Evangelion: 3.0 + 1.0 Thrice Upon a Time
|Rebuild of Evangelion|
|Written By||Hideaki Anno|
|Directed By||Kazuya Tsurumaki, Katsuichi Nakayama|
|Theatrical Release||March 8, 2021|
|Video Release Date||TBA|
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Evangelion: 3.0 + 1.0: Thrice Upon a Time is the title for the fourth and final film in the Rebuild of Evangelion movie series, formerly known by the working title Evangelion: Final. It was believed to be released in Japan alongside the third film, Evangelion 3.0, at an unspecified date. Previously, the name had been changed to what could be interpreted as either the symbol for "End" or "Repeat" in sheet music..
Unlike the three previous movies, the title is rendered in Katakana as "Evangelion" in the same manner as the TV series. The previous three movies had Katakana that spelled "Wevangeliwon". Speculation by fans based on the Jo-Ha-Kyu structure of Japanese drama suggests that Final will incorporate the fourth and fifth acts of the Japanese drama cycle, depicting a long journey and coming to a quick conclusion. Alternatively, the series may be following the Kishotenketsu narrative pattern which concludes in the fourth arc. Whether or not the movie actually follows either pattern of Japanese drama remains to be seen.
In September 2014, the title of the final film was revealed to be "Evangelion 3.0 + 1.0", based on a title card shown at the end of the TV screening of Evangelion 3.0, followed by the subsequent update of the main Evangelion site with the new title. As of this edit, it is unclear whether either of the previously known titles will be used in connection with this film or with any subsequent work related to the series.
On December 31st, 2011 the Japanese website was updated to show a 2013 release date, but that has been removed when the site was updated after Evangelion 3.0's release . The website no longer features any tentative date and none have been announced.
Actual news on the film's production has been hard to come by. As of late, various miscellaneous projects have been done, including two animated shorts that may or may not pertain to the film's own details as well as the end of Sadamoto's manga adaption. However, the film itself has seen no details except for the news that Utada Hikaru, who has been the musical artist for Rebuild's credit themes, would be returning in 2015 from her hiatus to write the final film's credits theme. The source also indicated that the film would release in autumn/winter 2015, but this claim was then refuted by the source, who then stated that no official announcement had been made. As of the new title announcement, this is the only solid news (or any news at all) that has been released.
On July 19th, 2016 Anno directly apologized to the fans of Evangelion. He stated "To all the Evangelion fans, I’m really, really keeping you all waiting, I am truly sorry." Anno then went on to say he felt "trapped" while making Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo, saying he couldn't recharge. “Up until then, after doing the third entry Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo, I thought I wasn’t going to make any more,” After being offered the job to work on Godzilla Resurgence, he stated “At that time, I went into talks with Toho, and it saved me. I think this is how I’m able to keep making Evangelion. However, since it is a fact that I’m making everyone wait, I deeply apologize for that.” 
On July 20th 2018, the official Evangelion website was updated to reflect a 2020 theatrical release.
On July 18th 2019, during showings of Makoto Shinkai's new film "Weathering with You", a new trailer was shown for 3.0 + 1.0 featuring a new June 2020 release. The trailer was later shared officially online.
On December 27th 2019, the final release date was revealed to be June 27th, 2020 on official Evangelion social media accounts. 
On April 17th 2020, the official Evangelion website was updated to announced that the release date was being delayed by an unspecified amount of time due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The announcement of the delay was accompanied by an updated staff/credits list, the release of the official poster in both Japanese and English and the reveal of the English title "Thrice Upon a Time" and the additional message "Bye-bye, all of EVANGELION". Hideaki Anno posted a letter to healthcare workers expressing gratitude for fighting the disease, apologizing to fans for the added delay due to the unprecedented situation and encouraging all readers to persevere.
On December 17, 2020, it was announced that all shooting and editing work for the movie was complete. This was followed by tweets from Studio Khara announcing that the movie had been screened to staff as well as select non-staff members, with the warning that spoilers on social media were a possibility by this point. 
Another trailer was released on December 24, 2020, featuring the "One Last Kiss" theme song.
On January 14, 2021, Studio Khara announced that the movie was to be indefinitely delayed again due to the worsening COVID-19 pandemic in Japan, and that the scheduled release of the soundtrack on February 10 would not take place. 
On 26 February, 2021, it was announced that the film would be released on March 8. 
