Neon Genesis Evangelion poster

Neon Genesis Evangelion

In the year 2015, the world stands on the brink of destruction. Humanity's last hope lies in the hands of Nerv, a special agency under the United Nations, and their Evangelions, giant machines capable of defeating the Angels who herald Earth's ruin. Gendou Ikari, head of the organization, seeks compatible pilots who can synchronize with the Evangelions and realize their true potential. Aiding in this defensive endeavor are talented personnel Misato Katsuragi, Head of Tactical Operations, and Ritsuko Akagi, Chief Scientist. Face to face with his father for the first time in years, 14-year-old Shinji Ikari's average life is irreversibly changed when he is whisked away into the depths of Nerv, and into a harrowing new destiny—he must become the pilot of Evangelion Unit-01 with the fate of mankind on his shoulders. Written by Hideaki Anno, Neon Genesis Evangelion is a heroic tale of a young boy who will become a legend. But as this psychological drama unfolds, ancient secrets beneath the big picture begin to bubble to the surface... (Source: MAL Rewrite)

Ranking 78

User Count77980
Favorites Count4149
Start Date4th Oct 1995
Next ReleaseInvalid date
Popularity Rank78
Rating Rank109
Age RatingPG
Age Rating GuideTeens 13 or older


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You can either A) Watch the review in Video form embedded below, or B) read the transcript of the review. **THE CHOICE IS YOURS!** **THE SETTING** Set in a pre-apocalyptic alternateuniverse, the world of Evangelion is under a constant threat from “Angels”,mysterious Lovecraftian-like beings that appear,basically out of nowhere, with the intention of, as far as we know, destroying the entirety of thehuman race. So like any anime that intends to be a traditional “good vs. bad” show, the human racehas created an organization called NERV and a collection of giant robots, known asEvangelions, to fight the oncoming threat. And of course, by some unwrittenrule in anime law,all the pilots for the Evasare not highly trained professionals skilled in combat, but rather a group ofinexperienced fourteen-year-old children who mustnow save the planet or end up destroyed in a cataclysmic event known as theThird Impact. Ofcourse, unbeknownstto basically fucking everyone, there is a secret society bent on the completion of the humaninstrumentality project in order to bring about a new age of human evolution.Confused yet? Don’t worry,it gets worse. **THE CHARACTERS** **--SHINJI--** Startingoff is the case ofShinji Ikari.Shinji is the lead protagonist of the Evangelion series and resident whinylittle bitch. Having lost his mother back before he could remember and beingheavily neglected by his father Gendo, the world seems to have taken great pleasure in beating the crap outof this poor little Japanese boy and he has never really had any purpose ormeaning in his life until his father, finally finding a use for him, calls himto NERV Headquarters in Tokyo-3 to pilot a giant robot and fight aliens for thegood of mankind. Normally this sort of development would have a character growinto a more heroic and world saving role, but of course this is Evangelion andShinji is our introduction to an entire cast of characters that are all equallyscrewed up in their own special ways. Shinji himself suffers from major psychological issues, including a massive guilt complex that makes him believe that everybad situation he has ever been involved in, regardless of his actual influenceon those situations, is entirely his fault. This gives him a self-worth comparable to mostmodern JRPG protagonists, minus the ability to occasionally have a backboneevery once in a while. He also suffers from the hedgehog's dilemma, as he isunable to form meaningful human relationships without getting emotionallydamaged by the very relationships he is attempting to form. This of coursemakes him more of a social introvert thanSatou Tatsuhiro from Welcome to theNHK, and it becomes a reoccurring theme with Shinji that instead of facing his problems and notblaming himself for everything that goes wrong, he prefers to just run the fuckaway. If only he could have actually stopped blaming himself for everything andgrown a backbone, he would have been amuch better character overall.But instead,we got what we got.**** **--ASUKA--** Next up is the case of Asuka Langley Soryu, a character who is so incrediblydifferent from our whiny protagonist, while suffering for almost the exact same problems. Incontrast to Shinji’s introverted-ness, Asuka is much more outgoing, even sometimes annoyinglyso, with an attitude of extreme smugness and superiority to cover up her similaranxieties. As the pilotto Evangalion Unit 02, she appears in episode 8 showing off her impressivepiloting skills and being completely bad-ass at everything Shinji seems to havedifficulties with, a fact that she continually taunts him with. Her anxietiesbegin to come to light as the show progresses, as her mental state requires herto receive continual praise from basically everything otherwise her self-worthbegins to drop down towards Shinji levels. On the whole though, between thethree main Evangelion pilots, Asuka seems to be the sanest. Well, as sane as you can getfor being a character in Evangelion anyways. Yes, she has a messed up childhood and really doesn't have the bestof experiences during the show itself, but anytime I think back on her character as a whole, I remember just her bad-ass moments of awesome, making this German vixen one of my favorite female animecharacters. **--REI--** And now the case of Rei Aninami. As a character, Rei is not much to talk about without gettinginto the heavily spoilerific aspects of her character, as she, for the majority of the show,remains shrouded in mystery. We know that she is the test pilot for EvangelionUnit 00, has some sort of personal connection to Shinji’s father, Gendo Ikari, thecurrent