Saturday, December 02, 2000

Neon Genesis Eva review

Despite haters of the show, you can't really escape the influence and impact Neon Genesis Evangelion had on the anime world. Hotly debated yet receives just as much love as it does renouncing, if people are first entering the anime field, this is usually picked as a "starter series". While plot is sometimes confusing and characters speak in philosophy speeches at times, it's still a great although slightly overrated show but it's filled with enough memorable aspects that it at least deserves a viewing.

The year is 2015 and humanity's population has been cut in half. Thanks to an event known as "Second Impact", the climate has changed and people in New Tokyo-3 are living in a city built higher than the water levels. Appearing now and then are weird and massive creatures known as "Angels" where conventional weaponry is useless. However organization NERV has created the Evangelions, giant mech robots designed to fight them back. But things aren't as simple as the designated pilots; Shinji Ikari, Asuka Langley Soryru and Rei Ayanami, have to contend with their own personal issues as well as the real reason Second Impact happened and the potential for a Third.

Evangelion is one of those kind of shows where it does tend to stay with you, whether you liked the show or not. There's enough iconic imagery or scenes as well as characters that even 9 years after watching the initial run, I'm amazed at how much of it I remember. In fact, I even understand the show more having seen it a second time. Of course some things are fuzzy and the more philosophical dialogue characters go on sometimes goes over my head but not once do I feel like I'm being intentionally led around because people think confusion equals depth. At least here it's better written and more existential than the animated online comic "Broken Saints". Talk about pretentious.

Is there some issues with the show? Of course. There's a noticeable pattern in some episodes. Angel shows up when characters whine about whatever, angel does something completely surprising and characters do something completely out of left field to save the day. Having characters repeatedly say something is having no effect or no response over and over can get pretty old. Not to mention some characters don't really grow. Asuka is a controlling, egotistical ***** when she starts and she's pretty much the same when she ends as well as Shinji who is basically doing things because others tell him to but would rather just do nothing yet feel praise for doing something. As for episodes 25 and 26, there's been so much hatred for them that while I don't dismiss them since they're actually well-done, I can understand at how some might not like how the series decided to end.

My one gripe with this package is what's not included. The individual sets came with special features such as commentaries. While some might not completely mourn the loss of these, some might feel cheapened that you're not experiencing the completeness of the set, missing out on what others who buy the single editions get. So it all depends on economy and the amount of bonus features you want: lots of stuff included with the episodes or a relatively inexpensive box set compared to buying them separately.

While many other series might be more advanced animation-wise and had longer seasons, not many have had the impact Evangelion has and it's a series that at least everyone interested in anime should watch at least once.


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