Neon Genesis Evangelion is one those anime that is so revolutionary that it appears on just about every top ten anime list of anime you should watch before you die. I checked, it really is, except the ones where people got to do a popularity vote of course. It wasn’t long after I started reading blogs and watching YouTube videos about anime that I became aware of this show. I knew eventually I would have to watch it.
Thanks to Rossiroad on my brain is completely empty I started watching Evangelion on January first and will be finishing it, and every single movie that followed the series, by the end of the month. Rossiroad has taken it upon himself to write episode by episode reviews for the series and release one every day this month. Rossiroad writes the longest and most thoughtfully brilliant episode reviews I have come across and I moved Evangelion up on my watch list just so I could read theses posts. Here’s the link to rossiroad’s episode one review Angel attack.
Let me start by saying that I have never watched a mecha anime before, so this is my first dip into the genre. According to various sources I have actually explored this genre in other mediums, depending on the definition of mecha, which it seems to me alters slightly depending on the source. One definition was that a mecha is any type of mechanical suit that can be worn by humans. Since this definition isn’t defined by size that means iron man is mecha. Another definition was that it was any giant robot with arms and legs, controlled by a human or powered on its own. That means transformers is mecha. But I digress.
In Neon Genesis Evangelion the mecha are giant robots designed to be piloted in order to fight a powerful enemy known as the angels. The mecha, code named EVA, can only be piloted by 14 year olds. I’m not sure why, but it could have something to do with the initial Angel attack that devastated the planet 15 years ago. This puts Shinji a 14 year old boy whose father works on the EVA in the precarious position of having to pilot one of them. Piloting them isn’t all sunshine and roses, the mental affects of piloting the EVA seem to be quite severe and I am very concerned with What could happen to a person over the long-term.
After having watched the first four of the twenty-six episodes I’ve decided the series reminds me of two things: the post apocalyptic novels my mom gives to me and the agonizingly slow sci-fi movies Hollywood has been making over the past few years. It is a rare occasion for me to enjoy one of these, because to be honest both bore me to tears more often then not. Thankfully I’m still quite intrigued by Evangelion.
I’m caught between finding the strange chosen slow pace enjoyable and wishing the series was just as exciting as its opening. I find the way the fight scenes are broken up and the paused moments of character reflection utterly and awesomely brilliant. Both of these aspects send my mind deep into the world of speculation.
It’s an interesting anime to start the year off with, but something tells me I’m better off starting the year with Evangelion, then I would be ending the year with it.