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miroku2192 2013-04-27 12:11

How to watch Evangelion?
 
Hey guys,

Everyone keeps raving about the series Evangelion, so I'm going to give it a shot in the upcoming weeks after my finals. I'm a little confused though, there's a TV series, and several "movies", with the recent 3.33 whatever, what exactly should I be watching? And how are these all connected?

Been trying to figure it out without getting spoiled, and after snooping around a bit I felt like I should just post this here and ask my favorite guys at ASuki forums to help out as usual!

Thanks in advance!

Sackett 2013-04-27 12:16

Watch the TV series first.

Then End Of Evangelion.

If you want to try and be fancy you could try to watch End of Evangelion in combination with the last two episodes, but I think just the TV series and then End of Eva is the best order.

Rebuild is optional afterwards. I recommend against starting with Rebuild.

The way they are connected is this:

First there was an anime original TV series Neon Genesis Evangelion.

They ran out of money, (and ink). The ending was very... avaunt-guard. Evangelion became a surprise mega hit.

The director of Evangelion then decided to produce a movie showing the ending of Evangelion as he would have wanted to do it if money hadn't become a problem. This is End of Evangelion. It was very... interesting. I liked it. Fans have argued greatly over whether End is an alternate ending, the same ending from a different perspective, and whether it's a downer or a happy ending. Levels of geekdom reached just below Dr. Who, Star Trek, and Star Wars fandoms.

That was what... 15ish years ago.

Recently Anno (the director) decided he wanted to revisit Eva. They have released the Rebuild movies. Rebuild 1, which seemed to be retelling the original storyline with a few differences. Rebuild 2 and 3 which made significant departures. Response has been mixed. For one thing fans can't even figure out for sure how this Rebuild fits into the rest of the Eva mythology. (To give you an idea of the weirdness of Eva, we fans can't even agree if Rebuild is a remake, a sequel, or a pocket episode inside the original story). It's hard to really judge them until the 4th and final movie in the Rebuild series comes out.

Personally I rank them like the Star Wars sequels so far. Not worthless, they are good movies. But not as good as the original version in the TV series. Visuals are pretty incredible though, that's for sure.

sa547 2013-04-27 12:28

Also try asking the habitues at Evageeks.org.

miroku2192 2013-04-27 13:37

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sackett (Post 4655927)
Watch the TV series first.

Then End Of Evangelion.

If you want to try and be fancy you could try to watch End of Evangelion in combination with the last two episodes, but I think just the TV series and then End of Eva is the best order.

Rebuild is optional afterwards. I recommend against starting with Rebuild.

The way they are connected is this:

First there was an anime original TV series Neon Genesis Evangelion.

They ran out of money, (and ink). The ending was very... avaunt-guard. Evangelion became a surprise mega hit.

The director of Evangelion then decided to produce a movie showing the ending of Evangelion as he would have wanted to do it if money hadn't become a problem. This is End of Evangelion. It was very... interesting. I liked it. Fans have argued greatly over whether End is an alternate ending, the same ending from a different perspective, and whether it's a downer or a happy ending. Levels of geekdom reached just below Dr. Who, Star Trek, and Star Wars fandoms.

That was what... 15ish years ago.

Recently Anno (the director) decided he wanted to revisit Eva. They have released the Rebuild movies. Rebuild 1, which seemed to be retelling the original storyline with a few differences. Rebuild 2 and 3 which made significant departures. Response has been mixed. For one thing fans can't even figure out for sure how this Rebuild fits into the rest of the Eva mythology. (To give you an idea of the weirdness of Eva, we fans can't even agree if Rebuild is a remake, a sequel, or a pocket episode inside the original story). It's hard to really judge them until the 4th and final movie in the Rebuild series comes out.

Personally I rank them like the Star Wars sequels so far. Not worthless, they are good movies. But not as good as the original version in the TV series. Visuals are pretty incredible though, that's for sure.

Thank you very much Sackett, really appreciate the informative post. I guess I should just wait till Rebuild movie 4 comes out then to watch all 4 rebuilds?

And just before I go in to this series with some kind of skewed perspective/because of all the hype, what exactly made Evangelion so popular? Are a lot of the animes today using similar plots/themes that watching Evangelion today will not have the same impact as having watched it, say 15 years ago at its original creation date? In other words, I'm just not sure what to expect from this really old anime. It has definitely received a lot of hype and praise, but I'm worried I'll be let down if I try to compare it to things I have watched in recent years. Your thoughts? [If possible, try to keep it spoiler-free, thanks :)]

Thanks again guys, really appreciate it!

