(Welcome to Ani-time Ani-where, a regular column dedicated to helping the uninitiated understand and appreciate the world of anime.)
For the past couple of months, this column has explored various mecha anime to showcase the variety within the genre. But when it came time to say goodbye to 2020 and embrace the possibilities of the new year, there was only one show that could take the gargantuan task of encapsulating the bleakness and loneliness, but also the moments of unity, we’ve had this year, all while ending on a rather optimistic note about the future. That’s right! It’s finally time for Neon Genesis Evangelion.
Evangelion‘s reputation as an inaccessible show — both in regards to it being out of print for years and also for its dense and layered narrative – can certainly be daunting. It’s fitting then, that the show’s story is equally daunting to its protagonist. Evangelion takes place in a world on fire, constantly under attack by giant monsters known as Angels. The only ones capable of fighting the Angels are a group of teenagers piloting giant robots called EVAs.
What starts out as essentially Ultraman fan fiction (not entirely a coincidence that this was made by the same director and studio who made a tennis anime fan fiction in Gunbuster) evolves into an abstract and intimate exploration of everything from mental illness to religion to loneliness to toxic masculinity to our relationship with anime as escapism. There is a lot to cover, so grab your copy of the Dead Sea Scrolls and get in the robot, because we’re taking a look at Neon Genesis Evangelion.
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(Welcome to Pop Culture Imports, a column that compiles the best foreign movies and TV streaming right now.)
I’m doing something a little different this week in celebration of the Netflix release of Neon Genesis Evangelion, the seminal anime series that has launched a million essays and even more memes. This entry of Pop Culture Imports is themed to Neon Genesis Evangelion and its creator Hideaki Anno, including the acclaimed 26-episode series itself, as well as the follow-up feature films The End of Evangelion and Evangelion: Death (True). Also featured is Anno’s excellent kaiju film Shin Godzilla and an NHK documentary series on Anno’s mentor Hayao Miyazaki.
Fire up those subtitles (because we’re sub, not dub, people) and let’s get streaming.
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David, Devindra, Jeff welcome back a Kristy Puchko cameo on the podcast. Devindra strongly urges people to watch Neon Genesis Evangelion on Netflix. For the feature review, the cast ask the important question: is the forth installment in the Toy Story franchise a soulless cash grab or a beautiful continuation of the beloved tale?
Find more of Kristy’s work at decadentcriminals.com. Read Kristy’s take on a Twitter war over a craft project here. Read about what Jon Negroni learned from Toy Story 4 about his own disability and the metaphysical implications of Toy Story 4 for the Toy Story universe.
Check out Jeff Cannata’s new D&D show Dungeon Run. Listen to David’s other podcast Write Along with writer C. Robert Cargill Devindra’s new podcast Know More Tech, answering your question on the latest gadgets. Subscribe to David’s Youtube channel at Davechensky.
You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Also, follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook.
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Fandom is a religion that thrives on killing its own gods. In Neon Genesis Evangelion, there’s a passing line of dialogue that suggests self-destruction is the natural endpoint of evolution. The Japanese television and film series periodically evokes deicide with exotic Judeo-Christian imagery, such as god-killing spears and figures nailed to crosses. Yet it’s known for the line, “The fate of the destruction is the joy of rebirth.” Evangelion is a franchise that evolved to the point of self-destruction, only to be reborn, or rebuilt, numerous times over. Its latest rebirth is on Netflix, where it became available to watch last Friday.
The ability to conveniently view one of the greatest anime works of all time should be cause for celebration among U.S. fans, whose main avenue for watching the series since the DVDs went out of print years ago has been illegal streams, expensive copies from third-party Amazon sellers, or the sketchy online market of bootlegs. Due to licensing entanglements, however, the situation with Evangelion has come to resemble Star Wars, whereby the original, unaltered theatrical trilogy is unavailable on home media. Here again, the version that is out there for mass consumption is different from the one fans first experienced, with redubbed voices, new subtitles, censored relationships, and missing music.
The reaction on social media had been typically harsh, enough so that it almost plays right into Evangelion’s metaphorical god-killing cycle, as complaints drown out discussion of the anime epic’s lasting virtues and the baby gets thrown out with the bathwater all over again. What’s important is that the series is catching a wave of renewed interest, and as it finds a fresh audience, it’s ripe for discussion, particularly as it relates to themes of personal dysfunction, social withdrawal, and the intersection between fan culture and storytelling.
This article contains spoilers for the entire series.
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Neon Genesis Evangelion made its grand streaming debut on Netflix today, but as fans settled down to watch the seminal and influential anime series, they immediately noticed one thing was missing: Claire Littley’s cover of “Fly Me To the Moon.”
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Shinji, get back in the dang robot! You’re going to Netflix. The widely acclaimed, hugely influential anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion is finally making its global streaming debut on Netflix next year, as part of the streaming service’s 2019 anime line-up, which also includes Rilakkuma and Kaoru, SAINT SEIYA: Knights of the Zodiac, and Ultraman.
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If you’re in the continental US, it’s hard to get closer to Japan than San Francisco. That makes the Bay City the perfect place for artist Joshua Budich‘s first solo show Otaku Obscura, a tribute to the art of Japanese animation. Opening October 4 at Spoke Art in San Francisco, Budich has created 28 brand new prints based on some of the most famous and popular anime of all time. Films like Akira, My Neighbor Totoro, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Ghost in the Shell, Princess Mononoke and Cowboy Bebop.
Below, we’ve got just some of the gorgeous pieces of Joshua Budich anime art that’ll appear in the show including a /Film exclusive. Check them out below. Read More »