Fargo's Japanimation Fun Time! Neon Genesis Evangelion

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I plan this to be my first review in a series looking at the Evangelion franchise. This review tackles the very root of the series, the original anime Neon Genesis Evangelion, followed by End of Evangelion tomorrow and the two rebuild movies over the weekend. Due to the nature of the series, I will be doing some analysis of various events. These portions I will try and keep in spoiler boxes but ,for End of Evangelion in particular, I will be unable to avoid heavy spoilers. If the review is considerably spoiler-tastic, I will put a further warning at the opening of the review. Please give feedback on the overall quality of both the review and the analysis, and those familiar with the series please feel free to strike up discussion on whatever element you like, as that is the primary reason I am writing these reviews. Now, without further ado, let's take a look at...

Neon Genesis Evangelion


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Akira. Ghost in the Shell. Neon Genesis Evangelion. The thing these three anime have in common is that they are traditionally thought of as being pioneers of Japanese animation, especially when it came to the effect they had on Western audiences. Akira was arguably the first 'big' anime to find a collective response in the West; Ghost in the Shell followed suit to further cement the idea of 'mature animation' with Western audiences. Neon Genesis Evangelion (or just Evangelion from here on in) is often spoken of in the same breath of these shows, although one could easily argue that the show had more of an impact on animation in its own country than Ghost and Akira had. From Gantz to Code Geass, various anime have referenced or outright stolen from Evangelion, and the impact the franchise has had on modern anime is almost irrefutably dramatic. But after fifteen years, how does the series hold up as its own entity?

Set in the year 2015, fifteen years after a disaster known as The Second Impact destroyed Antarctica melting the polar ice caps and killing over half of the population on the planet, Neon Genesis Evangelion tells the story of Shinji Ikari, a fourteen year old who has been recruited by an organization known as Nerv, whose purpose is to defend the city of Tokyo-3 from mysterious, colossal beings called Angels. To do so, Shinji is joined by two girls his own age, the obnoxious Asuka and the robotic Rei, and the trio must pilot Evangelions, massive mech-like creatures who are the only offence humanity has against the angels.

By 2015, the Yu-Gi-Oh trading card game had evolved.

While the story on paper sounds exciting if a little formulaic, the series does not concentrate its efforts on the battles between the Evangelions and the Angels. Instead, it takes a far more character-based approach, deconstructing almost all of the primary characters. The focal point of the series is certainly Shinji however, who is one of the most interesting characters I've seen in animation. He's often disliked because of his whiny and self-depreciative personality, but I think this adds to him than takes away. I found myself having a great deal of sympathy for him, as he certainly comes across as a normal kid thrust into a completely abnormal situation. He, Rei and Asuka are all that stand between humanity and annihilation, but while Rei is almost emotionally dead and Asuka is piloting for the sake of her ego, Shinji has little reason to pilot until later in the series, where he finally comes to terms with the situation and grows confidence.

While this sounds like positive development for Shinji, that's not something the series enjoys sustaining. It takes every opportunity it can to mentally degrade, and in some cases destroy, its characters. Most of the time, the characters take impact from the battles against the Angels and the various concoctions of disturbing imagery the series enjoys throwing around during these battles. Other times it's something more subtle, with both Shinji and Asuka having a fair amount of parent issues. Shinji's father left him when he was a young child for unspecified reasons, and is now the commander at Nerv. This leaves a bitter gap between the pair, which is widened when Shinji sees his father treating Rei with a very parent-like attitude.

Now, the last two episodes are where a significant amount of exploration into the characters and their psyche occurs. Due to the production running out of budget, these last two episodes appear as though they are part of an artistic animation course rather than a proper series, with absolutely no original frames of animation. As such, there is a significant lack of conclusion to the series, and what can be gained from these two episodes is based more on speculation than anything. If you are planning on watching Evangelion all the way through, I thoroughly recommend you have a copy of End of Evangelion on hand, as it is described as the 'true ending' to the series. The final two episodes by themselves function neither as a climax nor conclusion, so you will want the movie to clarify things up. Despite this, let's take a look at the last two episodes by themselves, and some of my issues with them and the episodes beforehand.