Jan-Poo 2013-04-27 14:00

What Sackett said and I would even go as far as to suggest that you skip the last two episodes of the TV series and watch "end of Evangelion" from there.

Then you can watch the last two episodes of the TV series as an "alternate ending".


As for your other question, you probably know it, but while Evangelion became a major hit, probably one of the greatest success in the history of anime it also draw a lot of hate from people who didn't think it deserved all those praises.

Evangelion isn't flawless, but it introduced a lot of revolutionary concepts and ideas for that time, it completely changed the way to look at robo anime and that is clear from the fact the actual battles against the "angels" are barely 1/10 of the whole series.
But of course major factors of its success are also the awesome direction of Hideaki Anno (already widely acclaimed for Nadia of the Blue Water) and the inspiring soundtrack.

The wide use of references from biblical sources and psychology, paired with a lot of mystery and intrigues spawned a huge amounts of speculations and discussions on the internet, and since the anime doesn't explain every single point perfectly, the discussions kept going for a long time, and you know the more people talk about something the more people become interested in it.

In short Evangelion is the kind of show that you could talk about forever, there are so many details and facets in it, some are good, some are, in my opinion, not so good.

It is better if you don't expect the new coming of Jesus, but I think it is still a very solid anime even today.

miroku2192 2013-04-27 17:57

Thank you Jan-Poo, appreciate the very thorough and informative response as well. Look forward to giving this series a go during the summer.

Thanks again guys! You guys at ASuki never fail to help out in a very speedy and timely fashion. Love you guys :].

Sackett 2013-04-27 20:34

Quote:

Originally Posted by miroku2192 (Post 4656021)
Thank you very much Sackett, really appreciate the informative post. I guess I should just wait till Rebuild movie 4 comes out then to watch all 4 rebuilds?

And just before I go in to this series with some kind of skewed perspective/because of all the hype, what exactly made Evangelion so popular? Are a lot of the animes today using similar plots/themes that watching Evangelion today will not have the same impact as having watched it, say 15 years ago at its original creation date? In other words, I'm just not sure what to expect from this really old anime. It has definitely received a lot of hype and praise, but I'm worried I'll be let down if I try to compare it to things I have watched in recent years. Your thoughts? [If possible, try to keep it spoiler-free, thanks :)]

Thanks again guys, really appreciate it!

I'll try very hard not to spoil anything, but it's hard with Eva and trying to explain why it's great.

Evangelion is very flawed show. Marred by production problems, executive meddling, the script writer going off his meds (literally, Anno was on medication for depression and went off it during the final episodes).

Eva's strength is generally considered to be the characters. Although about half the fans hate the protagonist. (I'm not one of them I like the protagonist). It also created a new archetype in Rei Ayanami, and Rei type characters are now pretty common. In Eva she was considered a new thing.

Spoiler for Pretty Heavy Spoilers even if I keep it at the meta level without plot details:


I wouldn't say Evangelion type anime are typical nowadays. However there will occasionally be one or two. Evangelion is usually seen even by the anime insiders (producers, script writers, ect) as a major turning point in anime. They talk about pre-Eva and post-Eva anime eras.

Some say that Evangelion created the Moe anime boom (despite Eva not being moe). Those who argue this suggest that Eva traumatized anime otaku so badly that they retreated into Moe anime.

Many shows after Evangelion are seen as responses to Evangelion. Either accepting or rejecting the message of Eva.

Several big shows have had shout outs to Eva, varying from Fullmetal Alchemist, to Angel Beats, to The World God Only Knows, to Madoka Magica. It's sort of the Star Wars of anime. Everyone is expect to get the references.

Do I recommend it? Yes I do. Strongly. If there is one anime that can be considered "essential" to watch for an anime fan, it's Evangelion.

Does it hold up after all these years? Yes, actually it does. Evan the visuals are still very good compared to today's anime. You can tell it's older, but the quality was high. (When they had the money that is).

Is it the perfect anime? Not even close. Like I told you, it was flawed and troubled.

One final note. Eva has a high rewatch value. I've re-watched it several times, and probably will again.

