My only experience with Evangelion before returning to episode one was seeing three episodes of it and not really enjoying it. It’s not that I thought it was even bad; I just found it uninteresting, boring and slow paced. All I can say to anyone who, like me, found themselves baffled by how it received its critical acclaim is to try taking notes whilst watching it. This time whilst watching the episode I took notes and enjoyed it!
I really love the opening to Evangelion and how epic and airy it sounds before going into a really fun rhythm. I wasn’t very optimistic for this episode and remember writing about how I wish Evangelion was as both cool and fun as the OP! Hopefully this will be true!
The opening scene immediately establishes that something is terribly wrong. The streets are deserted, the train station’s empty and nobody seems to be around. It looks completely miserable. There’s an evacuation notice but the tragedy communicated is a lot better shown than told here.
But how bad can the tragedy be if theirs this little boy outside? That question is quickly answered when a giant angel mecha appears and starts exploding things! It makes you wonder how stupid the main character might be if he’s out in the open near a massive robot warzone. This set up is for Shinji (our main character) who is meeting up with a person from the military, maybe they should fix their meet up locations.
Whilst this is occurring we learn that conventional weapons don’t work on these Mechas and that a war could have been going on for 15 years, either that or there was a war 15 years ago, I’m not sure. I have to say for a sudden outbreak of conflict the streets look terrible but if it’s been going on for fifteen years I have to say that considering the enemy at hand this damage is pretty good!
Misato is the woman employed by the military to meet Shinji for reasons unexplained and it’s in one great shot that Shinji’s entire attitude towards her. It shows Misato’s exposed leg (She’s wearing something revealing but not that revealing) with Shinji trying as best as he possibly can to avoid looking. This shows his nervousness towards women and shows his real awkwardness. It also hints that there might be some attraction between the two provided Misato would stop teasing him.
Many things are expressed without words in this show such as Shinji’s relationship with his dad who clearly has negative feelings towards him. Later in the episode he even goes so far as to say that the reason he was ignoring him for all this time was that he was never useful until now. With that logic I’m just wondering why he didn’t leave him at birth in the flash back then! On a more serious note this attitude is a really selfish thing for a parent to have and is just terrible for the child. Expecting parents should know that children are more of a burden than a help at least to begin with and be prepared to put the effort in to give them a healthy upbringing. After all the parents are the ones who brought the child into the world and neglecting him/her makes me wonder why you thought to have the child in the first place. This is going to be pretty controversial but I think in some cases it might be less cruel to have an abortion than to raise a child you know you will neglect, be unable to provide for and not love. I’m still not entirely sure of my opinions on that matter though, I’ve got a arguments on both sides. I never thought I would get into such a controversial debate in the first episode!
So in the military factory, which is so big even the employee guiding Shinji got lost, we stumble across a massive robot which is called an Evangelion! And just like anyone Shinji does not want to pilot it against the thing he just saw blow up many military vehicles in one place. I have to question the decision to create robots specifically for 14 year olds but at least the military seem alright with dealing with the consequences of their actions and dealing with unnecessary drama to save the world.
Outside knowledge from the show has told me that piloting the Evangelion hurts the user so when the women whose name isn’t yet revealed is in crazy pain it made me really worried about would happen. This doesn’t strike me as a story where the hero’s will have a simple win, with machines as violent as that it’s hard to see how the main characters won’t lose at least something about their original character throughout the story. I see sacrifice coming into play during this story since it’s several 14 year olds pain for the benefit of the rest of society.
Many other shows have overpowered main characters where they immediately can connect to their mecha, I think I remember Hundred being one of them and it just felt wrong. But something about this show just makes the moment feel really cool instead of fake and forced as it’s represented visually. A rock is about to fall on Shinji but as he moves his hands to cover himself the mechas hands move at the same time protecting him. It was a great moment and established the connection immediately.
Shinji is put into a strange orange liquid that apparently oxidises his blood directly and is ready to launch into episode two!
I’m amazed at the complete change in attitude I had to watching this show, I thought I would just find it boring and explain why it didn’t work for me but I was pleasantly surprised to find that my attitude was changed! The situation is a lot more interesting to me now.
One complaint I already had in my head was the idea that the show presents you with characters and just expects you to care about them. I think that the reason why I had this idea in my head was just that I lost interest and wasn’t ready to pay attention to the more interesting aspects in an attempt to try and find out why the show is so beloved by many. I hope that through this post series I will be able to explain the appreciation for the show and hopefully bring to your attention things that will make you like the show more!