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The following are Subjective Tropes relating to Neon Genesis Evangelion.


Characters

  • Alas, Poor Villain: Ritsuko and Gendo's deaths in End of Evangelion may be interpreted as such.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Intentional on the creator's part, but especially noteworthy in some cases: is Gendo a manipulative monster, a misunderstood genius, a loving but misguided father who wants to make his son strong, the show's biggest Woobie, or a mix of the four? Is Yui a soft and idealized mother/Virgin Mary figure (close to being the series' Canon Sue), the actual manipulative monster who's responsible for messing up Shinji, Gendo and the fate of the world, or just off her rocker? Is Shinji a neurotic, obnoxious "wimp", a normal person dealing with impossibly overwhelming odds, or actually a courageous young hero? Is he "pure" or a pervert with Yandere tendencies? Since we're at it, is Shinji similar to Gendo, his polar opposite, or a complex mix of the two? Is Asuka a Jerkass, a Jerk with a Heart of Gold or does she put on a Jerkass Facade? It's up to you.
    • Don't forget the entire organization of SEELE: is it a group of complete monsters out to end humanity just to create a god, a way too well-intentioned group who just wants to end the insecurities and suffering that humans suffer because the AT field separates them from each other and makes them unable to understand each other? Or maybe they are just bizarre.
    • The Super Robot Wars games also dabble in this (as they usually do with the series) giving Shinji a backbone and changing story details. For example Toji does not suffer the fate that he does in the TV series and can occasionally join the team as a playable character. Likewise, Asuka, in her famous scene from the movie, does not die when she is attacked by the group of EVAs but can actually wipe them out instead.
    • A humorous example on this website, overlapping with What Do You Mean Its Not Symbolic.
  • Americans Hate Tingle: Shinji is a far more polarizing character in the West than he is in Japan.
  • Angst Dissonance: No matter how much hell he goes through, many viewers still attribute Shinji's issues to him just being a whiny, bratty wuss. Not even witnessing Asuka getting disemboweled is an adequate excuse for him not taking insane amounts of tragedy and misfortune, cosmic horrors and near-constant abuse in stride.
  • Awesome Art: Most of the fight scenes are visually impressive, especially considering that the show was made on a budget.
  • Badass Decay: Gendo arguably goes through this in the manga and End of Evangelion.
  • Base Breaker: Pretty much every major character.
    • A specific example is Gendo. He's ranked in the Top 10 of quite a few "Most Hated Anime Characters" polls. This likely overlaps with Love to Hate, though, so it may not be so bad.
  • Broken Base: The entire series itself. Either it's an awesome, inspired Deconstruction that gave the Super Robot Genre a breath of fresh air, or it's a nonsensical over-convoluted trainwreck with unlikeable protagonists and too much angst.
  • Crazy Awesome: In direct opposition to the above trope is the more recent trend in fanon to think of him as this. This isn't as unprecedented as one might think.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: Many detractors of the series will point to this as being the main reason they dislike this series.
  • Die for Our Ship: People LOVE to call Mana Kirishima a Relationship Sue.
  • Double Standard: Some people consider Shinji and Asuka to both be annoying characters due to the former not being assertive enough and the latter being too brash. When you look at their backstories, it becomes clear that they were both essentially exposed to the same things as kids, but they dealt with them in two entirely different ways. Thus, Shinji becomes extremely quiet, self-deprecating and more passionate while Asuka hid it by becoming loud, prideful and aggressive. Both of them do this because they don't want to be hurt. Were their personalities swapped, there would likely be less complaining due to gender role stereotypes.
    • There's also all the flak Shinji gets for being "whiny" (especially in the West), when throughout the course of the show, it's probably Asuka who spends the most time angsting (not that she doesn't have cause to), particularly when you consider she's A) not quite as major a character as Shinji and B) only arrived on the show several episodes in anyway. [1]
    • Maya spends most of End of Evangelion vomiting under a desk and refusing to fight, but she's not called whiny or wimpy like Shinji.
  • Ear Worm: Listening to "Cruel Angel's Thesis" is like eating Pringles: you can't do it just once.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Kaworu Nagisa. From being the only person to express love for Shinji, to being the only Child who's generally happy, he's well-loved by the fans.
      • In a Newtype poll in 2010, Kaworu was ranked as the second most popular male anime character of the 1990's. Yeah...
    • Ryōji Kaji, to a lesser degree. Toji Suzuhara is also popular, which may be the reason he ultimately ended up being the most important out of all the pilots' classmates.
