Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Not available
L represents licensing company
Score: 7.981 (scored by 136 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
action drama mecha psychological sci-fi
SynopsisPrepare yourself for another 9001 action-packed episodes oozing with epicness!
Characters & Voice Actors
This was a rather tricky programme to review. Great pains were taken to avoid spoilers so if you're a fan of Eva, please don't take umbrage with me for not going in-depth with certain areas. If you happen to dislike Eva or feel that it's overrated, I'd still encourage you to read through this entire review. Feedback is greatly appreciated, as always.
Also, if you're a die-hard fan of Eva and you're outraged I gave this show a 7/10, please keep in mind that I too am a fan of Evangelion, however I can't exactly overlook some of the glaring flaws it has. Regardless, this is a positive review... for the most part. On another note, this review will NOT cover Evangelion's religious symbolism at all. I tried to in earlier drafts of this review, but they just made the review much longer and more tedious than they needed to be.
The last thing I want to talk about before I go into the review is the current state of Evangelion's licensing. Unfortunately, Neon Genesis Evangelion is currently unlicensed. It was originally licensed to ADV Films before its inevitable collapse and then the license was transferred over to Section23 Films. Unfortunately, the license expired in mid-2012 and the show has since gone out-of-print with the official DVD releases of the programme priced as high as $300 on Amazon. I am aware that Evangelion was also licensed by Madmen Entertainment in Australia, however I'm not too sure if Madmen Entertainment still holds the license.
The best we can hope for is Funimation to pick up the show and give it a Blu-ray release in honour of Evangelion's upcoming 20th birthday in November of 2015. If you wish to watch Evangelion, you'll either have to settle for bankruptcy and buy the DVDs for an absurdly high price, torrent it, or watch it on a site like KissAnime or what have you. Sorry, that's just the way it is. ;-;
"Evangelion" is a name that you've either heard of in the past or have just read about now since you're reading this review. Arguably one of the most influential and yet most controversial anime series of all time, this is a show that you'll either love the hell out of, viscerally hate, or just watch once and then go on to cut your wrists and black your eyes so you can fall asleep tonight and die (please tell me you get the reference). Okay, that's not really fair but it's still something to be said that virtually EVERYONE who goes into Evangelion comes out with something different.
Now, a lot of people say that this show is nothing more than pretentious garbage and that interpretation certainly is a valid one, given that there are some moments where this show feels like it gets up its own ass. BUT, that's not entirely the case. I don't really care how much of a pretentious fanboy I sound like when I say this, but in order for you to "properly" appreciate Evangelion, you'll have to understand the mindset of Hideaki Anno when he went on to create this programme.
Now, I'm not completely filled in on his back-story, but this is how I understand things went down around the time Eva was being produced: Anno fell into depression for four years, he became disillusioned with the otaku lifestyle, among other such things. He was angry and he needed an outlet to vent out his frustrations. Seeing as how he was an animator, he decided to come up with an anime series that would basically just be one big "FUCK YOU" to whomever he pleased (which at the time were the otakus whom he's grown to despise) and would just ruin the very things that specific group loves.
The concepts behind this programme were simple: what would happen if we took real people and forced them into similar situations that happened in any Gundam and/or any harem show? Not only that, but what would people realistically be like if a post-apocalyptic situation occurred? What would happen to the son of a man who lost his wife and was appointed to be head of an organisation which deploys giant robots to fight some unknown threat? How would common anime archetypes translate into the real world? Combine these ideas with a frustrated animator with a lot of pent-up rage against a community of people whose lifestyle he became disillusioned with plus extremely stressful work conditions and what you'll get is Neon Genesis Evangelion.
Neon Genesis Evangelion was a project that was seemingly destined to do two things: tank horribly and either worsen Hideaki Anno's depression or drive him to suicide. Gainax's poor accounting practices at the time basically meant that Evangelion was given a very small budget to work with (which was almost completely exhausted before the final two episodes were made; more on that later) and the general consensus at the time was that Evangelion would get cancelled within 5-10 episodes. However, their assumptions couldn't have been further from the truth. Evangelion was a huge success, and what probably kept Gainax from going out of business at that point in time. Why was it such a huge success? I don't know, but I'm guessing because it effectively took all of the mecha and harem tropes and then completely subverted them.
Have you ever wished that the world you lived in was more like the anime(s) that you love so dearly? Let's say for example you're an avid fan of mech shows, would you wish that your life would be similar to the main character's life in your favourite mech show? I mean... YOU GET TO PILOT A GIANT FUCKING ROBOT. Instant respect from the common bystander, girls with low self-esteem and questionable morals may very well end up dropping their panties at the sight of you, and once again: YOU GET TO PILOT A GIANT FUCKING ROBOT. Remember the MEGAS XLR theme? “You dig giant robots, I dig giant robots, we dig giant robots, chicks dig giant robots.” Well... sometimes it's not always like that.
You see, MEGAS XLR takes the optimistic route. However, Evangelion is thoroughly entrenched in pessimism. Every single character in the show has some deep-seated psychological trauma, and I do mean EVERY character. From the Eva pilots to the commanders at NERV and even the random bystander who had no dialogue, every single person in Evangelion is fucked up in the head. Why is everyone like that? Because of the eminent threat of death. The entire world as people once knew it was completely destroyed, leaving many places to be desolate wastelands. Half of humanity's population was eradicated with the only traces of their existence being grave markers. Whole cities are wiped off the map and the survivors ended up being forced to relocate. 15 years of relative peace then gets interrupted when the mysterious Angels start attacking, seemingly for no apparent reason.
One rather bizarre thing to note is that you can't really tell that since the first 15 or so episodes of Evangelion do follow a rather typical mech show formula... albeit with a special twist thrown in here and there. Jovial and upbeat music is a rather frequent sight, we get to see common harem tropes at work, etc. Hell, Evangelion actually kind of felt like a feel-good mecha/harem show (in a vein similar to Full Metal Panic!). BUT... then came along Episode 16, and then you got to see how fucked up and morbid EVERYTHING about this show is. We get to see that Shinji's lifestyle isn't a real sex fantasy, and the women in Evangelion are actual women with real problems who DON'T need a penis to feel like they're worth something. We also learn how thankless being an Eva pilot really is.