On July 6, 2019, the event Operation 0706 took place, the film's opening scene (having the production code "Avant 1") was simulcast on screens in Paris, France (Japan Expo) and throughout Japan, following a live event in Paris with Yoko Takahashi and Megumi Ogata. This was followed up later at other locations such as Los Angeles, CA's Anime Expo. A phone application was made available days before to drum up hype for the event, wherein the user was asked to choose between Team Nerv or Team Wille. After the event, their choice affected when they would have access to limited-access freebies: the four Shiro Sagisu pieces that debuted during Op0706, and the first three New Theatrical films.
On April 17, 2020, the announcement of the delay in the release date was accompanied by the revelation of the movie poster and the English title "Thrice Upon a Time". The poster features an image of Shinji in the distant background, walking down branching train tracks in bright sunlight. The location appears to be Ube-Shinkawa station, the main train station in the city of Ube, Yamaguchi Province, where Hideaki Anno was born.
On October 15, 2020, the announcement of the new release date was accompanied by the revelation of a new trailer, showing additional imagery of the characters, locations and Evangelions.
On December 23, 2020, the official Twitter announced that 3.0 + 1.0 would be screened simultaneously with Evangelion 3.333 in back-to-back midnight IMAX screenings in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Fukuoka and Sapporo, with the official website having a list of double-screenings for both movies.  However, this double-screening did not materialize due to the delay caused in the movie's release date.
On February 16, 2021, Eirin (the Film Classification and Rating Organization) revealed the film's runtime to be 154 minutes. 
It was later clarified that the official runtime would instead be 155 minutes. 
This article or section contains spoiler information from Evangelion media that has been recently released and/or is of limited distribution. Do not read any further if you do not want to spoil your experience of said media.
"We've seen it. The proof of its construction was very useful."
The film begins with Wille stopping in Paris, France, which much like the outskirts of former Tokyo-3 has been converted into core material. A team descends from the Wunder -- comprised of Ritsuko, Maya, three of Maya's male underlings, and Mari in Eva-08 -- and lands on top of a mysterious black pillar. Ritsuko acts as a look-out while Maya and her men connect to the black pillar via laptop to resume the activation of an "Anti-L System" -- something a team of Europeans had previously died while attempting. Large numbers of a never-before-seen Eva type, the aerial 44As, appear in two waves, and Mari holds them off, assisted by helmsman Sumire Nagara utilizing the Wunder's intricate "cable flight" capabilities. Once the Evas have all been defeated, two more new enemy Eva types appear from a camouflaged cocoon: a 4444C unit with a positron cannon and the small army of generator-equipped Eva 44Bs that supply power to it. Cable-suspended warships equipped with ESVs are used to block the first shot, but Mari must take drastic measures to prevent the cannon from going off a second time. With Nagara's assist, Eva-08 charges the 4444C with the felled Eiffel Tower and, at the cost of Eva-08's legs, is able to twist the tower down the 4444C's gun barrel, destroying both it and the 44Bs.
Maya and the others successfully activate the pillar, which was actually a giant version of the sealing pillars seen in the two previous films. A radius of effect is created that pushes back the core-conversion, restoring part of the city. A large collection of E.U. Nerv storage lockers emerges from underground, filled with Eva spare parts, munitions, and components for what appears to be an upgraded model of Jet Alone. Two more teams come down in warships, and we're told that Eva-02 will be repaired and Eva-08 will be modified for "Overlap" compatibility. Mari promises to come back for Shinji .
The opening credits play over a montage of the red Earth, showing locations that have been turned to core. Failures of Infinity litter the landscape with an anti-gravity effect causing objects around them to float. Shinji, Rei Q and Asuka walk together across its surface, with Asuka using the device in her hand as a compass to find their way.
"You are free to examine the Magi's data recorders. There is no record of any such incident."
"This is... this is that giant?" "We, Gehirn, call that object, Adam. This is different."
They eventually arrive at a living settlement that is being kept free of the coreification process. Shinji is catatonic and is starting to feel physically sick. At the settlement, they encounter adult versions of Toji, Kensuke and Hikari, along with Hikari's father Benzaemon. Toji and Hikari are married and have a child named Tsubame, with Toji as the settlement's doctor and Kensuke as a technician/handyman who apparently is close friends with Asuka. Neither Toji nor Kensuke show Shinji any hatred over Third Impact, and try to help him recover from his trauma. Leaving the shower naked, Shinji sees Asuka, and she expresses irritation at Shinji's inaction. Shinji realizes Asuka has a DSS choker fitted on her as well, the sight of it causing Shinji to vomit due to remembering over Kaworu's death. Shikinami has no option but to force-feed him protein bars due to his refusal to eat. Asuka speaks to Kensuke about Shinji's condition, calling Kensuke "kenken". Toji and Hikari realize that Rei Q is not the Rei they are familiar with and call her "lookalike". Rei Q begins to learn more about her world, expressing confusion over the existence of a pregnant cat, baby Tsubame, and greetings such as "good morning" and "good night". She eventually settles down into village life by going to school and learning to farm alongside the older ladies of the village. The village is being supported by an organization named Kredit, which works together with Wille to provide supplies.
