I finally got around to watching this obscure old anime. You probably haven’t heard of it.
Is there anything I can say about Evangelion that hasn’t already been said? It’s been a Big Deal for longer than I’ve been watching anime. It’s infused anime culture to the point where you can’t really not know anything about Evangelion even if you never watched it. And, in a way, that made watching it a strange experience. You think you know what to expect. And when it turns out you’re wrong, you almost feel betrayed. How could you do this to me, Evangelion? You weren’t supposed to be like this!
The first few episodes were all right, and largely fit my expectations. But then it got, uh… kind of dumb, honestly. Not dumb in the “pretentious monologues and gratuitous Judeo-Christian symbolism” way. No, I mean dumb in the “Shinji and Asuka have to practice a synchronized dance routine to defeat an angel” way. I’d take five episodes of Shinji moping around instead of that stupid bullshit.
As a result, half of the show felt like it was wasting my time. And by the time the end was approaching and things got serious again, it had already lost me. I’d either stopped caring about these characters, or never liked them to begin with (Asuka). I could see what it was going for, but it had no emotional impact on me at all. And I’m sure it’s not controversial to say that episodes 25 and 26 of the series are not good.
So of course, I had to watch End of Evangelion as well, which was definitely an improvement over the original ending, but it was also too little, too late. It didn’t fix the problems I had with the series as a whole, it just let it have an actual ending.
Maybe Eva would’ve been all right if you cut all the chaff and bumped up the production values. As a series of movies, perhaps.