NERV commander,and also allows people to check off funky coloured hair on your Anime Wildcard Bingo Sheet. Like seriously though, blue hair and red eyes?And no one thinks this is unusually at all? Huh. More importantly though, Rei is the iconicemotionless doll character, theirony of this being that Evangelion’s creator Hideaki Anno originally designed Rei to be someonewho existed on the wrong side of the uncanny valley, attempting to be an exampleof just how creepy and inhuman an emotionless-like doll can be. Instead though, she ended up becomingher own freaking character archetype that has since exploded and is responsiblefor a vast number of attempted clones, all with the same emotionless behaviors  though with some characters getting far betterdeveloped than Reiherself. Maybe Anno shouldn't have dressed her up in a sexy skintight plugsuit, I don’t know. **--MISAITO--** The last character I’m going to talk about directly is Misato Katsuragi, the operationsdirector in charge of most of the Angel battles, as well as the mentor to theEvangelion pilots, regardless of her qualifications as an adult role model. Herpersonality allowsfor changes depending on the situation, as she is able to be calm and collectedduring a mission, but also to be more carefree when she’s off the clock. Likeeveryone else in the show,she suffers from her ownpersonal trauma, mostly stemming from being a survivor of the Second Impact, the catastrophicevent that originally introduced the Angels to the human race. This gives her psychological symptoms very similarto Shinji and Asuka, though her methods of coping far exceed theirs, allowing her to appearfar more upbeat thanmore or less any other character in the show. She is also the resident motherlyfigure for the Eva pilots, though less so for Rei, as Asuka’s parents are dead and Gendo really couldn't give two shitsabout his son. Thisseems to be one of the more admirable factors of her character, as even thoughat times she is as emotionally broken as everyone else on the show, she stillhas the sense to make sure those under her care are safe. Well, as safe as letting them fight the greatestthreat humanity has ever faced, anyways. **--SUPPORTING CAST--** If I was to attempt to continue to explain all the other characters, I would be here allday, as the complete range of mental nitwits far exceeds that of what is ableto be talked about in a short review such as this. The vast number of character interactions andrelationships in the show deserve far more than just brief mentions, so I’ll let youexperience them yourself when you get to see them. But just know that they are all emotionally broken insome way, shape orform, even if they are only background characters or those with very littlerelevance to the overall plot of the show. **THE STORY** To say that the story ofEvangelion is amazing is like saying that Twilight sucks. The majority of the community know it to be true, though there areradical people with an opposite opinion. This is because, unfortunately, Evangelion is also subject to immense hype. Like any anime that hasbeen placed on a pedestal by some to be considered for the award of greatestanime that has ever existed, anime fans going into Evangelion for the firsttime might come out of it saying that it wasn't that great because it did notlive up to the hype created by its fans. If you can get past that though andtake it at face value as a show that originally aired in 1995, then you shouldbe fine. The main focus of Evangelion has always been on its characters and theirdevelopment. Everycharacter presented in the show has interesting aspects that the viewer wouldlike to be explored, and the show obliges them, though usually in a fashion that raises morequestions about the characters than it answers. Although,in addition to that,Evangelion also follows a standard mech anime with a “monster of the week” type setup. A new Angel appearsand the characters comeup with a new way to defeat the threat that culminates in a quick battle scenebefore the Angelexplodes, usually in a symbolic cross-like fashion, before the episode ends and we do it all overagain next week. But as the show progresses, the usual tropes from mech anime start to deteriorate,usually in correlation with the mental health of the main characters. Plot elements getintroduced that quickly make the show change from a show like Mobile SuitGundam into a more darker representation of the genre in the same vein as Madoka Magica and, to a lesser extent, Digimon Tamers, all ofwhich being examples of shows that heavily deconstruct the genre to which theybelong. This is further proved when the show places less focus on the battlescenes between the Evasand the Angels –though they are great spectacles – and more on the real meat of the show, focusing squarely on the characters. **THE ENDING** Normally I don’t like mentioning a show’s ending to a large enough degree that it warrants its own section of the review,but my philosophy is that the ending of any show is paramount and what Ibelieve stopped Evangelion from being truly great was its ending. It’s fairlywell known that during the latter half of the show’s production, money startedto run short. I could argue that the production staff knew about this eventualshortage from early on,otherwise we would have not had the immensely riveting scenes like one particularly boring scene in episode 4. But theflaws in production value slowly start to manifest as the show continues, withincreasing amounts of fan service and nudity being used in an attempt to keepviewers distracted from the flaws that were becoming larger and larger thecloser the show got to the end. The final two episodes is where all animation quality gets thrown out thewindow due to lack of budget and the show ends on a less than ceremonious conclusionthat, well, kind ofirked a lot of people. Sure, a lot of people have taken theending and said that it was intentional and adds on