemi Ayashi pic.twitter.com/9G8zpaPOfP
— Otaku’s Art (@TheOtaking) September 6, 2022
Anno issued a Twitter apology in October and said the film was nearly finished. Khara said the finished picture could be over two hours, with the “D-part” running 41 minutes. As of October 2, the animation was receiving a “rush check” before editing. The film was again cancelled on January 14, 2021.
The film will be 154 minutes long, making it the longest in the Rebuild tetralogy and one of the longest animated films ever, behind In This Corner (and Other Corners) of the World, Final Yamato, The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya, and Revival of Evangelion.
Hikaru Utada’s Twitter account revealed on February 26 that the film’s feature song “One Last Kiss” will be released on March 8, 2021, with a link to their website confirming the new release date. Studio Khara’s website confirmed this, along with a 155-minute runtime.
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