Neon Genesis Evangelion Review
January 6, 2020
Godzilla. The Smog Monster. King Kong. Pacific Rim. I've been into giant monsters since I was five years old. Especially when a giant monster fights another giant monster. I had heard of some anime called Neon Genesis Evangelion that was about giant robots fighting giant monsters, and it sounded cool. But I had also heard it was some weird anime that was hard to get ahold of. However, it is on Netflix this year! So I gave it a shot.
I was immediately hooked from the get-go. The basic plot is that in the year 2015, monsters called "Angels" are attacking Japan. For whatever reason, bombs and regular weapons don't affect them--the only thing that can stop them are giant robots called "Evas". It doesn't exactly explain why, but the Evas are piloted by junior-high age teenagers. It doesn't matter that it is confusing, it is just so awesome having the robots fight the Angels. Each episode, a new Angel appears with new abilities, and the humans/Evas have to figure out how to stop it. The episodes aren't all action though, I really enjoyed the slower episodes seeing how the people of Tokyo live their lives. The teenagers have to go to school and deal with bullies, girlfriends, and bad family lives. The show was perfect. That is until about episode 14.
In episode 14, the show begins to change. That is halfway through the series. I was all-in on loving the show by episode 14, but it just seemed weird. Then it got weirder and weirder as the episodes went on. It stopped being a show about robots fighting monsters. It started to delve into Shinji's (the main character) mind. Shinji starts to fall apart. The best way to describe it is like 2001: A Space Odyssey. After the HAL 9000 part, you just can't believe how awesome this movie is, and then things just get really, really weird. I don't even watch the end of 2001 anymore, it is just too weird and disappointing. Neon Genesis is the same way. It is so weird at the end, I don't even know how to describe it all. Maybe I'm not smart enough to understand it.
Overall, the show was a major letdown. I was so excited about the show at the beginning, and that just made the ending so much worse. The characters are great. The teenage robot pilots are all great, and the grown up characters are too. The music is really cool, I love the opening theme. The animation itself is very good, I love that early nineties style. Maybe watch it yourself and see if you can make sense of the show. I just don't understand the ending, it was horrible.
Verdict: 3 out of 5
Warning: The show isn't for kids, I would say at least 15 or 16 years old minimum.