to the show’s already existing religious symbolism, attempting to explain the complete nonsenseand mindfuckery that those episodes had to offer. But I take such thoughts witha grain of salt, as the lack of funds is a much more understandableexplanation. Besides, Hideaki Anno must have thought that the ending was bad, otherwise he would nothave had to remake it…TWICE. **THE ANIMATION** This is definitely anarea in which Evangelion tended to fall harder than most. I already mentionedthe financial problems that affectedthe animation quality as the show neared to a close, though honestly when it wasn't a battle scene between the Evas and the Angels, Gainax skimped basicallyeverywhere they could. One common production shortcut that a lot of shows liketo take is restricting character movement so that only a character’s mouth is animated. Evangelion goes a stepfurther by having many scenes where the character who is speaking has theirmouth either covered, or off camera, so as to further skimp by not even having to animate themouths moving. The entire production from start to finish is a perfect exampleof what you get by doing the bare minimum the majority of the time. The only exception tothis is the aforementioned fight scenes, and in those cases, well it’s clear tosay where the majority of the budget for this show went, as those scenes in particular far exceedthe rest of the show in terms of quality. **THE SOUND** In terms of theoverall soundtrack,Evangelion is nothing extraordinary, minus a few tracks that stand out for interesting reasons. One of my favorite songs from theentire soundtrack of the original series is a song called “Decisive Battle”. It’s usually played inthe buildup to a fight and even during the fight depending on how long thebattle lasts. Fun fact though is that this song puts Evangelion up alongsideFull Metal Panic and Big O for having a song that was heavily influenced by analready existing composition. As the song Decisive Battle from Evangelion borrows a theme from James Bond for its main battle music, but hey, imitation is thesincerest form of flattery. The dub for Evangelion can bea little harder for people to handle than most; while overall I personally applaud theentire cast for their performances, I do admit that the actors do take theirtime settling into their roles, and there are moments early on in the show thatare wince-worthy inhow some lines are delivered. The only other notablething as far as sound goes is the opening theme , and Evangelion’s OP gets a lot of love,appearing at the top of a lot of people’s lists for the greatest anime openingin existence. WhileI will admit it has its merits, I would never put it up that high myself. Sure, it’s a catchy song andall, but you know what else was catchy? The Black Plague. Just because it’s catchy doesn't mean it’s good. Also, if you ever have thetime, go ahead and look up the translated lyrics to the opening, then keep inmind that the entire song is about Shinji. It’ll make you laugh, well, maybe. **FINAL VERDICT** Considering how oldthe show is getting nowadays, it might be harder todescribe it as a modern classic, but its influence and popularity is fairlyunmatched. There isn't much more to say that hasn't been said, while avoiding spoilersin some form or another. I could have written a section on the religioussymbolism that takesplace within the show, but let’s be honest. If you’re not overly religious yourself, then the majority of this symbolism will goright over your head and have no effect in your enjoyment of this show as a whole. I willhowever give a recommendation to skip the final two episodes of the show in favor of insteadwatching the original film End of Evangelion. Of course, you are free to watch the original ending if youwish and you probably should watch it at some point just so you can understandwhat all the fuss is about when people mention it in conversation. The story continues in the film, though theending still lacks the answers you might be looking for. Also, when you do get around to buying the show – which, if you are a self-respecting anime buyer, you should –for the love of Haruhi, don’t buy thecollectors tin, because this thing is a piece of shit. You can’t even get your fingers inside topull out the DVDs.So just buy the thin pack or something, anyways.  With all that in mind, I have meticulously calculated values for the categories of Story, Characters, Animation, Sound,and my own personal enjoyment, and after having its DNA analysis confirmed blue and having Holden (From HoldenReviews on Youtube) declare “IT’S ANANGEL”, has meawarding Neon Genesis Evangelion with a score of 8.06 out of 10 and rating the showCertified Frosty, a rating reserved only for the best of the best and the show’s too important toignore. At the time of this video, the show has previously been licensed by ADVFilms, but is currently available from Section 23 Films since ADV nipped off tothe back and died. Itis also available from Madmen Entertainment,if you happen to live in Australia. For everyone else, you’reshit outta luck as it’s not even available for legal streaming at current,besides possibly Netflix or something, though hopefully someone will get onthat at some point. As far as alternate anime recommendations, I’ll be quick tomention the possible Evangelion clone RahXephon. Though if you’re wanting something a bit more upbeat, then I would highlyrecommend Gurren Lagann,as it’s a fantastic anime also done by Gainax. And lastly, since I know it’s going to be brought upin the comments, I will get around to talking about the Rebuild of Evangelionmovies whenever they all get released in English, but until then and probablyeven after, I’llstill recommend watching this original series first, as it lays a lot of the groundwork andstory that just gets cut out of the films due to a lack in running time. Sowith that, I leaveyou. Until nexttime, ladies, gentlemen, and others, stay frosty.

