Shin Seiki Evangelion, otherwise known as Neon Genesis Evangelion, was one of the most influential anime series of the 1990's. Fifteen years after the Second Impact, a cataclysm that caused floods, volcanic eruptions and a shifting of the Earth's axis, a young boy, Shinji Ikari, is called to Tokyo-3 at the beckon of his father. Upon arrival he is induced to pilot the monstrous Evangelion Unit 01 against a foe known as the Angels. Fellow teenage pilots, the enigmatic Rei Ayanami and the fiery Asuka Langley Sohryu, join Shinji in battling these mysterious creatures, commanded in action by the beautiful Misato Katsuragi.

The series morphs from an exciting 'monster of the week' style series into a complex and moving portrayal of human relations as the show approaches its conclusion. The final two episodes caused much controversy in Japan, as the director Hideaki Anno, prompted by many things, including lack of time, money, and censorship pressures, opted for a purely internal look into the characters minds. The last two episodes are awash with psychological terminology and metaphysical discussion, and in the end the creator was happy. As he said to fans who didn't care for it, "Too Bad". Despite this, two movies were made to complement the last two episodes, Evangelion: Death and Rebirth and The End of Evangelion, The End in particular is designed as an alternate to episodes 25 and 26.

Overall this anime was influential simply in the way it changed the manner in which anime went to air in Japan. As well as that it caused a renewed interest in mecha anime and is certainly one of the most talked about anime of the past ten years. Though often suffering from terrible production values, it still managed to win the hearts of many people and ranks among my favourite anime titles of all time.

Update 27th September, 2000

This may seem like a silly point to dwell on but... Neon Genesis Evangelion was not an OAV or OVA!

It was first screened on TV and that is an important part of what shaped the eventual show. The 26 episodes of Evangelion were first aired in Japan in 1995 to 1996. There are a lot of budget and censorship issues that come about by screening it on TV (it screened after Ninja Turtles) and not releasing it straight to video and this affected the show.

Also the movies were not OVA's either, they had a theatrical release which resulted in people standing in huge lines to get into the cinema's screening it.

The videos were made and released after the series had been screened. In fact there are some changes made to Evangelion episodes 21 to 24 as well as some extra scenes added in the Japanese video version (the Redone Evangelion Episodes). The AD Vision dubbed video's don't have these extra scenes because when AD Vision bought the rights, the scenes hadn't actually been made yet. Also the theatrical version of the movie The End of Evangelion was altered slightly to the video version. See End of Evangelion - Theatrical release Vs. Video release for details on what the changes were.

Shin Seiki Evangelion - (Neon Genesis Evangelion)

(C)GAINAX, Project Eva., TV Tokyo, NAS
Created by GAINAX
Series Director : Anno Hideaki
Character Designs : Yoshiyuki Sadamotoi
Mechanical Designs : Yamashita Ikuto, Anno Hideaki
Music : Shiro Sagisu
Main Screenwriters : Hideaki Anno, Satsugawa Akio, Enokido Yooji
Main Storyboards : Masayuk, Higuchi Shinji, Tsurumaki Kazuya
Main Animation Directors: Suzuki Shunji, Honda Takeshi, Hasegawa Shinya
Art Director : Katoo Hiroshi

Theme Songs:

Opening Theme: "Zankoku-na Tenshi no These" (Cruel Angel's Thesis)
Lyrics: Oikawa Neko
Music: Satoo Hidetoshi
Arranged by: Oomori Toshiyuki
Performed by: Takahashi Yooko

Ending Theme: "FLY ME TO THE MOON"
Lyrics and Music : Bart Howard
Arranged by : Oomori Toshiyuki
Performed by: CLAIRE

Animation Produced at Gainax and Tatsunoko Productions

RE: the Eva Manga. I have only been reading it for fun ever since Yoshiyuki Sadamoto gave Toji Suzuhara a midichlorian count in his pilot data. Putting SF references in is all well and good, Anno Hideaki was a master of it, but this is just too blatant for my tastes. The Children are Jedi!?

Well becuase the original node containing this information was nuked I shall reproduce it here.

