Evangelion for Dummies

Let it be known in advance that I did not decide to review these Evangelion thingies just to make fun of them. I promise. In college, my friend Jeff—who introduced me to a lot of very wonderful nerd-culture media—told me I could not watch Evangelion with him because I "wouldn't like it." What?! Booooo! Screw you, Jeff! I am a mildly-interested-in-robots woman with a fair and open mind. I like to give things a chance sometimes! I like postapocalyptic Japan sometimes! Plus, says the internet, one of the intentions of the Evangelion rebuild (I have done my research kind of) is to make it "more accessible to non-fans than the original TV series and films were." Perfect, I thought. I shall access, investigate, and conquer. I will crack this mechanized coconut for all the other mildly curious non-fans out there, and we all can sip Evangelion's sweet red robot blood-milk without the manga faithful going berserker on us because we don't know what "Third Impact" means. Right? Yes.

Evangelion 1.0: You Are (Not) Alone

(Grand Illusion, Jan 14–20)

A futuristic, retractable Tokyo (sometimes it defensively plunges into the earth all SSSSSSHHUNK!!!) is under attack by very large organic-magic-robot-things called Angels. Why? I HAVE NO IDEA. The only thing keeping the Angels at bay is a team of very large "synthetic humans" called Evangelions, or Evas, which are constantly broken but win anyway. The Evas "have to" be piloted by teenagers, for reasons unabsorbed by me. Our hero/antihero Shinji Ikari does not want to be an Eva pilot—"Why me?" is his constant refrain—but he does want the approval of his asshole scientist dad and maybe to make out with fellow pilot Rei Ayanami, so he sticks around. One time, he touches her on the boob. Then the giant robots fight each other.

Evangelion 2.0: You Can (Not) Advance

(Grand Illusion, Jan 21–27)

Evangelion 2.0 is lighter than the first, and heavier, and more bananas. In between all the your-girlfriend-is-trapped-in-the-soul-of-a-monster stuff and the oops-Japan-exploded stuff, there are lighter-than-air subplots about the logistical difficulties of party planning (who has time to go grocery shopping during the end of the world?) and a kraaaaaazy penguin who thinks it's people. Then Shinji touches Rei on the boob. Then the giant robots fight each other. Then OH NO, GIANT WEAPON FROM SPACE! I am so confused. Jeff, you were right. Nerds, I tried. recommended


Comments (8) RSS

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That actually sums up Neon Genesis: Evangelion pretty well. I just don't understand why you seem to have not enjoyed it.

Did they keep in the bit where Shinji masturbates on the comatose girl?
Posted by dwight moody on January 12, 2011 at 12:29 PM · Report this
Donolectic 2
Dwight, I think that's going to be movie four. Only the first two are out so far for us non-japanese.
Posted by Donolectic on January 12, 2011 at 3:35 PM · Report this
freesandbags 3
Masterwaaaaa? I'm sooo there!!
Posted by freesandbags on January 12, 2011 at 8:07 PM · Report this
As a Japanese person, I have to say that it baffles me how Americans continually repackage our admittedly more sexualized/slightly violent cartoons meant for the fifteen and under crowd into something that is sold to emotionally retarded adults.

Although I guess there are fully grown adult fans of the Harry Potter and Twilight series here as well.
Posted by kenj on January 13, 2011 at 5:52 AM · Report this
Knat 5
Yeah, that does seem to pretty well summarize all the main points, at least as far as they've reached in the overall story thus far. Though in your friend's defense, anime seems to be one of those polarizing things in this world (like coconut flavoring or GWB), and Evangelion (Eva/EVA) is one of the more polarizing series in that genre, I think.
Posted by Knat on January 14, 2011 at 12:40 AM · Report this
CharlesF 6
Lindy, you didn't miss anything. //Evangelion// does not actually make any sense, so there's no need to worry about it. It's not really worth watching unless you like blasphemous freakouts, extreme sex creepiness, and blood spraying everywhere. Personally I stopped watching after the 18th episode where I realized there was actually no depth to the story (I was 13).

The best Japanese Mushishi. Kind of like a medieval star trek.
Posted by CharlesF on January 14, 2011 at 7:09 PM · Report this
Evangelion isn't for dummies.
Posted by Anondude on January 15, 2011 at 4:04 AM · Report this
Fistique 8
I'm told the whole giant robot pilot thing is like a metaphor for adolescence? Because your body is suddenly giant and weird and you have to use it to fight monsters (and touch a boob).
Posted by Fistique on January 15, 2011 at 9:02 PM · Report this

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