Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Evangelion Day: 10 Reasons Why Neon Genesis Evangelion is Epic

One of the most critically acclaimed anime and manga series in existence is Neon Genesis Evangelion. A mecha, post-apocalyptic story, Evangelion only aired in Japan from 1995-96, but it became a game-changer for the anime world. It not only re-imagined the mecha genre, but it essentially revived the anime industry both artistically and technologically.

Neon Genesis Evangelion begins fifteen years after the Second Impact, a global cataclysmic event, and follows the journey of Shiji Ikari, a boy who has been chosen to pilot one of the giant Evangelion bio-machines, as he tries to save the world from the "Angels," a race of giant monsters foretold by the Dead Sea Scrolls.

The events of Neon Genesis Evangelion take place during the year 2015, which as we know was last year. The first anime episode takes place on June 22--Evangelion Day. Today is the anniversary of the day Shinji Ikari first entered the Evangelion bio-machine to fight off the Third Angel.

Despite the events of the anime and manga taking place in what is now the past, Neon Genesis Evangelion still has a lot to offer as a series. Like I said, it was a game-changer for the anime industry, and today it still is. Here are ten reasons why Neon Genesis Evangelion is epic.

1. The concept

The only way I can describe Neon Genesis Evangelion is that it's basically Pacific Rim mixed with Attack on Titan. It has the giant robot machines like Pacific Rim, and they are fighting against mysterious monsters to free the world just like in Attack on Titan. (Plus Shinji Ikari is very similar to Eren Jaeger at times.) However, Evangelion came out seventeen years before either of those. The entire concept is pretty cool and way ahead of its time apparently.

2. It's sad

Evangelion might be a mecha, post-apocalyptic series, but it's also a tragedy. It's very sad. It's so freaking sad, I'll probably be crying about it for the next fifteen years. There are wonderful moments--even hilarious moments--but a lot of what Shinji and the other Evangelion pilots go through to save the world (and at such young ages) is terrible. A lot of characters die. And it's just really sad, which makes it a better story.

3. Robots

Giant robots fighting other giant monster-type things? Hello--how is this not epic?

4. Rei Ayanami

The character of Rei Ayanmi is so cool. She's mysterious at times, and while Shinji is the main character, Rei is what holds everything together. She comes across kind of sad and apathetic since she's been training to be a pilot her whole entire existence, buut there's much more to her. It's so amazing to watch all of that unfold along with the story line. Plus, she's an epic pilot!

5. Mecha Genre Influence

As I mentioned before, Evangelion re-imagined the mecha genre for the anime industry. It revamped how mecha works, and it became a cultural icon. It has influenced a lot of anime since its release in 1995. It also revived the anime industry at the time and impacted its popularity across the globe. (Basically, we can say America and other countries have high interest in anime today because of Evangelion.) While it may be older and more classic in style, it's still popular today with over $1.3 billion in gross revenue.


Seriously, there are giant robot machines that kick butt in this anime/manga series. Epic.

7. The characters

There are a lot of characters in this anime/manga series, yet they are all important and have deep back stories that integrates them with the events of the main plot. The deaths of minor characters are still heart-wrenching because of how well-developed every single character is. There is so much depth throughout the series. Everybody has a role, and everybody impacts Shinji's journey.

Yes, that's a penguin eating noodles. He's important too.

8. The plot development

Along with the characters, the plot is deeply explored. Everything that happens comes together in a nice way to push Shinji through his journey. There are no filler episodes or scenes. Everything has been carefully written for a specific purpose to tell this story. Bits and pieces intertwine to give a rich, deep story line that you can't find anywhere else. (No, not even in Pacific Rim or Attack on Titan. Evangelion may have similar elements, but the story is uniquely its own.)

9. Religious Overtones

Part of what makes Evangelion so rich are the religious overtones woven throughout the story. The writers integrated a number of religious references from at least six religions, including Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Kabbalah, Gnosticism, and Shinto. They used the references to create their own mythology, but they also kept a connection with the original texts and beliefs. It makes the entire story line more interesting and compelling to understand.


Have you ever read or watched Neon Genesis Evangelion? If not, what are you waiting for?


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