Neon Genesis Evangelion November Spotlight

Neon Genesis Evangelion November Spotlight

JGKP893-min

For November we celebrate an internationally known classic: Neon Genesis Evangelion, a mecha anime television series produced by Studio Gainax. The story takes place fifteen years after a worldwide cataclysm, where a teenage boy Shinji Ikari is recruited by his father to join an organization called Nerv. There, with other companions, he pilots a giant bio-machine named ‘Evangelion’ in combat against extraterrestrial beings known as ‘Angels’ in defense of the Earth.

The Evangelions are often misconceived as giant robots when in reality they are made up of both organic human material and machine parts. This separates them from other machines in the mecha genre such as Mobile Suit Gundam and Transformers. The cyborg (cybernetic organism) aspect of the Evangelions as well as the inner turmoil of the pilots that inhabit them draw into question what it means to be human. Throughout the series we are pushed to consider the question, do humans define machines, or do machines define us? “Evangelion” was one of the first anime to imagine the human as the machine through their reflection of human nature.

Consideration of what it means to be human is just one of the many themes and philosophies examined throughout the series which tackles questions of psychology, identity and esotericism in being filled with references to mystical traditions linked to Shinto, Christianity and Judaism. While Neon Genesis Evangelion is certainly not without its fair share of action, battle scenes are interspersed with thematic exploration which makes watching this anime series all the more worth while.

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