    • Hikari Horaki has a sizable fan following due to her cute character design and being one of the more mentally-stable members of the entire cast. Same with Maya Ibuki.
    • On the villainous side, Zeruel and Ramiel are incredibly popular to this day, the former being the first to actually physically breach NERV headquarters and being a full-on Knight of Cerebus, and the second for its unique, utterly alien design (which only improved with the Rebuild movies).
  • Epileptic Trees: Notable here because there's one very simple question in particular that's vexed fans ever since the series first aired: "Okay, if the Evas are run in part by the souls of the mothers of the pilots... who's in Unit 00, then? I mean, Rei doesn't?..." Fifteen goddamn years and there is no definitive answer to this at all. Anno and the other writers seem to love being coy about this one, in fact. Of course, some think this means they don't really know themselves. There are two leading contenders: either Naoko Akagi or the "soul" of Rei 1, who was strangled to death by the former. Either one has a number of questions and inconsistencies, however.
  • Fan Dumb: Let's stop and take a look at the way Shinji Ikari is labelled whiny. Throughout the series, Shinji first heard from his dad for the first time in SEVEN YEARS to pilot this giant robot for him. When Shinji quite rationally points out that he'd have NO feasible clue as to HOW to pilot the thing, it's treated as if he is a coward. Face, meet palm. After that, he is chewed out for NOT being a coward a few episodes later, in the fight with Shamshel. Yes, he disobeyed orders, but if Shinji had retreated, then the Angel would've been left to rampage in Tokyo 3 for however long repairs would take. That he had the sheer guts to simply charge it down and kill it is treated as a BAD thing (overall, it HAS to be labelled positive, even if only from a monetary perspective). He then, over the course of the series, has to pilot the emotionally damaging machine, all to get approval from his Dad, desperate for affection - both "Well Done, Son" Guy, AND Freudian Excuse because of how little Gendo has ever shown affection. He is forced to feel Eva Unit 01 tear apart and attempt to murder one of his only two friends as if he did it himself - While he is held responsible for the injuries Toji Suzuhara receives in the process, despite not being in control of Unit 01 - another marvellous gift from Badass Gendo Ikari, Shinji is AGAIN chastised for choosing to leave the Nerv base and refuse to pilot the machine again. Cue more accusations of cowardice. And some of the people in Nerv actually DO count as the good guys. And this is BEFORE you get into the mini-arc with Kaworu, having to see Rei blow up Tokyo 3 and Unit 00 to save him, cause he couldn't do anything about it, and End of Evangelion itself. Of course, internet being internet, Gendo Ikari is awesome while Shinji is a Wangst machine.
    • Much more meta. Some fans sent Anno death threats (which can be seen in EOE) because they didn't care for how the TV show ended. Because you know, EVA is about what the fans want.
  • Fetish Fuel: Some people find the concept of a giant, naked, china-white, red-eyed teenager somewhat arousing despite the Fan Disservice of the fact said giant teenager has a giant forehead vagina with an eye in it, and the fact the thing falls to pieces and sprays blood everywhere...
  • Fridge Horror: Asuka's mother stopped treating her as her daughter and instead carried around a doll that she called by Asuka's name. When she committed suicide, she hung both herself and "Asuka".
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Historically, Asuka has been a far more popular character than Rei among Western audiences, whereas the complete opposite is true in Japan - even Word of God has commented on this. Rei is still quite popular in the US and Asuka is popular in Japan as well.
  • Ho Yay: Shinji with Kaworu, which is also Foe Yay. Taken Up to Eleven in the manga. In Campus Apocalypse, it's his entire motivation. To some extent Shinji with Kaji, although this seems to be only on Kaji's side, and it's not clear if Kaji is genuinely interested or just falling on his standard bag of tricks for how to interact with people.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Shinji in Evangelion fanfiction. Let's see, he gets paired up with Asuka and Rei like always - but he also gets paired with Hikari, Mana, Maya, Mayumi, Misato and Ritsuko on the side and there are fans for these pairings with recent ones for Shinji being paired up with Mari. I don't even want to mention Kaworu's involvement... and then there's Shinji being paired up with his mom...
  • Les Yay: Maya's crush on Ritsuko.
