Shin Seiki Evangelion

Title:Shin Seiki Evangelion
Neon Genesis Evangelion
Keywords: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Notables: ANNO Hideaki
Animation - Gainax
IWAO Junko
KOYASU Takehito
OGATA Megumi
R1 License - GKIDS
SEKI Tomokazu
TACHIKI Fumihiko
A secret organization, NERV, builds giant mechs called Evas that can only be piloted by 14 year olds. These EVAs are used to fight against alien beings called "angels" that come to earth and cause destruction. Shinji Ikari, the son of the CEO of NERV, is picked up to become the "3rd children" (no typo!) and pilot one of these awesome mechs. However, being the pilot takes an emotional toll on him...

[TV series, 1995, 26 episodes, 23 min]

1:31min Series Opening - YouTube Video
[edit] The ↗Evangelion franchise:

Original version: Remake: Fan-made variations:
Episode Details 
Asuk, Rei, Hika, Kawo, Rits, Misa, Dumm, 1, 2, 8, 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 26, 27, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Buy 8 8 10 10 Big Fire [series:143#2441]
How many of you remember the song? For me, that evangelion song kept me pumped up and wanting more and more...something about it just made me watch the show... Actually lots of things about this show i really loved...Just about everything up until the end...Talk about a mind job...if you want one this is it...But Alas it was a mecha show, and it had a catchy opening and the art was to my liking so that usually gets me hooked...So Shingi was irritating, but sometimes that is ok, cuz you can't have your star be too cool right? Cool he was not...Give me Asuka behind an evangelion any day, i am cool with that...Eva even had a little love triangle going on...or was it really a triangle or just a whole bunch of people who had alittle sexual tension going...whatever it was, it worked for me... and finally Misato Katsuragi...that scratchy voice and her alcholic sit downs with shingi were memorable...

Last updated Thursday, January 17 2008. Created Thursday, January 17 2008.
Rent 8 7 8 8 7 8 Ggultra2764 [series:143#1552]
Neon Genesis Evangelion is the most memorable work for animation studio Gainax and director Hideaki Anno, being one of the all-time popular mecha anime titles. Focused on teenaged Shinji Ikari being reunited with his estranged father and commander Gendo and pressured into piloting the mecha, Evangelion Unit-01, to combat the mysterious beings called Angels, Shinji’s combat with the Angels has him crossing paths with other individuals connected to the organization he fights under called NERV whose lives were impacted by the Angels, some of whom have ulterior motives for combating the Angel threat.

Evangelion is well-known for being a rather divisive and controversial series among anime fans. Some consider it an all-time masterpiece due to its seemingly complex storytelling and deep themes related to religion and psychology. Others find it a deeply flawed series due to Anno going too overboard with his dabbling into psychology, that comes at the expense of advancing and exploring more of the show’s plot and reducing its characters to unlikable and obnoxious angst buckets. Just the thought of trying to develop a comprehensive review of Eva given the volatility of reactions to it is going to stir up some part of anime fandom, no matter what side I take in the debate of it. But it’s this divisiveness that got me interested into recently rewatching the series to get a fresh perspective of it compared to when I seen it nearly 15 years ago. All things considered, just remember that these thoughts are just my own subjective opinion from my own personal experience of seeing all 26 TV episodes of Eva and do not take it too personally.

Let’s get into what Eva does right first. For its time, the series strongly stuck out being a deconstruction of the mecha genre as it bucked a number of the typical storytelling tropes found within past mecha titles of the era. Rather than being an idealistic and mentally well-adjusted young pilot willingly taking part in battling enemy threats, Shinji is depicted as a deeply flawed teen finding himself pressured into his role as an Eva pilot by his neglectful father and continually deals with the stress and trauma that piloting Eva-01 brings upon his mental state and determining his self-worth to others. The “monster of the day” plots involving the Angels are also unique in their circumstances as rather than having the mechs make easy work of their enemies and said monsters being repetitive in their tactics, the Angels are shown to have varying abilities and tactics they utilize to attack Tokyo-3, which force NERV and the Eva pilots to continually change up their strategies to defeat an Angel and narrowly get victory. Also, NERV is not defeating the Angels just to save humanity or other righteous purposes like past mecha titles, as plenty of hints are alluded to throughout the series of influential members within the organization being involved in some rather shady and possibly catastrophic activity, among which includes the true nature of the Evangelion units and NERV’s association with the mysterious group known as SEELE.

To a good degree, the plot development is quite solid in its buildup and there are elements of it that give the series potential at making Eva one of the all-time anime masterpieces. Each Angel threat gets increasingly difficult throughout the series, which forces NERV and the Eva pilots to continually adjust to the challenges and eventually be forced into making sacrifices as things escalate. More of the shady side of NERV is revealed as episodes progress, revealing some rather shocking facts on the origins of the Eva units and the means that the higher brass of NERV will do to hide their true motives. There is gradual character development with the major characters as they settle into their roles and the relationships they have with one another that include Shinji improving in being sociable to others and Misato learning to be a responsible guardian to Shinji and Asuka. The first half of the series lacks any major flaws that would make me criticize things too heavily and if I were watching Eva for the very first time as I did 15 years ago, I would think the show was on its way to being an all-time favorite series for me by this point. But as I am about to get into, things gradually start going downhill a bit with Eva’s quality going into its second half.

As far as characters go when looking at Eva as a whole, the show’s handling of them is a bit of a mixed bag. A number of the major characters do get a solid amount of time focused on them to explore their personalities, chemistry with one another, and their pasts which affect how they perceive themselves and others throughout Eva. However, the show’s handling of them tend to vary quite a bit with direction, actions, and personalities. To give a good idea of how well this gets handled, let me offer my thoughts of the handling of Eva’s four major characters in the form of Shinji, Rei, Asuka, and Misato while trying to limit spoilers where possible.

• Shinji- Viewer perception of Shinji’s character developments is perhaps the most volatile of all the characters within Eva since he is the male lead of the series. On the one hand, his character’s flaws and the stresses he goes through coping with both being an Eva pilot and dealing with social interactions makes him a sympathetic character as he behaves believably for someone his age dealing with things too much for him to realistically cope with. Unlike 15 years ago where I often was irked by Shinji’s timid character, I was actually more tolerable of his character’s flaws in my recent viewing of Eva and could see the gradual growth he underwent through Eva’s first half. However, Anno’s direction of the series in later episodes causes his development to derail quite badly and I will address my issues with it later, though I can see why this aspect of the series causes a number of fans to hate Shinji as a character.
• Rei- I honestly do not get the appeal of Rei as a character. While I get she inspired the “quiet and mysterious girl” character type for later anime titles, many characters of that archetype are depicted to have more development in their characters when they settle into interacting with major characters within their respective titles. Rei is mostly a blank slate throughout much of Eva’s run and doesn’t show much in the way of character growth or dimension, only being prominent in episodes where there is a major plot revelation or the series wants to get into philosophizing something to the audience.
• Asuka- As a character, Asuka is rather obnoxious in her attempts to show off to others, act independent, and assert her superiority as an Eva pilot. Among the major characters, I often struggled with trying to tolerate Asuka as a character and the show does not do enough to make her a likable character for me to care for. Even with the rather tragic backstory revealed about her later in Eva, I still found it rather difficult to give a hoot about Asuka, even if she is suppose to represent a deconstruction of the hot-blooded mech pilot character type.
• Misato- Probably my favorite and among the best developed characters within Eva for me. Misato is shown to be as flawed as the three younger Eva pilots with how the show’s events affect her, with aspects of her personal life serving as a sort of coping mechanism to the internal conflict she has over how events with the Angels affect her personally. Unlike the other three characters, Misato’s personality is not an extreme for a specific character type nor is she hit too badly by Anno’s later direction of Eva. She comes across as someone attempting to be a good guardian to Asuka and Shinji and a competent leader of NERV, but later events and revelations within the series gradually wear her down mentally as such where she can barely keep herself together and makes her developments all the more engaging throughout Eva.

As far as Anno’s direction of Eva goes, the series excels within its first half when there is no trace of his heavy dabbling into psychology and does get derailed a bit in the second half when he starts devoting more focus on it. For anyone new to the franchise, Hideaki Anno was just recovering from depression at the time he started directing Eva in the mid-1990s and developed a strong interest in psychology during his recovery, notably dabbling into existentialism. Portions of a number of later episodes in Eva are focused on characters navel-gazing about their self-worth, perception of others, and other issues giving them some sort of existential crisis. For the most part, this implementation of psychological focus does little to advance the plot or explore anything about the characters beyond them angsting about their problems. It gets especially bad within the final two episodes of the TV series as they are totally devoted to psych sessions with the major characters that occur at a rather bad time with the anime’s plot as events were at the point where it was about to reach a climax, though the show going overbudget with its animation would have also likely been a contributing factor to Anno setting up the final episodes in this way.

