Posted by SuperMario on 22 July 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Neon Genesis Evangelion

Truth be told, I’ve never seen any of the EVA franchise, and it’s not normal since EVA is a must for any anime viewer. I don’t really know the reason why I keep myself from watching it, maybe both because mecha is not my favorite genre, and the hype of EVA is just overwhelming that I just don’t want to be any part of it. Asking any anime fan, especially from Western culture, “what series they think is the best” or “what is the first series they saw that got them into anime”, Neon Genesis Evangelion and Cowboy Bebop would likely to appear on people’s lips (I’m guilty of the second, with Cowboy Bebop). With that said, better be late than never. Since psgels himself never actually covered the original show or even rated it, I think this is a good opportunity for me to give EVA a retrospective review (not much of a retrospective really, since this show is new to me), at the same time give readers who already burnt out from new anime something they can chew on every week. Again, and I really stress it this time, I write this because I want to, but if you rather prefer me not to review shows in the past, all you need is shout out in the comment and we will take it into our consideration.

Now looking at this first episode, it struck me hard how desperate and pathetic team human is. The first episode wastes no time to show us the high stakes situation here with all the chaos and the ruined city caused by the Angels. The Angels, moreover, are overpowered beings with their own intelligence to boost. Our human’s ace card, N-2 mine – which mostly destroyed our own buildings and almost the whole city, couldn’t bring the Angel down. The whole situation got so desperate that they had to force a child, who never actual pilot anything before, to control Eva. It is also a bold choice to show us the very first image of Rei, when she was a TOTAL MESS.

Shinji and his father’s relationship is of course the real meat of this first episode. The way Shinji always looks for the recognition from his father, and the way Gendo uses his son with no emotional attachment whatsoever aren’t the most comfortable things to witness, to say the least. Calling him down so he had to pilot the damn thing when he’s clearly not ready, and then about to dismiss him when he back out? Ways to go Gendo! As far as I can see, this cold relationship hits directly to the insecurity of Shinji, and honestly his passive behaviors, while believable, could be a pain to watch later on.

From the technical side, as far as the look and feel of EVA go, I’d say that I pretty enjoy it. The chaos settings and destruction motifs (falling buildings, bombing, even the destruction of characters themselves) really give you clear idea what this show is going for. The characters do not appear to be real or deep yet, but still are functional enough for this first episode. If there is one thing that doesn’t really translate well to me, it’s the character designs, they look kinda bland and exactly what you expect from the 90s anime show (in other words, dated). But well I’m never much of a fan of the 90s character designs (with only Cowboy Bebop for me still stood well after all this time, but even in that regards Faye’s big boobs turn me off every now and then). The visual looks great, there are many of shots that visually frame how Shinji struggling with the decision, especially the part where he stands in front of the Unit 01, his will-be partner, or more correctly, a part of himself in the future.

Alrighty, that’s it for now. I will try to get the second episode in couple of days so that we can catch this up with the new anime’s current week. Let us know what you think about the EVA series and if you still remember anything from the first episode. It must have been a long time since you guys last watched it, right?

~SuperMario~

27 Responses

  1. AidanAK47 AidanAK47 says:

    And thus begins this shows main theme which is of course “GET IN THE F*CKING ROBOT SHINJI”

    • Avatar Vonter says:

      ~~Crawling in my skin
      These wounds, they will not heal
      Fear is how I fall
      Confusing what is real~~

      • AidanAK47 AidanAK47 says:

        Its so depressing that when reading this I hear the lyrics in my head. Curse you Linken Park! The epitome of teenage angst.

  2. Avatar Gan_HOPE326 says:

    “…and honestly his passive behaviours, while believable, could be a pain to watch later on.”

    Euphemism of the century.

  3. Avatar VyseLegendaire says:

    Which encode are you watching for this? Grab Sephirotic’s re-remaster.

    • SuperMario SuperMario says:

      Not really sure which encode I’m watching actually. I had this show long time ago and since then I have renamed it, so I couldn’t trace its origin anymore. But sure I’ll try the Sephirotic one, as mine is hard-subbed and it’s a pain to grab decent screencaps of it.

  4. Avatar Bam says:

    How do you like the intro? It looks dated now, but it made quite a splash when it was airing.