EVERYONE'S livelihoods are directly linked to the success of the giant robot pilot. Under such conditions, you wouldn't receive the praise and the respect of the people for being a pilot. If you fuck up, you're directly responsible for the deaths of hundreds upon thousands. If you succeed, you get nothing because that's what you're supposed to do. Let's not forget the fact that this EXTREMELY heavy responsibility is being placed on the shoulders of teenagers. Why? Well, it's never properly explained why but truth be told, there's no need for any explanation. Hideaki Anno wanted to create a show that would subvert common mecha/harem tropes, and one thing that a lot of mech shows at the time had in common was the fact that the pilots were very young OR had deceptively youthful appearances.
The whole point of Evangelion is to show what would happen if we took three teenagers and forced them to not only deal with the burdens of society and their own adolescence, but also having to pilot a giant robot in order to SAVE THE WORLD where the threat of their own deaths is always a very real possibility with virtually no sympathy whatsoever. An explanation as to why our pilots are adolescents would certainly be appreciated, but it's not outright necessary to the plot. With that said, let's take a look at our characters. Evangelion's got a wide variety of characters, each with their own varying degrees of depth and relevance, but let's just take a look at our three mecha pilots and their overseer.
Fans of Eva and pretty much anyone else who's ever taken a cursory look at the Evangelion franchise as a whole will pretty much come to the same conclusion about Shinji: he's a whiny, useless little bitch boy who runs away from everything and well... yeah, he's guilty as charged. But why is that? Keep in mind: he's supposed to be what our lead mecha pilot would realistically be like given the situation he's placed in. His father abandoned him so that he can work with some government organisation he's never even heard of and his mother's dead. Obviously there's going to be some abandonment issues at work but it's not just that.
The first time he's seen his father in umpteen years, and Gendo tells him to get into a giant robot and fight against some unknown threat with absolutely no prior notice, no training, or anything of the sort and there's a good chance that he may very well end up being killed. How else is he supposed to react? Is Shinji supposed to be ecstatic that he'll be piloting a giant robot? NO!!! I don't care what you say, if it were you in that very position, you sure as hell would do exactly what Shinji's doing. I mean, piloting a giant robot is cool and all, but if you have to pilot a giant robot at such short notice with no training or anything of the sort against an unknown threat that may very well end up killing you, common sense dictates you having to think more than twice about this.
He runs away from his problems rather than confronting them because truth be told, that's a relatively normal response. Think of everything I just mentioned: his pre-existing psychological trauma, the burdens of society and adolescence placed upon him, his ESTRANGED father using him as a means to an end, having to pilot a giant robot and combat mysterious beings that may very well end up killing him, all the while having to put up with all of that with virtually no sympathy whatsoever. All things considered, he's got balls for actually getting into the damn robot in the first place. When he does run away, he always returns. Sure, he can run away in the midst of an angel attack like anyone else would. But when he's confronted with the reality of the situation: where mindless destruction occurs and innocent people get caught in the crossfire, he inevitably comes back to save the day because he knows that he can put an end to all of the madness.
When you take all of that into consideration, Shinji isn't as unlikeable as he might seem. HOWEVER... I will concede that Shinji can get rather intolerable at times (alongside Asuka for reasons I'll explain later). That's his biggest character flaw: yes, he's empathetic and my sympathies really do lie with him for a good chunk of the show. HOWEVER, his constant complaining gets rather irritating after a certain point, and you're just begging for him to shut the fuck up and do something. Thankfully, we get a heaping helping of catharsis whenever Shinji overstays his welcome in the form of seeing Shinji getting his ass handed to him by Angels and the like. Okay, well he's not an incompetent Eva pilot in the slightest (quite the contrary) but I just can't help but feel immensely satisfied seeing Shinji get his ass handed to him after I just watched him do NOTHING but complain. But, I digress.
Now we come over to Asuka Langley Soryu, the Second Child. Now, Asuka actually makes her debut rather late in comparison to the other Eva pilots (Asuka shows up in Episode 8, rather than the pilot episode like the others) but regardless, she still manages to make more than enough of an impact on the story while not faltering a bit in her characterisation. One of the second biggest complaints I hear about people who don't like Eva is the fact that Asuka is an intolerable tsundere bitch. You know what? You're right on the money with that one: Asuka was specifically designed to get under your skin and make you hate her. Hell, she gets under my skin 5 times out of 10. But why is this?
Well, given that Shinji is what our lead mecha pilot would realistically be like, what sort of trope(s) is Asuka meant to tackle? Well... I've got a faint idea of what Asuka is supposed to be: she's supposed to be the embodiment of how tsunderes would actually be like in real life, while also being the complete polar opposite of Shinji. While Shinji is passive and introverted, Asuka is aggressive and extroverted. Did I forget to mention that she's also a combat prodigy akin to Mikasa Ackermann from Attack on Titan? Despite all of this, she suffers from almost the same kind of psychological trauma that Shinji suffers from.
Her aloof and confident exterior is just a mask for a gaping inferiority complex that rivals that of Mello's from Death Note. She's a combat prodigy because piloting Eva-02 is the only way for her to ever feel validated. She lives for the praise of others, and thus can't stand it whenever someone steals her thunder. When Shinji and/or Rei save her from being killed by an Angel, she takes umbrage with them because it's not the angel she lost to, it's Shinji/Rei that she lost to.
Being such an obnoxious tsundere half the time, it's only natural for her to end up like Shinji whenever she overstays her welcome. What do I mean? Well, whereas Shinji just gets roughed up by the Angels or what have you, Asuka gets taken down a few pegs if she ends up overstaying her welcome and it's just so cathartic to see her squirm whenever Gendo, Ritsuko, or Misato are favouring Shinji or Rei over her. With that said, she's also the most entertaining Eva pilot to watch given that she's great at combat and if nothing else, some of her banter with Shinji et al is rather amusing to say the least.