The dabbling into psychology does also affect things outside of what is mentioned in the prior paragraph. Anno also gets a bit too immersed into wanting to explore humanity’s psychological lows, without going into any means of which to overcome them. This exploration notably results in Shinji’s character development from earlier in the series to be greatly derailed as he continually faces crisis after crisis that negatively affects his relationships with others and his self-confidence, leading him to regress to a mental state as he was at the start of Eva. Rather than these being dilemmas that Shinji must learn to overcome, Anno instead uses them to continually regress him into a pathetic angsting mess and use the final episode of the series as a rather half-assed means to have Shinji embrace existentialism to overcome his inner doubts that comes off more as pandering to that particular school of philosophy than anything compelling with Shinji’s character development as a whole.

As far as presentation goes with Evangelion, animation quality wildly varied throughout the series. Gainax was known to go overbudget with some of their animated TV projects during the 1990s and this resulted in their animation quality taking a hit, Eva being one of those mentioned titles. The series did resort to a fair deal of animation shortcuts in earlier episodes during less action-heavy scenes. But at its best, Eva was among the best animated TV titles of its era with fluid animated sequences in action-heavy scenes, gorgeous scenery, and unique, diverse designs for the Angels and Evangelion units. However as episodes progressed and Gainax went overboard with their animation budget, they eventually started to get more liberal with animation shortcuts as more still shots and reused animation frames became noticeable, particularly with the final six episodes of the series.

In short for me, Neon Genesis Evangelion was a unique mecha series for its time that deconstructed major elements of the genre that would be utilized in later mecha anime. It offers engaging plot developments with Angel battles and the shady activity of NERV, some of the best TV animation of its era, and the developments and interactions of some of its characters are often interesting to see occur and develop. However, there are characters in the show that are not handled as well in developments, Anno’s dabbling into psychology negatively impacts the show’s quality a bit in its second half, and Gainax going overbudget with their animation leads later episodes to take a hit in their overall quality. While I recognize the history that Eva brings to the mecha genre and do see what solid qualities it has to offer up as a whole, I do not find it to be among one of anime’s big masterpieces that many fans hype it up as due to notable issues I have with elements of the presentation and series direction coming from Gainax and Hideaki Anno. Still considering its reputation, I would at least recommend anime fans check out the series at least once so they can come to their own conclusions if they think the series interests them or not.

Last updated Tuesday, July 16 2019. Created Saturday, January 05 2008.

Watch 9 7 9 7 8 8 dirtyd12 [series:143#1785]
Art: great art! almost perfect.

Animation: Great animation. the only reason for the lower mark is cause the animation of the final episodes really sucked.

Character design: almost perfect. (Shinji is a little annoying, but I guess it's necessary).

Music: Nothing bad about the music.

Series story: Awesome, but had problems at the end. *Read below.

Episode story: Once again, mostly awesome. *Read below.

I Wouldn't look at the numbers if I were you! It's VERY hard to evaluate this series within the given catagories. Therefore, the evaluation MUST be put into words.

The structure of the characters are very sound. The art is very good for it's time. Even the symbolism is good (like the cassette player). Why did I rate Evangelion as "WATCH?" I'll tell you why, but first I have to divide the series into 2 parts to give you a proper evaluation: The "building to the climax" and the "climax and ending."

The building to the climax is brilliant. The series gets you to care about the various relationships the characters have with one another. Before you realize it you start to like them. Shinji, the main character, is a little annoying, but my opinion may be bias because my personality it completely opposite--and therefore frustrated with--Shinji's personality. However, this is nothing that couldn't be solved with some good character development with a good ending. The series has so much conflict that you can't wait to see the ending.

That good ending never came. Don't get me wrong, I've watched my share of mind-bending apocalyptic animes, including Texhnolyze, RahXephon, Akira, Wolf's rain, Serial Experiments Lain, and more I can't think of. . . (currently Ergo Proxy). Evangelion is the worst! (Texhnolyze is the Best!) First of all, it is obvious that Evangelion lacked funding for the last two episodes, but the problems only start there. (The movie ending wasn't much better despite the adaquate funding).

The TV ending is not even worth mentioning. TRUST ME! It's that bad! But I'll mention it anyway. The ending is inconsistent. (For example, why does the series attempt developing harem-like circumstances between Shinji and the girls, but then, OUT OF NOWHERE, adds random homosexual tendencies to Shinji's character in the final episodes?) In the TV ending, everything is horrible: The art, animation, character development, story, resolution. . . EVERYTHING! In the movie, End of Evangelion, the art and animation are good. The ending really has meaning. However, the series still leaves with a lot of things unexplained, and the resolution is so abstract, making mythological references and using crappy religious and philosophical monologue/dialogue to explain them, that only GOD himself could understand the Japanized, divine symbolism. I think even Jesus would have to look up some stuff on the internet, so don't bust a blood vessel in your brain thinking about it too much. When you finally figure out what the central theme is, you might realize as I have realized--that it's not really THAT clever. It would have been far more challenging (and entertaining) to have an ACTUAL RESOLUTION to the physical, mental, and philosophical conficts the characters have endured up to the first 20 episodes. But that would actually have taken time, effort, and money, all of which animes animated by GAINAX usually run out of near the end. I'm thinking of reading the manga to get more backstory and hopefully a better ending where Shinji doesn't piss me off as much (as he did in the movie).

Once again, most of the episodes are awesome, but the ending is not just inadequate, it seems to purposely destroy the "feel" it created in the first place without replacing it with anything satifactory. Perhaps that was the point? Perhaps I would look into it some more if I cared. There were certainly dozens of possible ways the series could have ended. The ideas where very creative (the upside down city and the various technology for example), but if you're going to watch Evangelion, watch 22 to 24 episodes (director's cut), and leave the rest to your imagination.

A lot of people like Evangelion. It's popular and there is a lot of hype about it. Too much if you ask me. Many who love it don't even understand it. If you've watched all of NGE, then you should know at least SOME of what I'm talking about.

This anime is overrated IMO. Watch Texhnolyze, which is underrated. It has action, blood, doom, tragedy, depression, and that whole "end of mankind thing" we love so much, but it doesn't have any mecha if that's what you're looking for. You may have to watch it a few times to understand everything, but Texhnolyze doesn't need crappy monologue to get its point across. Or watch Serial Experiments Lain if you really need to think about something.

I just though I needed to address the NGE hype ONCE AND FOR ALL because I've heard from some people that NGE is the best. It's not. It's good, but the reason I gave it a watch rating is because the ending takes away from the replay value. The only reason I can see for watching it again is to figure out the "mysteries" of the anime. IMO, there isn't as much mystery as there is a half-assed ending.

Last updated Friday, June 23 2006. Created Tuesday, June 20 2006.
Buy 8 9 8 8 10 9 SnowBall [series:143#2187]
Evangelion... where to start... This one started back around 2000 for me. I was just starting to get into anime, and Gundam was capturing my interest, especially in mech shows. I was downloading lots of animes back then, and somehow came across Evangelion. I had downloaded about the first 6 episodes (I had dial up back then) when I realised what an awesome show this was. (those of you who have seen it know that the story doesnt really emerge until around episode 14 or so) I quickly gathered up all of my loose change and after a few weeks managed to purchase and watch the whole show. Around this time I wasnt much older than the characters in the show (so I easily related to some of them, but I also had a hard time understanding a lot of the story). As I sit here today I'm PROUD that I've been able to see this series about 4 or 5 times through. Every time I do, I notice something I didnt the time before. Last time I saw it was just a week ago with a friend. Now my friend has also fallen in love with the show and plans to buy the box set. Now, enough about my experiences, I'll get right to the review. The show gives you little introduction, instead it throws you right into the middle of everything and slowly explains everything in the series piece by piece. Theres nothing left unexplained. The way the information is revealed really grabs your attention because everything comes as such a shock. You really dont know anything until mid way through the series, and you dont even know everything till episode 24 (or in some cases the end of the movie). The originality in this show really does make it obvious that Evangelion became a turning point in anime made afterwards (especially Mech shows and "Eva-clones"). I'd say anime has had three big turning points. Gundam, Akira, and Neon Genesis. Everything in Evangelion feels so authentic. It has some of the best character development I've seen ANYWHERE. The characters really grow on you, and they all have reasons for being the way they are. They all have a past. If your willing to give this show a chance, I realise that it raises mixed feelings from many people, so its not for everyone. If you love philosophy, if you love action, a mysterious developing story, and supprise endings (End of Eva), this is for you. I applaud Eva for trying things that no other anime has ever tried before, and it still goes down as the best anime ever in my book.