Rei asks Shinji to help give her a proper name rather than "lookalike", and Shinji decides to call her "Ayanami". Kensuke takes a slowly recovering Shinji out on an infrastructure check and introduces him to "Ryoji Kaji", who is Misato's son with the original Ryoji Kaji. The younger Kaji works at repairing the Wille-built machines keeping the village free from being turned to core. Toji and Kensuke later talk to Shinji and explain the situation with the elder Kaji's death and Misato's current state. Rei Q is revealed to require constant exposure to LCL to maintain her condition, and thanks Shinji for helping her find happiness before turning into LCL before his eyes. Shinji is shocked but Rei's experience is implied to help Shinji recover from his previous trauma.
AAA Wunder arrives to unload non-essential personnel. Kensuke and Toji ask Shinji to stay in the village, but Shinji decides to go aboard the Wunder with Asuka. Sakura appears and fires a gun to prevent Shinji from boarding, infuriated at getting into Eva-13 in the previous movie. She is forced to give in and Asuka takes back aboard the Wunder. Shinji is placed in isolation and under surveillance again, and both Asuka and Sakura express puzzlement at his return after discovering Kaworu's demise from the DSS Choker operational records. The bridge crew discusses the ongoing situation. Mari greets Asuka, who expresses the sentiment that Shinji "needs a mother, not a girlfriend". Ritsuko and Misato discuss their intentions in a space aboard Wunder dedicated to preserving seeds of life for all species, which is mentioned to be the original purpose of the vessel. Elsewhere, Fuyutsuki monologues about the Black Moon and Fourth Impact as well as Shinji and the fate of "Ayanami-type 6", wondering if Gendo deliberately made Shinji experience the same loss as him.
Gendo and Fuyutsuki steer the Black Moon towards the epicenter of Second Impact, at Nerv's former Calvary Base in Antarctica, intending to restart Eva-13. Misato and Ritsuko discover this and have completed a "signal suspension plug" to stop this event. Misato and the bridge crew reminisce about Kaji's death and their determination to fight Nerv and restore the world to its original state. Mari and Asuka get their new plugsuits, and Mari reintroduces herself to Shinji. Asuka and Shinji talk and Shinji reveals that he understands Asuka's anger at his inaction in the previous movie. Asuka expresses her feelings for Shinji. Mari and Asuka, satisfied, get into their Evas. A vision of Kaworu appears to Shinji saying that they will meet again, and Shinji agrees. AAA Wunder launches and heads towards Antarctica with the objective being the neutralization of Eva-13, in what Misato calls "Operation Yamato".
Near Antarctica, Wunder is attacked by three Nerv ships of the Erlösung type, the same as the Wunder - Erbsünde (Original Sin), Erlösung (Salvation), and Gebet (Prayer), all apparently under Fuyutsuki's control. The Wunder is also approached by a swarm of Eva Series 7. During the battle, the Wunder resorts to using the guided-missile destroyers in its support fleet as giant guided missiles. Asuka and Mari sortie and battle their way through the swarm of Nerv Evas. Asuka attacks Eva-13 with an anti-core weapon, but Eva-13 puts up an entirely unexpected A.T. Field. Wings of light appear from the remains of Calvary Base in a manner much like Second Impact, indicating an attempted Impact, not in Seele's scenario. Asuka removes her eyepatch and removes a restraint within her eye that keeps the Ninth Angel under control, transforming into a new Ninth Angel and converting Eva-02 into a previously unseen radiant giant state. However, she plays into Gendo's plan in the process as Eva-13 awakens and destroys Eva-02 in much the same manner as Eva-01 destroying Eva-03. During the process, Asuka is approached by "her original", revealing that she is a clone of the Shikinami series, and is absorbed by Eva-13. Wunder is taken over by a new Eva Mark 09, which Fuyutsuki is implied to have been responsible for.