With so much hostility built up toward her comrades, one would expect her to not show any compassion whatsoever. BUT, that's not the case at all. Remember, Asuka is a tsundere (a rather extreme one, but a tsundere none the less). She's got an aloof exterior, but people keep forgetting that loving interior of hers... which is quite understandable since it never really manifests itself all that often but when it does, it's certainly going to catch you off-guard. The most bizarre thing is that she's 14 years old, yet she's constantly throwing herself at her "keeper," Ryoji Kaji who is quite literally twice her age. It might seem off-putting to you and you might dismiss it because it's okay in Japan or some shit like that. HOWEVER, THIS WAS ACTUALLY OFF-PUTTING TO JAPANESE VIEWERS TOO!!!! But strangely enough, her "deredere" characterisation always manages to come into play whenever Asuka is around Kaji.
So, you might think that Asuka only shows this other side of her personality to Kaji BUT you'd be sorely mistaken. You see, as bizarre as it might be... Asuka and Shinji actually have a thing for one another. The problem? They're both completely fucked up in the head. Did you honestly expect their relationship to resemble something out of a feel-good romcom ecchi harem? Oh fuck no. This is Evangelion! Whenever one side tries to make a move on the other, the other pushes them away. Asuka's aggressive attitude is what's keeping Shinji from approaching her. However, Shinji's withdrawn and passive personality is the very reason WHY Asuka lashes out at him. It's the perpetual dance of hedgehogs... which actually brings me to something I forgot to mention earlier.
Considering the fact that almost EVERYONE in Evangelion is fucked up in the head, it's only natural for them to be unable to form any sort of healthy relationships. This leads to something known as the "hedgehog's dilemma." When it's cold, hedgehogs tend to huddle together for warmth. The problem is the fact that the closer the hedgehogs get to one another, the more they risk hurting each other. Character relationships in Evangelion work the exact same way, especially given how fucked up everyone is in this show. As much as you'd probably hope for Shinji, Asuka, Rei, Misato, Gendo, Ritsuko, or whatever other character(s) you've grown attached to actually improve/grow as characters, that will NEVER be the case. That's one of the more depressing aspects about Evangelion, which is such a shame given that I grew quite fond of Shinji despite how unbearable he can get. But, I digress.
Now we have Rei Ayanami... aka Hideaki Anno's greatest success and greatest failure. Rei Ayanami is one of the most interesting things about Evangelion. You see, Hideaki Anno created Rei in order to demonstrate just how creepy an emotionless doll character would be. HOWEVER, that wasn't the case at all. Instead, Hideaki Anno pretty much created the prototypical moe girl. Rei was so popular to the point where other programmes ended up creating "clones" of her, each with their own varying degrees of depth and/or development with some clones (i.e. Yuki Nagato from Haruhi) getting better character development than Rei herself ever received.
But why is Rei so popular? Well, my inner cynic tells me that given how Rei is submissive, doesn't talk back, and the like, perverse otakus took to her because they now had material to work with for their rape fantasies. HOWEVER... while I did find Rei to actually be rather creepy when I actually did stop and think, there were many moments where she was portrayed as a helpless victim (did I forget to mention that she pioneered the bandage girl aesthetic?), and I genuinely did find myself wanting to protect her. You know... I can't help but wonder how different Rei could've been if she wasn't always wearing a cast/eye patch/bandage and didn't get herself into situations that would evoke a protective instinct.
Now, as strange as this might sound... I actually could find myself relating to Rei, even if only a little. Maybe it's because I'm introverted and I don't really talk to people I don't know all that much but it's still something to be mentioned. The bizarre thing is that Rei herself actually isn't emotionless, but rather she doesn't know how to express them until Shinji asks her to smile to express gratitude after saving her in Episode 6. Okay, well... compared to how bizarre the rest of the show gets toward the end, I guess this is actually relatively normal. It's still something to be mentioned, though.
The last character I'm willing to talk about is Misato Katsuragi, who actually witnessed and lived through the apocalypse that set the stage for Evangelion. Now, as a survivor of the Second Impact, you'd think that she'd also have some deep-seated psychological trauma and well... yeah, she definitely does. However, in comparison to Shinji and Asuka, Misato is arguably the most well-adjusted of them all. She's jovial when she needs to be and serious when the situation calls for it. She also provides all three Eva pilots with much-needed emotional support... although they rarely capitalise on said emotional support.
Misato is quite likeable, and she really does help prevent the show from turning into a teenage angst-ridden melodrama. HOWEVER... there were quite a few things I found rather unnerving about her character. For example, the way she introduces herself to Shinji is with a picture of her bending over with her right hand making a peace sign... with an arrow pointing to her cleavage. However, just like how Kaji is twice as old as Asuka, Misato is twice as old as Shinji. Of course, Shinji doesn't really display the same sort of... "attraction" to Misato that Asuka displays to Kaji.
After this, Misato tries to behave more like a motherly figure to Shinji... while still hinting that Misato is a potential love interest for Shinji. You know... it's not the subliminal Oedipus complex that disturbs me. It's the fact that Misato is actually attracted enough to a 14-year-old boy to actually send a picture of herself in such a pose to make the first impression and yet somehow ignore all of that JUST to be a motherly figure to him. It also doesn't help that End of Evangelion further complicates shit like that, but let's cross that bridge when we get to it. So, as good of a character as Misato is... she just creeps me out (moreso than Rei, which is rather surprising).
Taking a break from all of that rambling about story and characters, let's get on with one of Evangelion's biggest flaws: its animation (or lack thereof... asterisk). While the art direction is pretty damn good and everything as a nice amount of detail put into it, the actual animation can just get downright lazy and there are some decisions where you'll just find yourself wondering "Really? Was it actually necessary to animate something so pointless as that?" So in some respects, the actual animation feels vaguely reminiscent of Gantz, although it was never quite THAT bad. However, there's a LOT of points in the show where you can quite obviously tell where they cut corners... or rather took out a chainsaw and cut huge segments out of.