This character may very well be shady.

While the story and characters hold up now, the art and animation are a different matter. They are certainly functional, but compared to anything released in the past ten years they look seriously dated. As I've mentioned, the lack of budget in the final two episodes contributed to the lack of any real animation taking place in those episodes, but even before that, one can see the lack of money causing issues. The show tries to use as many long shots as possible, and holds them for a significant amount of time to pad out episodes. I can't really give the series too much criticism for this however; as I said, it's still functional, but it is absolutely nothing spectacular.

The same goes for the soundtrack, which also appears to have been hit by the issue of a low budget. The musical score is actually quite memorable in its simplicity, but it is simplistic, with only about three or four tracks overall on the score and none of them are very epic or sprawling as I feel they should be given the themes and story. Plus, there is an absolutely horrible misuse of the choral song 'Hallelujah' during a moment that should have been dramatic and intense, but was spoiled due to the bad song choice.

The sound design is given a boost by stellar voice work, more so in the original Japanese. Megumi Ogata does an incredible Shinji, with perhaps some of the best blood-curdling screams to ever be produced by a voice actor. She also expertly catches every emotional high and low, with muted, dry whispers during the darker scenes, and a childlike innocence during the moments Shinji is brimming with confidence, which works excellently for the character. The rest of the cast does a great job too, although Megumi Hayashibara doesn't give much of a range to Rei, although this does fit in somewhat with the character. The English voice acting ranges from good to mediocre, so if you're ardently against subtitles then it's not game breaking, but you will be missing out on the far superior original Japanese.

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With the conclusion to the series weak without End of Evangelion, and the production values having lost much their essence due to time, is Evangelion still worth watching? If you're a fan of any kind of animation, I would certainly say yes, simply because of its massive impact on anime. On its own, it's still a very good and highly enjoyable series, although the lack of closure is going to be a massive problem for some people, given that the majority of plot threads are not resolved by the time the final episode closes, which does so in one of the most perplexing fashions I have ever seen.

However, while the series closed on a dead note that was not to be the end of the story. With fan demand, came something to fill in the gap that the final two episodes. Something, that while answering most of the previous questions, left the audience with even more. Tomorrow we shall look at one of the most interesting and disturbing animated movies of all time, End of Evangelion. See you there!

Very low budget anime had to work with what it had, and produced god! I mean, neon genesis evangelion... now to rephrase this and hand it in as my english coursework, nice job :)

Ugh. I'm hating myself more and more for putting off watching this series.

I need to get to watching this soon and ordering that movie.

Still, great review as always. You've succeeded in making me want to watch it, so I guess that means you've done your job perfectly ^-^

Julianking93:
Ugh. I'm hating myself more and more for putting off watching this series.

I need to get to watching this soon and ordering that movie.

Still, great review as always. You've succeeded in making me want to watch it, so I guess that means you've done your job perfectly ^-^

Yay! Don't worry, I put it off for a very long time before I got round to it, but I eventually crumbled. So now you must watch it! And definitely order the movie soon, because with out it, the ending to the series will probably ruin the whole thing for you. <.<

Damn you, I wanted to do this kind of thing. I suppose I still will, but I'll have to actually work on reviewing anything before that. Damnable procrastination...

First thing that I notice:

Quote:
Akira. Ghost in the Shell. Neon Genesis Evangelion. The thing these four anime have in common...

You listed only three anime...

Other than that, that's a fairly good review overall, though I disagree with you on the soundtrack. There's plenty of different songs, though many of them are redone with a similar sound, like The Beast, which is done time and again but differently each time to fit the scenario. Also, their use of 'Hallelujah' was genius, methinks. I can't look at the song in the same way ever again. When I think of the song, I think enlightenment or an opening of the mind. I think that, in the way it's used in the anime, it's a amazing, twisted take on that meaning. They also tie 'Hallelujah' into Rebuild 2.xx as a lovely easter egg.

