If you have even a passing interest in Japanese anime or Japanese culture, you're sure to have heard of the groundbreaking series Neon Genesis Evangelion. Over the years, this series has garnered an incredible cult following and has inspired many newer animes. However none have surpassed the this great show.
The series focuses on the organistaion known as NERV. It's 2015 and Nerv is fronting the battle against the villainous Angels with their own powerful weapons - The Evangelion's. These gigantic, towering robots are piloted by 14 year old kids who have the ability to synchronise and control them. Such a person is Shinji Ikari, who is also known as the Third Child. Throughout the series we see Shinji, along with his fellow 'chosen' children as they combat the invading Angel's and try to prevent the Third Impact.(anihilation of all living things). However, this is no easy task and soon the physical and psychological impacts of piloting the Evas begins to take it's toll.
What ensues is a intelligent and thrilling sci fi series that brings forth an incredibly well told story, great characters that the viewer can empathise with and eyepopping mecha action sequences. The production of this series looks flawlessly high budget and big in scale that sometimes you have to remind yourelf that it was made way back in 1995. While some of the animation shows it's age, some of the action sequences are outstanding. The sheer attention to detail and the smooth animating makes this look and feel extraordinary. Furthermore, there are some truly excellent character designs that are widely recognised in the world of anime. The majority of the episodes see the young heroes battling angels, while also fleshing out their characters. All of the characters in Evangelion are simply classic and are hard not to like. Everything about this show oozes with quality and pure class which has stamped it's position as one of the best and most influential animes ever created.
This show has often been critisised due to the intense mental and psychological aspects towards the later part of the series which often results in inconsistent and surreal story telling that can be rather confusing (to say the least). While the obvious goal for the story is following man's battle against the Angel's, there is also a strong theme of identity loss and the purpose of living (as well as other similar themes), which can be attributed to creator Hideaki Anno's depressive problems prior to making the show. The shows tendency to delve into this surreal story telling was taken with critisism among man fans due to over-complication and loss of focus to the story. The later part of Neon Genesis is certainly a head scratcher on the first watch, however it is truly intriguing and captivating and the fact that the characters are so likeable and relatable makes the experience even more meaningful.
Filled with philosophical questions and biblical references, Evangelion is a series that has been analysed and discussed since it's inception and it has become a landmark anime series that has stood the tests of time and will continue to do so for years to come. A truly fantastic anime series that needs to be on everyones shelf now!