You Can (Not) Advance: Initial Impressions

Another one of my long-time loves, Evangelion, is showing some signs of life these days. The new film comes out at the end of June, and in anticipation, Kaiyodo is releasing new toys! I have a weird sort of addiction to these figures, called Revoltech, but only the Eva ones, for some reason. The humanoid stuff they release is cool, but from shows I don’t care about. And the Macross stuff they put out is only in the robot mode, and that’s not really too fun to me if it doesn’t change back into a space-plane like it should.


Unit-01 Figure

They’re re-releasing Unit-01, AGAIN. This drives me crazy. This is nearly identical to 2007’s initial Rebuild line of toys which included Unit-01, Unit-00, and the Positron Rifle Set. So now they’re releasing yet ANOTHER iteration of this toy, with few updates, if any. The best I can tell from the photographs, the only new thing that comes with it is a second set of shoulder armor to totally replace the first (the first edition didn’t have this at all; the second only partially replaced them to expose the prog. knife.). These appear to hold a full progressive knife each, unlike the previous one, which only sported a faux knife handle. Cool, but I’m still angry that I might cave and buy Unit-01 for the third time.

OK, this is the part where I completely negate what I just said. The pictures seem to indicate that the jaw of the eva will be ARTICULATED, so it can just drop down to go all berserk. Nice. Now that might get me to purchase a third one.

Unit-02 Figure

Next up is what I was pretty excited for: Unit-02. Red’s my favorite color, and I always felt like Asuka’s eva had the best action sequences (See: 25′: Air). First impressions of ‘rebuilt’ Unit-02 come almost entirely from THE HORN. Man, check it out. It’s done the most justice by the profile pictures further down. So that’s just a near stylistic thing.

Next up, there’s a bunch of equipment that pertains to the aerial drop sequence. An entire shoulder-armor set is devoted to over-sized rocket boosters that would aid the Unit in descent. There are also another set of fore-arms that act as control surfaces, which I thought was a nice touch, and not immediately apparent.

The last part that I can’t figure out is how the progressive knife-holders factor in. Are the their own separate set of shoulder-armor, or inserts into a partially articulated that can open to accept to knives and their sheaths? Not sure on that one. Also, in terms of weapons, we have a CROSSBOW. The damn thing is nearly the length of the eva’s leg, and way longer than even the standard pallet gun (which is included, along with the axe). So I’m majorly pumped about Unit-02, and getting it for sure (as I passed on the End of Evangelion Movie Version, which was the first to feature the knife-in-the-shoulder-pylon thing that’s become a staple).

Prov. Unit-05 Figure

And this leaves us with what’s been termed ‘Provisional Unit-05’. While I’m initially nonplussed by the toy, I can’t really bring myself to be irritated with it just yet, as it is arguably the first NEW thing we’ve seen out of Rebuild. More or less until this point everything has been what we expected from the old series. Granted, it’s been sexed up a little, but mostly the same. Unit-05 was formerly one of the winged ‘Mass-Produced’ evas that served as the final instrument of SEELE. Anyways, no more!

In Rebuild, Unit-05 is this weird spider type thing with a drilling-lance apparatus on one arm, and a pincer claw for the other. What it does, I can’t tell. The arms look like something for mining, but the legs have the weird wheeled ends, which look damn near useless for moving the thing around, but I suspect that’s their function. The torso appears to be a standard eva, but that’s about the only familiar thing here. We speculate it’ll be piloted by Mari, the new girl pilot.

[The definition of “provisional” means “serving for the time being.” Maybe Unit-05 is all goofy-as-shit because it was just intended to tide NERV over until the arrival of expected Units 03/04/06. After losing both 03 and 04, maybe they just wanted to roll something out to ensure there was still a Tokyo-3 to send 06 to. Hrm.]

Misc. Musings

I’m curious about how she’ll interact with the other pilots. Introducing her this early promises for some interesting reactions to what’s to come. There’s also the question of what she’ll be like. Just from the facial expressions and the pictures, she acts and dresses like she has Asuka’s confidence with a little less of the crazy. (We can only hope…) Seriously though, is she going to have deeply-seated issues with her past and parents? It seems unlikely, at least to me. Shinji and Asuka have suffered some pretty massive trauma’s in their life, and Rei… well that’s sortof a given.

How interesting would it be for Mari to show up and just completely be at a loss for how screwed up everyone is? A voice of reason to call them back from the brink of insanity. You could even do something where she slowly progresses to the point of the other children’s neurosis. I don’t know, I guess I’m just hoping she isn’t a cookie-cutter Marduk child. It’s so impossibly difficult to relate to the other kids because they act so irrationally, and so I’m holding out hope that she’s a “normal” counterpoint to the others. Sortof like Kaworu did at the 11th hour of the original series, but this time we’d get to fully explore that dynamic, plus we can be pretty sure Mari isn’t an Angel. Or is she?!

Speaking of which, Kaworu is also expected to play a bigger role in the second film, “You Can (Not) Advance,” I’m personally suspecting under the auspices of piloting Unit-06, which has been reference as “coming down from the moon,” the location we found Kaworu and SEELE at the close of “You Are (Not) Alone.” Rounding out the roster would the tragic Unit-03, most likely piloted by Toji Suzuhara as in the original series.

Unit-03 and Unit-04 Figures?

I think Kaiyodo plans to release a Revoltech of him as well, indicated by their website but not included in the sites I found featuring the other three.

I had Google translate the page, and suddenly I’m worried. It says something about this being a special for bookstores?! Damn. As near as I can tell it’s just Unit-03, but it comes with “extension parts”, which I would take to mean the extra-long arms for when it goes berserk. It also, like Unit-01 has the articulated jaw. I really would like this guy; I’d had for it to be another MP EVA w/ Lance ordeal (there was a special edition mp eva that came with the Lance, the only revoltech figure to include it this far; I’ve failed to get it, much to my ire).

Which still begs the question: Unit-04? Probably going to blow up again in Nevada, this would seem to indicate. Pitty. I wonder if they’ll release a version of it anyways like they did last time, fans for this stuff being who they are. Hell, I’d buy it. As if you needed to be told that after reading this entry.

I’m really, really pumped for these figures to start coming in, and even more excited for the chance to start seeing actual footage of the film, which hits Japanese theaters June 27. For the love of all that is good, someone needs to leak a decent, subtitled copy within a few months. The fact that there is still no English-region distribution of 2007’s “You Are (Not) Alone” is nothing short of… well I guess just irritating.

Speaking of irritating, I read that Matt Greenfield is still running his mouth about the Live Action EVA project. I wish he’d shut up until he has a director and a studio. He just gets everyone riled up and then disappointed. Don’t even get me started on Amy Grant.

So that’s our quasi-regular eva-tastic update.

Oh! Almost forgot to post the trailer: