“Thrice Upon a Time” is the subtitle, and time is foremost on the mind. This is the fourth and final film in a retelling of the series “Neon Genesis Evangelion,” which kicked off back in 2007 — meaning more time has passed between “1.0” and “3.0+1.0” than between “1.0” and the original series it set out to remake.
The original “Neon Genesis Evangelion” aired between 1995 and 1996, and has been a fixture of Japanese pop culture ever since. In shaping the series, creator Hideaki Anno took inspiration from his favorite giant robot franchises, like “Ultraman” and “Mobile Suit Gundam.” But his key innovation is characters with serious emotional depth and deep psychological issues. Anno’s avatar is protagonist Shinji Ikari (Megumi Ogata), a young man who suffers from feelings of alienation and inadequacy.