Story - 9/10In the not so distant future, Angels are attacking Earth. The goal? To cause 3rd Impact and wipe out all of mankind as we know it. It's up NERV and its new weapon, the Evangelions, to destroy the 17 Angels! Will mankind survive against the Angels -- or are we doomed for 3rd Impact?Art/Animation - 8/10Standard Pre-2000 Gainax Animation. Looks nice and pretty, that's about it. Sound - 8/10'Cruel Angel's Thesis' is the OP and 'Fly Me to The Moon' is the ED, respectively. Both are very beautiful and well animated songs. Fan favorites all around.Character - 10/102 Words Define Evangelion: Character Development. We have angsty teens - such as Asuka and Shinji.We have mysterious characters - such as Rei.We have good parent/guardians and bad parent/guardians - Misato and Gendo for example. They all diverge into one place - NERV.Evangelion, to me, is the epitome of human/character development and drama.Enjoyment - 9/10People say its overrated. I think not - I think it still is a masterpiece and classic work. Evangelion is a classic, no doubt. It was a masterpiece back in its day. It's still pretty popular and makes money. I enjoyed watching these episodes with all my heart. It was truly a great experience.Overall, I got to give Neon Genesis Evangelion a 9/10.

One series that needs no introduction in anime fandom is "Neon Genesis Evangelion" (or just " Evangelion" for short). Infamous, influential and controversial, it's probably the most well known anime equivalent of marmite, with opinions on it being extremely polarised - it's usually considered either as a brilliant masterpiece or a pretentious piece of crap. As for which side of the fence I'm on, the answer is neither. I'm straddling it, and I have to say it's quite uncomfortable having a piece of fence stuck up my arse, but I'm digressing...At the time of this writing, I've watched "Evangelion" twice. First time round, I liked it, but also thought it was overrated. Having watched it again 5 or 6 years later after hearing/reading so much about it, I've come to appreciate - to some extent - what made it such a big series, even if I don't think of it as God's gift to anime.Right from the start, "Evangelion" showed intent to distinguish itself among other mechas. Even discounting the uncharismatic protagonist and the focus on his psychological problems (all of which I'll get to later), there are things that stuck out. For example, piloting a mecha in "Evangelion" is not shown as a nice experience. The Eva units have barely been tested in real battle when they get introduced at the beginning of the series, and as such, they're pretty unreliable and experimental. And to pilot the Evas, the pilots have to almost become a part of them, and this has some less than ideal consequences: the pilot experience painful feedback when their Eva is damaged, and also their mental condition can severely impact the performance of the Eva due to its synchronisation mechanism. The mecha battles themselves can be gruesome; there's a kind of animalistic brutality about them. The Evas are at least semi-biological in nature, as are some of their enemies, so instead of the usual clashing of cold, unfeeling lumps of giant metal, these battles often feel more akin to mighty beasts ferociously tearing into one another.But most of this is just confetti, because the real meat of "Evangelion" is found in its collection of dysfunctional characters.The first few episodes mostly centre on the protagonist Shinji , a character notorious for his incessant whining. He may not be my favourite character ever, but I do find him to be a believable character for the most part, especially his love-hate relationship with his dad, and his reluctance to pilot his Eva . After all, he's still a child, and as much as mecha piloting is generally seen as a glorious job in anime, mechas are just tools for destruction, and in a more sombre view it's not unreasonable to see adults not being able to stomach all the fighting and killing, let alone children. Factor in also the aforementioned hardships involved in being an Eva pilot and also Shinji's upbringing (or rather lack of), his actions are understandable - he may be a wuss in anime terms, but the way the anime explores his problems in the first few episodes makes it hard to blame him.After getting off to a good start though, the series couldn't maintain its quality. One of the reasons is its descent into a lame monster-of-the-week format. While these episodes aren't terrible, they're kinda generic, and are often filled with rather convenient or contrived plot points (if, in one episode, an Eva isn't equipped to deal with a certain situation, you can be sure that situation will arise). This is especially disappointing considering how the series started off so ambitiously. Another problem is the other mecha pilots. I know the series deliberately hand-picked a cast of characters that are less than normal, but out of the show's famously abnormal central trio of Shinji, Asuka and Rei, only Shinji's characterisation can be considered good. And as the monster-of-the-week format kicked in with full force, the focus shifted from Shinji onto this harem of his, and a good change it is not. Asuka is too one-dimensionally loud and annoying, while Rei is too one-dimensionally lifeless and wooden, not to mention the latter's nauseatingly obedient personality smacks of pandering (it's no coincidence that her character is so popular). Yes, I know there are more to them, but their dominant personality traits feel artificial and overblown to the extent that they drown out all other aspects of their characters.Asuka's appearance was particularly bad for the show, as not only was her own characterisation poor, she also induces Shinji to become strangely chirpy and full of indignant banter. Even in the earlier part of the series, the comedy (epitomised by the random penguin,) often seemed out of place, but I felt it especially keenly here during the exchanges between Asuka and Shinji. Thanks to Asuka and Rei, this part of the show produced some of the most memorably bad scenes in the series, including a contrived kissing scene and an atrocious "embarrassing accident" scene that could have been recycled from any number of lowly harems. This smattering of cliches and random humour feels detrimental and almost insulting to the darker, more serious portions of the show.Thankfully, it doesn't last for too long, and "Evangelion" soon goes back to what it does best - the exploration of its fucked up characters. It's not just the main characters who have a few screws loose; hardly any of the supporting characters can be considered mentally healthy. Misato's psychological scars belies her often girlish behaviour (a bit like Asuka in that respect, but not quite as bad), and even the seemingly calm and rational Ritsuko has mental baggage stashed away in the proverbial closet of her mind. And that's not even mentioning Gendo who, with his unique brand of fatherly love, is probably the most screwed up of them all. Most of the important side characters are well fleshed out, with the show usually dedicating at least an episode or two to explore each of their problems.As the show continued, it got darker; more importantly, it got better. But while the dubious mental state of the characters got a thorough examination, the same cannot be said for the underlying plot. Although there's a grand sense of complexity about it, so many important details are glazed over that the narrative bordered on incoherent at times. The show seems more interested in raising questions, cultivating them like watermelons, than actually harvesting them and giving out some answers. But given that the creator of the show himself, Anno Hideaki, apparently admittedly that they were making it up as they went along, this is perhaps not surprising.With dangling loose ends multiplying at an unmanageable rate, suddenly there were just two episodes left to tie them up ... and boy did they divide opinions. The show's demise was pretty much sign-posted at the start of episode 25, in the form of a cop out statement about only having time to focus what's going on in Shinji's head - it's almost an admission from the makers that they've left themselves with far too much to do. And because the show ran out of budget, these final two episodes were strung together using repetitive, recycled footage, interlaced with repetitive, introspective monologues. Earlier in the series, repetition techniques were often used to great effect, coming off as an autistic, obsessive way of portraying mental problems, but although it still had its compelling moments in the last two episodes, it was over-used to the point where Hideaki was in danger of looking like a one-trick pony.Still, the shittiness of those last two episodes didn't stop people from over analysing its every small detail. Inevitably, they were seen as a stroke of genius by some. Of course, the show encouraged this kind of over-analysis throughout its run with its almost fetishistic obsession with symbolisms. A lot of it wasn't even that effective or meaningful, and were only thrown in because the makers thought it would be cool to have them. A classic example of this is the cross-shaped explosions - it looked so odd and was so ludicrously unsubtle that I originally didn't realise it was meant to be symbolic ... I thought it was just some weird stylistic choice.Overall, I definitely enjoyed my second viewing of "Neon Genesis Evangelion" more than the first. Then again, I did originally watch the show with very little prior knowledge about it, and as a result found it confusing. This being the case, how much of this extra enjoyment is due to understanding gained from sources outside of this series? How much of the merit of story can be credited to this incompletely package, and how much of it should go to all the extensive backfilling of details over the years through sequels and manga? The colossal influence of "Neon Genesis Evangelion" may be undeniable, but with all its issues - the inconsistent tones, the mess of a story, Shinji's crappy harem and the catastrophic ending - I don't think it deserves a higher score.

