Neon Genesis Evangelion

Do anyone here know about the anime Neon Genesis Evangelion?
If so, what do you think about it?

It was a good show, but I don’t think it was as awesome as people make it out to be. It’s supposed to be the best mecha anime that isn’t from the Gundam family, but I think Code Geass was better.

I think its popularity rests on chockfulls of references to Abrahamic religions (particularly Judaism, especially the Kabbalah, and Christianity), pseudo-psychology and science fiction stuff.

The above is an image of a particular Shito (使徒, literally translated as Messenger or Apostle, i.e. One who is sent but officially called as Angel in English), dubbed Sammael by some fans, that does NOT appear in the series proper, but only shows up in the opening credits (there, I’ve spoiled you a bit). There’s a bit of a resemblance to a Seraphim/Cherubim, aside from the owl-like face and the extra six wings.

Man, I was obsessed with this one years ago. A good way to gauge your reaction to Eva is to watch Akira and see if you have issue with that. Eva has a way of really messing with your head, especially at the end.

With that being said, Eva is violent, gruesome, and not something I would watch with little kids. I haven’t watched it again in a long time because of the violence and some other aspects of it. If what you’re looking for is giant robots fighting it out, I say stick with Gundam. If you’re looking for giant robots, pseudo-religion, pseudo-science, and a feeling like you must have missed something crucial to the plot and can almost grasp what’s going on, then Eva is for you.

Very well put.

Well, I did like complicated pseudo-religious scientific babble…:smiley:

Let’s do a simple recap of Worldwide events leading up to the start of the series (sorry if this is spoiler-filled):

In the year 2000, an event which eliminated Antarctica of all life, melted its icecaps (causing global floods which killed two billion in the Southern Hemisphere), shifted the Earth’s axis and caused worldwide climactic changes, known as the Second Impact, happened.

As a result of the subsequent chaos, wars broke out due to scarce food and resources, such as a war between India and Pakistan which started two days after the explosion (which happened in September 13). These conflicts spread all over the world (a nuclear bomb was detonated in Tokyo, killing half a million, for example), and were ended on February 14, 2001 by signing what would be later called “the Valentine Ceasefire.”

By the end of these events, the worldwide human population was halved, many animal and plant species became extinct, and sea levels rose up which caused many coastal cities in Japan to be submerged under the ocean.

The official explanation for the Second Impact was that it was caused by a meteorite, which was said to be very small (10 centimetres=4 inches) in diameter yet was travelling at 95% of the speed of light or very large moving at 10% the speed of light, colliding with the Earth, thus causing the various disasters (in fact, the name was a reference to a supposed First Impact billions of years ago which created the Earth’s moon. However of course, as you may have guessed there is a conspiracy here. :rolleyes:

Fast forward 15 years later post-Second Impact. The world at large had been returning to more or less a kind of normalcy, despite a lot of damage that the disaster has caused to the Earth and to the survivors of the event. This is the scenario that the whole series is set in…

I enjoyed it. That’s all :wink:

It’s enjoyable…but that all depends on the ending you decide to go with!

There are two endings to the series (I heard something about a possible third being made). The first ending really doesn’t make any sense. The second ending almost makes sense, and then makes a complete 180 and stops making sense immediately.

lol, that’s right!! (although i saw it several years ago, so i can’t really vouch for its sensicality…)
I heard apparently the otaku were so upset by the first ending that the creator of the series got death threats :eek:

I don’t remember which ending I saw. Whatever ending they showed on Adult Swim, I guess…

Of course there is that rumor that Hideaki Anno (the creator) created the film The End of Evangelion (the one with the other ending) as a sort of ‘revenge’ against these fans.

However this idea is mostly based on that ‘montage’ of letters appearing in that film, which is incorrectly identified as ‘hate mail’; only three of the letters/messages can be classified as a death threat and a hate mail; the others are mostly letters of praise and anticipation for the movie. The ‘hate mail’ letter does not address the TV ending but the film Death and Rebirth, and the other one (which says ‘Anno, I’ll kill you’ repeatedly) was shown in close-up and thus, lacks a context.

And as an aside, Just last year, another film in the Eva franchise was released: (Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone), part of the planned tetralogy Rebuild of Evangelion, which is basically episode 01-06 redrawn and reanimated.