CJ_Walker 2013-04-28 10:21

Quote:

Originally Posted by miroku2192 (Post 4656021)
I'm going to watch eva for the first time


Id say this, if youre experienced in anime, you should watch it, if not...stay away.

Before I started watching anime I was in college with a roomate that was in the anime club... him and his brother kept trying to invite me to his anime club...and I was like "yeah. . .no thanks." but one weekend, he mentioned a marathon of eva (which I didn't know at the time) . . .but with free pizzas. . .

as a college student, NOBODY turns down free pizzas.

but at the end of that marathon I wish I had. Watching Eva like that without knowing anything about anime put me off of anime for many years(since the roomate told me it was the best anime of all time or some crap like that). To me Eva was just that bad, I hated everything about it(especially that godawful ending). . . to this day I still can't watch that show, or its sequel/rebuilds/moneygrabs/whatever. so I suggest you prepare yourself. If you think you'll like it after the first 3-4 episodes go ahead and finish it, if not beware, it can traumatize you. . .especially if you're like me and one of those people that likes things to make sense.

miroku2192 2013-04-28 18:39

Thanks again for the updated information Sackett, very informative again.

@CJ Walker, what you just said has me a little worried, especially the final sentence. I do tend to try and find the "logic" in all things I watch, but if the reason it doesn't make sense is more an art form / to make viewers think, then maybe it's still okay.

I don't know, I'm assuming you're referring to the anime TV ending in which people said that was not the "true" ending to some degree given the director or whoever was off his meds and they ran out of production money.


Someone noted that one of Evangelion's theme is that of "at the very end of the day, we are all losers, not like the heroes we all strive or believe ourselves to be, etc.", and so if this anime is meant to be very "realistic", then it could be interesting. Am I correct to assume that this anime's approach is that of a very "realistic" view? Of a young boy who is just randomly tossed into all this mess, and he, unlike your typical shounen animes today, does not just up and go and wreck everything and get super power ups, but fails time and time again as would any regular boy?

Jan-Poo 2013-04-28 18:52

Evangelion is the antithesis of GAR, which is why the main character is often hated or despised.

I don't know how much "realistic" applies here, in a sense perhaps but not on a larger scale. Evangelion could be interpreted as the worst possible coming of age of a helpless child who must deal with a world where almost all the adults are selfish if not outright bastards.

Every day is a new discovery of what kind of horrible thing the adult world is, and how much of a kid he is for not adapting.

Sackett 2013-04-28 19:25

More like every single human being in Eva is a crippled mass of neurosis. The single most well adjusted character in Eva is the functional alcoholic.

But yeah, you got an idea of what you are in for now.

Be sure to come back and report on your findings.

Reviews by people new to Eva as they go through the episodes are always fun to read.

TinyRedLeaf 2013-04-28 20:22

Quote:

Originally Posted by miroku2192 (Post 4657919)
I don't know, I'm assuming you're referring to the anime TV ending in which people said that was not the "true" ending to some degree given the director or whoever was off his meds and they ran out of production money.

I've seen and heard various reasons for the TV ending, and some of them say that it was portrayed exactly the way Hideaki Anno had planned. He was apparently suffering from depression at the time, and his condition heavily influenced the development of the TV series.

The point, though, is that the TV ending is as "true" as that of End of Evangelion. The last two TV episodes portrayed the finale as it unfolded in Shinji's mind, while the movie showed how things were falling apart around him in the world outside. The two endings are not mutually exclusive and are in fact complementary.

I preferred the original TV ending because of its creative audacity. In the same vein, it seems that Rebuild 3.3 is also designed to outrage fans. I have very mixed views about the effectiveness of this approach the second time round.

synaesthetic 2013-04-28 20:25

Watch Rebuild only, TV series sucks balls and EoE makes no goddamned sense at all.

Jan-Poo 2013-04-28 23:05

Quote:

Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf (Post 4658021)
I've seen and heard various reasons for the TV ending, and some of them say that it was portrayed exactly the way Hideaki Anno had planned. He was apparently suffering from depression at the time, and his condition heavily influenced the development of the TV series.

The point, though, is that the TV ending is as "true" as that of End of Evangelion. The last two TV episodes portrayed the finale as it unfolded in Shinji's mind, while the movie showed how things were falling apart around him in the world outside. The two endings are not mutually exclusive and are in fact complementary.

