Evangelion videos are a dime a dozen, possibly less. Given its popularity around the time that AMVs were taking advantage of the Internet’s accessibility and the far-reaching repercussions of that revolution, it’s hardly surprising that Eva was the go-to for…pretty much any type of video you could want. And, you know, Asuka was a pretty cool character, and then Kevin Caldwell had to go and make Engel and editors have been riding the Asuka character profile tidal wave ever since.
And yeah, there are a lot of them. No matter what year you look, Asuka character profiles pop up all the time. It’s a tired, cliche concept that has been done to death, and then some. But even the most overused concepts have those instances of transcendence, where the stars align and something…more…comes out of the garbage pile.
DreamsofaCobra’s Asuka’s Wonderland is that video. Released in 2003, this would have been old hat even back then. Today, it would be almost impossible to find unless you were searching for it specifically. It’s the very definition of a hidden gem, a video that slipped through the cracks, made by an editor who didn’t stick around and made only one other (subpar) video. However, Asuka’s Wonderland is among the best Evangelion videos out there, and one of my all-time favorite videos, period.
It won’t appeal to everyone. It’s not a perfect video, from an objective standpoint. There are some pretty blatant instances of questionable lyric sync. It switches between fullscreen and bordered widescreen. It uses that one scene from End of Evangelion where Shinji chokes Asuka in the kitchen. You know the one. That scene that’s in EVERY Eva video.
But…holy crap does it nail literally every other aspect of what it means to make an AMV. You can see the passion the editor had for the song, the anime, and the characters. DreamsofaCobra simply could not have captured the mood any better; more, the mood doesn’t feel manufactured, it feels completely natural, like an extension of the source materials themselves. It doesn’t get preachy or deep (not to rag on those videos that do; there are some phenomenal examples of Eva videos like that out there), instead it stays simple and straightforward, laying bare all the raw emotions that make up Asuka’s character and drive her to be the person she is.
I could sing the praises of this video forever, but in the end it’s easier to just let the video speak for itself. So sit back, watch, and be absorbed by one of the all-time greats that nobody ever saw.