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.