Okay. Let’s get this out of the way. The dialogue changes in the Netflix dub, specifically those that shift away from any gay character possibilities, don’t make any sense. It does subtract a lot of the depth from some of the later character moments. I have no idea why this was changed, but it happened. Also, losing ‘Fly Me to the Moon’ is a huge letdown. But above all that, I have one important question:
Why is there a penguin in this show?
I only know about these changes because of all the controversy (and memes) that flooded my social media feeds when the Netflix dub first came out. Before now, I’d never been able to watch Neon Genisis Evangelion. It was a classic anime that completely got away from me.
But now, I can officially call myself a weeb! WOOHOO!!
Plot: A Gradual Downward Spiral Into Insanity
Initially, this show is easy to follow, high-quality mecha anime. But then you get to the end. That’s when my jaw hit the floor and I shouted: “WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK?!”
Shinji Ikari is an average fourteen-year-old with daddy issues. One day, when his father calls him out of the blue, he is led to an underground facility, where he is faced with a giant robot: an Eva. Despite his wishes, he enters the machine and goes to fight a giant, supernatural being that’s tearing the city apart: an Angel. Thus, Shinji begins a new life as an Eva pilot. But it isn’t that simple; his father is hiding something terrible, and the Evas are not what they seem. Slowly, everything moves towards the end of the world. But will Shinji and his fellow pilots be able to stop it?
As I mentioned earlier, the initial episodes of this show are super simple and easy to follow. The characters are absolutely incredible, with natural, deep and interesting character arcs. Shinji is an incredible protagonist, and he pushes the story along perfectly. Every member of the cast plays off of each other perfectly, creating a dynamic, engaging and interesting cast!
The Angles and the fights against them are super interesting! Each one has a unique and memorable design, fascinating abilities, and require interesting and creative tactics to take them down! Each one is the centerpiece of an incredible anime battle. Despite having little to no personality, they push the main characters, and the plot, perfectly.
And then the last two episodes happen. That’s when the plot flies completely off the rails and spirals into fucking CRAZY TOWN!! Then it went even further and flew down Insanity Boulevard at the speed of sound and crashed headfirst into WHAT-THE-FUCK Tower!
I’d try to describe it, but I don’t want to spoil anything for people like me, who hadn’t seen it before now. Also… I’m completely certain that I can’t describe it. The effort may drive me insane. Something about ‘The Human Instrumentality Project’ that came out of fucking nowhere? I have no idea. It was just a bunch of characters having a drug trip, and I have no clue how they got there. It just came out of fucking nowhere and happened!
Visuals were pretty great though. Even if they made me pause the episode and go: “WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK?!”
My recommendation? Watch the first twenty-four episodes. Those are strong episodes of classic science fiction that dive into deep, dark themes very well. Plus, the ending of twenty-four is satisfying enough, if not a little hollow.
Or you could stick around for the visuals if you’re into bizarre shit.
Visuals: Classic Anime at it’s Most Bizarre
Holy FUCK this show looks good! The art and animation, especially during the Eva fights, are absolutely gorgeous! The designs of every character, monster, and Eva are memorable and beautiful! This show is an animator’s wet dream!
The direction is, for the most part, just as solid! Every shot is absolutely gorgeous, creative and intriguing! The cinematography is top-notch!
At least, in most regards. But then you get the shots that just… keep… going. For over thirty seconds. Without any dialogue or camera movement. They’re just long, still shots with ambient sounds filling the background.
Can we… cutaway? Please? Oh, okay. I guess we’ll just sit here. Forever.
Also, the music is kickass. It gives me serious Shin Godzilla vibes, and I love that! Which makes sense, considering that a lot of the people who worked on this series, including the director and composer, wen on to work on Shin Godzilla.
I’d heard the legends of Neon Genisis Evangelion. After all the tales, I thought I had a firm grasp of what to expect. Dear God, I don’t think I have ever been so wrong in my entire life!
As for a recommendation… I don’t know. There are a ton of really strong and interesting aspects of this show. But the finale is a confusing mess that actively had me screaming “WHAT THE FUCK?!” every ten seconds. It is one of, if not the, biggest trainwrecks I’ve seen in my entire life!
*Side note: apologies to my roommates, who were likely roused from their sleep as I finished the series at one in the morning. But I’m certain I would have exploded if I tried holding it in.
Excluding the final two episodes, I would recommend watching Neon Genisis Evangelion. It is wholly deserving of its title as a classic! It is one of the best mecha anime of all time.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go watch the movies and dive into the whole multiverse shit that I keep hearing about. Because apparently, they decided that the series wasn’t nightmarishly convoluted enough! Oh, this will be the best headache I’ve ever given myself!