30 Day Anime Challenge – Day 11
I have always been a fan of the mecha genre starting with Mobile Suit Gundam Seed on Toonami late at night. The action, the drama, the romance, Gundam had it all in the eyes of impressionable teenager. Gundam was my view of the whole mecha genre until I watched Neon Genesis Evangelion a year later, which at the first viewing I hated. Comparing the two shows endlessly without regard to their release date, I deemed Gundam a better series for its more coherent plot, animation, and a romance that actually had a conclusion. Absolutely abhorring the ending in Neon Genesis Evangelion, I just did not understand the craze around franchise. My views have changed drastically since those days.
After experiencing life for another 5 years and then re-watching the original Evangelion when I was 18, I finally got the message. Evangelion really was not about the mechas at all, but more about the people inside of them. Rei as she struggles to form bonds with people and find meaning in life. Asuka (aka Best Girl) as she struggles to find her own self worth. Shinji as he struggles to reconcile with his father and be cared for by others. A compelling story about human kind’s endless struggle.
Naturally made for interpretation, several have scrutinized the show and made their own views known. After putting some time and effort into reading them myself it developed a new mindset for watching anime. Different perspectives manufacture new experiences on each repeated inspection of the show. Adding to the amount of time I get to enjoy the show and creating a deeper bond with it.
I still love mecha shows like Gundam, they are enjoyable and fun, but Evangelion changed how I view anime and even obstacles in my life. Evangelion as a franchise has eternally earned its spot as my favorite mecha show and I still cannot wait for 4.0.