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#1 Edited by pyrodactyl (1855 posts) -

I heard some people consider Evangelion to be THE anime so I watched the 3 movies and I think that might have been a mistake. Are the 3 movies a retelling of the original anime? Is this why they seem to skip half the necessary exposition?

After 3 movies I'm not quite sure what an angel even is. Or what's EVA. Or what happened at the second impact, or the first one. Or why was Lilith so important. Or why it's so focused on a character that spends 1.9 movie being a whinny loser with daddy issues and 1.1 movie being a giant world ending fuck up.

So, could someone enlighten me? And please keep the spoilers to a minimum if the movies are really just a condensed version of the show, I'd still like to watch the 4th one and see some kind of resolution to this non sense.

For reference, the third movie ends after

the battle of the fourth impact that occurs when the first angel and Shinji recover the wrong(?) spears from lilith's corps

#2 Posted by Video_Game_King (35797 posts) -

This explains most of Evangelion quite nicely:

#3 Posted by GunstarRed (4994 posts) -

There's kids in robots and they fight monsters and then everything goes crazy and a lady kisses a boy after he masturbates over a girl in a hospital bed and then the world ends.

#4 Posted by Humanity (8709 posts) -

No, literally no one can, if they claim they do you can be certain they're lying.

#5 Edited by supermike6 (3530 posts) -

I absolutely loved the show, and I would consider the movies something to watch after having already seen it, if you're going to watch them at all. The movies don't flesh out the characters as much, don't explain things as well, and the new things they add are kinda shit in a lot of ways. Also, by the third movie, the plotline has diverged completely from that of the original show. I would recommend watching the original show if you actually want to see what everyone's raving about. And then once you're finished, consult a wiki to fill in the gaps.

#6 Edited by pyrodactyl (1855 posts) -
#7 Posted by Hunter5024 (5505 posts) -

Questions like that slowly piled up for me throughout the show. Not having an answer to them by the time I was finished is the reason I don't care for that series.

#8 Edited by Aetheldod (3495 posts) -

@pyrodactyl: You wanna know stuff but without spoilers???? D: man you dont put it easy do ya .....

Shinji: Why must he be the hero? Why must he be responsible to be the saviour of the world? This is in direct opposition to the usual mecha anime were the hero willingly wants to be the saviour , Shinji just acts like most teens would: Not me T_T

Ikaris purpose: has to do with a dead wife

As for the rest we will be entering spoilerama fest duder so no go ... unless you wanna be spoiled.

#9 Edited by I_Stay_Puft (2944 posts) -


#10 Posted by Marz (5641 posts) -

best way to watch it is to not try and understand what's going on and just go along for the ride...

#11 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -
Fig. A: Relevant Internet Meme

#12 Edited by Sunjammer (902 posts) -

I never got Evangelion either

#13 Posted by Sinusoidal (1260 posts) -


The apocalypse as a metaphor for puberty.

#14 Edited by Popogeejo (601 posts) -

Since no one seems to want to be helpful; the movies were meant to be a retelling but then became something else that might be a sequel or a complete alternate retelling.

You want to start with the TV series and then watch the movie "End of Evangelion" if you want to go in like most of us did. Even this is confusing though since End of Eva (EoE) is meant to replace episodes 25 and 26 (though you should watch those anyway just to see how the studio dealt with running out of budget.) There are two other movies which are so unimportant I can't even remember their names. These are basically condensed versions of the show but just make a hard to follow story that much more complex. Ignore them.

TV series - EoE - Rebuild (the movies you've started on)

Most importantly of all though; Rei > Asuka. Ramiel is the best angel.

Oh and you can watch ll of these to the very end and I promise, with absolute certainty, none of us are getting any real closure.

#15 Posted by Fattony12000 (6950 posts) -

#16 Edited by R3belD0gg (72 posts) -

I really liked the series Neon Genesis Evangelion. I don't know anything about any movies, never saw them. Just the series, which was like a 26 episode run. It was so long ago that I barely remember much, but I do remember the last two or three episodes were just awful. I loved the show until then, but by the end I just wanted to slap the shit out of that whiny little bitch baby. It sucks because most of what I remember is from those last episodes and how bad they were... I need to rewatch that. Watching anime is good for my 日本語 studies, anyway.

If your looking for a good series, I recommend Rurouni Kenshin. I've still not seen the third arc but I REALLY want to. If you watch the dub, be careful, there is a really bad one and a really good one. You'll know the really bad one... trust me.