  • Mary Sue: This is one of the less flattering thoughts about Mari, but it's subverted. While her name is Mari and has numerous powers and abilities that none of the cast has ever hinted at, her middle name is extremely elaborate, she's an original character to a preexisting series, she has yet to form a romantic bond with any character, if she ever will, and she has yet to win a battle that doesn't end in her own Eva being totaled by the end of it.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Gendo is this in the anime and manga, and somewhat a milder version on Rebuild. He manipulated everything and everyone from the very beginning, using and discarding people like puppets for his own ends, and planning ahead in a manner that would make the original Trope Namer proud. What's really impressive is that he managed to completely manipulate SEELE (who are an entire evil council of Manipulative Bastards). The only reason he didn't get exactly what he wanted in the end was because he didn't count on Rei actually developing human feelings and growing to care for Shinji.
  • Memetic Badass: People say Gendo's omniscient in his manipulations. He might as well be.
    • Because of Gendo, steepled fingers have become a way to make you feel like a Magnificent Bastard. See also the "Gendo pose" on the Internet.
    • One word: GENDOWNED.
    • Ironic in a way, as his final words make it quite clear that he's actually an adult Shinji, with terrible understanding of people and all.
  • Memetic Molester and Memetic Sex God: Gendo, also known as the Über-Pimp.
  • Playing Against Type: Rei's voice actresses all invoke this. Her Japanese VA, Megumi Hayashibara, is famous for her roles as Lina Inverse and the female Ranma. Her original English VA, Amanda Winn-Lee, is well-known for her roles as Rio Kinezono and Miss Deep. Finally, her English VA for the Rebuild series, Brina Palencia, made her mark in anime as Silvia de Alicia and Juliet Capulet.
  • Ron the Death Eater: There are a surprising large amount of fanfics out there that have Kaji cheating on Misato as the reason they originally broke up, despite several extended scenes in the anime directly contradicting this.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Shinji himself is perhaps one of the most base-breaking characters to grace the history of anime.
    • To a somewhat lesser extent, Asuka, Ritsuko and Kaworu are also frequent targets of hate.
    • Many fans think Pen-Pen doesn't really fit in with Eva's mood.
    • Naoko Akagi is widely reviled for committing the irreprehensible act of strangling a young child to death.
    • Because of the deep-seated level of Your Mileage May Vary when it comes to NGE, you can (and will) find that pretty much every single character is considered as The Scrappy by at least one person out there. On a more Meta scale, some people consider NGE itself to be The Scrappy of the Shonen genre.
  • Too Cool to Live: Charismatic, wisecracking and perhaps the main person Shinji (and in the manga, Asuka too) can have for a good father replacement? Way to seal your fate, Kaji.
  • Uncanny Valley: Anno wrote and designed Rei to serve as this. It failed spectacularly.
  • Unwanted Harem: Being the only major fighting male pilot in the series that lasts the whole series, Shinji is often hooked up with the female cast, even if two are way too old for him.
  • Unfortunate Implications: SEELE bears some uncomfortable similarities to a number of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, so much so that some fans have suggested that their chairman, Keel Lorenz (who, incidentally, is named after a real-life biologist who was briefly a member of the Nazi Party) is a representation of the "Wandering Jew", even though that theory has been Jossed.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion:
    • Occasionally happens when Maya is mistaken for Shinji and the other way around. The source of this confusion is that, Word of God, Shinji's character design is actually a female head slapped onto a male body: he's based on Nadia, the main character from Gainax's previous series, Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water, just with shorter bangs and the jewelry removed. So when people accuse Maya of looking "butch", it's actually the other way around: Shinji is based on a girl. Maya is just how Gainax draws generic girls.
    • It happens a lot in the Alternate Continuity Gakuen Datenroku (Records of Heaven's Descent), where Shinji is at his most androgynous and really looks like Maya and where it's sometimes necessary to have a close look to realize that the cute short-haired girl is actually him.
  • Wangst: This is a common complaint about the show, especially about Shinji. Of course, opinions on whether the characters' have justified reasons for their angst are subjective, like other things on the show. Shinji is a very special case when it comes to Wangst designation, in that people agree that the amount of Shinji's angst is completely justified considering what happens to him, but they still find it excessive anyway. Asuka also gets stuck with the same situation, and it seems to be one of the more inevitable consequences of having a Dysfunction Junction series with such a high Dysfunction/Instability quotient that it's a wonder any of the characters can actually function at all.
  • The Woobie: Everyone except SEELE and (maybe) Gendo; see the next trope.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds:
    • Gendo, arguably in the anime and definitely in the manga.