How long are they going to squeeze this franchise before it runs out of milk? That is the question. :stuck_out_tongue:

Some apparently take the pseudo-religiosity of the series too seriously; take as an example the statements that:

**1.) **The Evangelion Units are designed to resemble the so-called the Four Barons of Hell, usually described as Satan’s right-hand men, repeated in some Evangelion sites.

These four Barons are said to either appear in the Bible, or some early Judeo-Christian work (Apocryphal or otherwise), or in Dante’s Divine Comedy, or else are identified with the four Horsemen in the Book of Revelation.
Evangelion Unit-00 (EVA-00).

-One baron was said to have a featureless face except for one large eye.
Evangelion Unit-01 (EVA-01).

-The baron of darkness was described as having a large singular horn and numerous great gnashing teeth.
Evangelion Unit-02 (EVA-02).

-The third baron was described as blood red and a face with four eyes and two mouths.
Evangelion Unit-03 (EVA-03)

-The fourth baron was said to be pitch-black and had unnaturally long arms. (EVA-03)

This theory rests on shaky ground however, as:

1.) Anyone who has picked up the Bible can tell that there is absolutely NO MENTION of anyone or anything that would even closely resemble these ‘four Barons of Hell’, much less give similar descriptions about their appearances.

2.) While two of the EVA units have similar colors to two of the four horses in Revelation (namely the red and black one), they would also not fit as we have no visual descriptions of the horsemen in the book (aside from the fact that one of them has a bow and a crown, one carries a sword, one carries a scale, and one is named Death), nor in any other work that I know of.

3.) There is absolutely no mention of anything that would resemble these Barons of Hell in Dante’s Divina Commedia.

4.) One site mentions that "back in medieval days the Judeo-Christians took it upon themselves to name and categorize all the angels and demons of the afterlife."
While it is true that many Jewish or Christian Angelologists or Demonologists attempted to name, classify, and describe hundreds of Angels or Demons, as far as I know, there is nothing in catalogues of Angels or Demons compiled by these people that would fit the Barons of Hell.

5.) Searching for ‘Barons of Hell’ in an Internet search engine would usually turn up mostly Evangelion-related sites that repeat or refute this statement, along with the unrelated Barons of Hell that appear in Doom.

6.) This had been refuted again and again in some Evangelion sites, though unfortunately some sites still include a form of this rumor.

7.) Contrary to this statement, the animators said that the EVA Units are based on the Japanese oni (which, while having some characteristics similar to western depictions of demons, such as horn/s, are more like ogres):

“There’s a monster in Japan called the oni; it has two horns sticking out of its head and the overall image of the Eva is based on that. I also wanted to give the impression that beneath this ‘robot monster’ image is not so much a robot, but a giant human.”

-Hideaki Anno

For short, this ‘concept’ was most likely an invention by fans as we have next to nil references to anything that resembles these four Barons of Hell.

Statement no. 2: The chairman of the secret organization SEELE, Keel Lorentz, is the Wandering Jew of legend.

Wikipedia tells us that:

The Wandering Jew is a figure from medieval Christian folklore whose legend began to spread in Europe in the thirteenth century and became a fixture of Christian mythology, and, later, of Romanticism. The original legend concerns a Jew who taunted Jesus on the way to the Crucifixion and was then cursed to walk the earth until the Second Coming. The exact nature of the wanderer’s indiscretion varies in different versions of the tale, as do aspects of his character; sometimes he is said to be a shoemaker or other tradesman, sometimes he is the doorman at Pontius Pilate’s estate, and sometimes the myth is transferred to a Roman rather than a Jew.

Keel Lorentz: the Wandering Jew?

The problems with this theory are:

1.) Flashbacks in Episode 21 visibly show Lorentz as younger, whereas the Wandering Jew was according to legend, not supposed to age.

2.) A scene in The End of Evangelion, as well as the so-called Red Cross Book (A booklet distributed during the screening of that film containing an ‘explication’ of sorts) confirms that Lorentz was a cyborg, which explains his ‘long’ life:

Keel Lorentz: The chairman of the Instrumentality Committee, and also the leader of SEELE. His body is completely cybernetic from the spine down. He issued orders for the direct occupation of Special Agency NERV, and planned Instrumentality using Eva-01.