#17 Edited by Aetheldod (3495 posts) -

Here is a link to an essay that explains Evangelion , but it is full of spoilers so read it at your own risk


#18 Edited by NmareBfly (39 posts) -

There's no way to say this without some spoilers, but I'm not going to mention anything really specific. The three new movies ARE a retelling of the original series... sorta. You got a 26 episode anime during which all sorts of shit goes down, then the movie End of Eva, which overwrote the original ending from the last two episodes of the show. At the end of End, some Stuff happens that sorta kinda hits the reset button on the whole thing. The NEW movies are actually the sequel to the original series + movie, though it's never outright stated to be as such. It's the next cycle of a time loop, so starting with the new ones is bound to be pretty incoherent. The first new movie is reasonably close to what happens in the first half of the original series, the second movie goes off the rails on some really significant ways, and the third movie is completely new shit that no one can explain.

In terms of making sense of all of it, here's a long video about the original End of Eva movie that does a better job of explaining what is going on in the original series then anything else I've seen. The key is the plot of the anime cannot be taken in isolation -- it's a reaction to existing anime tropes and the fandom's reaction to them. In a vacuum, very little of it is actually worth explaining. E: I guess I should say that you shouldn't watch this if you plan on watching the original series + movie, but you SHOULD watch it if you've seen all those. It's incredibly persuasive about the point of the whole thing.


Of course, this is all on the originals and has nothing to do with Rebirth so you're gonna have to draw your own conclusions. But basically, Evangelion is a show all about trolling the SHIT out of the audience.

#19 Posted by Aetheldod (3495 posts) -

@popogeejo: It is not that I dont wanne be helpful :( but you most agree that explaining some of this stuff would spoil the whole thing. Also Death and Rebirth of Evangelion flick is a summary of the tv series and The End of Evangelion is the reality that happens while the last 2 episodes in the series are all in the mind of the characters.

#20 Edited by ILikePopCans (745 posts) -

My favorite part is how the directer of Evangelion kindof went crazy during the middle of production or something.

#21 Edited by TheCreamFilling (1223 posts) -

Have this playing in the background while reading this thread.

#22 Edited by Dross (295 posts) -

@sinusoidal said:

@i_stay_puft said:


The apocalypse as a metaphor for puberty.


Edit: Also...they aren't robots...

#23 Edited by Skyfire543 (649 posts) -

You can't. But I still love it.

#24 Posted by TwoLines (2784 posts) -

Man... I tried to piece it all together once.



I gave up, it's just... It's just too fucking crazy.

#25 Edited by NmareBfly (39 posts) -

@popogeejo said:

Even this is confusing though since End of Eva (EoE) is meant to replace episodes 25 and 26 (though you should watch those anyway just to see how the studio dealt with running out of budget.)

I think you should watch those two because they tell a much better story than EoE, even though it's probably not the story you WANT it to tell. Gonna link this again just in case anyone skimmed my first post. If you've seen Eva, watch this shit: http://blip.tv/foldablehuman/s3e2-end-of-evangelion-and-the-audience-author-membrane-6540094

#26 Edited by Bones8677 (3208 posts) -

Evangelion is a hard show to explain, not only because it's convoluted and pretensions, but also because it doesn't explain itself very well. It uses terms and imagery loosely and without much regard as to what they actually mean.

'The Inverted Tree-of-Life picture in End of Evangelion. Not because it had any real meaning in the movie, but because it looked cool.'

A series created by a Japanese director who wanted to use Western themes and imagery, but did not fully understand them. It happens with Western Directors too.

The show is intentionally vague and ambiguous, and even when it does explain things, it's often such an info dump that you end up more confused than you were before.

I will help explain some things that the show does not that may help you at least understand the terms they use.

First Impact: An ACTUAL event that happened when Earth was young. A large planet collided with Earth which resulted in the formation of our Moon.

Second Impact: The explosion that riddled the world in the Evangelion story. It was when Adam was uncovered in the Antarctic and kicked off the constant Angel invasions in the show.

Third Impact: This is the single event that is constantly being prevented in the TV Show. It is this event that is considered to be the final nail-in-the-coffin for humanity.

Fourth Impact: This is something strictly from the new movies and never occurred in the show.

Evangelions: These are captured Angels (or at least Eva Unit-1 is) that are confined with mechanical chaises so that humans can control and pilot them.

Angels: This is a spoiler for the end of the show, but it's important to know this if you're this far into the story.

The Angels are 'alternate humans.' Think of them as Wolves as we are Chihuahuas. Very different but have the same origin. Angels are descendents of Adam, that thing that started 2nd Impact. They attack Tokyo because they want to merge with Lilith so they can reset life. So what is OUR origin? Well sit right back and i'll tell you.

Lilith: That ugly white thing nailed to the cross in the first movies? That is who we came from. Humanity are descendents from her. We are 'Lilum: Children of Lilith.' So what are Lilith and Adam?

Lilith and Adam: These are 'Seeds of Life' that were created by some Proto-alien race far from Earth. They were built to spread life across space. there were many Adams and Lilths made and sent out, but only one is supposed to occupy a single planet. Where as Earth, we got both of them, unlucky for us, having both present creates a sort of canceling-out effect and fucks things up for everyone.

