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Classic Anime TV Shows: A Beginner’s Guide to Understanding Neon Genesis Evangelion

If you’re a fan of anime, you’ve likely heard of Neon Genesis Evangelion. This classic anime series has been a favorite among fans for over two decades and has left an indelible mark on the genre. If you’re new to the world of anime or have yet to watch this series, we’ve put together a beginner’s guide to help you understand Neon Genesis Evangelion.

What is Neon Genesis Evangelion?

Neon Genesis Evangelion is a Japanese anime series that was originally debuted in 1995. It was created by Hideaki Anno and became an instant hit with its unique blend of genre-defying storytelling, complex character arcs, and slick animation. The series follows a teenage boy named Shinji Ikari, who is recruited by his father to pilot a giant bio-machine called Evangelion to battle monsters known as Angels that threaten to destroy the world.

The Characters

One of the defining features of Neon Genesis Evangelion is its complex character development. Each member of the cast has their own background, motivations, and struggles, which are gradually revealed over the course of the series.

Shinji Ikari is the protagonist of the series who initially sees piloting the Evangelion as a burden before realizing it’s what he’s meant to do. Asuka Langley Soryu, a fiery and confident teenage girl who is second in command, pilots the Evangelion as well. The protagonist is eventually joined by the enigmatic and mysterious pilot, Rei Ayanami. The relationship between these characters drives much of the series’ drama.

The Themes

Neon Genesis Evangelion tackles several heavy themes, including depression, mental illness, and the complex relationship between children and parents. The show is renowned for its themes of existentialism, which is embodied by the monologues and psychological breakdowns of the pilots as they try to understand their place in the world.

As the story progresses, the series becomes a deep dive into the human psyche, exploring the nature of consciousness, dreams, and memory. The show forces the viewer to confront harsh truths about themselves and the world around them.

Why is Neon Genesis Evangelion Worth Watching

Neon Genesis Evangelion has been praised for its iconic character designs, philosophical themes, and its willingness to explore mature psychological themes in a medium usually associated with lighter, kid-friendly fare. The show was widely successful in Japan and had a profound impact on the anime industry as a whole.

The animation in Neon Genesis Evangelion is also top-notch. The blend of mecha battles and human drama gives the show a cinematic quality that elevates it above other anime series.

The Legacy of Neon Genesis Evangelion

Neon Genesis Evangelion has left a lasting impression on the anime world and continues to be a source of inspiration for new anime series to this day. The impact of the show is so great, it’s often parodied, referenced, and alluded to in other pieces of entertainment.

Evangelion was so popular it spawned an entire franchise including a film franchise, manga adaptations, novels, video games, and merchandise. All of these different mediums have fleshed out the world of Evangelion even further.

Final Thoughts

Neon Genesis Evangelion’s themes, characters, and unique blend of animation and drama make it a standout series in the anime world. Its legacy lives on today with new shows continuing to draw inspiration from its themes and storytelling techniques.

If you’re new to the world of anime or simply looking for something new to check out, give Neon Genesis Evangelion a chance. You may find yourself drawn into the rich storylines, complex characters, and philosophical underpinnings of this iconic series.

And that’s our beginner’s guide to Neon Genesis Evangelion. We hope this introduction has given you the necessary background to dive into the series and enjoy it to its fullest!