Also, there's many different sources showing that NGE didn't actually suffer that bad for its' budget. I think the more likely factor was actually time. Many of the higher-ups at Gainax have stated that the ending in the TV series is exactly what they wanted to do, though it's likely that it was at least slightly changed from the original goal. Also, you said there were, "absolutely no original frames of animation" in the final two episodes, which is simply not true. It may have been done rather cheaply, but it wasn't all rehashed old material, though that was definitly present.

That's most of my 2 cents as an avid Eva fan. I could discuss the thing for hours though, I'm sure.

Aby_Z:
Damn you, I wanted to do this kind of thing. I suppose I still will, but I'll have to actually work on reviewing anything before that. Damnable procrastination...

First thing that I notice:

Quote:
Akira. Ghost in the Shell. Neon Genesis Evangelion. The thing these four anime have in common...

You listed only three anime...

Yeah, that was a silly typo. I originally had Cowboy Bebop in there but decided to remove it as I didn't think it worked, but forgot about actually fixing the rest of it.. Thanks for pointing it out though.

Other than that, that's a fairly good review overall, though I disagree with you on the soundtrack. There's plenty of different songs, though many of them are redone with a similar sound, like The Beast, which is done time and again but differently each time to fit the scenario. Also, their use of 'Hallelujah' was genius, methinks. I can't look at the song in the same way ever again. When I think of the song, I think enlightenment or an opening of the mind. I think that, in the way it's used in the anime, it's a amazing, twisted take on that meaning. They also tie 'Hallelujah' into Rebuild 2.xx as a lovely easter egg.

For the different songs, to me it seemed less like they were similar but more that there were simply variations, almost as though they had about three or four full pieces of music, and then took individual sections from each piece to use. I don't know how much sense I'm making, but that's how I perceived it. As for Hallelujah, Symbolically it works and is quite clever I'll admit, but given the tone that should have been in place considering the situation, it really took me out of it.

Also, there's many different sources showing that NGE didn't actually suffer that bad for its' budget. I think the more likely factor was actually time. Many of the higher-ups at Gainax have stated that the ending in the TV series is exactly what they wanted to do, though it's likely that it was at least slightly changed from the original goal. Also, you said there were, "absolutely no original frames of animation" in the final two episodes, which is simply not true. It may have been done rather cheaply, but it wasn't all rehashed old material, though that was definitly present.

I may have been using hyperbole when I said there were no original frames of animation, but it's as close to it as you can get. I forgot they did animate the high school thing though and a few other pieces, so that's totally my fault. I actually quite liked the whole style behind the episodes, it just didn't fit in at all and pretty much made no sense due to the fact they left so much out. So, stylistically, its kinda cool, but narratively it was bad.

That's most of my 2 cents as an avid Eva fan. I could discuss the thing for hours though, I'm sure.

it was impressive, it made made so much with so little

Oh God, I'm starting to have flashbacks...

Now please excuse me while I find a dark quiet corner to ball up and sob quietly in...

Aby_Z:

Other than that, that's a fairly good review overall, though I disagree with you on the soundtrack. There's plenty of different songs, though many of them are redone with a similar sound, like The Beast, which is done time and again but differently each time to fit the scenario. Also, their use of 'Hallelujah' was genius, methinks. I can't look at the song in the same way ever again. When I think of the song, I think enlightenment or an opening of the mind. I think that, in the way it's used in the anime, it's a amazing, twisted take on that meaning. They also tie 'Hallelujah' into Rebuild 2.xx as a lovely easter egg.

Same here, I love every bit of music in this show. I also love how Misato, Asuka and Rei have their own theme music.