Instrumentality: This is the consequence that happens if Third Impact is achieved. Basically it's supposed to bring all living things back to square one and reset life. Turning humanity into some sort of spiritual bull-crap that's not well explained.

Seele (German word for 'soul') is secretly working behind NERV's back to ensure this happens. Who is Seele?

Seele: Is a shadowy organization that controls the United Nations. and while some of them might be on the up-and-up, others want to see the world rebuilt according to the Dead Sea Scrolls. What are the Dead Sea Scrolls?

Dead Sea Scrolls: An ACTUAL set of artifacts found in caves at the Dead Sea which are some of the oldest writings from the Holy Bible. The scrolls that Seele refer to are a set of secret scrolls never released to the public which detail the coming of Angels and Instrumentality.

And that about explains a lot of what's really going on in the Evangelion story. Lots of back-stabbing and conspiracies and half-concieved philosophies. There are a lot of other things that need explaining, but these are the more important ones.

#27 Posted by Aetheldod (3495 posts) -

Ok eff it ... i will try to spoil it (altho I dont remember all the details since its been years since I last watched Evangelion) also have in mind I havent seen the new films so this is based upon the series and 3 movies that came after it (Death/Rebirth of Evangelion and The end of Evangelion):

Angels= Other possible human evolutions

EVA (at least unit 01)= Shinji´s mom

Lilith= I dont remember well , but if I recall she is the one which causes the impacts when united with another angel (Male female thing going on) whcih can bring the end of the world.

So the "bad guys" want is to kick start mankind´s evolution , but what form it gets its up to Shinji´s due to Ikari´s meddling with the project (dont recall the name of it) , also Ikari´s wants to rejoin with his dead wife.

#28 Posted by Petiew (1322 posts) -

The movies are meant to be watched by people that have already seen the series. They're more than just remakes with better animation.

Also I hate that comic. Eva isn't deep by any means, but if I was an emotionally fucked up teenager whose mentally abusive dad wanted him to pilot a humanoid robit against horrifying creatures looking to destroy the world I'd have more on my mind than boning three equally emotionally fucked up chicks who pretty much hate my guts.

#29 Edited by Popogeejo (601 posts) -

@aetheldod: Sorry duder, I didn't mean to be rude, I just wanted to give the OP the simplest answer I could re: how to watch this thing. Actually explaining Eva? yeah, ain't gonna happen. You nailed it pretty much.

@nmarebfly Those episodes are amazing and should be watched, yes. I was just trying to allude to the odd situation. "Oh shit, we're out of money, what now?" Two fantastic episodes made on a shoestring.

Also, fuck this post editor that can't handle me replying to two people at once. Alexis, get on this shit (please)!

#30 Edited by Svenzon (711 posts) -

My favorite part is how the directer of Evangelion kindof went crazy during the middle of production or something.

From what I've heard, he was "crazy" before starting production. He was going through a major depression and used Evangelion to exorcise some of his demons. 1Up did a podcast about the show with Christian Nutt of Gamasutra earlier this year. Despite having only seen a few episodes myself, I found it really fascinating. Well worth a listen, if you wanna know more about the show's background and stuff.

#31 Edited by Aetheldod (3495 posts) -

@popogeejo: No worries ^^ i knew you mean it somewhat sarcastic way wihout the intent of being rude.

#32 Posted by Xel (114 posts) -

If you've only watched the new movies and not the old TV series... you need to watch the TV series and then come back. The movies started off as an alternate retelling but now noone can say what's going on in them.

#33 Edited by Jonny_Anonymous (887 posts) -

@xel said:

If you've only watched the new movies and not the old TV series... you need to watch the TV series and then come back. The movies started off as an alternate retelling but now noone can say what's going on in them.

pretty much this

#34 Posted by pyrodactyl (1855 posts) -

fuck it, where do I start that damn anime if I don't want a bunch of episodes I already saw with the first movie?

#35 Edited by TheManWithNoPlan (5124 posts) -

I watched it so many years ago when I was still a kid. It didn't make much sense then and I doubt it would if I went back and watched it now. I do remember thinking the robots were cool and that shinji was a complete spaz.

#36 Posted by Kidavenger (3485 posts) -

I didn't even know there was a 3rd movie...

You need to watch the show, the show is amazing, especially the start, towards the end it starts getting really stupid, and the movies seem mainly interested in the end of the series and are definitely the worst part of franchise.

#37 Edited by AlexanderSheen (4904 posts) -
#38 Posted by Darji (5294 posts) -

One thing you have to understand that all this Engel and Mech bullshit was added to sell it. These mechs and Engels are symbolic and could be replaced with almost everything we are scared of. The Main explanation starts with the last 2 episodes of the Series. This is what Evangelion is all about.

