15 of 52 people found this review helpful
26 of 26 episodes seen
In 1995, this story would seem highly original. But nowadays it's been done to death and done better. The story is well made but it has not aged well. Everything about the story feels clichéd and pretentious. One might argue that Evangelion's story shouldn't be talked down upon because of the context. These weren't clichés back when the show was made. However, even though the story is amazing, I mark it down because since the show came out, everything it did has been done better in other shows. Not to mention the fact that the ending renders the entire story completely pointless. I will acknowledge the impact that Evangelion had on anime but I will not use that as excuse. It doesn't change the fact that it isn't good enough to warrant a high score.
The art and animation are pretty good. Definitely not up to today's standards but serviceable to say the least. The character designs are varied and the backgrounds are detailed and the show moves smoothly. So why do I rank Art a 5? The ending. It's very obvious that Gainax overspent the budget. The last two episodes look awful. Hell, half of the episode isn't even animated properly. And even when it is, it's incredibly average. The Eva designs are superb but everything else ranges from mediocre to downright awful.
The voice acting is great in both dubs. The Japanese version is far superior but the English version has its merits. The old English dub is kind of crap but the Director's cut version is pretty damn good. As I said, sticking with the original audio is the best option here but if you absolutely must watch it dubbed then the director's cut version is solid and maintains the original feel of the show. The audio in the robot fight scenes have some great music. Except when they use classical music. That's just pretentious and annoying. Beethoven never fails to ruin the mood. But the reason why it's ranked an 8 despite the poor use of classical music? The opening song. 'Cruel Angels Thesis' is my favourite my favourite anime opening of all time. It's epic, fast paced and fits the mood of the show perfectly with some great lyrics. Plus the classic hit 'Fly Me to the Moon' is a great choice for an ending theme despite how annoying it gets after hearing it 26 times.
And now onto one of the main reasons I didn't like this show. The characters. Apart from Asuka, I hate every single person in the cast. This is mostly due to the fact that character development is almost non existent. Rei is still a boring mute, Misato is still annoying and childish, Gendo is still an asshole and worst of all Shinji is still a pussy. God damn is Shinji a bad character. Not once in the entire show does he ever stand up for himself. He's still an emo with an annoying personality. Not to mention the fact that his morals are extremely questionable. The only character that had any sort of development was Asuka. She starts of as annoying loudmouth but she slips into depression by the end of the show. And unlike Shinji, I completely understand her depression. But one of the biggest character flaws is in Kaworu Nagisa. People keep going on about the whole homosexuality debate but my reasons for hating him are very different. He was introduced as a main character and killed off on the same episode without any explanation as to where he came from. He talks to Shinji for only about ten minutes but his impact on him is far greater than anyone else. He was introduced late in the series and killed of in the same episode. It feels really cheap.
I'm going be honest, I did not really enjoy this show much at all. The concept is right up my alley but the show is too flawed and depressing for me to get any real enjoyment out of it. Even if I enjoyed the show, the ending (or lack thereof) would have ruined it for me. It was entertaining at first but when I realised that it wasn't going to do anything I hadn't already seen I enjoyed it much less.
Overall, I'm not sure what to say about this show. It had some great ideas but it was ruined by the lack of character development, the clichéd story and of course the awful ending. The ending is not art. In fact I understood the ending completely. What it means is that the people at Gainax didn't have money so the ending has to be left up to your imagination. It basically renders everthing pointless. I understand that this how has had a huge impact on anime. But if you want a deconstruction, watch Madoka Magica instead. It's basically Evangelion minus the crippling flaws. Hell, the Evagelion Rebuild movies are great. Watch that instead. I really don't recommend you watch this show. If you want to watch it just to say that you did, that's fine by me. But if there's any other reason, please just watch something else instead. I used to think people who hated on Evangelion were idiots but now that I've seen it I completely understand why