For example, there are a lot of segments where the camera is zoomed into the characters face, so they don't have to animate anything but the mouth movements. HOWEVER, there are MANY instances where Gainax actually had the mouths covered, obscured by light, or just plain out-of-focus so they don't even have to pay to animate the mouth movements. Fun fact: Gendo Ikari's signature pose is a direct result of the lack of budget this show had! Almost all of his appearances where he had any dialogue of relevance, his hands would be covering his mouth so Gainax wouldn't even have to pay to animate the lip-flap movements.
There are also an annoyingly high number of points where we end up staring at still frames with nothing but ambient noise playing in the background for almost 3 minutes (I'm looking at you, Episode 4)! You know... if they were just doing this shit because of a corporate mandate for episode length, they could've just done us all a favour and just let us stare at a black screen for 3 minutes in silence. That would've been a million leagues more entertaining than making us sit through 3 minutes of Shinji staring at Misato while ambient noise was going on in the background, only for Shinji to say "I'm home" and then cut to the end credits.
There's also no shortage of segments where they ended up re-using the same few frames of animation in the earlier episodes where it was all jovial and shit. But, I can't really hold that against Evangelion since many anime series I watched that came from the early 90s (i.e. Sailor Moon, Gundam Wing) ended up doing that at some point or another. Eva just happens to do it on a more frequent basis across a shorter period of time. With that said... it's still rather off-putting, but then again I grew up in the late 90s and early 2000s where anime was starting to actually have a budget so hell if I'd know.
Another bizarre thing to note about the animation itself is the fact that there's no shortage of fan service available to the point where Tiffany Grant, Asuka's English VA would say that there would be more fan service in the next episode during the next-episode preview at the end of the one I just watched. You'd think that the fan service would be used in such a way where it would actually be used to keep everyone's interest in the show while the animation budget slowly went away, right? You'd be sorely mistaken. As early as the first episode, we get treated to out-of-place shots of Misato's ass and breasts among other such things. HOWEVER, the fan service almost entirely dissipates by Episode 16 as the show gets increasingly morbid.
I know I spent a great deal bitching about the how lazy/odd the animation gets, BUT thankfully Gainax manages to make up for it in almost every single episode... except the final two because of reasons I'll get into in a minute or two. Basically, the vast majority of the budget was spent animating the Eva battles, and the remainder of it was spent on everything else. The Eva battles are perhaps some of the most entertaining fights I've ever seen in any mecha anime I've ever seen, and my guess is that if Gainax gave Evangelion a bigger budget, THIS is what the rest of the show would look like. So I can't stay TOO hard on the animation.
However, that lack of budget REALLY affects the storytelling to such a negative degree that you can't even begin to imagine. I mean, we get so many stills and walk cycles of Shinji to the point where it becomes tedious and you just begin to lose interest in what you're watching. The most infamous example of how bad the lack of budget affects the storytelling is the final two episodes. Basically, there was virtually NO budget left for these two episodes and the vast majority of it was spent re-using animation and having a good chunk of the episode animated in pencil... I shit you not, that actually did happen. Basically, nothing gets explained (directly) and there's a quite obvious lack of resolution.
Now, it's not like these two episodes are pointless since they do provide quite a bit of character insight and if you pay close enough attention, you start to get a faint idea of what just went down in the real world, since these last two episodes take place inside Shinji and Asuka's heads. HOWEVER... this was such a drastic change of style to the point where fans of the programme quite literally mailed death threats to Hideaki Anno/Gainax (some of which actually do show up in End of Evangelion). Suffice it to say, this was the programme that Gainax ended up developing their infamous reputation with how they end their shows.
Hideaki Anno and Gainax did eventually go on to produce Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion which is how the final two episodes of Evangelion were supposed to be (according to Hideaki Anno), but that didn't come by until 1997 and I don't even want to imagine how long it took for Manga Entertainment to license the movie, dub it, and distribute it only to go out-of-print a few years later. As far as endings go, I have to give EoE its own review but I will say this: it does a MUCH better job of resolving the story of Evangelion while still retaining that sort of "what the fuck am I watching?" atmosphere that Eva is known for.
The last thing I want to talk about in regard to Evangelion is the audio portion of it all. Now, the OST for Evangelion doesn't really do much to stick out and with the exception of the opening and a few tracks that play whenever shit gets REALLY morbid, there isn't really going to be much that would stick out in your mind unless you pay an unusually large amount of attention to what you listen to. The OP track, "Cruel Angel's Thesis" is a beloved classic and with great reason. It's matched with visuals that perfectly flow with the tone of the song and if nothing else, I find myself humming it at the most random of times. The ED however is nothing more than Muzak you'd hear in an elevator of a classy hotel or something, so there's that.
Now we come to the most interesting part of Evangelion: the English dub. This is a pre-Bebop dub, so you might think that this dub is shit. However, that couldn't be further from the truth. With the exception of the first four or so episodes, the entire dub is quite well-cast and executed. The reason why I left out the first four episodes is due to the fact that it was quite obvious that the VAs were getting accustomed to their roles and as such, there are quite a few segments of the first few episodes that sound... off, to say the least.
Now, I can't put too much blame on the director of the dub since he/she does smooth things out rather early on. HOWEVER, Evangelion 1.0 which happens to be a retelling of the first six episodes has the same cast as this dub, but it doesn't sound anywhere near as off as the first four episodes of the TV series. To be fair, the Rebuild of Evangelion movies are licensed by Funimation and they do a great job of their dubs while the TV series was licensed by ADV Films: a company that doesn't really seem to have a standard for dubbing quality given that so many of the things they've licensed (i.e. Elfen Lied, Azumanga Daioh, 5 Centimetres per Second, Rurouni Kenshin: Trust and Betrayal) have dubs that vary quite a bit in terms of actual quality.
