Hideaki Anno is one of my favorite creative minds. Not only has his persona and work ethic shaped much of my own, but those he directly inspired have gone on to produce some of my favorite works of all time (Ex: Gurren Lagann, Kill la Kill, and the formation of Studio Trigger in general).
My love for Anno does not necessarily equate with a love for his work per say. What most consider to be his magnum opus, Neon Genesis Evangelion, receives no favoritism (or strong personal feelings in any direction for that matter) from me.
My first (and only) viewing of the show was binged over the days before and of my high school graduation, a profoundly dynamic time in my life. Everything was going to change, and, deep down, I knew that. However, I found myself repressing those potent feelings, hiding them away in favor of apathy and a generally lackadaisical attitude toward the whole affair.
Here in lies my hypothesis for why I didn’t enjoy Evangelion. Despite a major turning point in one’s young life being the perfect time for most to experience the profundity of Evangelion’s messages, they did not resonate with me due to my strong repression of my feelings. If you’ve seen the show, you’ll understand how truly ironic this situation is.
This theory could be completely accurate, or could be baseless garbage built on an unwarranted nostalgia for that era in my life. Regardless, the only way to derive the truth here is by re-consuming the narrative that this entire story centers around, Evangelion. And that, my friends, is exactly what I shall do.
This gonzo project was inspired by my good friend Zack (123zc1)’s discovery of the story through its admittedly solid manga adaptation. Stranded on a ship in the middle of the Caribbean with no port in site, a Tecate filled Zack stumbled upon a random, dusty volume buried in the shelves of the boat’s hidden library. As he quickly fell into its grasp (and he and I seem to have very similar taste when it comes to most media) the idea for this project was born.
Through endless appraisals from Digibro, the Otaku Gonzo Journalist himself, and Endless Jess, who sits even higher than Anno in the ranks of my creative inspirations, I have come to develop an aside appreciation for Evangelion as a piece of media, regardless of not having developed my own, personal passion for the series. The primary goal of this project is to see if it’s still possible for me to combine this distant, but notable appreciation for Eva with a genuine, first-hand love for the series.
I’ll report back to you all once I’ve finished my rewatch. I do hope this will happen soon, but with life in the city where it happened, you never quite know.