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September 22, 2013

Neon Genesis Evangelion


A friend of mine once said, "you can't call yourself an anime hardcore fan or otaku if you haven't watched Neon Genesis Evangelion..."

Well, actually, I'm not much of an anime fan as I prefer to read manga... but this anime is so popular that I finally decided to try & watch the series just about two weeks ago... 

My first impression? WOAHHHHH!! I was hooked from the first episode! I managed to finish watching all 26 episodes in less than a week, marking how intriguing the series is for me. 

For those who are not familiar with this anime, here's an extremely brief overview of what is it about:


In year 2000, half of humanity was wiped out because of a global cataclysm known as "Second Impact"... Years later, humanity rose again & achieved high technological advancement where they're managed to create giant bio-machines named Evangelions... However, they're constantly threaten by mysterious beings called "Angels".

The story revolves around a fourteen year old boy, Shinji Ikari, who was (kinda) forced to pilot one of the Evangelions & go against rampaging Angels... Fighting alongside him were Rei Ayanami & Asuka Langley Soryu. 


So, yeah, GIANT ROBOTS fighting GIANT...... THINGS!! 


The first thing that captivated my interest was the fast paced fighting scenes... Both Evas & Angels manipulated force field barriers known as AT Field to defend & attack... Besides that, they also fought in close range by using sharp limbs, daggers & lances... 

Every Angel had its own specialty in offense & defense... Some were able to attack using high range energy blasts & beams while some were more physical. Therefore, the Evas needed to change tactics when dealing with different Angels...







Next best thing is... ASUKA!! Lets admit it, sex sells! and those who have watched enough animes would know that Japan is pretty open minded when it comes to revealing skins... 

Seeing Asuka in her fierce red plug suit got me excited every damn time... If Asuka is not your type, there are other sex symbols to admire like Captain Katsuragi Misato, Ritsuko Akagi & Rei Ayanami... 





The story is quite hard to be swallowed in one big bite because there are a lot of mysterious elements... The Angels are one of the elements that's quite hard to figure out... I mean, what are they? Okey, they're descendants of Lilith & humans were descendants of Adam... But what are Adam & Lilith? Spear of Longinus? Human Instrumentality Project? Seele?

There are so many things to think about! Sometimes the characters talked so fast & it's quite hard for me to understand what they're really on... So, I had to rewatch multiple episodes & did some Googling to really really grasp what the shit was going on...


ALL characters are fucked up... Shinji, the lead, was an abandoned child seeking for approval from his dad & a total loser... Asuka, being as gorgeous as she was, was also abandoned, and seeking approval that she could survive on her own & do everything perfectly... Rei? She's an odd ball... The main cast members were all disturbed & mentally unstable... Time bombs waiting to explode... 

Because of that, there are many dramas in this anime which I found quite draggy at some point... For instance, the part when Shinji took a stroll just to find what's the point of him piloting an Eva... That dragged out for a long time... I understand that it's very important to show how the characters suffered in order for the audience to really connect with the story, but hell, watching an entire episode without having the pleasure to watch Eva fight could be a little bit disappointing...


I would advise all of you that this isn't an anime for kids... Not just because of the sexual stuff but the Eva & Angel fights could be really graphic & gory... There's a lot of blood... Limbs flying... Entrails spouting around... Fuhh! Quite disturbing...

Besides that, there are many religious elements being incorporated, making this anime a very controversial one... The cross explosions, the names of Angels, Adam, Lilith... One must keep an open mind in order to really enjoy watching it.


The drawings are good & I love the design of characters, costumes, mechas, buildings & Angels.


The DVD copy that I got has an option of Japanese voice & English dub... Personally, I prefer Japanese voice because it's more dramatic while English dub sounds so fake... The Japanese voice actors really did a good job.


Overall, I think that Neon Genesis Evangelion anime series is a good watch... Though, I really really don't like the ending... I won't spoil it for those who haven't watched the series but those who have seen it will understand...


Those who don't like the ending should know that there's a Evangelion movie that serve as an alternate ending for the series.



The ending of the series left me feeling incomplete... I felt like there's no closure because it didn't end with a big big bang! Luckily, the producers did an alternate ending probably to satisfy a majority of frustrated audience...


With all Angels eliminated, NERV had to face SEELE when they confirmed Gendo's treachery... SEELE dispatched nine Mass Production (MP) Evangelions when the army they sent beforehand were eliminated...

Yes, thank you... This alternate is far better than the original because it did end with a bang! Well, actually, it was a near bang... Near Third Impact they call it.

Best thing about it is Asuka back in action! After series of depression, Asuka came back from the depths of her sorrows and shone brightly where she almost almost defeated NERV's fierce enemies...







Again, I would advise to not let children watch this because there are many disturbing images such as:








There are indeed many elements that are hard to understand in the story & therefore, in order to really really really grasp the meaning of each image, I had to do research on the Internet... I guess that why this franchise is so popular... People watched it, people didn't really understand, people raged, people wanted to know more, people discussed... BOOOMM! It's popular!




Even with the alternate ending, the producers brought more for the fans by producing a remake of the anime! There are four parts & three of them have been shown... This remake is better known as Rebuild of Evangelion.



EVANGELION 1.0 YOU ARE (NOT) ALONE (2007)

This one is like a summary of a the first few parts of the series... Though there are a few differences in drawing details like the angels have more unique physical features & powers...



EVANGELION 2.0 YOU CAN (NOT) ADVANCE (2009)

The initial part of this one is adapted from the series but towards the middle, the story takes a different path... The drawings also improved a lot when the colours are more elaborated & the lines are finer... Higher definition! There's also a new pilot!








EVANGELION 3.0 YOU CAN (NOT) REDO (2012)

The action is faster paced in this one! I have to rewind a few times on the action parts to really capture the movements...

Those who watched the series will be familiar with the first two parts... But part three is totally a new story because it happens 4 years after Near Third Impact...


The final part of Rebuild of Evangelion is still in development!




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