Spike Spencer does an excellent job of voicing Shinji, as does Tiffany Grant voicing Asuka. What I love about Grant's work as Asuka is the fact that she's fluent in German. Why is this important? Because Asuka herself is German and there are a few points where she speaks in German. That's a nice little touch and it's the small things like this that make me smile. However, my favourite performance would definitely have to come from John Swasey voicing Gendo Ikari. He does a great job at capturing just how cold and emotionally distant he is from Shinji and he plays off of Spike Spencer quite well in scenes where Shinji and Gendo have a lot of dialogue together. As for everyone else, they do a great job with the roles they've been given so props to ADV for not making a dub that's complete shit in the mid-to-late 90s.
On the whole, Neon Genesis Evangelion is certainly an experience that NO ONE should miss out on. This is one of those shows that has a reputation for being one gigantic mind fuck, which is true in some cases, but the story itself is rather easy to follow... it just gets rather tedious in the beginning because Gainax. Is it as great as people say it is? Oh fuck no. Is it a pretentious piece of garbage? Pretentious on occasion, but garbage? HELL to the fucking NO. If you seriously want a good idea of what Evangelion is like, you should just do yourself a favour and watch it. read more
Evangelion is widely considered one of the most influential anime created in the 1990's, if not of all time. It is extremely well known for it's brave attempts to turn the mecha genre on it's head, it's deep character development, and it's unorthodox storyline. Created by acclaimed studio Gainax, and written by both praised (and sometimes hated) writer Hideaki Anno, Evangelion has been called a masterpiece by anime fans. Does it deserve this praise.
Story: One of the most well known aspects of Evangelion is it's story; it is simply unorthodox, as it does the process of not feeding all of the story the viewer; it drip-feeds it, giving the viewer only half the story, or sometimes giving scenes without any context. For some anime, this would be a disaster waiting to happen, but in the case of Evangelion, this is done almost consistently masterfully, holding back information on such subjects such as SELEE or The Angels. Many have critisized the holding of frames later in the series, but taken into the context of the fact they were running out of money to make the show, is is understandable.
For many fans, their major criticism of the anime is the handling of the ending, which many consider far too 'out there' and simply crap. I too, am not a huge fan of the ending, but taking the ending to the TV series, inside the context of the 'true' ending movie, The End of Evangelion, the ending can make a lot more sense, and thus I enjoy it far, far more. To stop me from ranting on for ages, Evangelion's story is a master stroke in writing, one which has been a hard feat to replicate.
Art and Sound: I was introduced to Evangelion through the in-progress tetraology of films, The Rebuild of Evangelion; due to this, I became used to the cutting edge graphics employed for the higher-budget films. And to be honest, yes, the TV series art is beginning to show it's age 20 years on; however, this does not detract from the series in any major capcity, as the art compliments the anime extremely well.
The sound is also fantastic, and a very high-point for the show. Excellent music is employed to showcase the fights against the Angels, and for darker moments such as the internal struggles of the main cast of the show. Some of Beethoven's music is featured later in the series, which coupled with the emotional impact of the scene, produces one of the most excellent scenes in anime history.
Characters: By a massive leap, the highlight of the series. Evangelion features in it's story the struggles of the main characters, to devastatingly wonderful effect. Weak, timid, daddy-issues Shinji, to powerful, arrogant, egotistical Asuka, to the quiet, mysterious Rei, and the dark, apparently agnostical Gendo, Evangelion develes into the mind and motivations of these characters, showcasing exactly what makes them tick, and this is what gives us some animes most regonisable and wonderful characters.
I am certain entire essays have been written on why certain charcters tick, and that's another reason so many of these characters are so wonderful. Fans are so devoted to their favorite characters (personally I am partial to Rei and Gendo), and this creates a wonderful feeling when learning about these characters and then discussing this with other fans. Generally, Evangelion employs some of the most human characters in anime, showing us that the heroes of anime aren't always strong, both mentally and physically, or not even in control of their lives.
In closing, Evangelion is one of the strongest anime ever produced. It employs powerful characters, a deep, deep story, and art that has only just began to show it's age. What makes the show's longevity even more powerful is that even now on sites such as EvaGeeks people are still analysing this series, trying to know everything about it. I hope Evangelion will live on in the hearts of it's fans, who'll continue to appreciate it's deep, metaphorical story. I hope that Evangelion will always remain an anime that will be treasured, for all the ages.
Evangelion is the main source of inspiration for Rahxephon, many consider it a clone. Evangelion tends to be more complex and intellectual, concentrating on philosophy and psychology while Rahxephon tends to be easier and not so intelligent concentrating on a love story with harem like influences.
NGE created the genre, Rahxephon and Eureka7 are two original creations inside that format, both are great but I prefer the original
both have a very similar story lines and themes
Similar premises, but RahXephon did a lot better job of it.
If You Watch It, You'll See Why. There Are Some Very Interesting Similarities, But The Show Is Still Unique.
Both involve around a teenage boy trying to remember and forget the past at the same time. Everyone that the boy loves has either turned away or no longer able to be there for him. Full of action, A Mecha is what the boy uses in battle to combat with the organization he has joined. Which is use primarily for battle.
Can't explain in one sentence. You just have to see it.
The mechas are similar,but they are made of "Clay",the story is kinda oriented into the same genre,but Evangelion's story is deeper moved into the religious sector,while RahXephon's is oriented about time.
Using gamer terminology, these series have the same setting: huge anthropomorphic robots save the world (or try to destroy it, according to the point of view) with a little help of brave teenagers. The formula is completed by a mere alien per episode and a big boss in the end. As a set-off against Eva, RahXephon has a great love story. By all means, those who were excited about one series will enjoy watching the other.
Rahxephon is basically neon genesis done correctly!! Where Eva failed Rahxephon succeeded.
Both have giant mechas used by the main characters, and during various episodes like to play with your head some.
