Otaku Review: Neo Genesis Evangelion (新世紀エヴァンゲリオン)

Neon_Genesis_Evangelion_LogoNeo Genesis Evangelion

Hello everyone my name is  Njål and this week I am bringing you a review of Evangelion!

A boy with black hair has just arrived at the station to Tokyo 3, when the army is about to lunch an offensive against a towering behemoth with a bird like skull. As the line of artillery and tanks opens up fire, it does not even leave a dent.

Suddenly the entity returns fire with a giant cross-shaped blast, exterminating the armed forces. Meanwhile a blue car skids to a halt in front of Shinji and a nuclear bomb is dropped onto the thing known as an angel. From there out, things goes south quickly as Shinji realizes that his father has called on him to pilot a giant mecha without prior training. To make matters worse, this is the only time his father has made contact since the death of Shinji’s mother.

“If my dad looked like this, I would also have issues.”

Studio Gainax decided to make a mecha show where they combined Judeo-Christian elements, psychology and a lot of psychosis into a dramatized, action-packed show. Keep in mind that the original ending was a result of poor budget handling. This meant that the last two episodes were very cheaply made. Later they made a movie to serve as the story’s ending; though End of Evangelion is a real mind screw of biblical proportions.

The main protagonist, Shinji Ikari is a teenager full of angst with no self esteem and has abandonment issues. This has forced him into a situation that is way over his head. His catchphrase is pretty much: “I mustn’t run away.”

Then there is the blue-haired Rei, who has a very cold, inhumane personality.

Later we are introduced to Asuka Langley Soryu, a fiery, hot tempered redhead who just can’t stand the idea of being second best. She exhibits the token tsundere (ツンデレ) candor, hence the red color theme.

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Aside from the supporting cast, there is also Gendo Ikari, the self-centered and cold father of Shinji, who only cares about his own ultimate goal. Meanwhile his superiors are also plotting big plans for the future of mankind.

Angels are big, hulking alien creatures who keep attacking and adapting as they lay siege to Tokyo 3. What their goal is and why they want to get to Nerv (as Gendo’s organization is called), no one knows. But the angels’ relentless assault is regardless a fact.

By now any readers who have kept up probably realize that Gainax just had to take a lot of worlds and concepts from the Old Testament in order to spice up Neo Genesis Evangelion and confuse the hell out of the audience. Another striking feature is the awesome theme song which is more upbeat and uplifting than it has any right to be. What really baffled my mind was the choice for the ending credits.

Neon_Genesis_EvangelionI’m still not sure what Frank Sinatra’s “Fly Me to the Moon” has to do with a post-apocalyptic future with giant death machines. Probably something to do with love.

Since this is an old series, there is a very definite limit to the number of objects moving on the screen at once. In most cases the focus is on two objects in any given scene.

The show is quite violent at times and not recommended for children or for those who are deeply depressed. Aside from being a good show, it’s also a very important part of anime history.

Neo Genesis Evangelion can be found on Amazon, eBay and other retailers. Expect it to be a bit pricey.

-Njål Sand-