It has actually been some time since I finished this anime, maybe 4 or 5 weeks. Therefore, this isn't totally reflective of the anime as much as what the anime represents. There have been many proponents of this anime, but also a lot of critics. However, I found this anime as something of a beacon. It acted to light the way for tons of other anime. It spread into a lot of the genres we see today. Mecca is one. The "coming of age by gaining an extremely awesome power" story is coming up, as well as the "rebellion against the parent" story.From this alone you can make a list of anime a mile long: Rahxephon, Guilty Crown, Code Geass, Full Metal Alchemist, Shakugan no Shana. These are just a few of the many anime that have followed in the footsteps of this masterpiece.As a whole, we measure great anime by their lasting impact. Evangelion definitely had one of the biggest impacts in the industry by far. However, that is the way we measure it as the public in general. It really is hard to say specifically what you loved about an anime that changed you. Therefore, we come up with words like "revolutionary" or "game-changing". These are general relative terms that really aren't much different from how the entire world views the anime from afar. It's like giving a person who hasn't seen the anime a perception of it without them actually participating in the experience, which is whole point.Therefore, hopefully, I will be able to shed some more light on my personal reasons for loving this anime.First off, the story was phenomenal. It was a clearly original idea that combined creation myth/christian symbolism with bloody humanity and war. Escapism meets conformity. Tradition meets the winds of change. It creates a stew of mixed intentions until the mixture begins to poor out in anticipation. Romance is thrown in there with the same mood as the rest of the story. Really, if there is a two word description of this anime it's "uncomfortably stimulating". Romance is thrown in and one might think of it as awkward. In fact, that is the whole point. It throws more into the mind of an utterly messed up main character. It's rare to find a story with depth in both theme and character development. Although, if I may be allowed to interject my sad opinion, after watching Evangelion: Death and Rebirth, I feel kind of sad that nothing ended up happening between Ikari and Asuka. Oh well. It's all about the anticlimactic ending. Like "it's over? Yeah, I guess so."Second off, one thing that was mentioned already. The characters are developed until the viewers brains start to pour out of their ears. It just gets sooooo intense in terms of the realness of the characters. It's not as if you could see yourself being them, or that they could ever actually be real people, but the fact that despite that you still pity them deeply is just testament to the great care that the writers took in writing and creating this series.Now, one thing I must say before ending off. The last two episodes were not a mistake. If anything, I felt they helped. It ended up being just one huge scientific experiment of the Ikari's mind. It was weird, I'll grant you that. However, it did not take away from the anime's quality. I don't want to hear any garbage about the fact that they spent to much money and they ran out of budget so they just made a slideshow. The fact of the matter is, the last two episodes were extremely high quality despite the budget restrictions. If you weren't patient enough to notice that, good luck liking any of the other episodes, or even understanding the great depth of the story.Neon Genesis Evangelion deserves all of the praise and the criticism that it gets, because that's what anime is there for. It's a dartboard for ideas and emotions. Evangelion just raised the stakes a little. The only difference between those who loved it and those who hated it is that some were prepared and the others weren't, which is completely fine. However, I think it is crucial that every avid anime viewer at least try Evangelion. It gives a unique insight into what an anime can become once it becomes almost a legend. Remember, what you can't sense has much more power over you than what you can control.