They're both intriguing psychological dramas amongst countless of other similarities.
Both implement mecha robots as well as some form of religious belief to progress each respective plot. Also both have main characters with social problems. Need I say more???
DUH? RahXephon is a direct copy of NGE but not as messed up. It is the NGE for amateurs and newbies to anime. But RahXephon has its own appeal b/c it is referenced in other shows such as Ouran High school host club. However, i have to say that i like RahXephon more b/c i can sleep at night after watching it and b/c of Quon and "Ra Ra what is it Ollin?" Who wouldn't fall in love with that?
Both are great mecha shows that deal with other underlying psychological/emotional themes, although NGE has a little more of the psychoanalytical "stuff". In the end, RahXephon is really more of a love story, but doesn't slack on the action or introspection. If you are an anime fan, you owe it to yourself to watch both of these shows, even if you don't like mecha.
RahXephon - although good - is more or less a rip off of Evangelion (and so is the Bible lol). It has so many subtle similarities in characters and story, but none the less it is still a good anime. Evagelion is one of the GREATEST animes and is amazing to watch and even more complex the RahXephon. If you enjoy philosophical thinking - both are good, but Eva is better.
Both series are mechas with dramatic, psychological themes. Both are really high quality for their times and have amazing plots and characters.
You can almost call this a copy of NGE, aside from the fact that Rah Xephon tends not to mess with your mind, is not as depressing. The Story is just as epic though, the trials are just as challenging and the story is detailed enough that you do need to follow the story to know whats going on.
They have a similar plot and episode scheme, but RahXephon incorporates music as its main theme. Even though it's a watered-down version of Evangelion, RahXephon is probably its best clone.
The similarities are endless and there is also definitely some major differences biggest one of which being that the main theme of RahXephon is music and its power to change the world (tune the world). I think of RahXephon as being very similar to NGE (at least there seems to be slightly more similarities than differences) with a much less emo male lead and a watchable ending (more than watchable actually, compared to NGE's completely unwatchable and horrific last two episodes).
RahXephon is what Evangelion should have been like. NGE has a lot more fans than RahXephon, although i can't possibly comprehend why aside from the fact that NGE came first.
They share a ridiculous number of specific and general similarities. Essentially, RahXephon is a much lighter and brighter version of Evangelion. Evangelion has significantly more psychological and philosophical elements than RahXephon, but RahXephon sounds and looks far better (also is less screwy, if you're not a fan of mind screw). Either way, if you like Evangelion, you'll definitely like RahXephon.
Neon Genesis has a very complicated and detailed plot, and many consider RahXephon to be a rip-off of it. However, I found that I enjoyed RahXephon much more than Evangelion. Both deal with Mechas, politics, religion, a boy struggling to come to terms with his life and what everyone expects of him. I just felt RahXephon was executed better.
They are pretty much the same anime.
RahXephon is newer.
RahXephon has a better main character.
Evangelion has better supporting characters.
You will not want to punch a baby in the face after watching the main character wimp out. (Evangelion)
The set-up of both are strikingly similar, so close that RahXephon can be called a rip-off, but it has a more easy to follow story and wraps up the show with one of the best ending episodes you will ever see.
A case of the so-called imitation being a superior show to the original. EVA had some very bright spots, but it fizzled out near the end in horrible ways due to budget problems and Hideaki Anno rapidly spiraling back into depression. RahXephon, on the other hand, starts fairly strong and just keeps getting deeper and more entertaining all the way through. It's much more optimistic in tone, never stops the plot to lecture you about worldviews like EVA does, is slightly easier to understand, and features an incredibly likable lead protagonist as opposed to the complete blockhead featured in EVA. If you liked EVA but want something similar that won't make you want to jump off a bridge, watch RahXephon. If you didn't like EVA's execution, watch RahXephon.
While the similaraties between RahXephon and Evangelion are tremendously uncanny, RahXephon at least implements it's philosophic nature in the beginning unlike Evangelion which throws a curveball halfway through the series. Also, RahXephon keeps in check what's real and what's an illusion making the audience still in the loop of what exactly is going while still providing thought-provoking imagery.
While I do wonder why Gainax never filed for lawsuit on the creators of RahXephon, it's not an exact clone of Evangelion and in some aspects is (DEBATABLY) superior.
Also they're both dubbed by ADV.
Both are intelligently written and character driven mecha anime series. RahXephon may look like an Eva clone, but it is not. RahXephon and Evangelion aim for different intentions in message. While Evangelion is more focused on how people can never truly understand each other and are hurt by each others' companionship and lack of understanding, even though we as humans strive towards obtaining both, RahXephon is about human spiritual transcendence of the soul (especially through the musical theme), the external tragedies that separate us from each other, and how we can work together to overcome it. So basically, RahXephon does not create Depression after watching it and will uplift your soul due to the fact that it does not constantly remind you of what an emotional wreck you used to be when you were 14, and the realization that now, five or ten or twenty years later, things haven't really improved that much. Also, both series were created by extremely well read and intelligent people, with RahXephon using Western Literature while Evangelion uses Religious texts as Inspirations for the plot. Also, both series use Religious Myths and beliefs in the overall plot, with RahXephon using Mayan creation philosophy and Evangelion using Biblical Prophecy to tell the story. If anything else, these two anime series are companion pieces to each other and if you saw one, you should watch the other.
From the surface as well as in general, these two series shares quite a lot in common.
They both deal with the aspect of mecha and science fiction warfare against forces of the unknown in a similar setting. There's the main male protagonist who has to make decisions even if he has to make them alone.
They have intelligent stories for viewers more interested into fictional work beyond the typical mecha fights. They involve some exploration of relationships (although in essence, they're not entirely the same with different philosophies and concepts of their respective series)
There is that air of mysterious atmosphere that invites questions to viewers as well as origins regarding some of the characters. It is recommended that if you like one of the other, you should watch it and vice versa.