The Neon Genesis Evangelion series is made up of 26 episodes, each having a Japanese and an English title, the English title not always being an direct translation of the Japanese one. The names of each episode are as follows:


  • Japanese Title
    (English Translation)
    English Title


    1. Dai Ichi Wa Shito, Shuurai
      (First Episode Angel Attack)
      Episode 1 Angel Attack

    2. Dai Ni Wa Mishiranu, Tenjou
      (Second Episode Unfamiliar Ceilings)
      Episode 2 The Beast

    3. Dai San Wa Naranai, Denwa
      (Third Episode A Phone That Doesn't Ring)
      Episode 3 A Transfer

    4. Dai Yon Wa Ame, Nigedashita Ato
      (Fourth Episode The Rain, After You've Run Away)
      Episode 4 Hedgehog's Dilemma

    5. Dai Go Wa Rei, Kokoro no Mukou ni
      (Fifth Episode The Other Side of Rei's Heart)
      Episode 5 Rei I

    6. Dai Roku Wa Kessen, Dai 3 Shin Toukyou Shi
      (Sixth Episode Showdown : Tokyo-3)
      Episode 6 Rei II

    7. Dai Shichi Wa Hito no Tsukurishi Mono
      (Seventh Episode That Which Man Builds)
      Episode 7 A Human Work

    8. Dai Hachi Wa Asuka, Rainichi
      (Eighth Episode Hurricane Asuka)
      Episode 8 Asuka Strikes !

    9. Dai Kyuu Wa Shunkan, Kokoro, Kasanete
      (Ninth Episode A Moment When Hearts Are As One)
      Episode 9 Both of You, Dance Like You Want to Win !

    10. Dai Juu Wa Magmadiver
      (Tenth Episode Magmadiver)
      Episode 10 Magmadiver

    11. Dai Juu Ichi Wa Seishi Shita Yami no Naka de
      (Eleventh Episode Within the Still and the Dark)
      Episode 11 The Day Tokyo-3 Stood Still)

    12. Dai Juu Ni Wa Kiseki no Kachi wa
      (Twelfth Episode The Cost of a Miracle Is)
      Episode 12 She Said, "Don't Make Others Suffer for Your Personal Hatred"

    13. Dai Juu San Wa Shito, Shinnyuu
      (Thirteenth Episode Angel Intrusion)
      Episode 13 Lilliputian Hitcher

    14. Dai Juu Yon Wa Seele, Tamashii no Za
      (Fourteenth Episode Seele, Throne of the Soul)
      Episode 14 Weaving a Story

    15. Dai Juu Go Wa Uso to Chinmoku
      (Fifteenth Episode Lies and Silence)
      Episode 15 Those Women Longed for the Touch of Others' Lips, and Thus Invited Their Kisses

    16. Dai Juu Roku Wa Shi ni Itaru Yamai, Soshite
      (Sixteenth Episode A Sickness Into Death, And What Comes After)
      Episode 16 Splitting of the Breast

    17. Dai Juu Shichi Wa Yo Nin Me no Tekikakusha
      (Seventeenth Episode Fourth Children)
      Episode 17 Fourth Children

    18. Dai Juu Hachi Wa Inochi no Sentaku o
      (Eighteenth Episode A Choice for Life)
      Episode 18 Ambivalence

    19. Dai Juu Kyuu Wa Otoko no Tatakai
      (Nineteenth Episode A Battle for Men)
      Episode 19 Introjection

    20. Dai Ni Juu Wa Kokoro no Katachi Hito no Katachi
      (Twentieth Episode The Shapes of Hearts, the Shapes of People)
      Episode 20 Weaving a Story 2 : Oral Stage

    21. Dai Ni Juu Ichi Wa Nerv, Tanjou
      (Twenty First Episode The Birth of Nerv)
      Episode 21 He Was Aware That He Was Still a Child

    22. Dai Ni Juu Ni Wa Semete, Ningen Rashiku
      (Twenty Second Episode Humanly, If Nothing Else)
      Episode 22 Don't Be