Last updated Monday, February 20 2006. Created Monday, February 20 2006.
Watch 10 10 10 10 Violet D [series:143#1393]
Well guess what came to Adult Swim? Yea you guessed it Neon Genesis and it is on early Sunday morning and I do mean early! And also early Friday morning way early. But for those of you who don't sleep the usual time and I don't this is a good one to watch or rent or buy if you like the fight of Robots and a young boy being able to take over the control of it. The boys father is in charge of nerve and only young people can run these robots against the angels. So don't miss this one. Early Friday morning Shinji was going through some things in his life and looking at it if he still had his mother and he was doing normal teenage things. But the question was how would he feel if life ended up different and it was. So at the end he decides he likes himself and will try to opedn up to others. They all applaud him and that is how that episode ended. It is an interesting anime series and I like how they take thought processes from all the characters and try to analyze their personalities. Each individual or clone since that is what Ray is try to help Shinji discover his feelings toward his life.

Last updated Saturday, April 15 2006. Created Thursday, November 03 2005.
Rent 9 9 10 8 8 9 Snipaboy [series:143#1881]

Last updated Tuesday, March 15 2005. Created Tuesday, March 15 2005.
Buy 9 8 10 10 10 9 duoikari [series:143#1735]
In the year 2001 there was a massive explosion at the north pole that change the world for good, this was called 2nd impact. After that there was no seasons the weather just stayed as it was. The was one survivor who was so shock at what she saw she did not speak for seven years. Now, this is a very sad series about a fifteen year old boy called Shinji Ikari, who up till the year 2015 has been living with friends and relatives. One day Shinji is called for by his father to come to Tokyo 3, a city that deals with things called angels that attack the city. In a strange twist of fate Shinji becomes an Evangelion pilot for the company that his father owns, Nerf. The three many characters in the series and the film, these are Shinji who is Japanese, Rei who is also Japanese and Asuka who comes from Germany in one of the episodes. The whole series mainly focuses on the relationship between Shinji and the other around him, Shinji is basically a very lonely and disturbed young man. Rei on the other hand is just a good little girl that does what she is told, and Asuka is a all in out Bitch, that does not care about anything other than her own status. Other characters are also involved, like Misato who work at Nerf under Shinjis father, Gendo Ikari and Professor Fuyutsuki. Misato is the guardian of Shinji and eventually becomes Asuka guardian, but she was traumatised for seven years by what she saw at the north pole. The series ended with a poor and stupid last episode that involved everyone standing around clapping, sick really if you ask me. But they just made it in my good books by making, in my opinion the bested animated film of all time, it had everything to death and bloodshed to more killing and bloodshed, but you will have to wait for my next review on the film.

Last updated Wednesday, December 22 2004. Created Wednesday, December 22 2004.
Buy 9 8 9 9 9 9 Anonymous #1431 [series:143#1431]
'Neon Genesis Evangelion' is hard to summarise. It is very similar to Philosophical animes such as 'Serial Experiments Lain' and 'Ghost in the Machine.' In fact, I recommend watching these before trying to tackle Evangelion.
Evangelion is best summarised as a philosophical/religious anime built on an epic narrative structure. It is probably no coincidence it resembles the great epic tales of religion (Dante, Milton, Homer,Virgil) in scope. The plot of the series is very, very involved and complex and do not be fooled by the nice battle scenes between the robots (Evas) and the 'enemy' -Angels. It is hard to summarise, but the film draws very heavily on Judeo-Christian mythology, from the mystical Jewish Kabbala (based on Platonic/Gnostic/Zorastrian elements) to the themes mentioned in the book of Revelation. Keep an eye out for religious symbols, from the eyes on the angels (some symbols match those described in the book of revelation, while others match other mystical symbols, i.e. the Platonic solid, the symbol for the triune God of Christianity, etc) to the crucified 'Lilith' to the Christ-like Shinji and Rei (also note the Adam and Eve symbolism). Reading some of Jung's work on interpreting religious imagery is very essential here.
The film is also very deep philosophically. Eastern and Western ideas on the soul, conciousness, energy, and ultimate reality are brought in fairly early. The series seems to suggest, in a very Eastern way, we are out of balance with nature and the universe through science and technology, and we need to redress the balance. The ways how are hinted at through the series, from different and new forms of spirituality to embracing the 'feminine' as a solution, rather than solving things by cartoonish violence (it should be noted all the fighting in the end solves nothing and doesn't solve the real problems, which lie in man's sinfulness and flawed psyche). It should also be noted the state of 'Instrumentality' correspondes closely with the reality of 'Brahman' or the Buddhist notion of 'Nirvana' as mentioned in the Upanishads and the Buddhist texts.
The anime also has some science fiction themes, such as the nature of humans vs the nature of computers and machines, artifical intelligence, our true place in the universe, and speculations on human evolution.
On top of all this the film delves very deeply into psychological themes. Shinji has a full-blown Oedipus complex with his father, while Rei almost certainly has an electra complex, while other characters (Misato, Azuka, etc) all have complex psychological issues themselves. The series is as much about exploring the minds of the characters at all levels as about philosophy and religion, so be prepared for some involved psychology. To dismiss it as 'psychobabble' is unfair, since many of the issues come close to what causes so many of us to have neuroses in our own lives. The emphasis on childhood being critically important (as we can see from the terrible affects on Azuka by her suicide, on Shinji becoming a nervous coward due to his rejection by the mother and father, etc) and we see the terrible affects of jealously, hate, and anger. The film has a very Buddhist conciousness of the danger of desire, and also on the need for compassion.
The film also borrows a lot from science fiction. Careful watchers will note several angels resemble characters from western science fiction stories with a pessimistic theme; the second Angel resembles the 'Martians' from H.G. Well's 'War of the Worlds' while Angel 7 resembles Frankenstein in some ways (as does the episode story itself, another play on man's hubris against God). The series also beautifully uses classical music, and if you research a little the pieces used are usually of a deep religious theme from great composers like Mozart and Beethoven, which are musical equivalents of Dante and Milton, again hinting at the epic scale of the series.
To summarise, if you like something that will make you think, watch this series, but if you are chasing something with more action than story, avoid this; it is more or less incomprehensible unless you put a lot of effort into trying to think about the underlying ideas.
This anime, despite the cute animation and story with young teenagers, is not for kids. It is very much an adult-oriented anime. I would not recommend anyone under fifteen see it, since it would simply be incomprehensible, especially towards the end. Some of the very dark adult themes and philosophical 'mind-trips' might be unsuitable for younger people.

Last updated Monday, June 28 2004. Created Monday, June 28 2004.
Buy 8 9 10 10 10 10 Kyoichi [series:143#1444]
These synopsises. These reviews. I can't say I'm totally disappointed because some of the ratings were very accurate. If you're one of those people who think Evangelion doesn't make sense or is "weird", then go back and watch Poke'Mon. Evangelion is targeted at MATURE audiences. And, yes, that's right, it IS a very heavy and tragic anime... but, that's what makes it so beautiful. The synopsis written for this story is just a crude and raw look at this wonderful series. The real message of Evangelion is not teens piloting giant machines to fight evil, no, the real story is about a boy trying find himself. And throughout his search he encounters love, pain, and sadness.
Evangelion is a in depth look at what the world might be. Everything in this series is meaningful. Take the movie Death and Rebirth, for example, the letters of EVANGELION were written backward sometimes for a reason (listen to the commentary).
So don't mistake Evangelion as one of those "save the world" type of series, unless that's what you're looking for. But, if you think of yourself as a real anime fan, give this one a chance.

Last updated Tuesday, June 22 2004. Created Tuesday, June 22 2004.
Avoid 8 6 8 8 5 5 Macolio [series:143#1131]
This has got to be the most boring anime that I've ever watched. It wasn't the hype that killed it for me, as some other reviewers seem to be suggesting: I began watching it with very low expectations because 99% of anime is overrated.
First, a note on the animation: it's lazy. You'll often have an entire scene shot with only a couple of frames: entire conversations happening while you're staring at a character standing perfectly still in the dark or some other static object.
The first 13 or so episodes are repetitive borathons where the menace is hyped up, but defeated in a matter of seconds with a plan that rarely goes wrong (and if it does, Plan B doesn't fail). You never feel the sense of danger you're supposed to feel in an action series.
This isn't what makes it boring though. It's the storytelling. Barely anything happens in the first half, and the second half has more storytelling but of horrible quality. I don't see what's "deep" about watching entire episodes that consist of nothing but a "visit to a character's mind", where you watch him talk about his secret fears with the child version of himself. I'm sorry, am I supposed to be standing in awe just because you have italian opera playing in the background, and using text instead of character voices? Or because there's religious symbolism? Or simply because you're shown the inner thoughts of a character? This type petty overdramatization will undoubtedly impress the subhumans that enjoy the storyline in Squaresoft's Playstation RPGs, but it will leave normal people bored out of their mind.
I'm sorry I wasted 6gb of bandwith on it, but now I know to avoid anything the anime community considers "intelligent and thought-provoking". And knowing is half the battle.