    • Shinji also fits this trope in The End and then subverts it by rejecting instrumentality.

Story

  • And the Fandom Rejoiced: The latest in the endless stream of licensed games is a title developed by Grasshopper Manufacture (Killer 7, No More Heroes) and featuring remixes of the series/movie soundtracks by Akira Yamaoka (Silent Hill, Shadows of the Damned). Exciting news for three different fandoms, but anybody who falls into two or more is likely rejoicing indeed.
  • Anvilicious: Did you know that people are full of ugly fears and impulses? Also, did you know that modern technologies are a mixed blessing? Or that science (and scientists) don't have the answer to everything?
  • Artistic License Biology: Arguably, a fairly mild form of it; it is SF biology, after all. Though it might be argued it's meant as metabiology and actual science has very little to do with the show.
    • It's also not what a Hayflick limit is. The Hayflick limit is the number of times a (non-stem) cell can divide. Why is there a limit? Because cells that don't have it are cancerous.
  • Broken Base: One of the few irrefutable statements that can be made about Evangelion is that it is the most divisive anime ever. Virtually everything about this series has been, is, and will be the topic of heated debate. Is [insert character here] a sympathetic character? Do the religious allusions really mean anything? Did the series change direction over its run, or was it all planned out from the beginning? Which ending is better? Are they the same, or do they conflict? Is the English dub as good as, better than, or vastly inferior to the Japanese? Is the series itself one of the greatest in the history of anime -- or even cinema -- or merely one of the most overrated? Can the live-action movies be done right? Which girl would you bang? If you wonder it for even a second, there is absolutely no question that it has been the subject of fierce debate inside or outside the fandom. The fact that, one way or the other, people generally tend to form very strong opinions about this series helps cement it firmly within this trope.
  • The Chris Carter Effect: The original series hit this trope hard by completely dropping the plot for the last two episodes, but with the addition of The End of Evangelion its placement under this trope became ambiguous. Some felt that The Movie provided an adequate payoff for all, or at least most of the plot threads built up over the course of the series; others felt that it was just another cop-out.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: Enough to have its own page.
  • Cult Classic: The series itself, outside of Japan - there, it's about as mainstream as Star Trek or The Matrix.
  • Diabolus Ex Machina: The double-bladed swords used by the MP-EVAs suddenly turning into copies of the Lance of Longinus.
  • Ear Worm: Twenty-two versions of "Fly Me To The Moon" will catch up to you. There's also "A Cruel Angel's Thesis" (the theme song), the infamous "Komm, süsser Tod" (which becomes really creepy when you consider the lyrics), and "Good or Don't Be", the instrumental version of the main theme that plays in the background of the "congratulations" scene.
  • Epileptic Trees: If you thought that the show was disturbing and insane, you clearly haven't read the Fan Wank. Some of the more nagging theories floating about in the aether include:
    • Keel Lorenz is one of two things - either:
      • The Wandering Jew... despite the fact that there isn't any evidence that he's immortal or even Jewish, plus the fact that that theory was Jossed. Or...
      • A Nazi, based on his German name, obsession with perfection, and access to the Spear of Destiny.
    • There's one very simple question in particular that's vexed fans ever since the series first aired: "Okay, if the Evas are run in part by the souls of the mothers of the pilots...who's in Unit 00, then? I mean, Rei doesn't?..." Fifteen goddamn years and there is no definitive answer to this at all. Anno and the other writers seem to love being coy about this one, in fact. Of course, some think this means they don't really know themselves. There are two leading contenders: either Naoko Akagi or the "soul" of Rei 1, who was strangled to death by the former. Either one has a number of questions and inconsistencies, however.
      • What makes it even worse is the fact that Unit-00 clearly tries to kill Rei more than once. Another theory all together is that a part of Rei's soul is actually in Unit-00, and that's what allows for her memories and emotions to be transmitted from one clone to the next. And then you've got the thousands of theories coming off from that... honestly, you could analyse this anime for decades and never come up with concrete answer. What makes it even worse is that the writers know this! (There's a reason why there have been so many death threats towards them).
    • Another particularly wacky one that's been floating around for a while: the idea that Asuka is pregnant in the final scene The End of Evangelion, as she is somehow bearing Shinji's child due to the trippy, hallucinatory sex they had during Instrumentality. In all fairness, this one has (allegedly) been hinted at by Anno, although that in itself might not be saying much.
  • Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory: Works particularly well. Shinji as a pathetic messiah/Jesus figure; the Jesus imagery/connotations that can be applied to Rei and Kaworu; Gendo as Judas or Satan, or alternately as the God of the Old Testament; angels/apostles; crosses... It's hard to tell whether the Eva verse is meant as a kind of Hell or as a purgatory, though...
  • Fan Dumb: Massive amounts; come in multiple different varieties.
  • Fan Hater: Ditto.
  • Fan Myopia: Due to the amount of critical praise the show has received, the fandom has a tendency to overestimate itself. It's gotten to the point where it's seen very frequently on this wiki.
  • Fanon: A general note: so many things about the series and its mythos are implied and left open to interpretation, rather than explicitly stated, that drawing the line between canon and fanon can in some cases be extremely difficult, if not downright impossible. As a rule of thumb: if you heard it from somebody on the Internet (including This Very Wiki and even The Other Wiki), or in a magazine, or at a convention, or even in the freaking DVD special features - don't assume it's canon. Hell, even the CREATORS tend to make contradictory statements about the series, so you might not want to trust them so much either.
    • No, Gendo and Kouzou never actually have a drinking party in the series. And no, Shinji isn't some kind of sex master, thank you very much. Also, for heaven's sake, Shinji and Kaworu never really get into a relationship in Canon. This also extends to Toji's sister's name, Misato's father's name, Hikari's sisters' personalities, Shinji's wardrobe and many other things. The "SEELE dudes" have been given the fanon names of Teddy, Vlad, Nigel and Pierre.
    • Also worth noting: No matter how you might remember it, Gendo does not officially have a theme song.
  • Fan Wank: So, so much of it.
  • Fetish Fuel: The plugsuits worn by the pilots. What's not to love about skin tight, vacuum-sealed costumes made out of what one can only assume is some kind of vinyl or latex? Asuka's in particular seems to have been designed to draw extra attention to her breasts.
  • Freud Was Right:
    • Shamshel is essentially a flying penis with tentacles.
    • Ramiel's drill. Enough said.
    • Arael rapes Asuka's mind.
    • Armisael shifts from a halo-form into a single tentacle that tries to "stab" Unit-00.
  • Fridge Brilliance: The choice of "Hallelujah" as the soundtrack for Asuka's Mind Rape. The entire "Messiah" is about Christ's life, and that particular part is about the Second Coming...and Asuka's world is ending. Also, the choice of "Ode to Joy" as the soundtrack for the last Angel fight, since the poem is about the oneness of mankind, taken literally with the Instrumentality.
  • Gannon Banned: Due to the series' aforementioned divisive nature, so much as starting a discussion thread about it on certain message boards can result in this.
  • Growing the Beard: The first half of the show is a fairly straightforward (albeit highly entertaining) character-driven mecha series. Starting around episode 14, the focus shifts decisively from the Monster of the Week battles onto the relationships, internal struggles and schemes of the characters as the pacing picks up, the action and drama become more intense, and the series gets progressively darker. It's in the latter half of the series that it develops an identity truly its own.
    • Jump the Shark: For fans who preferred it as a mecha series without heavy melodrama and Mind Screw, the same turning point marks this.
    • The English dub also takes some time to grow its beard. For the first few episodes, it is admittedly rather clumsy and over-the-top (albeit no more so than most dubs of its time), leading many viewers to dismiss it entirely and question why it was ever so well-loved in the first place. Around the time of Asuka's introduction it starts noticeably improving, and the main cast (Shinji, Rei, Misato, Asuka, Gendo, Ritsuko and Kaji) become progressively better as the series goes on, until by the end of the show they are delivering the iconic, emotional performances that fans love them for.
  • Hell Is That Noise: The "Hell Train", and the sound inside the entry plugs. Also, "Fragile Ego Boundary" (it's the music that plays during Asuka's mind-rape) and "Separation Anxiety", which heralds a Mind Screw moment whenever it shows up.
    • The hum of the Entry Plugs also gravitates from soothing to disturbing over the course of the series, as the events associated with being inside the Eva become progressively more nightmarish. Speaking of which...
  • Nightmare Fuel: In a word: Plenty.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Aoba's Instrumentality scene can be downright hilarious once you realize his (English) voice actor is married to Rei's (English) voice actress. Let the Freudian subtext wash over you.
    • At the end of the DVD Commentary for The End of Evangelion, Jason C. Lee and Taliesin Jaffe make a crack about the (un)likelihood of Eva 2: Electric Boogaloo. 10 years later, guess what one of the fastest-growing fan theories about Rebuild is...