So, again this is just another unnecessary connection of an element in the film to something religious.

The original TV ending actually made a lot of sense, since Evangelion is an allegory, so to speak. The premise of the ending is that one mustn’t run away (consistently told to Shinji time and again, and was told to him way back in Episode 1 by Misato), and that one must face himself to know himself, the very premise of Episode 26. To make sense of the series, one must watch episodes 25 and 26 first then go and watch the whole series. It will give sense as to who the Angels are.

Great that there’s a specific NGE thread now; I wanted to open one a long time ago, but didn’t bother since I thought there aren’t that many anime fans here.

We’ve been actually waiting for you…:smiley:

We’ve already mentioned the (planned) Rebuild of Evangelion tetralogy, the first installment of which had already premiered here in Japan last September. One noticeable thing is that they’ve changed a lot of things.

Take for example, the logo of the secret organization SEELE, which in the original series was composed of seven eyes in a (divided) triangle:

Original SEELE logo

In the Rebuild series, they added a serpent around an apple, the name SEELE in pseudo-runic font, and the verse “Überm Sternenzelt richtet Gott, wie wir gerichtet” (Above the starry-sky God will judge, the way we have judged):

Rebuild SEELE logo

Also changed was the logo of NERV:

Original logo

Rebuild logo

It may be just me, but I prefer the original NERV logo over the new one (it is more well-designed than the new one, which is a bit too plain, IMHO); as for the SEELE logo, the serpent-around-an-apple (not another religious reference! :p) is nice, but the seven-eyes-in-a-triangle motif had already stuck in many people’s minds…(so is the old NERV logo, with its fig-leaf and all) What’s the point of changing it? :shrug:

The logos were (obviously) not the only ones who got redesigned; some of the Angels also got a makeover as well:

The original 4th Angel (yet the 2nd to appear), Shamshel

The Rebuild 5th Angel, Shamshel

The original 5th Angel, Ramiel, originally stuck to its octahedron-shaped form.

The Rebuild Ramiel (bumped to 6th), now with the power to shape-shift depending on the situation!

The 2nd ‘Angel’ Lilith’s mask was also revised:

Right: Original version. The design on Lilith’s ‘mask’ was originally similar to that of SEELE’s original logo, which brings us to the question of who originally thought of the design: Lilith or SEELE?

Middle: Rebuild version (her mask now looks more like that of the 3rd [4th] Angel, Sachiel’s)
Sachiel (original version)

I also like the old NERV logo better; somehow the new NERV logo seems to be a downgrade, not an upgrade. For those interested in the explanations to the series and movie, here’s a wonderful site which has, for me, become my resource: Rather an old, and largely unupdated site, but still very useful in knowing about the TV series and movies.

That was quite an interesting site…:smiley:

A word of advice for the others, though: The site is written from the (supposed) point of view of Gendo Ikari, and thus may not be entirely accurate (I’ve heard that the “Keel Lorenz=Wandering Jew connection” started from this site; fortunately I could not find anything about those oft-repeated four Barons of Hell :p). Great introduction to the series though.

Here is the original Evangelion Unit-01:

And here is Rebuild’s EVA-01, with less bigger shoulder pylons, a slightly redesigned helmet and more green-colored parts:

I’m actually mixed about this tweaking of EVA-01. While Rebuild EVA-01 is in some places better than the original, I’m not really a fan of the increased frequency of green.

However, it does seem to serve a practical purpose in the film: as the battle against Sachiel is now dark to accurately reflect the fact that it is nighttime, the additional neon green is necessary to show the audience where EVA-01 is; otherwise, it (she?) would be barely visible due to the lack of light!

Above is from the original series, below is from Evangelion 1.0: You Are (Not) Alone

That does not mean that all visual changes in the film are that bad; I think some (admittedly rather superficial) changes are improvements over the original; however to be fair the original series was rather impressive on its own right, considering it was made with a (supposedly) small budget and limited (by present standards) animation techniques available back then (late 1995-early 1996):

Episode 01 vs. Evangelion 1.0
Episode 02 vs. Evangelion 1.0
Episode 03 vs. Evangelion 1.0

If you want to spoil yourself, the above links are visual comparisons between the originals series and the recent film.

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