Not a huge fan of the new Rebuild movies apart from the fact that it was amazing to revisit Tokyo-3 in glorious HD.

heh... i remember in the beggining of the internet, when there were no torrent sites or download places like "Megaupload" i heard about this series, and spend good 2 years of my youth looking for it

i managed to download Ep1 wich was in .AVI, but with no codecs to view the EP... i was left listening to the intro in WMV over and over untill i had learned the lirics (knowing not a scratch of Japanese)

so, time went by, and 3 years later i found a codec, a way of watching the EP and started

it blew my mind!... but with no available episodes (and a 54k modem) i was left in the dark as of what else could happen.

so 2 more years happened, and cable started to pour here in MX, and at a friends house i managed to download ep2, i watched it and itching for more i downloaded 3 and 4 and 5 and so and so untill i had the whole series... i watched the last episode after 3 years of the first one.

i loved the series, i played it over and over and over and over, untill i knew the lines by heart

and i have not found another anime that i can watch over and over as i did with this series

granted, now i cant stand to watch an episode of the stuff, i have seen it so many times i cant endure more than 15 minutes without growing bored.

i was 12 when i heard the first episode intro (1997)... and what is this??? (haha)

FargoDog:
For the different songs, to me it seemed less like they were similar but more that there were simply variations, almost as though they had about three or four full pieces of music, and then took individual sections from each piece to use. I don't know how much sense I'm making, but that's how I perceived it. As for Hallelujah, Symbolically it works and is quite clever I'll admit, but given the tone that should have been in place considering the situation, it really took me out of it.

I've actually gone through and gotten all the various OSTs from the anime and all the movies tied into it - and yes, that includes Death and Rebirth - and I can confidently say they've got more than just ~4 songs. Again, using The Beast, they will commonly change the speed of the song or the instruments that are using to compose it while keeping the same general theme. As for Hallelujah, the fact that it's seemingly so unfitting is part of its' appeal, methinks. I trust you've already seen Rebuild 2.22 if you're planning on reviewing it so soon, so you certainly know that they love to use unfitting music. I think the appeal of using unfitting music for scenes is that it becomes especially jarring. Happy music during a sad scene, or brilliant music during a pitiful scene and the like.

I may have been using hyperbole when I said there were no original frames of animation, but it's as close to it as you can get. I forgot they did animate the high school thing though and a few other pieces, so that's totally my fault. I actually quite liked the whole style behind the episodes, it just didn't fit in at all and pretty much made no sense due to the fact they left so much out. So, stylistically, its kinda cool, but narratively it was bad.

Taken as the end of a series, the final episodes worked rather poorly. The ideas they presented however were lovely. I feel that Ep.26 even did a better job of conveying what it wanted to than the second half of EoE did.

Jark212:
Oh God, I'm starting to have flashbacks...

Now please excuse me while I find a dark quiet corner to ball up and sob quietly in...

I LOVE YOUR AVATAR!!! I WANT TO PET IT TOOO!!!

Casual Shinji:
Same here, I love every bit of music in this show. I also love how Misato, Asuka and Rei have their own theme music.

Not a huge fan of the new Rebuild movies apart from the fact that it was amazing to revisit Tokyo-3 in glorious HD.

And multiple themes at that! Shinji also has his own theme if I remember correctly.

I love the Rebuilds. They're some terrific fun and they show promise in showing plenty of changes to the original series. I simply don't look at them as a replacement for the original series, but rather as something completely new. With 2.22 out, I'm certain that you can't get the same experience from watching one over the other.

HentMas:

Jark212:
Oh God, I'm starting to have flashbacks...

Now please excuse me while I find a dark quiet corner to ball up and sob quietly in...

I LOVE YOUR AVATAR!!! I WANT TO PET IT TOOO!!!

May the Frog of Eternal Happiness shine upon you...

Aby_Z:

Taken as the end of a series, the final episodes worked rather poorly. The ideas they presented however were lovely. I feel that Ep.26 even did a better job of conveying what it wanted to than the second half of EoE did.

As for the music, I'm probably being overly nitpicky. I needed something negative to say, damn it!

FargoDog:

As for the music, I'm probably being overly nitpicky. I needed something negative to say, damn it!

That's excusable, though there's plenty of other nitpicks you could use I'm sure.

Aby_Z:

That's excusable, though there's plenty of other nitpicks you could use I'm sure.