End of Evangekion was added because he received death treats for the Ending of the series so he had to rewrite a lot of stuff which is really really sad in my opinion. So best is to watch the series ignore the mech fights and concentrate on the ending to understand it.

#39 Posted by I_Stay_Puft (2944 posts) -

I just want you guys to realize that there's some adults out there who weren't even alive when Evangelion initially aired. Put that into perspective.

#40 Edited by GnaTSoL (790 posts) -

I, AT ONE POINT, perfectly understood Evangelion through many rerun viewings and research. I was widely believed to be the only one in the world who understood the phenomenon....

......Then I started watching Aquarion and a week later after that, Evangelion was once again comprehensible. That day.... The world lost the truth. :(

All I remember were two words: Hormones and God / One phrase: 'Hell of a Drug..."

#41 Edited by Aetheldod (3495 posts) -



That a good question ... err I only know of the ADV whole collection of DVDs that came out . I dont know if it is airing currently on cable or is it avilable on hulu or netflix (its not on crunchyroll)

Edit: Quick google search indicates that you out of luck , I guees the only way right now is to buy the series :( I dont know if Itunes carries the series for digital distribution.

#42 Posted by Humanity (8709 posts) -

@bones8677: Oh.. OHH so .. so it's like a bit of fact and then a ton of bullshit?

#43 Posted by AURON570 (1672 posts) -

@bones8677: Thankyou for posting. As an Evangelion fan, it's always good to read someone else's definitions of terms/things used in the series.

Here is a link to an essay that explains Evangelion , but it is full of spoilers so read it at your own risk


Also thank you for posting.

@ Original poster: Well.. you should have watched the series, then End of Evangelion, then waited several months before deciding whether to watch the movies or not. The movies are basically animation fan service, and yes they are basically a super-HD remake.

Like mentioned in the above linked essay, Evangelion has lots of layers and ways you can approach the story. I like to approach it from a psychological perspective, looking at each character and considering what they're going through mentally and physically. But then there's all those biblical/philosophic/spiritual/existential themes and references, which are there if you want to delve into. But you DON'T need to understand all that to enjoy this anime. For me, it's not about huge mech battles or apocalypses, but about 3 humans forced into circumstances, struggling to make sense of their role in the world. So don't feel bad if you don't "understand" all the terms and stuff while watching it (I didn't). Imo, if you focus too much on all the technical terms, events, concepts, you risk missing the very human story underneath it all (but again this is also the fault of the movies focusing more on animation).

#44 Posted by Xeiphyer (5593 posts) -

Evangelion isn't very good, and its especially not a good place for anyone new to anime to start. People love to over analyze it, and in some respects its pretty interesting, but mostly its just not a very good or entertaining anime for most people.

#45 Posted by AURON570 (1672 posts) -

@pyrodactyl: Ugh sorry for double posting, didn't see your comment in time. Well I would still suggest watching the series from the beginning with a fresh open mind, the series has a very different pace and emphasis than the movies.. But if you really want, you can poke around the Evangelion Wiki for more info, but again it's not necessary for enjoying the anime, and it's almost bound to be confusing. Partly because (like Bones8677 mentioned) it's a Japanese director using Western concepts. Remember, I'd say focus on the character psychology instead. Also, it's okay to not understand absolutely everything, just don't wave your hands in the air calling bullshit if you don't understand something. ;) Figuring characters and stuff out is part of the fun of experiencing fiction, isn't it?

#46 Posted by Dross (295 posts) -

@bones8677: This is pretty spot-on, except for your description of what Unit 01 is.

#47 Edited by pyrodactyl (1855 posts) -

I just skimed through the part of the anime that didn't get covered by the movies (half of the second one on). What in the actual FUCK? The ''true'' ending movie might be the most fucked up thing. It seemed like they just threw everything at the wall and didn't bother about any sort of reason or logic (also random masturbation). I totally believe the director when he says he just put shit on screen because it looked cool (and to shock).

So I might've missed most of the slow character building but I get the point. These characters have issues and that's cool but as someone who enjoy world building first and formost, the movies are much more interesting, to me, than the show.

#48 Posted by Aetheldod (3495 posts) -

@pyrodactyl: :D well at least now you know why people talk about it , not sayin that it is everyones cup of tea , but memorable neverther less

#49 Posted by ArbitraryWater (11414 posts) -

Well... lemme see: Evangelion is the product of a dude who was suffering from severe depression while making it, has an ending that can lightly be called "Pretentious", has a movie ending that is an actual ending but somehow just as pretentious and far more disturbing and has somehow become like the most popular anime in the history of ever.

#50 Edited by ripelivejam (3454 posts) -

shinji hate has always been bullshit imo.

try dealing with some of the psychologically and otherwise horrifying shit that shinji had to deal with and see how you would act.

also HE'S JUST A KID!!!