Last updated Monday, January 05 2004. Created Monday, January 05 2004.
Watch 10 10 10 10 7 9 Anonymous #1023 [series:143#1023]
Evangelion is a very interesting anime. From the beginning we are given a look at a machine with unbelievable hidden powers, berserk, which makes you want to keep watching. The continuing episodes are no disappointment with great story and truly a high depth of the characters lacking in most anime these days. Then an annoying tick appears in philosophy. This is easily overlooked because of the continuing great story. But this tick continued to be a pest and became more prevalent as the story progressed. I understood the philosophy just fine and it did help to deepen the characters some but that depth could have been done far faster with other methods of development which would have relinquished a whole bunch of valuable time towards continuing the great story development and answering many questions raised.
Then came those notorious last episodes that just leaving you sitting there going what the heck was that? I was totally excited when I learned that the two movies would be released so that a better ending could be drawn out wrong. The last episodes seemed to be a kind of retribution against the fans. It didnt need to use that much violence to get its point across. Finally when Asuka is down and we see Shinji rise in his eva we think we are going to get a good show after all his eva has repeatedly left everyone in ah of its power on multiple occasions but as soon as it rises up it crucifixes itself without trying to fight at all. After this point philosophy dominates making the whole story something for Shinjis troubled mind to determine.
In all I think the show was a little misleading. It showed a wonderful world with deep characters and story lines with realistic characters but once you get into it they through in the philosophy. By the end the show the philosophy has takes total control over everything else. The philosophy is very deep and meaningful I wont deny it but it shouldnt dominate the show without at least warning people.
I truly like the Eva series. It was what got me into the realm of anime but I do wish it would have either cut the philosophy and leave the action or make it about philosophy without the action so that there is no mistake about where it is going.

Last updated Thursday, October 16 2003. Created Thursday, October 16 2003.
Buy 8 8 10 5 10 10 Rogue_Noir [series:143#850]
After watching this and End of Evangelion, what can I say... I'm speechless.
The series starts out pretty much like any typical action anime (a force is invading the world, everyone else is helpless and eventually need to rely on the main character.) After about 2/3 the way through, it takes a sharp turn and the psychological struggles of all the characters are revealed and every subsequent episode is more depressing the the prior. If you're uncomfortable being overcome with strong emotions watching something, Evangelion may not be for you. If the plotline is too complex to comprehend, at least the numerous battle scenes and fan service will still keep you entertained.

Last updated Sunday, September 14 2003. Created Sunday, September 14 2003.
Watch 7 7 7 8 5 5 Ashibaka [series:143#575]
This is the most overhyped anime, ever. Get a load of the guy below me, raving, "Shounen mecha anime can be divided in two camps: Before Evangelion and After Evangelion". Jesus H. Christ, gimme a /break/.
Yeah, check it out, big robots fighting each other and making very obvious references to Christianity. Wow, it's incredible, Japanese people who know about Christianity. Give them a cookie or something. There is nothing else that makes this anime interesting, besides End of Eva which is nifty.

Last updated Wednesday, September 03 2003. Created Wednesday, September 03 2003.
Buy Anshii [series:143#810]
Shounen mecha anime can be divided in two camps: Before Evangelion (BE) and After Evangelion (AE). Evangelion, quite simply, is a benchmark in the genre and changed the way mecha anime was viewed. That's a fact.
Evangelion was not particularly popular when it first aired on Japanese TV. However, when the show was moved to a time slot more suitable for adults, its popularity exploded. This mirrors the fact that Evangelion is decidedly mature: it is a deeply psychological view of the traditional mecha anime, but this shift alone is enough to distinguish it from other anime series (especially at the time, when mecha anime was all about explosions and destruction and very little internal character development). By delving into the mind of a chronically depressed young man -- Shinji Ikari -- who detests piloting his mecha (again, a first in the genre), Evangelion presented a new viewpoint to a time-worn formula of "a boy and his mecha".
It should be noted that many anime fans -- particularly in the West -- may be turned off by Evangelion. The series is VERY pessimistic. It starts as a traditional mecha anime, but around episode 14, it takes a much darker and psychological turn. Each subsequent episode is like a trial for Shinji Ikari, one in which the outcome is always more pain and more loss. As Shinji loses his friends one by one, the series slides into a conclusion that can only be described as "exceptionally confusing"! Though Anno and GAINAX have done exceedingly psychological conclusions before (Gunbuster, a previous Anno project, had an ending with similarities to Episodes 25 and 26 of Evangelion), many do not appreciate that the last two episodes harken back to the crux of the series. Evangelion is like a narrative into the breaking of a boy's soul, pointing out moment by moment when Shinji Ikari comes closer and closer to the death of his hope.
Depressing, eh? Well, it is well-known that Anno was suffering from depression in the early 1990's. Evangelion reflects that, from beginning to end. Anyone who does not care for such has been warned beforehand: Evangelion is relentlessly depressing. Though the TV series ending provides a somewhat "happier" conclusion to the Evangelion saga, its internal focus turns many fans off. Many prefer the more extroverted conclusion provided the End of Evangelion movie.
Some people have called Neon Genesis Evangelion "overrated". That could be true ... except that Evangelion has had an indelible effect on nearly all mecha anime that has come after it. That this site has a section listing "Evang*lion Clones" pretty much answers the question of whether Evangelion affected other anime directors. It did, no doubt. Others saw Anno's dark masterpiece and took bits and pieces of it to develop into other series. Just some series that have been greatly influenced by Evangelion: RahXephon, Argento Soma, Brain Powered, Devadasy, Gasaraki, and countless other series ...
There is no way to separate Evangelion from its deeply psychological roots. Anno was greatly influenced by Jungian psychological theory and psychology in general ... "AT field" is an actual term for the mental "force field" that autistic people put around themselves to prevent human contact. There is also no way to separate Evangelion from its divergent religious imagery. The series borrows from the Kabbalah, the Torah, and the Apocrypha. Evangelion is a production that takes some elements that some would find sacred and spins them into a dark drama ... for that reason, those who are uncomfortable with Christian imagery (especially in anime) should steer clear of this series. Also, those who are looking for a simple mecha series should also not even bother. Evangelion is decidedly complex.
Neon Genesis Evangelion, however, is not perfect. Criticism about uneven production in Evangelion is well-founded (dare I say that nearly every GAINAX series "suffers" from uneven production). The money woes that dogged Evangelion's production are also well-documented, and it shows especially towards the end of the series. The last two episodes, I think, bothered many people not only because they were relentlessly cerebral, but because there was a perceived "gap" in quality between the 24th episode and the last two episodes. The disjointed and peculiar nature of the production is very unfortunate. Personally, I think Evangelion needed more episodes. At least 5 or 6 more episodes would have allowed a more leisurely pace, leading up to a smoother conclusion and allowing time to answer a few questions that are never answered (I could go all day on that one, but I won't).
I'm not even qualified to rate Evangelion. I do not dare to rate a series that is a benchmark in its field.
If you like your series cerebral, dark, and rich with character development, Evangelion is a series for you. It is probably not the best mecha series ever, but it is the most influential. Without a doubt, Evangelion changed the mecha genre and opened new doors to the way anime could be perceived by adults. For that reason alone, it is a "buy" rating. All the way! I doubt you will be disappointed.

