Release Date: July 19, 1997
Running Time: 87 minutes
Director: Anno Hideaki
The End of Evangelion is a 1997 anime feature film written and directed by Hideaki Anno. The film is a follow-up to Death and Rebirth, which was released four months earlier. The film is actually the completed version of Rebirth, the second segment of the previous film. It was advertised to much fanfare as the complete, defining ending to the popular anime series.
The film was designed to replace the final two episodes of the anime series, and therefore begins where episode 24 left off. It is divided into two 45-minute episodes; Episode 25: Air (previously seen as part of Death and Rebirth), and Episode 26: My Purest Heart for You (Sincerely Yours). Both episodes are shown without opening credits, but both include ending credits.
The End of Evangelion begins after the death of the final Angel Tarbis, with all three Evangelion pilots in emotional turmoil. Asuka Langley Sohryu is still comatose as a result of her mental breakdown, and Rei Ayanami is struggling with the realization that Gendo Ikari is not the person she thought he was. Meanwhile Shinji Ikari is dealing with emotions of isolation and loneliness following the death of his friend Kaworu Nagisa, who turned out to be an Angel.
The film concludes with the apocalyptic completion of the Human Instrumentality Project, where individuality is destroyed in order to create a single 'perfect' existence for all human beings.
This conclusion however, like the television series, has been the subject of much debate. While in the film Shinji Ikari clearly rejects the Human Instrumentality Project in favor of an individual existence, in the series his critical choice is left ambiguous, allowing the film to be interpreted as either an alternate ending or a more detailed account from a different perspective.
The End of Evangelion has won multiple awards, including the Japan Academy Prize for popularity and the Animage Anime Grand Prix prize for 1997.
Revival of Evangelion is a compilation of Death(true)² and The End of Evangelion released in Japan in 2007 as part of a remastered 10-year anniversary box set. It is not available in North America because the series and films are licensed by different North American distributors (ADV Films and Manga Entertainment).