I'm going to have fun examining EoE tomorrow, that's for sure. As for Rebuild, it's going to be even more interesting given they're going to create a new ending for that as well. So that (technically) will give the series three different endings, if you're not counting EoE and the original series as one entity.

FargoDog:

Aby_Z:

That's excusable, though there's plenty of other nitpicks you could use I'm sure.

I'm going to have fun examining EoE tomorrow, that's for sure. As for Rebuild, it's going to be even more interesting given they're going to create a new ending for that as well. So that (technically) will give the series three different endings, if you're not counting EoE and the original series as one entity.

Indeed. Actually, I can see a single scenario in which the Rebuild movies keep the number of canon endings the same. Even so, you're leaving out the manga. That thing has yet to be finished, but once the Rebuild movies are finished it should get on that track.

Aby_Z:

Indeed. Actually, I can see a single scenario in which the Rebuild movies keep the number of canon endings the same. Even so, you're leaving out the manga. That thing has yet to be finished, but once the Rebuild movies are finished it should get on that track.

To be honest, I'd like to see the Rebuild movies go down the same path as EoE did. I thought the far darker tone and disturbing nature that EoE had really benefited it so that's the path I'd like to see the Rebuild movies take, perhaps with a completely bleak ending.

FargoDog:

Aby_Z:

Indeed. Actually, I can see a single scenario in which the Rebuild movies keep the number of canon endings the same. Even so, you're leaving out the manga. That thing has yet to be finished, but once the Rebuild movies are finished it should get on that track.

To be honest, I'd like to see the Rebuild movies go down the same path as EoE did. I thought the far darker tone and disturbing nature that EoE had really benefited it so that's the path I'd like to see the Rebuild movies take, perhaps with a completely bleak ending.

So far the Rebuild movies have been much happier compared to the original, but with the latest movie it seems they're not completely giving up that good 'ole NGE feel.

From the way things are going, it seems like the Rebuild movies will be shipping Rei with Shinji more instead of Asuka with Shinji as was sort of done in EoE.

Aby_Z:

So far the Rebuild movies have been much happier compared to the original, but with the latest movie it seems they're not completely giving up that good 'ole NGE feel.

From the way things are going, it seems like the Rebuild movies will be shipping Rei with Shinji more instead of Asuka with Shinji as was sort of done in EoE.

I wouldn't say happier, just.. Less depressing.

I think Rei with Shinji makes more sense, as the series always hinted they had more of a natural connection together anyway, even if that was just through Shinji's father. The relationship between Asuka and Shinji never felt right to me, considering they never showed any affection to one another that wasn't shallow. Although, they are pretty much the same person on the inside, despite their outward appearance being on the opposite end of the spectrum most of the time. Either way, I'm interested to see what they do with it.

God damn it, when are they going to announce the release date for 3.0..

Aby_Z:

Casual Shinji:
Same here, I love every bit of music in this show. I also love how Misato, Asuka and Rei have their own theme music.

Not a huge fan of the new Rebuild movies apart from the fact that it was amazing to revisit Tokyo-3 in glorious HD.

And multiple themes at that! Shinji also has his own theme if I remember correctly.

I love the Rebuilds. They're some terrific fun and they show promise in showing plenty of changes to the original series. I simply don't look at them as a replacement for the original series, but rather as something completely new. With 2.22 out, I'm certain that you can't get the same experience from watching one over the other.

The thing is, I've seen the show so many times that I basically have a pretty good understanding of what's what. But the subtle changes in the movies really throws me of balance. And there are also a few things about them that I simply dont like.

For instance, in 2.22 Asuka and Rei have this little competitive subplot where they make boxed lunch for Shinji. I hated that part. It was just so out of character, especially for Asuka who basically is excactly like Shinji except more hostile. Plus, the series was constanly showing us that Shinji couldn't just quietly sit by and expect people to take an interest in him; he had to open himself up and give as much from himself as he wanted to receive from others. But 2.22 he's barely taken any steps at revealing himself to Asuka and Rei yet they're stumbling over eachother making him boxed lunches. Maybe I'm overexaggerating, but that part really ticked me off.