Last updated Friday, August 22 2003. Created Friday, August 22 2003.
Buy 10 10 8 10 6 ceas [series:143#890]
well if u want 2 watch this and say yes a mecha series....ur in for a surprise.
It startes alright but as u watch more and more of it u start saying what have i got in 2. Hey don't get me wrong Evangelion is a great anime show but its very very weird. This anime trun for mecha/action to mecha/action with a very dark side.
NOw 2 make it even worse the ending is a ending that even i still get mad cause it dosen't really end how u think it will end...u'll see what i'm talkin about.
NOw this is NOT for everyone i think that anyone under 14 or is not 2 smart don't watch this im telling u won't know wat u will be getting 2. and for peolpe that don't care and just want 2 see how good the anime is watch it cause even though the ending is werid i think that eva i an aswome anime show

Last updated Monday, August 04 2003. Created Monday, August 04 2003.
Buy 8 7 10 8 9 Marcus [series:143#679]
What seems to start out as yet another giant mecha anime gradually descends into something much more twisted and disturbing. Despite all the giant 'robots' and assorted religious imagery, they're merely the window dressing. Eva is actually a dark and intense character study, and thankfully, the characters are where the series excells.
The characterisation is uniformally excellent. Shinji, Misato, Rei and Asuka are depicted as real human beings, with real emotions, strengths and weaknesses, making you empathise strongly with them. You desperately want everything to turn out happily for them, which is why the enigmatic ending left so many fans frustrated. Secondary characters are not as well developed but still given more depth than the bland cliches they could have become.
The plot starts out simply- aliens attacking Earth, schoolkids in 'robots' must defeat them- but gradually draws you in deeper, posing new questions, theories and half-explainations. That these are never fully resolved simply adds to the tension. Unfortunately the plot becomes too convoluted for its own good, and is poorly paced, resulting in too much information bombarding us in the final few episodes, and many questions unanswered. The animation quality is good at the start, but suffers a marked decline as the budget obviously runs out. There are alot of still, rehashed and sketchy shots in the second half of the series.
The ending (Eps 25/26) has attracted huge debate, as has the movie End of Eva. Whether the series or movie represents the true 'ending' or whether it's some combination of the two, is open to interpretation. Whatever works best for you, I guess....
[My personal view is that the series ending is a better conclusion to what Eva was about, but to fully appreciate it you need to watch the movie.]

Last updated Sunday, September 21 2003. Created Tuesday, July 29 2003.
Buy 8 9 8 9 8 9 Dark Merlyn [series:143#788]
Evangelion is an incredibly complex series that does indeed leave a lot of unanswered questions. When I started to watch this anime, I loved it. Things did continue to go well until the last few episodes where Evangelion ceased being a mecha series but rather a philosophical piece. The ending movies left quite a bit to be desired. This series is NOT for everyone. Eva is a solid anime that I personally enjoyed.

Last updated Thursday, June 19 2003. Created Thursday, June 19 2003.
Buy 10 8 10 8 10 9 Devil Doll [series:143#752]
[Score: 93% = Buy+, one of my Top 3 Anime series and my favorite SciFi/Mecha anime. Other recommended SciFi/Mecha animes: Uchuu no Stellvia, Koukaku Kidoutai STAND ALONE COMPLEX]
  • Drama: High (hyper-complex multi-layered story, watch the movie to get more answers)
  • Comedy: Low/Med (perhaps the reason why this show works so well for a large audience)
  • Action: Med/High (detailed mecha battles although they're more like a side show)
  • SciFi: High (mechas, gene technology, computers, alien monsters, obscure religion, anything you can imagine!)
  • Ecchi: Low (the fan-service is more in the dialogs than in the pictures)
Shin Seiki Evangelion (literally translating to "the gospel of a new century") has been the first anime series I have ever watched, showing me this is much more than kids' stuff. Evangelion was important enough for me to search and examine quite a few sources and join the essence of these to write my own translation of the subtitles for the whole series (which took me several months). So it certainly has a special place in my heart, and it is not easy to objectively rate its strengths and its weaknesses.

If you want the most easy access to this series, I suggest you do the following:
  1. Go through some crash course in Jewish mythology, namely the Kabbalah and the Sephirotic system. You are going to need that for the SEELE/NERV stuff.
  2. Go through some crash course in Freudian psychology. There is a reason why Anno-san chose several episode titles from technical terms of this discipline.
  3. Watch the series, but use the Director's Cut version for episode 21-24 and the Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion movie instead of episode 25 & 26. Each of the Director's Cut episodes 21-24 are about 5 minutes longer than the original ones, and the difference is mostly providing background informations about SEELE, NERV and what happened years ago... this will answer a lot of questions. Without these you are missing the most important episode, in a way.
  4. Read the canonical sources from GAINAX about the series, especially the "Red Cross Book" (see link at the end of this page). This booklet defines a number of technical terms of the series and presents a lot of background information for the storyline.
  5. If there are still questions open, then use a search engine and look for discussions about these in forums and on mailing lists. Many of this is speculation, but certain fans are doing quite well in backing up their theories with episode quotations.
This way you will understand the SEELE/NERV layer of the storyline, which is what the fans mistook for the real story (and made GAINAX produce the additional material to fill up the holes in this layer of the story).
And when you're through with this one, you might perhaps want to watch the original ending of this series, episodes 25 & 26, that caused so much confusion amongst the fans. The storyline that Anno Hideaki wanted to be the focus of this show actually was the characters of the pilots, and that's what this original ending is coping with (and nothing else, and in a very symbolical, encrypted form that isn't for everyone - that's what makes this show "Acquired Taste").

Overall, this is still one of my three all-time favorites, but I'm sure not everyone else's.
And the "2003 Renewal" package of this series made me upgrade my ratings for Art to near-top values, which the (for me) most important categories (Characters and Story) already had.
Misato Katsuragi

Last updated Tuesday, October 19 2010. Created Saturday, June 07 2003.
Rent Stretch [series:143#628]
My original review of Evangelion was embarassingly ignorant and simplistic and I have deleted it. What would be far more useful to you are the questions I posed during the episode reviews, and the answers provided by Devil Doll, who is an expert on this show. As for understanding the series as a whole, let's just say that Evangelion definitely makes you "work" for your answers!

Catch Misato's montage at the Cute Girls with Guns page.

Last updated Tuesday, October 19 2010. Created Tuesday, April 15 2003.
Buy 10 10 10 10 10 10 Red Fox [series:143#612]
Ok most reviews praise Evangelion as one great anime made... and I totally agree with all of you. I thought Evangelion was juz another mecha anime but really, from the 1st episode ur gonna keep ur eyes on this anime. U remember the 2nd episode when EVA O1 went berserk and that eyeball looked at Shinji? That got me hooked.
But i think personally think that this anime has gotta be associated with some old religion books cos the Huge Aliens or otherwise known as Angels, haf some old religious name. For eg, the 2nd Angel that Shinji fought was named Shamshrel... I may not noe wat religious name that is but I definitely noe that the guys who created this great anime wanted to fill the atmosphere with mystery that will be keeping us intrigued all the time.
Overall, I give this anime No.1 on my list. Characters are attractive, music good, manga wif good drawing!! Although I think that this anime should have a second series... that will shock the entire anime world... Animes like this should juz keep comin...
Yo juz thinkin how many of u reviewers would wanna give this anime 20/10?

Last updated Monday, March 31 2003. Created Monday, March 31 2003.
Rent 9 9 9 9 9 8 AstroNerdBoy [series:143#436]
I'm not much into mecha anime, but this was so hyped, I had to check it out. The main character of Shinji has been called by his estranged father. He's to be a pilot of the special mecha EVA units since he and a few other children his age have the gift to do so. Thier opponents are these so-called angels who are apparently bent on destroying the world.

So, where does this series work. First, the characters work. Sure, Shinji gets annoying with his constant whining, but when you think about it, he's only a kid being forced into a very adult role. Most of us as kids would act like one of Shinji's friends -- in awe of the EVA units and fantasize of fighting epic battles. In reality, fighting in such a battle is not fun and war, while sometimes required, is an ugly thing.

In addition to the deep character inspections, we get a very interesting tale. Who are these mysterious aliens attacking Earth? What caused the destruction of a large percentage of Earth's population? There are lots of other questions asked, all making one want to watch more just to learn more. So it evolves beyond a typical mecha-fighting series to something much deeper. There is also this odd sexual tension between the 14-year old Shinji and three of the main women in his life. First there's his supervisor and guardian Misato. In her late 20's, she's obviously not going to do anything with Shinji, but she is a hottie and Shinji does live with her. He's repulsed by her slobbiness at home, yet is attracted to her. Then there's Rei -- a fellow EVA pilot. The two develop an odd attachment (the reason for which I can not reveal as it is a major spoiler) to each other and he's attracted to her. Finally, there's Asuka -- the third EVA pilot on his team. She's obnoxious and annoying, but Shinji is attracted to her as well.

What didn't work? Well, the ending for starters. I mean, talk about messing with your head. It is obvious that this whole story can be viewed as a metaphor of someone in the throes of mental instability! The series is so dark and ends with such a messed up ending that it made me head for the brighter anime's like Hand Maid May just to clear my head. I also didn't much care for the religious symbolism throughout the series. Granted, most of this is NOT based on protestant Christian beliefs, but other stuff (notablely Catholic texts and teachings as well as certain Jewish teachings).

Bottom line: Well written, well animated, well developed, but the overall darkness of the series combined with the messed up ending will NOT be for everyone!

Update: As Devil Doll stated, watch the Director's Cut edition of the series (which addes time to 21-24). Well worth it for the added information given.

Last updated Saturday, September 25 2004. Created Friday, February 28 2003.