  • Internet Backdraft: Evangelion generates so much heated debate that some forums forbade launching threads about it.
  • It's Popular, Now It Sucks
  • Memetic Mutation: Has its own page.
  • Misaimed Fandom: ...though what part of the fandom is misaimed is up for tremendous debate.
  • Narm: Most of the series's more intense moments are so extremely serious that they will either come off as utterly spellbinding or hilariously over-the-top, depending on the viewer. Even many fans who adore the show agree that its dramatic extremes and rampant weirdness make it ripe for lampooning.
  • Narm Charm: Even some of the weaker moments in the English dub have their fans, such as the now-memetic "EVERY SINGLE MISSILE HIT THE TARGET!"
  • Never Live It Down: EVA has the reputation of "that one robot show that nobody understands". In reality, it's pretty easy to understand, what with all the supplementary material from the creators and literal "manuals" released -- In Japan.
  • Running the Asylum: Ikari Shinji Raising Project, like most of the show's spinoff products, is quite obviously done by a Promoted Fanboy, is entirely powered by Mythology Gag and Fan Service, and is incredibly Doujinshi-esque. The same could be said about the Angelic Days manga. Not that we complain; it's EVA characters, so we'll buy it.
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny: Good gravy. The show's a cracking good watch, even today, but to a modern viewer some of it might seem pretty cliche, (Rei in particular). However, you have to remember that everybody copied this show like mad after it aired in 1995. Strange, godlike robots, everyone having emotional problems, conspiracies within conspiracies, noodle-like protagonists... for anime, it all really did start here.
  • Squick:
    • End of Evangelion pegs the Squick-o-meter multiple times; heck, even Shinji has been touched (ahem) by the disease. There's also pretty much everything Gendo does, especially in The End of Evangelion.
    • The whole Shinji-Rei relationship is also some subtext for you.
    • The manga goes extremely far in making all the Freud Was Right explicit when Shinji, trapped in the Eva, is "tempted" by a seductive apparition of naked Yui, or rather Unit 01's Angelic side in her guise. Even for Evangelion, that scene was seriously disturbing.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: A lot of the changes in the manga have gotten this reaction, to say nothing of Rebuild.
  • This Is Your Premise on Drugs: As anything by Gainax usually is.
  • True Art Is Angsty
  • True Art Is Incomprehensible
  • Unfortunate Implications: The Hate Dumb's reaction to most of the cast says bad things about the stigmas of mental disorders.
  • What Do You Mean It's Not Didactic?: The director actually researched some academic psychology, and when a man climbing out of a depression reads a psychology textbook you know he's paying attention. Consequently, its usage is fairly accurate in the show, although it suffers from All Psychology Is Freudian. For example, one of the episodes, "Oral Stage," is named after one of Freud's psychosexual development phases. Many of the music titles derive from mainstream psychology, e.g. "Borderline Case," "Separation Anxiety," "Mother Is the First Other," "A Fragile Ego Border."
  • What Do You Mean It's for Kids?: According to Word of God, the target demographic for the series is children and adolescents. Many people - not least among them Japanese parents - have found this claim a bit hard to swallow.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Badass?: Shinji.
  • Woolseyism: Ample amounts; see the entry on the Woolseyism page for Anime.
    • A somewhat unusual case of Woolseyisms being enforced by the original creators: Anno himself oversaw the series' translation and dubbing, and personally selected translations for some of the terms in the series. These include the Angels (shito, which would ordinarily translate to "messenger", whereas tenshi would mean "angel"); the Human Instrumentality Project, more literally translated as "Human Complementation Project", was translated as such as a Shout-Out to the writings of Cordwainer Smith; the English episode titles (see Shout-Out entry) were in most cases completely changed from the Japanese originals, initially to titles of songs from the series' soundtrack, but later to original titles, e.g. "Splitting of the breast"; and of course the title of the series, which is a pretty accurate translation from the Japanese - to Greek, not English.
      • On the Angels thing, the English word "angel" is derived from the Latin "Angelus", which in turn derives from the Greek "angelos". Both of which mean messenger...

Notes

  1. Well, this does exclude the final two episodes, but by that point everyone was evidently suffering from some existential angst (end of the world and all); episode 25 makes this fairly clear. It's just that Shinji happens to be our main protagonist, so we get his point of view for the most part.
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