    23. Dai Ni Juu San Wa Namida
      (Twenty Third Episode Tears)
      Episode 23 Rei III

    24. Dai Ni Juu Yon Wa Saigo no Shisha
      (Twenty Fourth Episode The Final Messenger)
      Episode 24 The Beginning and the End, or "Knockin' on Heaven's Door"

    25. Dai Ni Juu Go Wa Owaru Sekai
      (Twenty Fifth Episode An Ending World)
      Episode 25 Do You Love Me ?

    26. Saishuu Wa Sekai no Chuushin de Ai o Sakenda Kemono
      (Final Episode The Beast That Shouted Love at the Heart of the World)
      Finale Take Care of Yourself

  • Japanese animation TV series, or, OVA anime. It has been descripted neutrally well enough above, so I'll just drop some personal opinions (ah! personal opinions, those calling for minus button, the flavor of everything) in a form of a "short" story.

    Episodes 1 and 2: dem giant robottos

    One day I decided to find out what anime was about. I had heard lots of good things about it, and especially of this thing, Neon Genesis Evangelion. I grabbed two episodes, went to summer vacation and watched them. Although they were, well, a bit action-laden, with all dem giant robottos (note the spelling) fighting and all, it was attractive. I think I watched the first two, episodes like 10 times and the third several also. In fact, I liked it so much I spent that summer downloading the next ones 33.6kbps modem line with $1/h cost.

    Episodes 3-7: geekboy and life

    But still. The series developed and -I know how this sounds- gained some depth. Episodes after the first two made me feel a bit at unrest, most likely because they made me identify with Shinji.

    Episodes 8-14: sure, her breasts are nice, but she's scary

    Then came the Asuka, and Kaji. The series got a bit soapy in parts, lowering my interest slightly, but I was hooked already, unable to let go of. And, the plot started to advance from the "boy kills monsters with giant robot, umm, synthetic life form I mean".

    Episodes 15-20: this is what I kill for

    These episodes I loved, for some reason. Episodes until these I had downloaded and watched several times before downloading next ones, but at this point I regained access to fast netlinks and CD-R. Originally I was planning to watch them at one per week rate, and at first I could slow them down, but with my weak mind, I couldn't resist it. I had to get the next doze. I can't really analyze what it was about it that made me want more and more, not until I can rewatch it, but I think it's the same thing that hooked me on WoT and B5.

    Episodes 21-24: this HURTS! MAKE IT STOP!

    Someone said, "in the end people's relationships start breaking down in a way that's really quite painful to watch, and the story starts to fragment under pressure. I won't blame you if you stop watching after episode 20, only you can't". Indeed, this is the case. I know it sounds weird, but I actually reacted quite emotionally to those episodes. I guess I just grew too attached to the imaginary characters of Rei (to see her best instance killed and her essence having been a robot) and Asuka (to see her give up, makes me want to give up too) to fill up the holes of my own life. Still, after episode 24 I felt a bit incoherent and depressed.

    Episodes 25-26: this is way too wierd (sic). or is it?

    Yeah, they did warn me, eps 25-26 are not what you'd expect. The Instrumentality, which I expected to be genetic engineering or such, turned out to be pretty damn f*cked up mind game. At this point the uncomfortable feeling caused by all this babble about souls (AT field requires a soul...), nonmaterial thinking process ("It merely replicates Rei's thinking process. It is not a real person, it has no soul, just a smart machine.") and possibly even God ("If there is a God, we may all be dolls to him"), became too high. "Hole in our minds"? The last eps felt repetitive, basically just pointing out that Shinji, Misato, Rei and Gendo all have the same problem, and to Shinji whining. But I still enjoyed it. The end felt a bit silly, but it did neutralize the depression caused by the last real episodes. I think it might've had something to do with my own similarities with those four.

    Episodes 25' and 26' (End of Evangelion): so you thought Hideaki got more coherent? think again

    This movie certainly felt more in contact with reality at first. The plot felt really odd, but then again, when didn't it. It certainly had the apocalyptic feel to it that I'm expecting for the ending of all really good fiction, although it felt a bit too much like a character overkill. But by the end it got just as odd as 25 and 26 did... it contained the same repetition (I guess Mr. Anno really believes in repetition as a study method), just in different form, but that might have just been because I missed some hidden meanings. The end felt damn abrupt too, but that might've been for the same reason. Again, I know how this sounds, but movie shouldn't end in death, really. Although, in a way, it sealed the story that felt really, really incomplete at first.