Buy 9 10 9 8 9 9 GM V [series:143#427]
Evangelion is a very strong anime. It is probably one of the best I've seen. It started perfectly and was extremely well written. The characters look great, the mechas were well designed, I enjoyed the story and every episode I just wanted more. Early on, Evangelion is quite easy to follow, Shinji like many gundam pilots are forced to fight in a war they do not want to get involved in. As the story goes on deeper, it gets much more complex which is where it loses some people(not me gladly). Sometimes I wonder whether Gendo Ikari is a protagonist or an antagonist, he could be both. Coming from a gundam background I enjoyed the complex story. I seems as if Evangelion was a taking anime and religion to another step like Yoshiyuki Tomino's("Father of Gundam") Ideon the next step. Overall I find Evangelion to be an excellent anime series, its not exactly for everyone, definately not for children due to the complexity of the story.

Last updated Saturday, January 25 2003. Created Saturday, January 25 2003.
Buy 8 9 9 9 8 9 Akito [series:143#472]
A series with deep meaning to it. It is more than fighing Angels with Evas. Shinji is trying to find his true self during the entire series. However, the ending of the story is kind of strange. The songs are of top quality though.

Last updated Friday, January 03 2003. Created Friday, January 03 2003.
Buy 9 9 10 10 10 10 Ishagu [series:143#462]
Evangelion is not something that can be described or put in to a specific genre, or is it something that can be taken lightly. It's more then just a "watch and digest", it is more of a "watch and become absorbed"
The story at first, appears to be that of a normal mecha anime. At it's base, Evangelion is about fighting against Huge Aliens using big robots, but it goes far beyond what it first implies.
It is about how the human mind copes with the problems and troubles that surround it.
The characters are all brilliant, Shinji, Asuka, Rei and Misato all have very different personalities. The thing that stands out here is, that each character has personality flaws. Shinji, although at first appears to be just another "good guy" is in fact emotionally depressed, and sometimes has mood swings, not to mention perverted fantasies. Asuka on the other hand hides her emotions deep down, and on the outside appears to be just another "big headed" girl.
The series is good all the way through, though it really takes off at episode 16, where they start to concentrate on the emotions of the different characters, but it all goes wrong with episode 25 and 26. We don't wanna see what some guy is thinking as an ending, we want a huge battle! Luckily though, the movie: "End of Evangelion" rectifies this mistake by giving us an alternate ending.
Overall, Evangelion is one of the greatest animes ever concieved, and is worthy of being in anyone's collection.

Last updated Saturday, December 21 2002. Created Saturday, December 21 2002.
Watch 8 8 8 7 6 Almost Eilonwy [series:143#428]
I'm afraid I'm gonna have to go against the crowd on this one. I would have to say that Evangelion is one of the most overrated anime out there. I watched it because everywhere I looked I saw Rei or Asukas' pictures or someone was worshiping the wonder that is Evangelion. So I broke down and watched it. And I enjoyed it for the most part.
One of the best things about this anime is the direction and the style. The primary focus is on that and the characters, not so much on plot(Though there are plenty of hints throughout the series, that all crashes at the end). The characters are incredibly deep and realistic(Who else out there wants to give Shinji a hug?). The style makes use of lots of silence with almost an artsy feel to it. The action scenes are wonderful and one of my favorite anime characters(Misato) is in it.
That being said, I still think that the anime is very overrated. What it has in characters, it lacks in any real focus or direction. It wanders, giving you hints that there is something more, then works on building up the characters again. While watching the series, I had a load of questions building up. What are the Angels? Why are they fighting them? What's up with Rei? Should they even be using the Evas? However, there was no resolution.
The last two episodes were a complete let-down. They had obviously ran out of budget and resorted to sketchy drawings and a pyschobabble script to wrap it up. All the questions that I had had were left unanswered. (As a note on the movie: I did enjoy it much more as an ending)
Go ahead and see Eva, because it is a joy to watch the characters and the series is executed quite well. However, I must remain in the minority when I say that the plot just doesn't go anywhere.

Last updated Wednesday, December 11 2002. Created Friday, December 06 2002.
Buy 9 10 10 10 10 suikoden 100 [series:143#422]
First things first. Coyote, you could not be more wrong. If you're talking about the ending that was on the dvds released in America, I would totally have to disagree with you. Though the ending is different than most of the series, it is by no means "crap." The ending is something that requires a lot of thought. It was briliantly written and, in my opinion, offers a great ending. Maybe this is because the provoking story suits my taste better than others. However, I do understand how some people like Coyote may think this way.
If you're talking about the other ending, I would also have to disagree with you. Without giving away too much, it is intelligently written and allows for the viewer's own interpretation of the ending.
The series of Evangelion itself is fantasticaly done. The high quality animation is consistent throughout the series. The music is very well done as well.
The characters are each unique in their own way and strongly developed.
The story is one of the best I have ever watched. It was simply brilliant and, contrary to what Jakal thinks, is presented in a beatiful manner. It did an excellent job in showing the internal struggles of the protagonist. In fact, the story is so original, that many other animes have copied it (just look at the section devoted strictly to these on this website) in hopes of being as successful, but none of them can do it as well as the original.
This was the first series I saw and still remains my favorite.

Last updated Friday, November 08 2002. Created Friday, November 08 2002.
Buy 9 9 8 10 9 9 kakyuu_prince [series:143#404]
Evangelion amazes me everytime I watch it, and on so many levels. This is the type of anime I like, deep, philosophical, symbolic, metaphoric, original, bold, and fascinating. Myfavorite list consists of Utena, Noir, Trigun, Lain, Evangelion, and Escaflowne among others. The stuff that makes you think. Evangelion never gets old or tiring either, you can rewatch it over and over, finally understanding just one little facet more of the big picture with each repeated viewing. That's really the best of the best kind of anime. Evangelion is something that must be seen by everyone. But be warned it is MOST definitely not for kids. Nobody under 14 except for maybe some mature 13 year olds should watch this. First of all some stuff would be inappropriate and most of it I highly doubt anyone under 13 could understand very much of this. Hell, I;m sure it eludes lots of people in their 20's and 30's.

Last updated Monday, October 14 2002. Created Monday, October 14 2002.
Watch 9 9 7 8 5 7 Teodoru [series:143#307]
The artwork is great, the animation is great, the music is good, the character design is good...
Evangelion is a great series. It has pretty much everything you want from an anime, and it's hard not to love it... until you, in the end, hate it. The end was such a total failure, never seen anything like it, actually. For some reason (some thinks it is to calm down people who didn't like the end, I think it was to make money) they created "The End of Evangelion".
To me, the movie was the authors way to say: "You didn't like the series, huh? Well, then taste this total disgusting, awful piece of crap you ungrateful motherf*cker!" or something like that. The End of Evangelion is disgusting right from the beginning to the end... people burtsing into goo, from the beginning, to the end... [Enough about the movie]
I would like to give this series an 'avoid', because you actually gain more pain then pleasure from this anime, but I cannot deny that the series was amazing until about the 20th episode, when every single character got a grave personal distorter and gets mad.
If you're philosophical you may like this anime pretty much, because that is what it is all about, in the end.
[Note that I give The End of Evangelion an Avoid]

Last updated Friday, September 13 2002. Created Friday, September 13 2002.
Buy 9 8 9 10 5 The Riddler [series:143#380]
The only rea4son to buy this is because you won't get it the first run through. One of this serie's biggest flaws is it forces you to go on the internet and get a good interpretation ands isn't satisfying the first run through. After watching it a few times and understanding it turely you realize its genius. At that point you will think it is the greatest ever and be glad you bought it. But you will be intrigued.
It is my opinion that the ending is fine, once again, after the 2nd or 3rd time, but really should have been the movie "End of Evangelion". Which brings me to another point. The movie is dissapointing. If they wanted to do an "alternate ending", an "alternate ending" is what watchers deserved. The true ending should have been the big battle and romance large conflict. I won't spoil anymore. A lot of internet explainations refer to The End of Evangelion, so pick it up anyway. Sorry if I confused anybody, but I'm being as honest as I can here. Get the series. Get the movie if you need some answers. Its really good. Its worth it.

Last updated Friday, September 06 2002. Created Friday, September 06 2002.
Watch 9 9 6 7 3 6 Jakal [series:143#374]
I honestly disliked Evangelion. I watched all 26 episodes and the movie, and it didn't make very much sense. It seems like they made a disjointed story with bad presentation and then hoped that people would think it was artistic.