Neon Genesis Evangelion left quite an impact in the mid 1990's, especially with its following sequel [The End of Evangelion][1]. Even today, it is still critically analyzed, reasoned with, argued with, praised, and hated among our current generation of anime fans alike. It truly shines in this respect as its continued discussion lets the legacy of Evangelion last. **In the year 2015,** the setting takes place during a<strong> </strong>sizzling hot summer filled with the chatter of cicadas in the air. Due to proceeding catastrophic events, humanity is driven into urbanized central locations, one of which happens to be Tokyo, Japan. However, peace times is no longer a luxury as a new unknown threat manifests; the Angels. It is up to the joint cooperation of the U.N. and a branch military organization known as NERV to combat these destructive beings to protect humanity or risk extinction. Boring summary of a military organization aiming to be the superhero of the day, correct? Not quite. As the story progresses, twists and turns will diverge from this basic premise and offer something not easily predictable by the viewer. However, this is not surprising as Evangelion is not necessarily known for its story, but more so, its characters. This is because director Anno Hideaki is not one to cater to the fanbase, especially when it comes to Neon Genesis Evangelion. Midway through the series, there is always that false promise for more "fan service" accompanied with bigger and better battles. Instead, great emphasis is placed on the three main characters: Shinji Ikari, Rei Ayanami, and Asuka Langley Soryu. With the mecha genre tag attached to such a series, is it wrong for it to not have grand-scale and over-the-top action? Quite easily, Neon Genesis Evangelion stands out because it does not. With our introduction of our main focal point of the series, Shinji Ikari, he offers a wide range of emotions that can be considered 'realistic' while at the same time, 'annoying' to some. Given the realistic emotional reaction Shinji has toward the situations surrounding him, there is not much room for a "zero-to-hero" story but more so along the lines of a 14 year old boy forced to adapt to his surroundings as a son, a pilot, and as a human being trying to understand the world as a whole. The many shades of this character delves into a more complex and convoluted story into the second half of the series. To elaborate, Neon Genesis Evangelion does a fantastic job conveying its introspected themes. Ranging from the struggle within one's self to the struggle of understanding one another. Such subtle questions brought up varies from: *What is the reason for what I do such duty? Is it because I have to? Is it because I do it for selfish praise from others?* Due to the great divide and unique personalities among the cast of characters, Evangelion may make a viewer question something about their everyday life that is usually not given much thought during our busy and routine based lives as there's possibly any number or few of characters a viewer can relate to. Even more so, I consider it great to see the 'better' wimpy male lead take form; the type that actually has justified reasons for his timidness. Each battle propels our main cast of 14 year old pilots to spiral into a void of despair that slowly eats away at their mental state of being. This is why it is important to acknowledge Neon Genesis Evangelion is not about the mecha and action shots or politics; it is a viewing experience to find out your place in the world, why it matters, and how it affects others around you. Noteworthy to point however is that director Anno Hidekai was in a mild form of depression during the production of this series. As the story moves along with suffering budget issues towards the end, it is made up for since the creator truly poured in his emotions into these characters which helped flesh out key character development. Animation wise, Neon Genesis Evangelion may not be up to par with today's standards of quality, yet it still holds up rather well, especially in certain areas of the action sequences, which is where most of the budget went. When this series is not in combat mode, frequent stills in frames of the animation may either come across as lazy animating or as [Hayao Miyazaki][2] would put it,*"We have a word for that in Japanese. It's called ma. Emptiness. It's there intentionally. \[claps hands\] The time in between my clapping is ma. If you just have non-stop action with no breathing space at all, it's just busyness, But if you take a moment, then the tension building in the film can grow into a wider dimension. If you just have constant tension at 80 degrees all the time you just get numb."* Take it as you will, as this is one of the many ways interpreting Evangelion can become more personal as there's not exactly a 'wrong' way to interpret it. This is the likely reason of why Evangelion can be discussed in extensive detail between viewers. Even if the animation is not much to talk about in other areas however, the soundtrack really sets the mood to make the battles more intense or makes dialogue appear more mysterious in presentation. Repetitive as the soundtrack may be, it helps certain tracks stand out. As a guarantee if you were to listen to a certain OST after completing NGE, it would be difficult to not spot where it came from or what it was used for. Evangelion Units in a fight against the Angels? Expect unsettling and demeanor tones within the music. Misato and the pilots kicking back in their apartment? Expect happy go lucky flutes fluttering in the air! Serious moments with Rei? Expect depressing piano melodies to create a vivid image of bleak and dark points in the story. In general, the OST does wonders to heighten the mood to make the atmosphere unforgettable! Overall, Neon Genesis Evangelion brings a lot to the table that usually requires multiple re-watches and a rather large sum of research to make better sense of the characters and story. Not to mention Evangelion was an important milestone in studio Gainax's career to spawn such anime like [FLCL][3] or [Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann][4]. **Extra Bonus for this Review** If you're interested in what helped me as a viewer make better sense of this crafted story, these links shall serve as a guide to help you start your Evangelion studies of analysis if required!: -An 8min video about Evangelion's, Anno's, and Studio Gainax's history, spoiler free: click [here][5]. -A deep and thought out essay by Charles Duan describing the many themes he found in Evangelion (contains spoilers): click [here][6]. -A well received wikipedia style database about Evangelion (contains spoilers): click [here][7]. I will also point you to some anime recommendations for those new to Evangelion: * [Gunbuster][8]\: This was one of Anno's earlier works and can be seen as the skeleton-blueprint for Neon Genesis Evangelion. Even can be seen as one of [Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann][4]'s influences. * Rebuild of Evangelion: These Evangelion ([1.0][9], [2.0][10], [3.0][11], [4.0][12]) movie remakes offers a different approach to the story of Neon Genesis Evangelion with a much larger budget and spectacular animation quality. [1]: [2]: [3]: [4]: [5]: [6]: [7]: [8]: [9]: [10]: [11]: [12]:

Neon Genesis Evangelion is perhaps the most popular anime of all time, trumping the majority of anime franchises, and is often considered to be the best anime of all time. Needless to say, it isn't. Not even close. Although it certainly had the potential to be, it just didn't live up to it. Which isn't to say Evangelion is bad, no. Evangelion is actually very good in many, many ways. The problem is, it counteracts this by having some horrible problem in another way.The premise of Evangelion is set in 2015, set 15 years after the apocolypse, or "2nd Impact" wiped out half of humanity. I do love when a show claims Judgement Day will happen in the near-future, and gets ultimately proven wrong. At any rate, humanity is 15 years later being attacked by these things called "Angels", for some reason, and must kill them in giant robots called "Evangelion", to prevent 3rd Impact from happening. And so beings our vague story of vague vagueness.And what a vague story it is. Evangelion loves suspense like a fat kid loves twinkies, and will throw in 5 plot twists and/or questions per episode, without answering any of the present ones. It kicks off being something of a Monster-of-the-week thing, and does stick to the formula over the course of the next 26 episodes, but at the same time doing it, and pretty much everything else, completely different to anything and everything that has come before or since. Our normal plot is cut inbeetween with bizzare symbolism and obscure Biblical references, as well as the occassional Navel-gazing episode, which are usually a mental and visual mindfuck, and often very, very disturbing.Horror is a genre that isn't used very much in anime, and while Evangelion is very much a Sci-Fi show, it becomes more horrific than anything i've seen in any horror movie. Nothing regularly associated with the genre comes close to being as sickening and disturbing as some of the thing you'll see in Evangelion, which I will avoid stating for the sake of massive spoilers. But all of these add to what Gainax does best: Immersion. I don't think i'd be overstating it to say that Evangelion is the most emmersive, involving anime there has ever been, and you genuinely feel an attachment to this world and its inhabitants. Except Asuka. I could rant for a loooooong time about why I hate Asuka, but let's just say she's an irritating bitch who has a large amount of reverse character development.Speaking of the characters, the characterization falls into a weird void wherein I can't honestly decide if they were lazily written or perfectly formed. While some of them become unbearably whiny, uninteresting, bitchy, or downright twisted, don't real people often fall to the same pitfalls? I've known plenty of people like Asuka in my time, although none of them quite so fucked up, and I can honestly see a lot of realism in that. Although there is one character I will say was undeniably fantastic, which makes the fact that he appears for all of one episode all the more tragic - Kaworu. Whether or not he is a good character (a question very much up for debate for every single character in this show), every moment he is on screen is a joy, providing a strange kind of relief much akin to what he actually does in-story. And probably moreso to fangirls... I can imagine a million of them squeeing over that one particular scene in the shower. You know the one.Production-wise, the show is a very large up-and-down case. Artistically, the style is likeable and unique, and really brings something to the show. However, the animation is full of enormous and blatant corner-cutting. I am willing to forgive this to some extent, though, in that it was used to interesting artistic merit. The soundtrack is a strong, memorable affair, with several vivid tracks that remain easy to associate with the series. The English dub is a strange mix of realism and annoyance, but it has to be credited in that you really can't imagine them sounding any different, something the Rebuild movies have very much proven.But here's the show's enourmous downfall. You remember those aformentioned plot threads? The ones they introduced in bulk per episode? None of them are resolved. None. Not even a single one. The movie "End of Evangelion" makes a passable attempt at fixing that, but there's no fixing the unbridled fury that thing that calls itself an ending will doubtlessly induce.But truly, any complaint I have is somewhat irrelevant, because you HAVE to see Evangelion. There is no other series like it, and it will always be a cult thing, but there's no way to know if you'll like it until you watch it, with Evangelion being one of the most polarizing shows there has ever been.Final Words:A must see, regardless of its many faults.Animation/Graphics: 4/10Story/Plot: 7/10Music/Background: 8/10English Dub: 5/10Overall: 5/10 (make it 7/10 for the first 24 episodes, but those last two bring the score down HARD.)For Fans Of: RahXephon, Serial Experiments Lain.

Now, what do we have here? Elaborate and believable characters, woven into a deep story full of symbols and hidden meanings. This is an anime that truly goes under the surface and gives you something to think about. So, what we have here is in my opinion one of the best animes ever written and drawn. Be sure to take a closer look at it!

