Giant robots had long been a big part of Japanese television. Giant robot shows were cool, fun, and filled with things exploding, which was awesome. Anno, having depression, decided to take this formula and make it depressing, so he could spread depression to everyone. This concept became Neon Genesis Evangelion.
Anno and his team made Eva a unique giant robot show with interesting characters and backstory. They also put in a bunch of religious symbolism and mythological references, quote, "to give the show a more exotic feel." This is producer-speak for "No, they don't mean anything, we just threw those in there because we could."
They burned through most of the budget halfway through the series. Some scenes toward the end consisted mostly of a single frame and nothing happening. With all of their budget gone, Anno threw together some stock footage from earlier episodes and called it a finale. The most coherent part of these episodes was an extended scene that had no relation whatsoever to the rest of the series. I am not making this up.
The fans responded in a calm and collected manner by sending Anno death threats. They told him to make a real ending, one that didn't suck. Anno, probably half crazy by this point, responded by saying "Oh yeah? Fine! I'll make a fucking ending! It'll be an ending about how much you all suck!" And it was. He made End of Evangelion, a movie which, among other things, told the audience in no uncertain terms that they all sucked. All things considered, it was a pretty good movie, although it is confusing the first time around and begins with one character masturbating onto the comatose body of a second character. That's probably the most infamous scene in the series; even the character beating off admits it's fucked up.
After making Evangelion and End of Eva, the entire staff of GAINAXwas depressed. The higher-ups decided to give everyone a break by giving them some money and telling them to "make whatever the fuck series you want." They decided to make something wacky and fun, and so Fooly Cooly was born.
After airing in the US and gaining a wide following in the ten years since its first release, a retelling of the series, titled Rebuild of Evangelion, is currently being made. It will hopefully have a proper ending.
Plotwise, Evangelion is complicated. The main premise is, alien-like beings called Angels are attacking the earth and a group of psychologically disturbed teenagers must pilot giant robots to stop them. The characters are all mentally disturbed in some way or another, and as the series goes on you can see them all slowly break apart under the pressure. Behind the scenes, the organization everyone works for, NERV, is really a shadow government at odds with another shadowy organization, and they have plans that mean the end of the world as we know it. As a whole, the series is a deconstruction of many of the common character archetypes often found in anime and the super robot genre in general.
The series is polarizing, to say the least. Many people praise the symbolism used and the depth of the characters, while others like the complex plotline. On the other hand, many people denounce it for being pretentious, its characters annoying, and its plot confusing. Watch it and find out where you lie.
Person 2: Neon Genesis Evangelion sucks! You should totally skip it.
The story revolves around a boy named Shinji Ikari who is on the brink and top toeing on the edge of insanity. He hates himself and cannot love or show true emotion. He has serious trouble expressing himself. The story is inexplicable. It is hard to grapht onto words. You have to watch all of the episodes to get a full grasp on the story, all I can tell you is that it involves Human Instrumentality which is the 'real' human state; a liquid called LCL. Where Humans have no soul but are everywhere and nowhere at the same time. Weird eh? Just watch the story and be taken into a level of thought which you have never experienced before.
There are 3 Steps to Neon Genesis.
Death and Rebirth (A Quick recap of the whole series)
The End of Evangelion (Which is basically expanded versions of the last 2 episodes, the creator of Neon Genesis recieved death threats because of the last 2 episodes)
- A government agency is set up to save the world.
- Three 14 year olds pilot humanoid cyborgs and kill monsters.
It is interpreted as a number of things:
- An intricate look at ourselves and others.
- An attempt to make animé original; to broaden its the limits(See my definition of animé).
- A cruddy non-sensical, contradictory, boring, drawn-out, pointlessly violent, perverted, pessimistic, and pretentious cartoon.
- A safe-card/fall back/name drop for self-proclaimed animé know-it-alls who've never watched the show.
- A series easily insultable.
- A calling card for unfounded animé-haters.
- An excellent source for debate (:P).
- A prime example of character development (or lack of).
- A test of patience.
- An escape from reality.
- A reflection on reality.
- A kik-ass animé w/lots of gre and BOOBIES.
And finally, for the immature, "laisser-faire" types (not in an economical or politcal sense), and/or emotional lacking:
- A waste of time.
It screwed me up for awhile due to it's cool-ness. It's cool up to episode 25-26.
And then End of Evangelion was oh so fucked up...
2. An anime show that involves a bunch of stupid kids who must defend the Earth against God (seriously...that's the story). God, for some reason, takes the forms of retarded dolls and geometric shapes to destroy Earth. Some say there is lots of symbolsim...but it really just plain sucks nuts...considering the fact that the creator was a depressive alcoholic and drug addict. No likeable characters (they actually get WORSE as the story progresses), and everyone dies in the end. The end itself is a crime against film making...you don't begin movies with 15 year old kids masturbating on other, comatose japanese 15 year olds...that's just wrong. People who think this is "teh gr8st anime 3var" have a pole up their ass or simply just can't get the fact that it contradicts itself over hundreds of times. People who watched this show and enjoyed it are the people who need to be sent to the front line during war.