Last updated Thursday, August 29 2002. Created Thursday, August 29 2002.
Buy 9 9 10 10 10 10 Tsunami [series:143#323]
What can I say about Eva that hasn't been said before? Eva is simply a masterpiece of japanese animation. Everthing in this series, and it's movies, has some type of hidden or not-so-hidden meaning. This series had me sitting for hours pondering the meaning of life and what was really important, or if anything at all was so important. In the movie version (The End of Evangalion) some people considered Shinji's scene at the beginning of the film to be meaningless and distrubing, disturbing it was, meaningless it wasn't. It showed Shinji's incredabely sad state of mind and his utter confusion caused by his very own actions was portrayed at the end of the scene with the controversial words, "I'm so fucked up." The gore and blood throughout astonished me, but in a good way. The way inwhich humans battling humans was depicted far more severlly then just about any Eva vs Angel battle not only showed the cruel nature of humanity, but was the director's was of telling all the piss and moaners to put this in their pipes and smoke it. The use of Rei and Karou as spiritual guides to shinji during his decision of death or rebirth of the world was wonderful. The spirit of the mother and the lover used to lead shinji to the ultimate end, and the things that ment most had finally shown their faces helping poor shinji see what he really wanted. I could go on and on about this series/film the beautiful death scene of the Nerv employees, the creepy ending with auska and the shell of Karou/Rei's face acting as the moon. But i'll shut up . . . and let you make your own opinions.
This is the most compeling anime I have ever seen, a story line as confusing as it is perfict and characterization that are original and bring out every aspect of human nature. It'll make you laugh, cry, and in the end realize that maybe life isn't as bad as you thought . . .
A truly great series!

Last updated Thursday, December 19 2002. Created Wednesday, June 26 2002.
Buy 10 10 10 10 10 9 Quaunaut [series:143#289]
This may be just my opinion, but this is THE BEST ANIME EVER MADE, and I only have one problem with it, which really isn't a problem for me: not for anyone under 14. NO KIDS. NO PRE-TEENS. I love this anime, and here are the things I have to say about it.
Art: Wow. It never stops surprising you. From the evas, to their weapons, to the characters, and to what length the pictures go to to tell a story. Not to mention there is only one girl who has truly big breasts, and that actually pushes the story. Wow.
Animation: HOLY CRAP. No, actually, I should say HOLY LANCE OF LONGINUS!!! The...everything, is perfect. No exagerations in what the things in it can do. Everything is fluid to a falt. The only thing that isn't is the talking, but even that is more fluid that most anime talking.
Character Design: WhAT IN THE HELL?! These are the best renditions of people I could imagine. Their personalities totally fit their past. Asuka is perfect. Shinji is perfect. Even Rei. The only one that isn't is Misato, but later than the other characters you find out why. The characters also change like real people throughout the anime. Shinji grows a pair, Asuka withdraws to herself...Rei is...she stays the same, because she has to. Its not possible for her not to. Perfection.
Music: Wow. Wow. Wow to the third. One moment your listening to gripping battle music, the next Beethovens 5th Symphany, then to some rock. Holy Crap.
Overall Story: Wow...perfect pace, perect directive, perfection. Everything has a purpouse. Only thing needed, is telling the people this whole thing takes course over about a year and a half. Dark...very.
Episodic Story: Could be a bit won't understand alot of it. You have to have people who know eva(like myself) explain it to you. It makes you think. This is why high-school drop outs are not permitted for this anime. 1st reason: there is no sex(that I know of) 2nd Reason: You have to think.
Criticism: What? I would give some, but there is none to give. But, here is some for people: THIS IS NOT A MECHA ANIME!!! In fact, the evas couldn't even be described as mechas: they don't look like them, they don't act like them, and aren't even made the same way. THey are biomechanical humans...kinda. Can't really call them anything. If you don't buy this anime, you are crazy.

Last updated Friday, March 29 2002. Created Friday, March 29 2002.
Buy 8 10 10 10 10 10 boo [series:143#262]
I wondered what all these nerds would be talking about when i would go into comic book stores a couple of years ago. EVA this and EVA that. I'm proud to say that thanks to Ebay, i can save some face, =). Evangelion is godly. Admittingly this is not for everyone. The themes and content probally would go over the head of most children. I haven't felt attached to characters like this since Escaflowne, Wolfwood, Zechs and Trieze. Gundam Wing is my first real anime experience, so yeah, i'm biased. Back to the point, Evangelion is HIGHLY addictive. I missed a few philosophy classes caught up in the real questions in the series. To me this is what anime is about. This story is so provocative that i feel that anime is the only way that it could have fairly be represented. Warning about End of Evangelion. That's all i say, I loved it, but it's NOT for kids. 3/6/02

Last updated Wednesday, March 06 2002. Created Wednesday, March 06 2002.
Buy 10 10 10 10 10 10 Atsumi_Yamaki [series:143#259]
This is the Greatest anime in all the land. Why do I say so? Well could It be because the awesome animation? Or maybe it is the Great Characters? Well it is really ALL OF THEM. THis is a must buy for any real anime Otaku.

Last updated Friday, January 11 2002. Created Friday, January 11 2002.
Buy 10 8 10 10 10 9 NeoUranium [series:143#247]
SHIN SEIKI EVANGELION is a must see for anyone. Doesn't matter if you like Mecha, ecchi, comedy, drama, romance, mystery. Why? Because this has it all. Watch a magnificant story unfold about Ikari Shinji, Ayanami Rei, Shouryuu Asuka and other cast members on how they find themselves. Answering the questions that plague man. Why am I here? Why am I still alive? For who's purpose? Are we creations from GOD? OR are we creations from man? You can be the judge of that when you watch this Historical anime series. Evangelion will find its' way into your heart and soul. I have seen it dub and sub and they both work fine. See the dub if you can then the sub. Try not to get the first ADV DVD release of this. Why? Because ADV f*cked up Evangelion with overlays and stupid edits. Get the VHS if you really want to see how the series was intended! DVD will save you a lot more if you get all the volume. And the END OF EVANGELION is nothing but fantastic! Watch how Ikari Shinji creates a world for his own by distroying the world of today. 11/29/01

Last updated Thursday, November 29 2001. Created Thursday, November 29 2001.
Buy 8 8 10 10 10 9 Cobbeo [series:143#216]
After watching Evangelion on and off for the last three years, I can still honestly say it is *the* best anime today. It's impact has reached the hearts of not otaku, but all of those who have a desire to learn more about what drives themselves and the minds of others. One reviewer previously stated that this anime is not for everyone. And in that they are correct. If you're a person who can't handle the intense message that Evangelion delivers, best find something a little less honest. An excellent anime show that's created a new legacy of it's own. 9-08-01

Last updated Sunday, September 09 2001. Created Saturday, September 08 2001.
Buy 9 9 9 9 9 9 Barry [series:143#122]
Excellent show. Smart, funny, thought provoking and with action hot enough singe your eyebrows off. I can't say much more than that. Go buy it on DVD. Now.

Last updated Friday, July 27 2001. Created Friday, July 27 2001.
Rent 9 8 9 6 Black Panther [series:143#142]
As i am sure you have heard 15 billion times, this is a great anime! My thoughts about this anime are, there r some crude parts, but in what what anime r there not? The thing i really like about this anime is that it makes you think...and the charictors have deepth to them...well Shinji and Ra do at least. Although catwomen i do have to agree with you, Shinji is my favorit as well. I am not to thrilled about Ra or the Germen Girl. But ofcorse i have only seen as much as you, and thats to the thrid dvd. A big warning flag to all you animers out there dont let the kids see this, NOT A KID SHOW!!!

Last updated Monday, February 19 2001. Created Monday, February 19 2001.
Rent 8 8 8 CatWoman [series:143#65]
LOL, well Coyote, if they don't read yours there never going to see mine! But I have to say this is pretty good it a thinker show that keeps you interested, but it is a little weird! I like Shinji, but as fare as I have seen (witch is only through the forth dvd) I really don't like any of the other pilots! I really only like Shinji and his friends(Misato is included in that, I have come to really like her, but I hate her tast in men!!!)! The plot is good! Don't watch this with your kids! It does have some seens (not super bad, but bad enough) and things that they just don't need to think about yet!

Last updated Monday, February 26 2001. Created Friday, February 09 2001.
Avoid 9 9 9 7 1 The Coyote [series:143#64]
This is a great show incredible all the way up to the last DVD. The ending of this is the bigest load of crap I have ever seen I was so mad I could spit. what a waste of time why even bother doing a series if you are going to end it like that. You will notice this show gets lots of high ratings on invidual scores with me but an overall avoid. I hear there is an alternate ending out there but I havn't been able to get a hold of it. untill then I will have to list this as an avoid.