Shinji=Ayato, Rei=Reika, Misato=Haruka, Asuka=Hiroko, PenPen=Cat, both show has a similar story & character........
Considering that RahXephon is made a few years after Eva, it could be considered a rip-off of Evangelion, with similar mecha designs and plot device. Both anime contain mecha action sequences, and heavy focus on psychological, dimentia of the mecha pilots.
The main differences are that rahXephon's MC is not a pussy, and RX focuses way more on romance.
Many will claim that Rahxephon is an imitation of Evangelion but this is not true, however both have various similarities that give me enough power to say that if you liked one you should like the other
Both start off following the monster of the week formula before switching to moving towards a character study route.Both series pull this off quite well in my opinion especially RahXephon.
RahXephon is basically NGE with a better story, art, cast, etc.
The ending might not be great, but it's a lot better than NGE (and yes, better than EoE)
Gives a very similar feel for most of the series.
Young people fight battles against powerful beings they don't understand, for reasons they don't understand. suffering steadily increases as the story progresses. Surreal landscapes are experienced.
They both masterfully deconstruct some of the most popular tropes for their respective genre and have a lot of other things in common as well, such as the mindfuck factor. Both have easily become cult, blockbuster anime of iconic value for the whole industry. Perhaps if you liked Eva, chances are very high that you're going to like Puella Magi too, unless you absolutely hate moe/mahou shoujo.
Similarities between these two are simply innumerable. Symbolism, violence, growing tension, aim for the utter genre deconstruction — that's just the top of an iceberg. A close look at the storyline and character personalities suggests that Madoka creators were deliberately (and more than successfully) making a «mahou shoujo Evangelion». UPD. Well, looks like they didn't content themselves with just yet another NGE. There's MUCH more to MSMM than that…
Both are deconstruction of its genre with apocalyptic story line. All character has psychological depth and struggles, and develops as story goes on.
And, both does have dreams. But, there is no hope.
Both NGE and Madoka★Magica are dark, thought-provoking deconstructions of their respective genres ("mecha" for NGE and "mahou shoujo" for Madoka). Both involve deep character and story analyses that concentrate on elements in their respective genres and evolve past the prerequisite stereotypes into something groundbreaking. All-in-all, both of these shows will change the way one views anime in the future~
Both have 14 years adolescents which leave their normal life to enter in some supernatural fight which claims to threaten the world. They are the only hope for the humanity now.
Both characters are unique and their feelings are well expressed in both animes.
Both animes surpass all of the same main genre in a more adult, complex, more emotive and human form.
Seems that Madoka got some inspiration in NGE too since the end and some death scenes feels similar. NGE is more philosophical and have 'gorer' scenes although.
The action scenes of both are great and both have great soundtrack behind.
Even if you aren't a great fan of both main genres (Magic and Mecha) you may appreciate them, like I did.
Both are very good anime that deal with the deconstruction of a popular genre. While Evangelion first seems like a typical mecha anime and Madoka seems like a typical Mahou Shoujo, they end up being quite different from what the viewer expects. They both take a very depressing turn early on and contain plenty of symbolism. Each deals with young children who are forced to fight to protect the world and how they deal with this responsibility.
They are both about a main character who is very reluctant to push forward, or do anything for that matter.
As each show progresses, the main character is pushed towards something neither wants to do. The outer influences on the characters play more into their suffering rather than convincing to do their roles. So if you like a hesitant main character, do watch Madoka.
There is more to them than meets the eye.
While Neon Genesis Evangelion may seem like boring mecha "monster of the week" show, Madoka Magica may appear as fluffy and naive mahou shoujo. Well, if you think that, you have been trolled successfully. Evangelion and Madoka are both stories that focus on characters' psyche and the way they (can't) handle problems that would have been extremely difficult even for adults... And they are kids.
Madoka and Shinji are quite similar protagonists, mainly in thei desire to be recognized and useful.
Even supporting characters in both anime are really well fleshed out.
All in all, if you want to watch good anime that stretches borders of it's own genre, watch Madoka or Evangelion. In my opinion, you should see both.
If you're looking for amazing shows that deconstruct and utterly subvert the mecha and mahou shoujo genres, look no further than NGE and MSMM. Because it doesn't get any better than these. Under the guise of ostensibly happy-go-lucky settings, both shows take a dramatic serious turn as they explore the psyches of children who are thrust into life-threatening situations, and why they are unsuited for being there. Very dark themes are prevalent and developed very thoroughly in both. And suffice it to say, the directors for both these series have the balls to execute a truly unorthodox, wonderful ending (in the case of Evangelion, I'm referring to the movie). Both are absolutely must watch.
A deeper look at the character's psyche is present in both shows and both are also subversions of their respective genres (Eva for mecha, Madoka for magical girl).
Both are dark genre deconstructions that make it perfectly clear that children are not suited to risking their lives in battle.
To be honest, I thought no one has noticed the odd similarity between the two, to my surprise there are a TON who have.
Both shows are frequently cited as top-notch deconstructions of their respective genres. They directly deal with psychological concepts (NGE does this to a broader extent while Madoka is more laid back) and they thematically and characteristically parallel each other.
On the surface, they use self-deprecating protagonists who inexplicably happen to be vessels of massive change, but a deeper look reveals more subtleties and nuances to both series.
NGE chooses to convey its numerous themes/references expressed in recurrent dialectics while Madoka prefers to do it in a more subtle way.
A huge part of both series heavily rely on viewer interpretation, especially in the case of NGE.
Both anime are dark deconstructions of popular genres. Evangelion deconstructs the mecha genre and takes a hard, psychological look at what it means for children to fight in a war. Madoka similarly takes on the magical girl genre, with each episode becoming more and more disturbing as the charming scenario is slowly revealed to be far more dark than anyone realized.
