Twelve Days of Anime Part 6: The Great Rewatch

The television ending scene from Neon Genesis Evangelion: CONGRATULATIONSOK fandom.  You win.  I get it now.  I have come around.

As you can probably surmise, I re-watched Neon Genesis Evangelion this year.   What you don’t know is that this was my first time watching it in ten years.  A whole decade has passed during which time I graduated college, got married, had kids, finished grad school (twice) and completed five major moves.  These are just the “resume line item” parts of my life.  I mostly made these things happen, but many times what can alter your life’s trajectory are things that happen to you, things you can’t control.  I buried my first child, had a relationship-ending schism with my mother,  endured my mentor/priest/friend committing suicide and was diagnosed with anxiety disorder.  The last of these items shouldn’t be too surprising, given what comes before :).

I am a different person now than when I saw Eva the first time.  Not only does the Shinji Ikari character ring much truer now, given my life experience, but I also find myself drawn to Misato way more than before.  I suppose that being closer to her age as well as being responsible for a couple of the brightest of the next generation creates new common ground there.  The story as a whole speaks to the current me in a very deep way.

And then there’s the ending.  When I was a nineteen-year-old college freshman, I was looking for something more…straightforward?  Whatever it was I wanted, the ending of the Eva TV series did not satisfy me at all.  I proceeded to get on board the anti-Eva bandwagon, dismissing claims of its being thoughtful or philosophically important.  Well, I’m here to tell you that I was an idiot.  An idiot that only watched the English dub, no less.  Upon revisiting the series, the ending proves itself to be beautiful and inspiring.  Not to mention: utterly comprehensible!  I genuinely found the conclusion quite hopeful and uplifting.  There’s something present in that final scene that allows me to come away from Eva with a sense of peace.

So, yeah.  Evangelion fans: count me in.

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Twelve Days of Anime Part 6: The Great Rewatch

4 thoughts on “Twelve Days of Anime Part 6: The Great Rewatch

    1. Well that is something I have not re watched this year…or over the past decade :). As such, I don’t feel I can fairly comment on it at length. I do remember that it is significantly less hopeful and uplifting than the TV series ending. That may explain why I have been reluctant to go back to it.

      1. The only reason I’m happy that I saw The End of Evangelion is that I can say that I’ve seen it. 🙂

        I will say, despite the abruptness of NGE’s ending, it surprisingly makes a lot of sense. Of course, the first time I found myself rather annoyed. And it is always fun to see people new to the series exclaim “WTF!” in vexation.

        1. I hated the shit out of this series after seeing the end in college. I actually saw Eva twice in a row, once on my own and then immediately rewatched it with my best friend. The first time it was “Huh? That was…profound? Maybe? I guess?” The second, we were like “OK show, you are bullshitting us here.” It did not give my friend and I what we wanted -at all-. Watching it dubbed in English did not help matters either.

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