However, the ending of 2.22 was fucking amazing!

sounds like crap but popular crap, main characters have X-treme personalities and i gather the anime may have some pseudo-intellectualism to it, most likely christianity(genesis? evangelion? angels?) and freud(very dysfunctional characters).

FargoDog:

Aby_Z:

So far the Rebuild movies have been much happier compared to the original, but with the latest movie it seems they're not completely giving up that good 'ole NGE feel.

From the way things are going, it seems like the Rebuild movies will be shipping Rei with Shinji more instead of Asuka with Shinji as was sort of done in EoE.

I wouldn't say happier, just.. Less depressing.

I think Rei with Shinji makes more sense, as the series always hinted they had more of a natural connection together anyway, even if that was just through Shinji's father. The relationship between Asuka and Shinji never felt right to me, considering they never showed any affection to one another that wasn't shallow. Although, they are pretty much the same person on the inside, despite their outward appearance being on the opposite end of the spectrum most of the time. Either way, I'm interested to see what they do with it.

God damn it, when are they going to announce the release date for 3.0..

Everyone in the Rebuild movies, especially the first half of 2.xx, is considerably happier.

It's going to take forever for 3.0 to come out, but there's rumors that it'll be released back-to-back with 4.0, which would be amazing. It'll still be forever until they get it out to DVD and Blu Rei(y), sadly.

FargoDog:
The focal point of the series is certainly Shinji however, who is one of the most interesting characters I've seen in animation. He's often disliked because of his whiny and self-depreciative personality, but I think this adds to him than takes away. I found myself having a great deal of sympathy for him, as he certainly comes across as a normal kid thrust into a completely abnormal situation.

While I agree that he is exactly what a normal kid would be like, I still can't say I like Shinji. I think the last two episodes really cement this,

Again, not a bad character, but the way he combats his demons makes him very unlikable in my eyes.

Aby_Z:

Everyone in the Rebuild movies, especially the first half of 2.xx, is considerably happier.

It's going to take forever for 3.0 to come out, but there's rumors that it'll be released back-to-back with 4.0, which would be amazing. It'll still be forever until they get it out to DVD and Blu Rei(y), sadly.

They still haven't released 2.22 on DVD outside of Asia I don't think. I got really lucky because I was in Singapore when it came out there on DVD, so I was able to get a copy, which was cool. Funimation and Manga have picked it up for release in the US and UK, but it'll take them a while to localize it and get the English dub done. Given that 2.22 came out in July of 2009, it's taking a hell of a long time to actually release the damn thing. Hopefully they don't take as long to release 3.0 and 4.0. It would have made more sense if they had just picked up all four movies to begin with.

Casual Shinji:

Aby_Z:

Casual Shinji:
Same here, I love every bit of music in this show. I also love how Misato, Asuka and Rei have their own theme music.

Not a huge fan of the new Rebuild movies apart from the fact that it was amazing to revisit Tokyo-3 in glorious HD.

And multiple themes at that! Shinji also has his own theme if I remember correctly.

I love the Rebuilds. They're some terrific fun and they show promise in showing plenty of changes to the original series. I simply don't look at them as a replacement for the original series, but rather as something completely new. With 2.22 out, I'm certain that you can't get the same experience from watching one over the other.

The thing is, I've seen the show so many times that I basically have a pretty good understanding of what's what. But the subtle changes in the movies really throws me of balance. And there are also a few things about them that I simply dont like.

For instance, in 2.22 Asuka and Rei have this little competitive subplot where they make boxed lunch for Shinji. I hated that part. It was just so out of character, especially for Asuka who basically is excactly like Shinji except more hostile. Plus, the series was constanly showing us that Shinji couldn't just quietly sit by and expect people to take an interest in him; he had to open himself up and give as much from himself as he wanted to receive from others. But 2.22 he's barely taken any steps at revealing himself to Asuka and Rei yet they're stumbling over eachother making him boxed lunches. Maybe I'm overexaggerating, but that part really ticked me off.

