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--Reviews & Praise for the EVA Series--

-Reviewer: Arune Singh
Neon Genesis Evangelion
26 Episode TV series
Distributed by ADV Films
Released to North America in 1998

- -"Evangelion is the greatest anime of all time, hands down no contest. It makes you think, feel and see things through different ways; in fact, you may have a paradigm shift. However, not everyone may like it, despite what I am going to say in this review. The tones of depression, seeming attacks on Christianity and the raw emotion may not sit with everyone. I do believe if you open you mind and heart you will embrace Evangelion. Neon Genesis Evangelion is easily one of the most talked about and subsequently one of the most controversial anime series of the 1990's. Critics have hailed it as a triumph in anime storytelling and many others have made it clear they see this series as nothing more than the ramblings of an emotionally disturbed man. When I first picked up this series to watch I wasn't sure what to expect but was assured by fellow editor Hugo Wong that the series was worth it. So I plopped down my cash to a dealer at Anime North (in Toronto) and so began my obsession with this series. This series is a bonafide classic of unimaginable quality. When we call something outstanding or phenomenal usually it is just for that genre: however EVA transcends all expectations for any production in the entertainment industry. Everything you could want in a TV series, movie or mini series in is here: this series is the epitome of quality. Suffice it to say I was blown away by this series. From the minute I heard the opening song (Cruel Angel's Thesis) and the rest of the music I was hooked. The opening, though very abstract, seemed to speak volumes and the character designs seemed excellent. I started to watch more of the tapes till I realized I was already half way through the series and had tallied up quite a bill. The story begins by introducing us to Shinji Ikari, a young boy abandoned by his father, who is waiting for a woman, Misato Katsuragi, who will take him to meet his father. Gendo Ikari, Shinji's dad, has formed a group called NERV, which under the control of the global conglomerate SEELE fights the "Angels". Fifteen years ago in the year 2000 the Second Impact occurred leaving half the Earth flooded underwater as the Polar ice caps melted. The cause: the Angels. Now fifteen years later they have resurfaced and Shinji is one of the select children who can pilot a huge robot, called an EVA, to combat the Angels. Sounds like your basic robot anime right? Wrong. As the story unfolds we find out that only children born after the Second Impact can pilot EVAs. Why? The EVA's also bear a strange resemblance to the Angels. Why? But we also get to know the group of characters we are introduced to and wonder why they are the way they are. But as each question is seemingly answered we are thrown even more questions. Slowly the series develops into a psychological drama, where nothing is what it seems to be and we learn what we have to live for. However the enthralling story is not the only asset of Neon Genesis Evangelion. The characters possess a searing realism, unheard of in North American television and we begin to care about each one by the time the first half of the series is over. Though we hate the some of the characters during their introduction by the end of this epic anime we begin to feel pity for them as we see how they have become the people they are. Rei, is a quiet child whose pain is unknown even to her. Asuka is the brash capable showoff whose own heart would guide her to happiness if she'd only listen. Shinji is the lonely boy who wallows in the nothingness of his existence. Misato is the beautiful commander who can't seem to escape her past. Gendo and Ristuko share a connected history which both damns and redeems them. When EVA first began one of it's claims to fame was its animation and in my opinion the excellent mech designs. As the series progresses the animation stays excellent and we begin to see just how well done the designs really are. The only exceptions to this are the two final episodes where a lot of still shots and black screens with words are used. Budget problems can be blamed for this because EVA never really became popular till it's conclusion. The Dubbing is done with a lot of emotion but it is hard to get past voices like Asuka, which sound too old for a teenager. If not for her voice I would say the dubbing was done excellently and in fact is one of ADV's best. Patience is a key in this series, not because of pacing, but because the biggest pay off is at the end of the story when we see how it all ends. We keep being surprised in each volume but none of it compares to the feeling one has after seeing this anime completely. It feels like you've grown as a person and as a human being. Stick through the whole series and I'll guarantee this: it will make you consider things about your life you may not have looked at, like your raison d'etre. Overall Neon Genesis Evangelion is a must see for any human being whether you are an anime fan or not. The sheer depth of this anime makes it so enthralling and addictive that you cannot help but be drawn into the world of Tokyo 3 and its characters. Their pain is yours. Everytime they triumph you can feel it. Though the first half of the TV series is a bit light hearted it is the seond half where this show starts to shine. Few pieces of literature, with the exception of Shakespeares finest like "Macbeth", can compare. In fact creator Hiddeaki Anno may have taken a cue from the bard for one of his famous quotes in King Lear sums up the series: "Our faults lie not the stars, but in ourselves".

- -"One of the finest achievements in the history of visual enterainment"
- Play Magazine (The End Of Evangelion)

- -"The boldest TV anime show yet seen this decade!"
- Animerica (Collection 0:2)

- -"If You could bridge the gap between man and God, what would you find? And more important, what would you be? Famed studio Gainx Finds itself exploring that frontier in its enigmatic yet hugley popular series Neon Genesis Evangelion"
- Wired (Collection 0:3)

- -"... packed with action along with some of the deepest, most provocative storytelling ever done - anime or otherwise.
- Gamers Republic (Collection 0:5)

- -"... written deftly and executed with rare visual playfulness...the mecha battles reach a new height of feral savagery, and Anno's animation takes a corresponding quantum leap... A+
- Science Fiction Weekly