Another series that should be seen by everyone. From the characters to the story, this is a really good Animé, and very interesting also. It may be somehow... Slow to watch for some, specially if you are not keen on explanations and complex themes such as understanding the politics of a futuristic-existing new city for example xD, yet so, It doesn't take too long for anyone wantching it, to get accostumed to the times or the plot, which, although it may be a little bit twisting and not really really easy to get into it on, it's really good, and the way it mixes every character into every part of the story is also ecxellent. It is certainly a really good Animé, believe me, even for those who may NOT like Mechas. Is NGE worth it? 'Pretty much'!

Neon Genesis Evangelion. Just by saying that name, almost any anime fan will go into an extremely cautious silence. The weight of that series, among fans and haters alike, cannot be underestimated, as it's influence on the anime industry and anime fans is enormous; chances are that even if you hate the series, you can't deny it's positive influence on the anime industry, considering that chances are that you may even have something that was influenced by this series on your favorites, even if you immensely dislike the series in question. Now, my opinion is a fairly different one from the vast majority of people who watch this series. I'm already seeing a plethora of "Not Helpful" votes just by giving Evangelion the score I did, considering Evangelion is often referred to as a series that is either considered well above average among the greatest achievements in the history of anime (which it is, in a certain sense) or a complete pile of pretentious garbage that a pack of elitist wannabes hype to drill into the heavens that is unworthy of being compared to the series it influenced. In any case, enough of me talking about that and onto the review: Story (5/10): I'm already seeing eyebrows being raised. But let me clarify something before I give my opinion: I am aware that Evangelion is meant to be a deconstruction of the mech genre. I am aware of the various themes it was trying to handle, ranging from Freudian psychology to Christian symbolism to the Hedgehog's dilemma to Social Darwinism (to some extent, anyway). Everything I said sounds good, right? The series however, assumes instantly that you know all of these themes and will make sense of it if jumbled together, which leads to an extremely flawed and contradictory form of storytelling. Allow me to explain what I mean. Series should know how to show a story, while providing minimal, but necessary information in telling a story. This series assumes that instead of telling a story, the viewers will make up the story for it, ruining most of the credibility the series had going for it. And onto the show aspect; the series loves placing irrelevant symbolism at the wrong times. Such as when the angels get defeated, a giant cross (or multiple giant crosses) with no meaning whatsoever appears. Or making characters act completely out of character and unrealistically (I'm looking at you, Asuka) just to emphasize it's themes, forgetting that if the viewer doesn't connect with the character in question, any point in it's themes are deemed irrelevant to the casual viewer. Seriously, this series could have done so much more with it's themes, but instead resorted to randomly tossing in big words and jumbling it's themes together in the hope something would make sense to the viewer, leaving a mildly interesting story with interesting ideas (with absolutely no idea how to execute them) and a miserable excuse for an ending that in my opinion doesn't make any sense whatsoever, although I'm not entirely sure how anyone can make sense of that ending personally even after watching End of Evangelion. But that's a review for another time. Art/Animation (6/10) The artwork looks quite interesting and well-done for it's time, and the mech designs as well as the detailed Lovecraft-styled Angels look pretty damn good too. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the animation during most of the series, as it randomly fluctuates between looking absolutely gorgeous during action scenes to looking absolutely terrible most of the time. This lead to some rather...questionable scenes to say the least, including the ending, the infamous train scene and the countless times (No, for those who haven't seen it, I am not joking) character's mouths were covered and the frame would stay completely still for around 2 minutes. The exceptional artwork is therefore put down by the extremely low quality, inconsistent animation, hence the low score. Sound (7/10) Decent voice acting and soundtrack and an amazing opening. All right! Everything is perfect! Until we get to the classical music. No seriously, the classical music ruins the atmosphere so badly it's not even funny (OK, I jest, I find it bloody hilarious, especially in completely still scenes). Who's idea was it to randomly insert classical music in the hope people would make sense of it? It loses what would've been a perfect or near-perfect score thanks to this problem I encountered. Character (4/10) Where do I start? The three children are all annoying, angst-ridden, irritating and serve later in the series as tools to advance the themes and plot of the story. The character that falls victim to this the most is Asuka, who has (mild spoilers) feelings for Shinji yet changes personality to be jealous of him off the drop of a hat, which emphasizes the theme in question in all the wrong ways. We never discover the motives for some of the characters for acting as they did, which for several of these characters is a huge mistake considering how important they are to the advancement of the plot. A huge shout out however, to Misato Katsuragi, who was easily my favorite character and the most consistent and most lovable character of the show. Sure she has...problems, to say the least, but she is the only character who stops me from giving this section a lower score. If only all the characters were as well-written as her... Enjoyment (4/10): Ultimately, I feel Evangelion is a completely average mech anime with interesting ideas but one of the poorest executions to those ideas, due to underdeveloped characters, ill-fitting music at times, low quality animation and lackluster storytelling, which I found greatly hampered the show's great moments and throw it off from what it could have been to complete mediocrity. Overall, I give this series a 5 out of 10. Lord have mercy on me. Thank you for reading my review! Feedback is greatly appreciated!

This is a story that you will either love or hate, personally I love it and every time I re-watch it I pick up something new. Incredibly complex storyline involving interpersonal relationships between a hand full of main characters. Lots of monster vs monster fights. Complex Christian overtones and themes involving the creation of man and mans decision to try and become god. Overall, I'd say it is one of the best animations of all time.

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