    • SuperMario SuperMario says:

      Yes, I like it well enough, even if this is the first time I watched the full intro, I understand the appeal. The song, in particular, is memorable. It’s no fluke that this was the first song my Japanese friend started to hum when we mentioned anime soundtrack.

  5. Avatar swa says:

    I love the pacing of this series, the pauses, the silences, they sure bring their message in a different and somewhat shocking feel it with me way.
    E.g., in the second episode the whole unfamiliar ceiling scene; or in episode 24, that other famous almost(?) still scene. Sure this quite generic way of describing it is not a spoiler.
    This quite paused style I also like from Mamoru Oshii, from the first Ghost in the Shell and from the Patlabor movies, perhaps it was a thing of the time, I don’t know, but I liked that.

    • Avatar Bam says:

      I see the similarities in tone and atmosphere building, but don’t remember any silent pauses in the original GitS movie. Care to elaborate?

      • Avatar swa says:

        The whole scene when they are going down in the elevator near the beginning would be an example.

        • Avatar Bam says:

          Isn’t there a conversation taking place in that scene tho? Damn, I might have to rewatch the film; it’s been a while.

          • Avatar swa says:

            You are right, I just checked, my memory fails me. That was more like a very still scene with a conversation going on. But I remember watching many long quiet scenes with only music building atmosphere in the movie, I just can’t point my finger into a specific one right now.

          • Avatar Bam says:

            Happens to the best of us. Now there is a long intermission in the middle of the film, which does an amazing job setting up the tone, and has always stuck with me. This guy does a better job analyzing it then I could ever do:
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXTnl1FVFBw
            Hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.

  6. Avatar Firechick says:

    I’ve only seen the first episode of Eva, and most of the second Rebuild movie, and that’s about all I intend to watch of this show. I’m not really a big fan of mecha/giant robot shows in general, and some of the fanservice the show has turned me off, so…yeah. Not watching it.

    But I love that you’re reviewing shows from the past now! In fact, I think you should totally do it more often! There’s lots of shows that Psgels himself had seen but never reviewed here, which I can understand. Maybe you can change that?

    • SuperMario SuperMario says:

      Well, I’m not a fan of mecha shows either, but like I said Eva is something that we need to see at least once, so why not watching it now while we’re at it?

      Yeah, would love to review classic shows more often, but I need your suggestions. Psgels had covered and reviewed an awful lot of anime, to the extend I couldn’t find anymore “interesting” classic anime beside Eva. Might be you have some shows in mind?

      • Avatar Firechick says:

        I know some classic anime he watched but didn’t review:
        .Hack//Sign
        Vision of Escaflowne
        Popolocrois Monogatari (he wrote posts for them, but not reviews)
        Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Ren

        That’s all I can think of off the top of my head, though.

        • Avatar Firechick says:

          Whoops. I meant Rei, not Ren. Ugh!

        • SuperMario SuperMario says:

          Wasn’t .Hack//Sign the one that bring Psgels into anime in the first place? Those anime that you recommended are all excellent, I actually interested to cover .Hack//Sign or Escaflowne for the next one. But bear in mind that it’s not gonna be anytime soon, because I will review Eva series in weekly basics, and then move on to their movies (Death & Rebirth, The End) and then to their reboots, so it might take a while.

      • Avatar Quiddity says:

        Vision of Escaflowne, as someone else mentioned.
        Serial Experiments Lain

        • SuperMario SuperMario says:

          For me, Lain is THE best anime that I’ve ever seen, so I’ afraid my review on it would be too over the moon, haha. Seriously though, I’m thinking of putting a poll for which classic show I would cover next, after I finish EVA. More recommendation of course is very welcome.

  7. Avatar dlp says:

    One thing about the character designs is how massively popular they were at the time. I don’t mean the characterization – I mean the visual designs (especially of the female characters, especially Rei Ayanami’s look. While they may appear dated now, in part that is because everyone since copied them! Rei in particular, spawning a zillion variants…

    • SuperMario SuperMario says:

      I know it’a not really fair to look at it as today’s perspective, especially now when many shows just blatantly riff-off many of Eva’s convention. But I still enjoy Eva’s overall visual and feel, even its seemingly limited animation; only the character designs were the one that feel most uninspired. But yes I completely see your point here.

  8. Avatar KaZuHiRo says:

    So, this is a thing now?

  9. Avatar ffd says:

    When will Evangelion 4.0 movie be released?
    Was it dropped or something?

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