I preferred the original TV ending because of its creative audacity. In the same vein, it seems that Rebuild 3.3 is also designed to outrage fans. I have very mixed views about the effectiveness of this approach the second time round.


It can't be denied that the TV ending suffered from lack of funds and/or time, I mean let' be honest 70% of them consist of reused animation from previous episodes. Of the remaining a 20% is animation that barely required any effort, and only a 10% is actually passable.

It is very hard for me to believe that the planned ending was just so conveniently structured to be made with barely any effort, in stark contrast with the movie ending.

Moreover a lot of major plot elements hinted several times throughout the series are completely left unaddressed (unlike in the movie).

Really, I don't buy it.

creb 2013-04-28 23:21

So you're not in a complete echo chamber :heh:, I'd suggest simply watching the recent movies, though they're not finished yet, so if you can wait, may as well wait 'till they are and watch them all in one go.

I thought the original tv series was pretty horrible, both when I watched it way back in 1996, and today (as an example that my dislike hasn't changed as I've aged/personal opinions changed, so the reason for me disliking them stems less from age-based view-points and more from general hatred towards 25 episodes of the most emo male protagonist ever made in anime). They've dialed his emoness back a lot in the new movies, though it's so integral to the story being told, it's obviously still pretty...there.

For the record, I rather enjoy the new movie series.

Of course, if you are anything remotely resembling more than a casual anime fan, you'll still have to watch the original tv series, just because Evangelion is such a large part of anime culture. You're in a situation many of us are not, in being able to not watch the tv series first. I'd take advantage of that, and watch it last. There's no real continuity, as the new movies are essentially a re-telling (like how Macross Frontier's movies were a re-telling of the Frontier tv series), so watching them in the order they were produced isn't necessary, imo.

Reckoner 2013-04-28 23:34

Just going to chime in and say that I wouldn't even be an anime fan today if it were not for Neon Genesis Evangelion. It is my absolute favorite television anime of all time, and I doubt that will ever change. There are not too many legitimate criticisms of the series overall that are all that rational I have found (i.e. shinji is emo and should man up). The series is essentially an enthralling character study disguised as a mecha in a apocalyptic scenario. There is literally nothing out there that compares to the soul crushing experience of the TV series IMO. Rebuild, whether you like it or not (I HATE IT), just doesn't deliver the same impact I have found from others and my own experience.

Still of course, your experience may differ so try not to have too many expectations, but it's definitely any anime fan's must see series. In any case, you owe it to yourself to watch the TV series first. Even the people who like Rebuild appreciate it only because they saw the TV series first.

Quote:

Originally Posted by synaesthetic (Post 4658024)
Watch Rebuild only, TV series sucks balls and EoE makes no goddamned sense at all.

No.

creb 2013-04-28 23:44

Quote:

Originally Posted by Reckoner (Post 4658262)
Even the people who like Rebuild appreciate it only because they saw the TV series first.

No. :heh:

Unless we use the argument that it's because it's NOT the tv series that I like it? Heh.

No time machines, so this is purely conjecture, but I suspect I'd still be enjoying the new movies even if I had never watched the tv series.

I'd go into how there are different levels of enjoyment, ranging from the purely visceral to the wholly analytical, and how a person can have different feelings at different levels towards something, but then we'd be getting way off topic.

Suffice to say, if I was in his/her shoes, and even if I did plan on watching the tv series, I'd watch the new movies first. You can only make that decision once, so why watch it in the same order all us old farts have when there's no chronological connection between the two? :heh:

LeoXiao 2013-04-28 23:45

I'm always amazed at how polarized the reactions to EoTV are - it's either you loved it or hated it.

ahelo 2013-04-29 00:34

I would say Evangelion is a realistic spin in the whole "children piloting robots" and how it isn't as happy and fun as one would think. This series really drills into the characters minds to the point where even you get depressed.

Oh and organic mecha.

Tempester 2013-04-29 01:06

The original TV series Neon Genesis Evangelion is the best, save for the last two episodes which are easily replaced by the End of Evangelion film. The Rebuild movies are good and extremely fun, but they are rushed and leave out a lot of parts which I felt made the TV anime more integral. (Some people make a similar complaint about the Lyrical Nanoha remake films, but I think that unlike Rebuild, they hold up very well on their own.)

Creb does have an interesting proposal, though. Watching Rebuild first will give yourself a unique perspective on the franchise, although it may also earn you some ire from diehard fans. :heh:


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