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Spores, Molds, and Fungus

Pop Culture Miscellania

Animation Appreciation: Neon Genesis Evangelion/End of Evangelion

This series is still my number one anime, animated series, and television show. Even though it's been a decade since I finished the series, I'm always ready to wax eloquent about Neon Genesis Evangelion. Because I'm older and now swimming in notions of what makes good writing, I better understand the series's structural problems, but that doesn't change a thing.

Neon Genesis Evangelion is a 1995 anime series produced by Gainax and created by Hideaki Anno. In the year 2015, Shinji Ikari is summoned by his estranged father to pilot the creature known as Evangelion-01, defending Tokyo-3 and the rest of the post-apocalyptic Earth from bizarre beings known as "Angels".

Angels always come one at a time, while among the human cast, other shadowy western religion-themed conspiracies abound. End of Evangelion is the 1997 concluding movie, although the television series also has its own concluding episodes. No one knows quite how the two endings fit together.

Why is Evangelion so lovable? Not because it's a series that unfolds with the greatest care, sophistication and detail. Looked at in terms of plot it's a bit of a tangled mess, a story told with the most minimal of details, some filler, and a finale that never wraps up neatly. But in return, it is also a series that is both very bizarre and very "real", with a strange setting that is nonetheless steeped in powerful human emotion.

These things make up for Evangelion's arguable lack of quality. This arrangement makes the series distinct, and is a major part of the reason I consider it my number one. Other works may be better written, but they don't offer that same strangeness.

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