- They are both dark deconstructions of anime genres that are typically aimed at a younger audience (magical girl for Madoka and mecha for Evangelion)
- There is occasional surrealism (though in the case of Evangelion, it's not so much 'surrealism' as it is 'mind screw')
- They are both hugely popular cult classics among anime fans
- Both contain heavy psychological themes
Just as Eva is a deconstruction of the giant robot genre, Madoka is a deconstruction of the magical girl genre. Both are anime that are intentionally made to appear innocent and cliche on the surface to draw in unsuspecting viewers. Once they have your attention, however, they show their true colors.
I thought I would never see anything as mindbendingly, horrifyingly wonderful as The End of Evangelion... and then along came Madoka. If you enjoyed Evangelion for its psychological themes and brutal, thought-provoking ending, do yourself a favor and watch Madoka Magica.
Madoka Magica is commonly called 'the Evangelion of mahou shoujo', and reasonably so. Both are dark deconstructions of their respective genres that deal heavily with psychology, and human nature. Both feature haunting, beautiful musical scores that are highly expressive. They also both contain much symbolism, much of which is based on religious (mostly Christian) backgrounds, though there's much more in Evangelion. They also both have beautiful and sometimes blood-curdling artwork.
The lead characters (Madoka and Shinji) share some similarities as well.
*Both are highly recommended.
Both of which have a very dark plot and teens who are sent to deal with supernatural creatures.
Both are much darker deconstructions of typical anime genres (Mecha/Magical Girl) and focus around messed up kids going insane.
Being a magical girl and using your powers to fight evil. Or piloting a giant mecha and protecting the Earth from an alien onslaught. Doesn't it sound like fun? Well, it's not really all that fun for the kids in these series.
Shouldering a very heavy responsibility - the fate of the world - and the emotional trauma that can come from that. Being different from the other children, and not necessarily in a good way; and how their newfound powers can affect the people around them. These are some of the themes explored in both works. Moreover, they also explore the fundementals of human nature and whether humanity and dreams are worth sacrifice.
Both series are dark, thought-provoking deconstructions of their respective genres. Completely redefining their genre, they have set the norm for what other shows aspire to become - revolutionary masterpieces.
Apart from what everyone said about the way both are deconstructions of their respective genres, what really made me compare Madoka to Evangelion was how the protagonists are being tricked by more powerful forces (NERV and Kyuubey) and when they discover the real purposes of what they're doing their minds can't take it. The approach of NERV and Kyuubey is pretty similar. Plus, I couldn't help but compare Rei to Homura and Asuka to Kyouko.
Not at all similar to Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica in terms of plot or animation style, but does share strong similarities in the sense of both series being "deconstruction" anime, to an extent.
Both have the same "everything is a lie" kind of story.
"With great power comes great responsibility".
Like Evangelion, Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica examines the psychological nature of being granted power at an early time in life. Like Evangelion, Madoka offers thought provoking dialogue and superb characterization.
Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica is to Magical Girls as
Evangelion is to Mecha
Both series redo their genre. Eva added psychological aspects to the mecha genre, took chliche's away and made it something unique.
Madoka did the same with magical girl genre. It added more dark vibe to it, and it's of course more serious than other shows similar to it.
These are two heavily psychological & philosophical genre deconstructions filled with controversial & polarizing characters and storylines, despair, death, etc., moreso than is typical for the mecha and mahou shoujo genres. Madoka Magica was clearly influenced by Evangelion - there are even individual scenes parallel each other. The protagonists for each series have a few similar personality traits. People who are sick of typical mahou shoujo and mecha tropes will probably enjoy these shows.
Both series beautifully deconstruct their respective genres and gives the audience an extreme dosage of mindfuck.
Both shows are a deconstruction of the genre they're part of (Madoka deconstructs the magical girl genre while Evangelion deconstructs the mecha genre). Both shows are really dark and have a lot of philosophical elements to them.
Both are excellent and relentless deconstructions on anime. Mecha and shonen for EVA and magic girls for MSMM. Both get progressively weirder and both have strong developed casts.
Much like Evangelion did to the mecha genre, Madoka Magica takes the magical girl genre and deconstructs it brutally complete with depressed heroes and morally ambiguous leaders.
Both are great analytic deconstructions with really awesome character development
like neon genesis evangelion, puella magi madoka magica is also a deconstruction of a very popular genre, the magical girl genre they both also have excellent plots with plenty of twists and they both have main characters that react realistically to stressful situation.
Opening Theme"Zankoku na Tenshi no Thesis (残酷な天使のテーゼ, A Cruel Angel's Thesis)" by Yoko Takahashi
Ending Theme#01: "Fly Me to the Moon" by Claire
#02: "Fly Me to the Moon (Rei #5 Version)" by Megumi Hayashibara (ep 5)
#03: "Fly Me to the Moon (Rei #6 Version)" by Megumi Hayashibara (ep 6)
#04: "Fly Me to the Moon -4 Beat Version-" by Yoko Takahashi (eps 7,12)
#05: "Fly Me to the Moon (Aya Bossa Techno Version)" by Aya (eps 8,22)
#06: "Fly Me to the Moon (Yoko Takahashi Acid Bossa Version)" by Yoko Takahashi (eps 9,13)more
#07: "Fly Me to the Moon (Yoko Takahashi Version)" by Yoko Takahashi (eps 10,14,21)
#08: "Fly Me to the Moon -4 Beat Version (Off-Vocal)-" by [Instrumental] (ep 15)
#09: "Fly Me to the Moon (Off-Vocal Version)" by [Instrumental] (eps 16,24)
#10: "Fly Me to the Moon (Aki Jungle Version)" by Aki (ep 17)
#11: "Fly Me to the Moon -B22 (A-Type)-" by [Instrumental] (ep 20)
#12: "Fly Me to the Moon (Rei #23 Version)" by Megumi Hayashibara (ep 23)
#13: "Fly Me to the Moon (Rei #25 Version)" by Megumi Hayashibara (ep 25)
#14: "Fly Me to the Moon (Rei #26 Version)" by Megumi Hayashibara (ep 26)
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Anbr [Anbr] (Brazilian Portuguese)
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