It's been 15 years since Evangelion was released, it used to be hailed as the end to all anime. The biggest, coolest and deepest show ever made in Japan. Now does it still hold up to modern anime? Without a doubt yes, it may not be the best ever made but it's still a damn fine show. That is knowing that I generally dislike mecha and sci-fi anime. Good sci-fi is about never breaking suspension of disbelief, plot and characterisation, not robots battling interstellar threats. The cool thing is this show combines it all.
Now you could argue that f*ck all happens in 20 of the shows 26 episodes and you'd be right. This is a real slowpaced show where absolutely nothing happens for the first six episodes or so. Then you start getting these angel of the week episodes until late when things start kicking into gear. But what's it about anyway?
The end of the world is near, god is pissed and is sending his apostles to destroy what's let of the planet after a huge meteor impact left the world in shatters. The only thing that can stop these angels are 11-year kids fighting in huge mechanised battle suits. The owner of these suits is a corporation called NERV that trains and houses the children to make sure they're always available should a angel attack again.
During the show one angel after another shows up, gets beaten up and then they start preparing for the next one. Actually beating a angel up is often the point of a episode since they have all sorts of defenses that NERV needs to plan for.
But is that all? By all means no, what the show is really about is the characters. We get to see them all in normal everyday situations like in school, commuting to work or taking a beer after work. Evangelion is all about the characters, their wants, needs, dreams, plans and motivations for it all. It's borderline slice-of-life but knowing how they react in everday situation makes seeing them in dramatic ones all the more enjoyable since you get a frame of reference.
So, when it's at its best it's glorious but it's often rather slow and can even get boring at times. Last time I watched the whole thing through I actually said "Would something please happen!?" aloud a few times.
For me this is what anime looks like, stuff like the original Ghost In The Shell, Akira and Martian Successor Nadesico is what I grew up on.
Now people often complain about the static scenes where there's nary more than moving mouths if even that much. There is a lot of completely static ones but I'd claim this is a narrative chioce to compare the explosive action scenes with.
Because the mecha battles still looks damn good with fluid animations and impressive effects and designs.
Yes, it looks dated but it still holds up somewhat even fiftteen years later.
Dude, the intro is as classic as it gets. Shame on the weeaboo born in the eighties who doesn't know this song by heart. The rest of the songs also fit well and the vioce acting is overall very solid. Good voice acting never gets old.
Evangelion is a odé to the common asshole. Every character (With a lil exception) in this show is a normal human. They're petty, greedy, egoistic douchebags the lot of them and they do what the can to survive under the stress of being tasked with the survival of all humankind. This is what still makes the show so great, all these flawed beings trying their best against impossible odds.
Honestly I could either go on a long tirade about all the major characters or I could just shut up and hope you'll watch it for yourself. And if you're lazy there's always the new Evangelion movies with updated looks and loads less of Shinjis whining and more mech whoopass. Either way it's worth a watch just to form a opinion of your own.
This is a show of extremes with intense action or drama at times and slow subtle characterisation on the other side of the spectrum. And it's not always good but when it's good it's usually awesome. If anything this is a classic anime that you really should see sooner or later. You might not like it but loads of anime would have never been concieved without this gem. It is worth the time.