Review: Neon Genesis Evangelion


Caroline Laurent, Reporter

With the recent surge in new generations exploring old media, Neon Genesis Evangelion has been racking up in popularity for the past 20 years and with the release of a movie that’s been added to the trilogy, the show has collected a new generation of fans. But what is so fascinating about this single-season anime that is, quite frankly, very confusing to watch?

Many people have claimed Neon Genesis Evangelion (NGE) to be the leading lady of anime and consider it one of the best of all time. The theme song is almost instantaneously recognizable and tops at one of the most popular anime openings of all time. When asked why the show was so enticing, Cosmo Vasquez, a senior orchestra major said, “Everybody said it was good. And you know, I was in a bit of an anime phase, right? And so if somebody says something is good, I’m gonna go watch it. So I watched it. It took me four years to finish it.”

Neon Genesis begins with light-hearted fun surrounding the main character Shinji Ikari and what his life is like when faced with the most difficult task on earth. Shinji is obligated to pilot a giant robot so he can protect earth from monstrous aliens. The show covers what it’s like to control these robot beasts, and has detailed action scenes of fighting bad guys. So why is this so special from the rest? Unlike most anime, this fun, light-hearted TV show slowly morphs into portraying the mental tolls on these characters and reaches deep within the audience members’ emotions. The show touches on mental health and the different reactions that can proceed when faced with trauma. “So at first there were really fun robots. And I thought that was like, really cool. But then, what kept me watching was the themes of vulnerability and isolation,” said Nadia Agrebi, a Senior Orchestra major.

Hideaki Anno, the creator of Neon Genesis Evangelion, is widely regarded for his portrayals of depression in the show and much of his newer fans consist of young adults, teens, and more or less, young people in schooling. Many fans have high regard for this seemingly relatable anime, and with this recent surge in new audiences, it has returned its place in the top charts where it will remain as a classic.