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Neon Genesis Evangelion

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Joined: 23 May 2008
Posts: 243

Location: Australia

PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 8:10 am    Post subject: Neon Genesis Evangelion  Reply with quote

OK - I've heard that this is the greatest anime ever made. I've also heard that despite it's action packed mecha combat (which is not something I look for in an anime), it has a psychological/emotional side to it.

So can anyone who's seen the series please tell me whether it's worth seeing and what I should expect from it? I mean I watched the opening credits on youtube and it looks really corny and pretty dated.

Keep in mind the only anime I've watched recently has been Shinkai's stuff (I watched pokemon and stuff as a kid but nothing really since then besides the odd episode of something here and there), which is why I tend to keep away from "You Favorite Anime" threads and stuff like that.

I don't want to watch some mindless, action-packed explodey-fest. I mean if I wanted that I'd go watch a live action movie which would do a better job of the effects. I want a movie that will inspire me or make me think.

But I'm sure there's a reason this is so acclaimed and I'd like to hear your opinions, since I value them as Shinkai fans Smile
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Joined: 04 Feb 2008
Posts: 306

Location: Louisiana, USA

PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Neon Genesis Evangelion is said to be a deconstruction of the anime mecha genre and of the common character personality types of the animes at the time.  It also subverts many other anime genres such as harem

For example, one common theme in the mecha genres is a very young main character who's father been missing all of his life who build/designs a super robot that the main character eventually pilots.  In Evangelion, the main character is exactly such a character, but subverted (for the first time in a major anime) in that he's screwed up from abandonment issues, and is further stressed by being pressed to pilot a giant robot that he's never had training for or even seen before.  Other common character types subverted included Tsundere, emotionless girls, bottle fairies, and lovable sex maniacs.   The series basically asks "how would real-life counterparts of such characters come to be that way, and what would they really be like in the real world?".

Basically, the series takes an unrealistic situation and tries to put realistic characters in it.  To me, Neon Genesis Evangelion is a psychological anime first that just incidentally is wrapped as a mecha anime.  It also contains many Judeo-Christianity symbolism and themes, but those were largely used a back story element to fill in the world that the characters reside in.  

The Original T.V. series does have dated animation, but it did come out in 1995, before the advent of computer animation.  Technically, I thought the animation was excellent for a TV series of its time for the first 2/3 of the series.  The quality drops for the last 1/3 because something happens in the series that caused several of the series's financial backers to stop funding it.  This cumulates into the last two episodes, which while they don't complete the story, they do try to give a more positive ending to a few of the character's individual stories.  The End of Evangelion movie, though, is *not* really a happy ending, but it does complete the main story lines in the series.

The series is being remade with a series of 4, 2-hour movies, with modern animation techniques (but with the original character and mecha designs).  It is said that it will diverge from the TV series and original movie towards the end of the series, but the first one that came out is basically an edited reproduction of the first 6 episodes on the TV series.  I don't know how long the rest are coming out, but if you're worried about dated-feeling animation, you can wait and watch those instead.

As for greatest anime ever made, well, that is only one opinion.  What isn't an opinion was that [i]Neon Genesis Evangelion[i] is probably the most influential anime in the 90s and really got popularity in the U.S. before there was much of a fansubbing movement on the internet.  Ironically, even if it was a subversion of many common anime tropes, it ended up being the first anime seen by many new viewers, so their view of anime/mecha got clouded by it (I.E., the thought that "anime is just pretentious" or "anime is just about angst" stemmed largely from this show and the shows it influenced).

I'd say give it a watch.  It's far from my favorite show, but I do like it and I see its influence in even modern anime.
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Joined: 12 Jun 2008
Posts: 147

Location: Romania

PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My sister has read the manga up to the end even though she's not into the macha genre. I understand that it's emotional because some characters die, others are separated and other kind of drama. Not sure about the anime though, heard it was pretty boring.
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Joined: 25 Jan 2008
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Location: Australia

PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 8:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My friend will support that opinion strongly. Neon Genesis Evangelion is his favorite anime. I suppose he enjoys the mix of action and drama genre but not so much myself. Action isn't really my type.
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Joined: 27 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 8:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's been awhile since I watched it, but all the characters, are so very dark... Slowly deconstructs them during the series.
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Joined: 09 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've got the anime series and I love it. This is definitely one of those series that people either love or hate mainly because Shinji is such a whining wuss.  Eva was done by Gainax I believe, and is always included when discussing very influential series (at least in some of the panels I've been to).

For the most part the series is pretty action packed despite Shinji's whining. Rei and Asuka are pretty interesting characters as well. Towards the end is where things get a little ... odd. Definitely check it out. I haven't read the manga at all.


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