First of all, I would like to say that I’m somewhat disappointed, but there are some good things to say about this series. I’m not so used to an anime dealing so much in psychological problems, so this was a plus. I hadn’t gotten far enough into the series to know about Rei and Asuka’s pasts which were certainly dark and troubling. Each character deals with their own kind of trauma and their actions and thoughts directly correlated to that. There were also some disturbing scenes which dealt with Rei and Asuka being invaded by the angels. Asuka, while battling an angel, has her mind violated and Rei, while battling, is biologically fused with an angel. During The End of Evangelion the First and Second child seemed to able to face their demons and move on. This was especially poignant with Asuka, who had been in a catatonic state, who livens up and seems genuinely happy with herself. Rei, who is almost raised as a puppet to Gendou’s wishes, in the end denies him of what he wants. Shinji however, does not seem to get past his psychological problems. There was much more closure regarding those character’s growth. If it had not been for The End of Evangelion, the characters would have ended up lacking in development. Much of the plot and how the characters acted were consistent. Excluding the end, everything progressed in a way, though not completely predictable, that made sense from a certain standpoint.
The end is rife with sexual and religious imagery. There could be much meaning behind the use of these things, but I really don’t want to pursue it in great detail. I’m fine with the impression I have and don’t want to spend to much time researching the reason behind such imagery. As compared to the end of the television series, The End of Evangelion has Shinji come that ambiguous form found in the instrumentality project. The reason for making an Ark out of he Eva for human kind is over my head.
I also noticed that this is perhaps the first anime with biological mecha. Eureka Seven Psalm of Planets is also known to have biological mecha. One problem I had with the Eva was that some of the components weren’t explained very well (Just what is an S2 engine?), so that caused some distraction.
After the close I found myself still wanting some explanations, mostly about the reasons for the angel attacks and what NERV’s or Gendou’s final intention were. The vague explanation of the angels being incompatible to human life didn’t satisfy. There is also some confusion as to what exactly happened during Second Impact.
Overall, I can see why this anime is considered so influential, but it’s still missing some points of explanation that left me wondering.