Neon Genesis Evangelion did its debut in 1995. From there and on we heard only about Neon Genesis Evangelion, everyone instantly fell in love with the story that Gainax has produced with great looking mechas, characters and story. The popularity for Evangelion has far outmatched anything else, including Dragonball and Sailor Moon. Many have claimed that Neon Genesis Evangelion is the best anime that has ever been made. Well, is it?
Neon Genesis Evangelion’s story is about how humanity is in a crisis from an alien race called “angels” that is attacking the city Tokyo 2. The city they once called Tokyo 1 was flooded and since then abandoned. No one really know what the angels are really after other then the destruction of the humans. The angels have no way or cant communicate in any way with the humans. Humanity only way of survival is by attacking the angels with “Envangelions” which is biological robots, these Evangelions are controlled by an organization called NERV whose headquarters are in Tokyo 2. The problem with the Evangelions is that not everyone has the ability to pilot them, only certain teenagers with the ability to synchronize with them are able to pilot the Evangelions. These teenagers who is also the main characters in Evangelion is what i would call varied, as the story progress they are brutally ripped apart and left to rot as Evangelion holds nothing back from the one viewing. What is different is that in many animes a flaw in a character is fixed in some way before the show ends, in Evangelion characters with flaws of weaknesses will instead show strength while they still remain weak, another example is that some characters that are arrogant in some way will show moments of humility. The characters will undergo many test and trials on their way to overcome their flaws, but they will never go so far as to overcome them.
Another thing characters wise that is quite hard to watch is how the main protagonists get mentally and emotional beaten up all the time which will leave them mentally broken. If you as a viewer belive that the character in question will try to better themselves Evangelion will say “FU!” and drag you along the darkness that the character is facing, and most of the times there is not going to be a happy conclusion to their experience either. Evangelion is having a laughter with you as a viewer as it will try and balance the emotional aspects while also trying to screw with them in order make the viewer mad while trying to keep him/her on his/her feet.
The animation and design is not that great, and no need to argue with the time period and computer effects, animation is ordinary, period. Just count how many still frames they’ve got in one episode, divide 10 by this number, normalize this with the average rating given in most reviews, and you are closer to the rating you should realistically give to animation. Someone didn’t really like the “pseudo-math” here, but hey, it’s my way of saying that there are too many still frames, and not much details compared to what is average out there, time period excluded. I felt they recycled too many scenes (in the second half especially) whether in flashback scenes or reused stuff. Great design is not enough, one has to animate when it’s “right” and give off certain feelings. I frankly believe Ghibli (bigger budget and much better director) has been doing a better job since longer…
In the end, it is really hard to judge the overall enjoyment & value for Neon Genesis Evangelion. this has been one of the most, if not most, influental anime in the 90′s. And it certainly seems to have attracted a fair share of fans behind it. Even with some flaws in character exploration, storytelling and some of the graphical flaws, it is not a show anyone should miss out on.