We survived 2015, which is the year Neon Genesis Evangelion takes place in.
There were no Angels.
There were no Evas.
There weren’t even any impacts!
2015 ended, and we’re still here.
Twenty years ago, Neon Genesis Evangelion ended. And then it ended again in 1997. And then it ended as a manga in 2013. And now it continues as a film series.
Each version of Neon Genesis Evangelion has received critical acclaim in Japan and beyond. It’s one of the most well known Japanese franchises ever made, and certainly one of the most well respected, often being voted as one of the best anime ever made, if not the best. Its shadow stretches long and dark over hundreds of subsequent anime, including some very obvious imitators, though, I’d argue, none ever come close to Evangelion.
It’s a story about a young boy, a paramilitary group fighting what appear to be extraterrestrial monsters, which explores mysticism, transhumanism, Christianity, gnosticism, Shinto, Buddhism, Judaism, Kabbalah, Jungian and Freudian and Lacanian psychoanalysis, along with various philosophical traditions, like nihilism, existentialism, and surrealism. Oh, but it’s also about giant mechas fighting giant monsters.
Pacific Rim basically took its surface elements and turned it into an action movie. Just picture that film filled with psychological tension, philosophical exploration, well drawn characters, and a narrative that never stops twisting.
I think this is what makes Evangelion so enduring. It combines intense action sequences with some of the most interesting and thought provoking ideas.
It’s a show I discovered after graduating university. A show that shocked me in many ways, but almost all of them positive. A show I still think about often and can’t stop being influenced by. I even watched the series again a few years ago.
Because of its awesomeness and its 20th anniversary of ending, we’re going to lead you all in a rewatch of Neon Genesis Evangelion. We’ll start with the television series, then discuss the manga, and finally move on to the films.
It’s one of the most surreal and bizarre television shows ever made. Anime carries its own stigma with it, especially for western audiences, and, you know, it was made in the mid-90s, which isn’t exactly a golden age of television, but this really is one of the most interesting and captivating and brilliantly inventive shows around.
So come join Entropy for the rest of 2016!
26 Episodes of Neon Genesis Evangelion followed by the revised ending. From there, we’ll discuss and compare/contrast and analyse the manga. We’ll round out the year with Rebuild of Evangelion, which is a whole different take on the story.
We’ll be watching one episode every week and then we’ll post a recap/analysis every Thursday.