Neon Genesis Evangelion/Shin Seiki Evangelion
Neon Genesis Evangelion/Shin Seiki Evangelion
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Please note that this review is exclusively for the Anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion, and does not include End of Evangelion, Death and Rebirth, or the New Theatrical Releases.  I may or may not review theses at a later point in time.  This is quite a complicated anime to review, so I shall try my best without spoiling too much of the actual plot.  Most of the information herein is info relating to events prior to Episode 1 of the anime, and as such will not heavily spoil, and may in fact improve your viewing experience.

Anyhow, without further ado, lets get this review underway!

This series is quite the unusual series, Evangelion is an apocalyptic mecha action series which revolves around the efforts by the paramilitary organization Nerv to fight monstrous beings called Angels, primarily using biomechanical weapons (although commonly referred to by fans as Mecha) called Evangelions which are piloted by select teenagers.

The series is set in the Year 2015 in a landscape where the population of mankind was decimated as the result of an event known as Second Impact, although through a series of cover-up's the true nature of the cataclysm was never revealed and the story that was fed to the general public ended up being that a meteorite had struck Antarctica, completely destroying the ice cap and causing untold destruction through tsunami's and increased sea levels through the entire planet.

In truth the object that had slammed into Antarctica was an organic being, what became known as Adam, the first angel. As a consequence of these events, the population of earth was reduced by more than half, and consequential wars over land, resources and the like would result in these numbers declining even further. (Please note that all this is filler information that happens prior to episode 1 of the anime.)

As a means of defense against the impending threat of the Angels, mankind secretly developed a research organisation known as Gehirn, which was tasked with research and development of what would be known as Evangelion, a biomechanical weapon that could be used in defense against the Angels. Gehirn itself was short lived however and most of the members of Gehirn were later transferred to NERV, which picked up where Gehirn left off and took the role of Research, Development and Defense.

Ultimately three functional Evangelion units were developed, the Prototype Evangelion Unit-00, the Test Type Evangelion Unit-01 and the Production Type Evangelion Unit-02. Other units are referred to during the series, but with the exception of Unit-03, which ultimately becomes an enemy unit, none of the other units are shown during the anime (The Mass-Production Evangelions are shown in the movie End of Evangelion.)

Shinji Ikari, the main protagonist of the series is the pilot of Evangelion Unit-01, however in my personal opinion he is more of an anti-hero, as he is a very passive, introverted individual that is afraid of pain and of being hated or abandoned, this partly stemming from his being left with his teacher when he was a young child and having next to no interaction with his father for most of his life. Ultimately he pilots EVA-01 because he seeks his fathers approval and recognition.

Rei Ikari, the secondary character in the series is the pilot of Unit-00, this character being a bit of an enigma to put it rather mildly, her behaviour often confusing her peers. She is a very introverted individual who only ever seems to "let down her walls" around Shinji's father, Gendo. While it is not revealed until much later in the series, she was infact created through artificial means, she being created from the 'salvaged remains' of Shinji's mother, Yui Ikari after she was absorbed into Unit-01. As the series progresses she slowly starts to develop relationships with other characters, including Shinji, and develops human emotions even being shown as crying a couple of times.

Asuka Langley Soryuu is the pilot of Unit-02 and is portrayed as a very vocal, domineering individual who likes to make her 'superiority' known to anyone who may be listening and apparently takes enjoyment in belittling Shinji, often saying to him "Anta baka?" (literally "Are you stupid?"), her apparent personality however being nothing but a facade, a mask covering deep emotional scars from her younger childhood, her mother having suffered similar misfortune to Shinji's mother, however she survived the test, but at the cost of becoming insane and no longer recognising Asuka as her daughter, ultimately commiting suicide by hanging herself. After being defeated in a battle late in the series, her self-confidence starts to steadily deteriorate until it reaches such a point where she is no longer capable of synchronising with her Eva and loses the will to live, having apparently lost her purpose in life.

While this series covers some VERY unusual themes and in some areas can be rather graphic, it is also worth checking out at least once, however I would NOT recommend it to younger audiences, as they may be scared/unnerved by some of the imagery in some of the episodes while other parts they would simply not be able to comprehend.