Holland can sometimes be a very strange country. Don’t get me wrong, I love it, but there are certain things that I wish could be a little bit different. Anime for instance is not as widely available here, as it is in other countries. Popular Anime movies don’t get a theatrical release here, and in the shops you are pretty hardpressed to find any decent Anime dvds. As such when growing up, I missed out on a lot of good shows, but luckily things are definitely better these days. With great sites such as Crunchyroll, and dvd boxsets I can purchase through online webshops, I can finally catch up on series I missed out on in my younger days. One of those shows is Neon Genesis Evangelion, a name that should be familiair to anyone that is even remotely interested in Anime.
Neon Genesis Evangelion (or EVA) starts in the year 2015, 15 years after a disastrous global cataclysm called The Second Impact. A young boy called Shinji Ikari, has been summoned to the city of Tokyo 3, by his father Gendo Ikari. Shinji has not had any real contact with his father for years. Gendo is in charge of the mysterious organisation called NERV, which is pretty much entrusted with the protection of the human race. When Shinji arrives at Tokyo 3, an attack occurs by a terrifying creature that is part of a race called Angels. Much to his surprise, Shinji is being pressured by his estranged father to become the pilot of a giant robot called an Evangelion. These robotic units are designed to fight the mysterious Angels. With no training Shinji is let loose onto the battlefield, and this is the start of a nightmare, where the fate of the human race will ultimately be decided….
So how do you review a series such as this? There really is only one answer to that question: you don’t. If I were to do a proper review for this show, I might have to write a hundred of these posts, and than I still would probably have barely scratched the surface. So I am not even going to pretend that this is a normal review. What I will try to do is explain that this show is unlike any other Anime that came before it. When this show starts, you might think that this will be just another “giant robot vs aliens from outer space” series. However, there are already subtle indicators in that first episode that tell you, that nothing could be further from the truth. There are so many layers to this show, that even when you might watch it 10 times, you would still discover new things. The heart of this show is characters, and the bonds that exist between them. Every main character has his or her own flaws, and as such they become truly human. The designs of the Mecha and the aliens are also definitely not standard. After a few episodes, you are immersed into a storyline that is so deep, and has so many aspects to it, that my mind even now is still trying to figure some things out.
Neon Genesis Evangelion is pretty much a show that every person that watches Anime should have seen at least once. I can not give a guarantee that this series will be to everyone’s taste. There are some themes in the show that might be upsetting for people, and honestly the ending of the show I still have trouble with. Before I started writing this post I looked up some information on it, and found that the ending at the time caused quite a bit of controversy. Did it ruin it for me? Not in the least, because a show that causes my braincells to overload, but which I definitely want to see a second time, must be doing something right. And it truly did. I really loved this series, and I can now understand why it was so very popular at the time. This is a true classic, in every sense of the word, and I highly recommend it to everyone that has yet to experience this series. Because it really is pretty much that: an experience.
I give Neon Genesis Evangelion a 10 out of 10 score.