What Makes Neon Genesis Evangelion So Unique?


Ginger Fé Kaplan '25, Writer

Something that has always been near and dear to me is anime. I grew up with Dragon Ball Z, Sailor Moon, and other 90s classics.  But up until recently, I haven’t watched one of the most revered 90s anime of all time, Neon Genesis Evangelion. The sci-fi psychological thriller has been worshiped for its dark, fantastical take on society, using robots, angels, and of course humans. This piece will be a review, and will try to remain as spoiler-free as possible. We begin in Tokyo, the opening shot with our protagonist, Shinji Ikari. The 14-year-old, son of Gendoh Ikari – a renowned scientist, was recruited by his father to save the world by piloting a robot, defending his city and the rest of earth from a series of unearthly creatures dubbed “Angels”. Other children are recruited, Asuka Langley Soryu, Rei Ayamami, and Kaworu Nagisa. Not only is Evangelion packed with action and intense fight scenes, there’s an aspect that’s completely psychological, making the watcher re-evaluate their place in the world, with Shinji almost constantly breaking down, wondering if he’s enough for the world. 

There’s a lot of wonderful art that comes from Evangelion, with the anime’s initial release being in 1995, some of the shots that the anime was able to pull off, animating intense amounts of machinery, and other robots [as they are the main focus of the show], for the minutes, something with this much color and detail is extremely impressive. Not to mention lip flaps, which is something fundamental in the dubbing of anime. The mouth actually moves in time with more advanced syllables, which is extremely impressive for the 90s, and still something a lot of modern anime struggle with today [either too exaggerated or under, there’s no in-between!] There’s a more painted style to Evangelion, and even if you don’t love the characters, the animation is truly something to see! I do advise that this anime is for someone with darker tastes, and someone who enjoys a bit of a puzzle to figure out while watching, it is in no way shape or form light-hearted. But for those who do like a bit of darkness in their television series, this is a perfect addition to your watch list.