    Death [and Rebirth]: why did you bother?

    I hate to say negative things about things I like, but I really fail to see its significance. It was a nice rehash, but I could just as well watch the whole series. Something as laden with hidden things as this is a bit pointless to watch in 20-seconds clips. Its few scenes not included in the series were interesting or at least amusing, though, like the clip describing Asuka.


    I like it. I can't compare it to other anime yet, but as someone watching this as his first anime, I'd say it goes into my top 5 of fiction seen/read so far.

    Manga authored and of course illustrated by Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, who was a founding member of GAiNAX, the character designer for Neon Genesis Evangelion the TV show, as well as for Wings of Honneamise, KareKano, and FLCL. It was conceived as an adaptation of the show, but it premiered before it did in Shonen Ace-A magazine.

    Though it is an adaptation of the series, it starts to meander away from the storyline from the first volume on. Characters are slightly changed; for example, Shinji isn't much of a "wimp" as he is in the show, but instead is really rash and fool-hardy. Take for example Shogouki's first sortie as it differs in the series and manga:


    Shinji trips, and gets royally ass-whupped by Sachiel. Then his mom gets pissed, and you know the rest...


    Shinji doesn't want to look like a coward, so he charges into the angel. Sachiel leaps out of the way, and Shinji gets his ass kicked royally. Then his mom gets pissed, and you know the rest...

    Also, Asuka is nicer (sort of) to Shinji when she makes her appearance in Volume 4 (Which is a LOT different, but I won't spoil it here).

    Basically, the manga covers:

    Volume 1: Episodes 1 and 2

    Volume 2: Episodes 3 and 4

    Volume 3: Episodes 5 and 6

    Volume 4: Episodes 8 and 9*

    Volume 5: Haven't read yet...

    There are of course a ton of other differences, but I won't spoil them for you. Get it yourself!

    I think that the manga is at least as good as the series, and perhaps even better, in my opinion. Of course, those action scenes don't look as good on paper, but hey, it's good enough for me.

    After a short hiatus after Volume 3 or so, Sadamoto continued on with Volume 4 and 5. Volume 6 was released in Japan, for the pretty price of 560 yen or so. That's way cheaper than the price that Viz sets, which is about $15.95, but hey, beggars can't be choosers, and I don't know Japanese.

    All Eva no Otaku should flock to get this manga, especially because of the divergent story and the lighter tone, though some may be turned off by that. Anno, however controls how far Sadamoto can meander, so expect things to get darker, quick.

    *Episode 7 was skipped over {go there)

    I'm not generally a big fan of anime. I like my cartoons, but anime just always seems to lack something I need.

    I do, however, fully love the Evangelion series. It's like no other anime.

    The whole story revolves around a kid named Shinji Ikari. Shinji, along with Rei Ayanami and Asuka Langely Soryu pilot giant robots called Evangelion's, to fight off creatures called Angels that are hell bent on destroying the earth. All Eva pilots are tapped at the age of 13 to join NERV, a special section of the U.N. designed to fight off the Angels.

    The year is 2015, 15 years after the "Second Impact", which wiped out the Antarctic. Tokyo has been destroyed twice by the Angels in an attempt to stop NERV, so NERV built a giant underground fortress as a defense against the Angels. When Tokyo 3, as it is now called, is attacked, all the buildings retract into the ground and are protected by NERV's defenses.

    NERV's commander, Gendo Ikari, is Shinji's father and an all around son-of-a-bitch. He left Shinji when he was but a wee tyke to fight the Angels. He never shows any love to his son.

    Telling you any more than that gives away too much of the story. The series is 26 episodes followed by two movies. The series is available on VHS and the DVD's are being released as I summarize. The movies will be released on DVD in October of 2001.

    Update: September 3, 2002

    The first movie, "Death & Rebirth", was released in August 2002. The second movie, "The End of Evangelion", will be released towards the end of September.

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