Neon Genesis Evangelion – Anime Review

The Essentials

Neon Genesis EvangelionName: Neon Genesis Evangelion
Genre: Sci-fi, Action, Fantasy
Episodes: 26
Released: October 4, 1995 – March 27, 1996
Based On: N/A
Director: Hideaki Anno
Produced By: GAINAX
US Distribution By: ADV Films

Major Japanese Cast

Shinji Ikari: Megumi Ogata
Rei Ayanami: Megumi Hayashibara
Asuka Langley Sohryu: Yuko Miyamura
Misato Katsuragi: Kotono Mitsuishi
Gendo Ikari: Fumihiko Tachiki
Kōzō Fuyutsuki: Motomu Kiyokawa
Ritsuko Akagi: Yuriko Yamaguchi
Toji Suzuhara: Tomokazu Seki
Kensuke Aida: Tetsuya Iwanaga
Ryoji Kaji: Kouichi Yamadera
Kaworu Nagisa: Akira Ishida

Major English Cast

Shinji Ikari: Spike Spencer
Rei Ayanami: Amanda Winn
Asuka Langley Sohryu: Tiffany Grant
Misato Katsuragi: Allison Keith
Gendo Ikari: Tristan MacAvery
Kōzō Fuyutsuki: Guil Lunde
Ritsuko Akagi: Sue Ulu
Toji Suzuhara: Joe Pisano
Kensuke Aida: Kurt Stoll
Ryoji Kaji: Aaron Krohn
Kaworu Nagisa: Kyle Sturdivant

Scores

Animation: 9/10 (x 4 = 36 pts)
Story: 9/10 (x 4 = 36 pts)
Music: 9/10 (x 4 = 36 pts)
Coherence/Story Arc: 8/10 (x 2 = 16 pts)
English Dubs: 10/10 (x1 = 10 pts)
Gut Score: 8/10 (x 5 = 40 pts)

Total: 174/200 (87%)

Review

Neon Genesis Evangelion, or just Evangelion, is a story about a boy, Shinji, who is pressured by his father into piloting a bio-mechanical mecha called Eva in order to defend Tokyo-3 against invading alien beings known as angels, along with two other pilots, Rei and Asuka. Defeating the angels is essential, for if the angels defeat the Evas, they will cause a repeat of the “second impact” – a large explosion which killed half of the earth’s population, popularly blamed on an asteroid impact but actually caused by one of the angels.

However, as the series progresses, and as Shinji, Rei, and Asuka keep having to fend off angel after angel, more is learned about the nature of the evas. However, battling the angels is hardly the only part of Evangelion, as many of the characters suffer from several different types of personality disorders as well as having broken and strained relationships with other characters.

Most of the focus is saved for the three pilots, however: Shinji, who suffers from chronic depression and low self-esteem; Asuka, who is quite proud yet is extremely agitated with the fact that she can’t perform in the evas as well as Shinji, especially as she looks at Shinji’s depression and low self-esteem with disgust; and Rei, who is the most mysterious of the three and who tends to be emotionless and is even uncertain of who she is and what she wants.

Evangelion is an action packed psychological thriller which may not be for everyone, considering the intensity and violence in the series. Besides the psychological part of the show, Evangelion eventually unwraps a pretty intricate mystery behind the evas, the angels, and the organizations which help Japan and the UN fight off the angels: NERV and SEELE.

One of the biggest things Evangelion is known for, however, is it’s ending – or lack thereof, as the ending to the TV series leaves things quite wide open as to what happens in the end. Despite this, Evangelion still plays itself out an an excellent and entertaining series. Most of the technical aspects of the show are also excellent, with good animation for it’s time and with a dub which is one of the best I’ve heard.

If you can stand a little (OK, a lot) of violence and some gruesomeness, and you want to watch an excellent series, give Evangelion a shot.

First Watched: January – March 2006
Do I Own: Yes
Do I Recommend: Yes

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3 thoughts on “Neon Genesis Evangelion – Anime Review

  1. The ending was perhaps the most disappointing part of the series. It was unfortunate GAINAX was short in cash and that the ending had to be butchered into basically a slideshow.

    End of Evangelion at least cleared things up and gave what I thought was the proper conclusion to the series.

  2. I agree with IcyStorm that the ending is a bit of a cop out. One could argue that it was an artistic masterpiece, but I felt it smelled like running out of budget and steam.

  3. Well, I would agree, thus the “despite this” wording. I guess I could have expanded on it more, but I’m not sure it was worth going on a rant just for that.

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