However, the ending of 2.22 was fucking amazing!

I loved the original too, but I more just note the differences. The Rebuild movies are not a retelling of the original at all, but rather a reimagining.

The part you're missing is that the characters are only out of character if you're comparing them to their original characters. Asuka and Rei might as well be completely different people in these movies. Similarly, Shinji is a lot better adjusted than in the original. The message of the Rebuild movies isn't going to be the same as the original series.

And yes, that ending was awesome. I watched it for the first time at the end of an 18 1/2 straight hour marathon of the entire series. It was so worth it.

Which scene had the improper use of "Hallelujah?"

FargoDog:

Aby_Z:

Everyone in the Rebuild movies, especially the first half of 2.xx, is considerably happier.

It's going to take forever for 3.0 to come out, but there's rumors that it'll be released back-to-back with 4.0, which would be amazing. It'll still be forever until they get it out to DVD and Blu Rei(y), sadly.

They still haven't released 2.22 on DVD outside of Asia I don't think. I got really lucky because I was in Singapore when it came out there on DVD, so I was able to get a copy, which was cool. Funimation and Manga have picked it up for release in the US and UK, but it'll take them a while to localize it and get the English dub done. Given that 2.22 came out in July of 2009, it's taking a hell of a long time to actually release the damn thing. Hopefully they don't take as long to release 3.0 and 4.0. It would have made more sense if they had just picked up all four movies to begin with.

Gainax will likely get as much money as they possibly can off the movies, so they'll keep it away from everyone just long enough for us to desperately want it. I just hope I won't have to settle on watching a cam rip.

FargoDog:
[I think Rei with Shinji makes more sense, as the series always hinted they had more of a natural connection together anyway, even if that was just through Shinji's father. The relationship between Asuka and Shinji never felt right to me, considering they never showed any affection to one another that wasn't shallow. Although, they are pretty much the same person on the inside, despite their outward appearance being on the opposite end of the spectrum most of the time. Either way, I'm interested to see what they do with it.

Actually, Asuka is just the right person for Shinji.

This will remain one of my all time favorite anime. Kudos for such a fantastic review.

And it's good to see somebody else who disagrees with the Shinji hate.
Though I must disagree with seeking out End of Evangelion. It's definitely good to watch once, but that's it. Left me feeling melancholy for days.

Damn, I'm only on episode 11. I only watch ~2-4 episodes a day.
And I'm watching the dubbed version because I can't multitask while watching it subbed. But I might consider watching it with subtitles if the Japanese voice acting is as good as you say it is.

Good review, and thanks for keeping spoilers out of it.
Now to make sure I can get a hold of EoE...

You forgot to add "Pen pen was there to let us know it was still a cartoon, and the bad black and white monsters can't hurt us." Nor can the purple one, or the yellow one. The shady guy with the sunglasses however...He's probably the creepy guy staring at you in the starbucks/library while you're reading this.

Good review. Kinda hated the anime though, it really came across as way too artsy and trying too hard. Most of the characters came across as having huge mental issues, in fact the only backstory i could sympathize with was Misato's - apparently, she was too much of a slut for her own good. And is it me, or did every one of the 3 kids have a parent complex? Hated the still shots, hated the soundtrack, hated the graphics and the animation, hated the ambiguity of the story - only reason i watched it was to see what other crap they'd pull with the random monsters. Some of the fights were entertaining (like the first one after Shinji stops giving a fuck and goes into literal nerdrage mode) but most of them were just stupid.

I figure this to be the Halo of anime - kinda mediocre and not really special, but most people treat it as God's divine work.

AND WILL SOMEBODY PLEASE EXPLAIN THE STUPID PENGUIN

Well, I have been iffy about this for some time, mainly due to it being over-hyped. But I think you have swayed me to finally watch NGE. I will also make sure to grab the movie. In other words, great review. Disappointed to hear about the music though.

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