According to a panellist, what the show surprised people
most was its deep scent of literature which people didn't
expect for a TV anime show as an entertainment.
In this sort of context, I think the terms are used as:
"bungaku"[literature] = to ask what am I
"goraku"[entertainment] = to forget the question
Anno-san once said that the only thing which can
truly impress people is passion. The passion of creating
something best. The production staff of NGE tried
to create the best, very different and imaginative TV
anime show noone has ever made. The measurement
of success wasn't marketing or rating but only their
Also intended was to make everyone involve in the
process of creating the work. Thus, Anno-san asked
everyone in the production their opinion.
The show ended by Asuka's line: "Kimochiwarui"
[disgusting]. Miyamura Yuko testified that the last
line in the original script was "I hate to be killed by
a bastard like you", but she and Anno-san had a
discussion about the line and he took what she told him.
As he tried to describe the reality of our world, the
show inevitably touched people's personal problem,
difficulties shared by audience and even the reality
of animation as a tool of expression. As we don't have
a clear answer to "what am I?", the show wasn't
able to have a solid answer or a reasonable ending.
It left audience in a labyrinth. And they tried to get out
of it. A lot of people stuck on its symbolism, detail,
side stories and characters' background. And everyone
ended up having own interpretation. The result was
endless debate. Some people still can't get out of it.
Maybe, it also broke Anno-san himself.
Ten years passed since its first broadcast, and it's
time to stop crawling the labyrinth.
Okada-san (a GAINAX co-founder) expressed his
wish that audience would simply enjoy this work as a
well-done sci-fi robot anime with gorgeous artwork
and still-top-notch animation. Not less not more.
/ Ishikawa Kazuo /
And here I was thinking it was a dating sim disguised as a Giant Robot
Who found EVA rather uninspiring
And I thought it was another excuse to issue 10,000 hentai images....
Seriously though, the controversy and search for meaning is what makes this
a potential classic. 10 years later it is still discussed with passion,
still drawing new viewers, etc, (and how many times has ADV re-released it
here?). I don't think it inspired me either, I did enjoy it and still do and
have my own interpretation of what it means (or at least what it means to
me). I enjoy watching others argue it's meaning
I have been an anime fan since Astroboy was first released in the US so I
have seen a lot of series come and go. Few generated this much interest 10
years later. If we are still discussing it 10 years from now, then it is a
I'll get back to you on March 29th 2015 and let you know!