I think that I can comfortably say that Neon Genesis Evangelion is one of my favourite anime within the medium, which is why I am proud to present the beginning of a multi-part series, analysing the original series. I wouldn’t give the show such a name for no reason! In ths episode, I will be taking a dive into the first six episodes of the show, known by some fans as ‘The Prologue Arc’.
Some Plans for The Future
Just been trying to upgrade the quality of the show for you guys; I decided to do a format overhaul by rearranging a few things. I also got a new mic (the Aston Stealth), so hopefully my voice sounds nice and full. I got a few more things planned so keep your eyes open; enjoy the show!
THERE ARE SPOILERS IN THIS EPISODE AND IN THE SHOW NOTES (NGE 1995 EP 1-6)
In this episode, I will be taking a dive into:
- How Shinji begins tp make progress through his emotional journey.
- The cinematography and visauls that make the first meeting with Eva-01 so special.
- The way NGE demonstrates that it is a part of the ‘dementia’ genre of anime.
- And heck loads more!
MUSIC IN TODAY’S PRODUTION:
ChipScape by chasersgaming
Go Lucky by chasersgaming
Difference by chasersgaming
Mandatory Overtime by Joth
“The Inspector Arrives”
by Eric Matyas
SOURCES USED IN TODAY’S PRODUCTION:
MYANIMELIST PAGE (Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995))
FANDOM PAGE (Second Impact)
EVANGELION STRUCTURE / ARCS (EvaGeeks.org forum)
PLOT SUMMARY: After the catastrophic event known as the ‘Second Impact’, the world has definitely taken a turn for the worst, experiencing massive cases of extreme weather, killing a large amount of the population. Even though that took place as far back as September 2000, consequences that are not even environmental are being felt in Tokyo-3 in 2015. Tokyo-3 is a ‘futuristic’ edition of Tokyo (and also where most of the plot occurs). It is also home to the UN-affiliated body, ‘NERV’. Since the Second Impact, beings known as ‘Angels’ have been appearing with the intention of invading Tokyo-3 and infiltrating NERV for an unknown reason. In order to combat these, NERV developed a series of mech units known as ‘Evas’. So, where does Shinji come into all of this? Shinji Ikari is the son of Gendou Akari, the commander at NERV. From the beginning of the show, Shinji is taken under the wing of a woman called ‘Misato Katsuragi’, who is ranked ‘Captain’ at NERV. After a series of events, Gendou ‘requests’ for his son to pilot Eva-01, in an attempt to defend the city. However, nothing is simply an accident…
THE FIRST APPEARANCE OF EVA-01: The relationship between Shinji and the mech which he pilots is probably one of the most important relationships in the entire series. If we look at the cinematography, visuals and audio, we can get a sense that the Eva units (despite their positive role) are menacing or volatile. The fight against Sachiel within this arc is great evidence the chaotic side (or Berserk mode) of the Eva; looking back on the first encounter with Unit-01’s upper body towering over Shinji, it makes a lot more sense. The contrast between a timid, sheltered boy and large, destructive mech makes their relationship one to look out for.
IN THE MIND OF SHINJI: The Prologue Arc has the job of putting Shinji’s emotions onto the table. Emotionally, Shinji Ikari is a complex being, just like all of us, who is constantly fluctuating between content and discontent (on our imaginary spectrum). In this segment of Anno’s story, Shinji leans towards the side of discontent, lacking resolve and sometimes the ability to even control his own emotions. What can we attribute towards this? The way thought of it, I deduced it to external factors at play, including the people around him (which would imply that the Hedgehog Dilemma is a part of this too). He is constantly under pressure as a result of the pressure to pilot the mech, his urge to receive praise from those around him, etc.
SACHIEL AND SHAMSHEL: These are the two big fights which take place in this arc of the story. The Sachiel fight confirmed my fears of the Eva being a volatile piece of technology. The decision to show the ‘Berserk’ mode now is a really strong move, as in hindsight, it was a nice way of introducing the audience to a new, chaotic side that the Eva has and then tucked it away for later. It works as a teaser that showcases the strength and danger of the unit. However, the Shamshel fight showcases (to some extent) Shinji’s thought process and the Hedgehog Dilemma in practice. The decision to prioritise the mission objective even when being told not to is uncharacteristic of Shinji, but this proves that when people are present.
CLOSING THOUGHTS: I’m a big fan of the Prologue Arc, as it lays down some very good foundations for the rest of the series to follow up from. These set ups remind me of why I really enjoyed Neon Genesis Evangelion and Hideaki Anno’s writing in the first place.