”One Last Kiss” serves as theme song for Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time.
On Monday, after years of waiting and months of coronavirus-caused delays, Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time premiered in theaters in Japan. As has been the case for each of the Rebuild of Evangelion movies, supplying the theme song is J-pop megastar Utada Hikaru, in the form of the brand-new “One More Kiss.”
To commemorate Thrice Upon a Time’s debut, Utada has also released a full-length video for the song, and just like the movie the theme is heard in, the music video is directed by Evangelion’s creator, Hideaki Anno.
Though the vast majority of his work has been in animation, Anno does have a handful of live-action directing credits, most recently with Shin Godzilla and the currently in production Shin Ultraman. For the “One Last Kiss” video, he keeps the focus on Utada herself, as we see her lounge around her home, wander through an amusement park, and relax in a park. In keeping with her unmistakably plaintive and haunting voice, though, these ordinarily fun and cozy locales seem wrapped in a hazy chill, and while we can spot a few scattered passersby in the far-off background, Utada is almost entirely alone as she sings lines like:
I pretended I wasn’t lonely. We both did.
Wanting something from someone is, in other words, to continue hurting them.
And yet, the atmosphere isn’t one of total melancholy. Utada spends much of the video singing directly to the camera, making efforts at emotional connections as direct as:
Can you give me one last kiss?
Let’s kiss like we’re on fire
So that it’ll be so much that I couldn’t forget it, even if I wanted to
The result is a swirling mix of fond reembraces, lonely yearning, and an open desire to show, and be shown, affection, even if it might not go on forever. The lyrics don’t try to deny that the risk of loss is an inherent part of loving someone, nor do they ignore that the sadness that comes from loss could not occur without something as beautiful as love having been present in the first place.
That all sounds like it’s very much in keeping with learning that because human interaction, and life itself, is neither all good nor all bad, it’s important to reach out your hand towards the connections that are good, and recognize and appreciate when someone is doing the same towards you, which in turn feels like a very fitting accompaniment for the end of Evngelion.