Neon Genesis Evangelion is widely considered a seminal anime classic for its complex exploration and deconstruction of genre tropes, theology, and “the ultimate causes of events and the motives for human action.” I only know this because I just skimmed its Wikipedia page.
I have been urged by multiple friends over the years to watch Neon Genesis Evangelion, despite displaying no particular interest in anime or manga. Fans of NGE do not seem to care about this, though. Instead, they adamantly insist the series transcends the medium, usually right before tacitly acknowledging the show’s general, overly dramatic incomprehensibility.
As a compromise, I have decided to watch this new, sweded retelling of the entire original NGE series and give my thoughts on the story and its many intricacies. Shouldn’t be too be a hurdle to clear.
Goddamn. Okay, so, first let’s acknowledge that this crash course summary courtesy of Mega64 is intentionally, delightfully zany, and made to explicitly highlight Neon Genesis Evangelion’s many oddities. I am aware of this angle, and yet...
Let’s see here. So, if I am to gather correctly, an emo orphan teen is kidnapped by a secret organization specializing in giant robot suits that look like industrial can openers to battle monsters? Oh, wait, the monsters are angels? Are the giant neckless guy and the floating zebra ball angels, too? Where do they fall within the hierarchy of angels? I assume somewhere between principalities and cherubim, but that seems to be neither here nor there to these characters.
Anywho, I’m also led to believe everyone screams a lot in this show. There’s a penguin in there somewhere, too. Is the penguin a metaphor for God? At one point, it seems like people could remotely pilot these mech suits the whole time, which feels like a much safer strategy for keeping all these kids from losing their limbs. But then an Evangelion becomes self-aware, which it illustrates by gorily devouring a toilet paper monster-angel-cherub’s innards.
“Impenetrable Angel Ramiel Coordinated Sniper Mission” is the name of something in there, too. I think that’s the mission where someone’s sister died in a building collapse. The video summary leads me to believe I’m not supposed to really give a shit, so I won’t.
At the nine-minute mark, the woman who recently burned up a bunch of soulless clones declares, “Shit’s about to get real,” so I definitely believe her. There’s a secret angel in human form, which doesn’t seem too off-the-wall, as far as Neon Genesis Evangelion goes. He’s decapitated, which doesn’t seem off-brand, either. In any case, the main emo kid dies, then is reborn, then is interrogated, then becomes enlightened and is congratulated by a bunch of people, including his asshat dad and dead mech-mom. Sure, why not?
In summation, watching this ten-minute retelling has led me to conclude that my friends are not my real friends, nor do they even have my best interests in mind. My head hurts.
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