Gendo is revealed to be in the uppermost Nerv vessel restraining the Wunder, and Misato and Ritsuko confront him. Ritsuko shoots Gendo, however, her bullets are entirely ineffective. It is revealed that Gendo has used the Key of Nebuchadnezzar and has thrown away his humanity by adding "information that surpassed the logic of the world" to his body. Gendo monologues about the purpose of the impacts and about the Human Instrumentality Project and begins the process of entering Eva-13. Shinji turns to Misato and asks to enter Eva-01 to stop Gendo. Midori Kitakami and Sakura are appalled at the prospect of Shinji entering the Eva and fire at him, but Misato blocks Sakura's bullet with her own body. Misato thanks Shinji for saving them all from destruction using Eva-01 fourteen years previously, and explains that as his superior, the responsibility for his actions was ultimately hers, and since Shinji is still her subordinate, she will take responsibility for his actions. Misato and Shinji have a conversation in which Misato asks Shinji to take care of her son. Mari takes Eva-08 into an "overlapping" state where it merges with Eva-09, 10, 11, and 12. Shinji summons Eva-01. Fuyutsuki recognizes Mari and addresses her as "Maria of Iscariot", and Mari refers to him as "Fuyutsuki-sensei" and adds that it has been a long time since anyone called her by that name. While Shinji enters Eva-01, the original Rei Ayanami appears to him inside, with her hair grown very long. She apologizes to him for not being able to make it so that he wouldn't have to get into an Eva, but Shinji thanks her and says he will take care of the rest. Ritsuko and Maya are shocked to discover that Shinji, rather than having a zero percent synchro rate with Eva-01 like they previously thought, has in fact attained a previously impossible infinite synchro-rate with Eva-01.
Gendo and Shinji fight in a "minus space" where LCL gives shape to perception, entering a surreal fight where they clash in multiple different locations across space, time, and other Evangelion continuities, featuring such things as tokusatsu movie sets, model warships and Evangelion costumes. Throughout the surreal battle, Shinji appeals to Gendo to stop and talk. Gendo shows Shinji an "imaginary Evangelion", a Black Lilith predicted by the theories of Dr. Katsuragi. Misato prepares to turn the AAA Wunder into another Spear to hurl at a giant Red Rei. Mari uses her Eva combination to fight a new horde of Nerv Evas. Misato sacrifices herself to hold back Gendo's "Additional Impact". Shinji finally succeeds in talking to Gendo inside a train. Shinji's present-day train transitions to a Showa-era train as he speaks to Gendo, and he and sees a vision of Gendo's past experiences and life, and how Yui's loss traumatized him. The movie continues to become increasingly surreal. Shinji helps Gendo find closure, and similarly for an adult Asuka, helping her find closure as well (despite happening on a beach resembling End of Evangelion, this is Shikinami Asuka Langley and not Asuka Langley Soryu). Shinji asks Asuka to say hi to Kensuke for him. Shinji talks to Kaworu and gives Kaworu the closure he seeks; Kaworu and the elder Kaji speak to each other and Kaworu, whom the elder Kaji calls "Commander Nagisa", agrees to go to the settlement where the younger Kaji farms. Shinji eventually settles upon a complete reset of the world, a "Neon Genesis", a world without Evangelions. Shinji prepares to stab himself with the spears of Cassius and Longinus, with Misato having created a new Spear, the Spear of Gaius, through her sacrifice with the Wunder. Shinji is then pushed out of Eva-01 by his mother Yui, who is revealed to have been with him the entire time, and they are embraced from behind by Gendo in Eva-13. Gendo and Yui, Eva-01 and Eva-13 together sacrifice themselves to finish what Shinji began, spearing all Evangelions that ever were created at once. Their actions return all Evangelions and Failures of Infinity back into human and animal forms, restoring the world to its original state before the impacts.
In the final sequence, Asuka, Rei and Kaworu are seen on the platform of a train station, and an older Shinji is approached by Mari from behind. Mari closes his eyes and asks him to guess who she is, referring to her initial meeting with him and her meeting with him on the Wunder. The grown-up Shinji (voiced by Ryunosuke Kamiki) answers correctly, and Mari takes the DSS Choker that adult Shinji wears off his neck. Shinji holds Mari's hands and both of them head out of the train station together, and the sequence transitions into both Shinji and Mari escaping into a live-action sequence of Anno's hometown, implying that all the Children have found closure in our reality.
- Evangelion: 3.0+1.0, Avant 1, Operation 0706 Ver. English subtitles. Translated by Maryno_penguin, Reichu, sackboy71 et al.
- The name literally means "Swallow" and is a reference to the Tsubame service on the Kyushu Shinkansen, continuing the Shinkansen reference in Hikari's name
|Episodes & Films|
|Television Series||Episode 01 | Episode 02 | Episode 03 | Episode 04 | Episode 05 | Episode 06 |
Episode 07 | Episode 08 | Episode 09 | Episode 10 | Episode 11 | Episode 12 | Episode 13
|Movies||Death | Rebirth |
|Rebuild of Evangelion||Evangelion 1.0 | Evangelion 2.0 | Evangelion 3.0 | Evangelion: 3.0 + 1.0|