Last updated Sunday, November 25 2001. Created Friday, January 19 2001.
Buy 10 10 10 8 10 Jack Hawksmoor [series:143#114]
Neon Genesis Evangelion... wow... what is there to say? After ingesting the long and intimidating series in three days, I felt mentally drained. The combination of science fiction, philosophy, and religion is magnificent. The series blows away everything that I have seen before it. The characters were exquisitely natural... each with their own flaws, baggage, and enough psychological trauma to write a masters thesis on. This film isn't about nudity and blowing up stuff, it's about art and soul and exploration. A note that a friend of mine told me while watching this, is that the author of this story wrote it in the throes of depression, which adds another reason to see it. Everything from the action sequences to the engaging yet surreal brain excercises and dialogue, not to mention characterization that is top notch truly makes this show remarkable. Sheer genius.

Last updated Saturday, January 13 2001. Created Saturday, January 13 2001.
Buy 8 8 10 6 10 10 Dr.Yoshi [series:143#110]
How do I some up everything I want to say about Eva........
some shows go a long way.
(even if their movies don't)

Last updated Wednesday, January 31 2001. Created Monday, December 18 2000.
Buy 10 7 10 10 10 Midnighter [series:143#94]
Mere words cannot do Eva justice. Neon Genesis Evangelion is just incredible. I am in asolute awe of its genius and depth.
I loved the combination of religion, philosophy, and science fiction. This series stands as the best anime ever. The characters were lifelike, with enough angst and baggage for 2 series, and everyone had flaws and cracks, which made for very realistic characterization. The mech design by Yamashita Ikuto and creator Anno Hideaki was sheer genius, instantly recognizable in a sea of identical mech shows. Actually I take issue with people who say Eva is a mecha anime. It's NOT a mech show, it's about the characters and their emotions and minds. The mecha action is secondary. In fact, the giant robot fights often seem tacked on.
The animation is adequate, I'm impressed they did such an ambitious project so well on such an obviously limited budget. The dialogue shines, with wonderful introspective. The music in this series is excellent, perfect 10 with the beautifully arranged orchestrated bgm complimenting the action and one of the best opening themes ever.
The character design is second to none. As unique as the mecha, Shinji, Asuka, and co. stand out with their haunted eyes and misleading cuteness.
Neon Genesis Evangelion is a modern classic.
This is my favorite series, and it's worth every cent and more I spent on it. Oh, and I LIKED the ending. I recommend this series to everyone, and if you don't like the ending, pick up a book and get some culture and intelligence. Great film making isn't about explosions and nudity, it's about art and soul and Evangelion is Truly great film making.

Last updated Friday, March 01 2002. Created Tuesday, December 12 2000.
Rent 9 9 8 7 10 9 Courtney [series:143#80]
NEON GENESIS EVANGELION is just one of those shows that begs to be analyzed and debated like high school Shakespeare. Many fans have obliged considering this anime one of the most popular without being pop-culture (curse all you people who ruined Sailormoon for the rest of us!). Being one of the big names in anime, EVANGELION got that position through actually being an astounding show and through mindless hype. So before you run out and spend something like $300 on a series of tapes please know what you're going to buy. EVANGELION is seperated into 3 parts in my own opinion: The Mind, the Body, and the Soul.
The Mind is the griping plot of conspiricy and truth that surrounds the actions of almost the entire cast. Placed very sucessfully in the backdrop, it's hard to guess how it all ends and what all the answers are before the end of the show. The truth about NERV, the EVAs, the Angels, the Earth's history, and even some of the cast itself is what makes the show so damn interesting.
The Body is the action and conflict. It's what draws in (and unfortunately is the only thing that keeps at times)a lot of the EVANGELION crowd. The fights are impressive, masterful, and original and are definately an important part to the "what" and "why" but don't fall into the trap of thinking that this is what the show's about.
Finally, the soul is the characters. When you first met a lot of the cast, it's hard to understand why they're all so obnoxious and screwed up. (Shinji's whining and unyielding gutlessness, Asaka's competative nature and condesending attitude, and Rei's apathetic, "comfortably numb" demeanor.) As annoying as all this sounds, as the story progresses you understand more and more why it's hard for them to be anything but the way they are. Aside from the fact they have all the pressure and responsibilty of saving the world at 14, they all have skeletons in their closet and past that make you realize that they're doing the best they can to hold on to anything (I think anyone who lived a life like Asaka would end up similar to her personality). The realistic way the character's pasts are drawn out makes it not to hard to understand and forgive the characters for their flaws by the end of the show (except Shinji...get a pair kid).
A personal note (though a shared opinion by many) odds are the finale (tape 13) will disappoint you. It has no continuity to the rest of the story aside from the psyches of the characters and resolves nothing the series has been building up to. It's interesting to watch for understanding the cast more but it offers little closure. I recommend END OF EVANGELION (it's a hard find but worth the trouble if you like the show)if you want to see how the story ends. Rent EVANGELION initially and if you like the style and where the story's going, I suggest buying it since it truely is a great series to see and own.

Last updated Monday, October 29 2001. Created Thursday, September 28 2000.
Buy 8 7 9 7 9 7 Cenit [series:143#45]
Neon Genesis Evangelion, just the title all by itself makes you imagine lots of things.
What can I say about Eva that haven´t seen said before.
The main point, that makes this so great is that they leave all the robot stuff in second, and the general story is about the characters, some very interesting characters, like the boy who lost her mother, he hates his father, the CEO of NERV, the orphan girl who hates all men, or the mysterious Rei Ayanami, a dark character, the one who never speaks, never shows her emotions; and that just for talking about the Eva´s pilots.
It also has some many kind of weird situations, that makes it a series where you can find Action, Comedy, Drama, Suspense, and some very fashionable sex scenes, all in one.
For some kind of persons the drama part can be a little be boring, but they know how to handle keeping a good level of atention in the entire serie, combined with one of the best animation i ever seen and a perfect character design who allows to see it from several points of view, depending of your understanding of the story, makes Eva one of the best "robot series".

Last updated Monday, July 17 2000. Created Monday, July 17 2000.
Buy Anonymous #33 [series:143#33]
Eva tends to be most accessable to viewers with a broader range of artistic knowledge than many western otaku can be expected to have accumulated. That said, boning up on the films of Akira Kurosawa and Ingmar Bergman, along with the writings of, say, Nabokov or Donald Bartleme would be better preperation for a series like Eva than watching other giant-robot shows. Bergman in particular was the cinematic master of the kind of richly symbolic and multitiered narrative that Anno strives for. Moreover Nabokov and Bartleme will train the reader's mind to pull his/her weight... too many of us expect all entertainment to go down easy with no effort on our parts. Not all entertainment works that way. With Eva, Nabokov, or the Bible for that matter, one must give a little to get a little.
As for the series itself, the early episodes introduce familiar giant-robot tropes but present it all in a skillfully crafted fashion that makes the robot battles a part of the characters' stories rather than the whole show. As the series progresses there are numerous shifts in tone from light to heavy, and the emotional dilemmas of the characters are always the core of the narrative. This allows Anno and crew to juggle a variety of narrative styles and play with time and reality, as the story remains on target. The dazzling array of narrative techniques overwhelms the casual viewer, but the thematic density that Anno builds up demands closer involvement, and viewers must either make the effort or go away.
Special note should be made of the excellent storyboarding and editing that went into the series. Anno uses Eisensteinian editing to overcome small animation budgets, and while viewers who think that anime must constantly move will be dissapointed, lovers of cinematic narrative will find Eva to be consistantly rewarding, holding up over, or even requiring, multiple viewings. The storyboards were reprinted in book form; they may be imported, and are worthwhile investments for the serious fan.

Last updated Monday, May 01 2000. Created Monday, May 01 2000.
Watch Jenn-chan [series:143#31]
What can you say about Evangelion that hasn't already been said? It started out good, then it got really good, took a turn for the weirder in later episodes, parked itself in "weirdville" for a while, and we all know about that infamous ending. I think Eva is a victim of hype. I mean, that's why I checked it out in the first place. Many tag it as one of the best anime ever made, but I highly disagree. Anime that is the best should be something that almost everyone will enjoy, and the truth this, this is NOT for everyone.

Last updated Tuesday, April 25 2000. Created Tuesday, April 25 2000.

Other Sites
A portal and a forum... if you want to get philosophical about it.
NG Evacorp
A site to that has everything
Ultimate Evangelion FAQs Page
This IS the best EVA site out there. Lots of research has been done here from watching the series, movies, and reading the manga. It is written as if Gendo did the site with occassional other characters popping in for thier answers to questions. A great site if you are totally confused after watching EVA.
Ikari Shinji-kun's Evangelion FAQs and Stuff
To VERY funny Evangelion site which is done from Shinji's point of view. He answers a series of questions and if you've seen the series, you'll really love the humor here!
The Red Cross Book
The official theatrical program for the End of Evangelion movie by GAINAX. This is clearing up a lot of questions about the storyline.
Neon Genesis Evangelion Frequently Asked Questions
A very insightful EVA FAQ by Brendan Jamieson.

Community Anime Reviews

anime mikomi org