Oh. I got it. I guess the problem was that I skimmed after 2/3 way through because the production quality was so bad. Even with whatever underlying theme it had, the series was hard to follow through because the low-budget issue. In addition, putting up with 15 hour of Shinji whine is pretty exhausting. However, with what you said in mind, I might re-watch it later. Thanks.
I gave an explanation for my Nisemonogatari vote in the episode thread.
As for Evangelion, I don't think I really need to defend it. Eva is still probably the highest acclaimed and monstrously popular show. Since I don't know what you found so terrible about it I can't really give you much of a reply except to point out that Eva is well known to be a flawed anime. Among the many flaws included are the major budget woes that caused the production to run out of both time and ink on the final two episodes. More plot related is that the creator is infamously know to suffer from a major depression episode during the production. The first third of the show was made before he started medication, the second after he was on medication, and the last third after he went off his medication. The two endings (episode 23-24 and End of Eva) are extremely controversial and can generate reams of arguments of their meaning. People can't even agree if it's a happy ending or not.
Despite all these well known flaws Evangelion still stands as one of the greatest anime of all time. Why?
Because the show has many different meanings depending on how you watch it:
1 The most common interpretation is as a deconstruction of The Hero's Journey. Imagine Eva as Star Wars if Darth Vader had kept both his children: Raised Leia as daddy's little girl who does everything he tells her too, while emotionally abusing Luke until he was a useful pawn to be used for his skills with the force. More specifically Eva deconstructed the Mecha genre, which is a genre known for it's traditional use of the Hero's Journey.
2: Eva as a Jungian\Freudian archetypal exploration of maturation of the individual, familial and romantic relationships, and the conflict between self and other.
3: An exploration of the three primary survival instincts: Flight = Shinji, Fight = Asuka, Passive Endurance = Rei
4: A gender flip of the traditional roles in a Mecha (or any hero oriented show).
5: An attack on the (old) Otaku mindset and lifestyle. (Ironically generating a new Otaku mindset that most seem to think is worse than the old, and is at odds with the denouncement of Eva)
6: A response to Aum (the terrorist group behind the subway bombing in Japan) and an apocalyptic rejection of utopian dreams and goals.
7: A big "You Suck" to the audience in the form of audience surrogate Shinji.
No actually I don't care. I have another question though. On the Suggestion sub-forum you compared Madoka to Evangelion in sense of plot quality. However, I when I watched Evangelion, the original 1-24 episodes, it was ridiculously terrible. Am I missing something or is most of the quality stuff in the movie?