When it comes to anime, nothing has withstood the test of time better than Neon Genesis Evangelion. Parading as a simple big robot show at first glance, that description does little to prepare the viewer for the amount of mind****ery the show has in store for them. Themes involving depression, angels, humanity, freedom, choice, and good ol' classic daddy issues are only some of the ideas it touches throughout its 26 episode run. Then it proceeds to really try to mess with the audience once the movies come into play.
Needless to say, Evangelion is a trip. In large doses, it can overwhelm the viewer as they try to process everything they just watched. Often resulting in the tried and true method of making fun of it as a coping mechanism. With that said, here are 10
coping mechanisms memes that only true fans of the Evangelion will understand.
10 Cruel Angel Thesis
There is nothing like a good opening theme, and Evangelion has that down. Cruel Angel's Thesis is a hype train that starts the trippy trip to the destinations known as philosophy, religion, and teenage angst. Like a starting shot at the start of the race, it implores the watcher to go headlong into the show and try to take in everything Evangelion has to offer.
Beyond the metaphors, it's also just a good song in general. Yoko Takahashi sings a J-pop song that does exactly that, pop. Being an earworm that'll have people who do not even speak the language literally singing it's praises.
9 Explaining Evangelion
Gendo is many things in the series. He's is a brilliant scientist and politician who is responsible for the research done on the Evas and the Human Instrumentality Project. He's a (terrible) surrogate father to Rei and leads mankind's only hope against the Angels, Nerv. What he isn't is entirely blameless.
In fact, most of the problems in the series can be traced back to Gendo. Shinji's depression and low self-esteem? That's Gendo! Kaji's sudden exit from the series? That's most likely Gendo too! 3rd Impact? Mr. Ikari does it again! It's clear that most of the problems in Evangelion can be traced back to one person, Gendo Ikari.
8 It's That Simple
There's one thing that'll keep Evangelion message boards alive till the end of time and it is the theories surrounding End of Evangelion. Like the rest of the series, End of Evangelion is a psychedelic trip through different layers of philosophy and theology that takes several viewings to even start to "get," yet people will try and submit their interpretations as the correct one. Usually to the deaf ears of other people trying to hawk their own interpretations of the film's events.
Beyond that, we also have the veterans that try to explain their interpretation to the rookies of the series. Often just confusing them because they don't have the same amount of time and background information concerning the movie.
7 Brought To You By The Letter H
It also stands for Happy endings, Heart-to-heart family talks, and a Healthy mental state. All of which isn't present in the series. If one thinks they are going into the happy feel-good anime when they watch Evangelion, they are in for an unpleasant surprise. Good times are few and far in-between and are often hard-earned.
Breaking it down by letter, Evangelion is better described like this: Evangelical. Very depressing. Ante baka. Neglected. Get in the robot, Shinji. Egocentric. Loneliness. Isolated. Offing Kaworu in one episode. Not a happy ending. Which are all, among other things, much better ways to describe the series than anything remotely happy.
6 Shinji's Mom Has Got It Going On And On And On
Should we... Should we tell him? Rei is a far side of an Oedipus complex that I'm sure not even Sophocles was prepared for. A clone of Shinji's mom, it puts all of the sexual tension between Rei and Shinji in a new perspective that I'm sure would require years of therapy for either of them to get through. Then we have the fact that she isn't the only clone of Shinji's mom.
All this is enough to make family reunions in the Ikari household hella confusing if it weren't for the fact that both Gendo and Shinji are so anti-social that they'd probably avoid them begin with. Though, whether you support or find their relationship icky, there is no doubt that there are many complications when it comes to Shinji and Rei.
As dark as Evangelion can be, there were some genuine moments of levity throughout the series and its many spin-offs. This particular entry coming from one of the first Girlfriend of Steel games for the PC, Playstation, and every other system that could afford to have a hot-topic franchise like Evangelion on their console. Which means practically everyone at the time except Nintendo.
Thankfully, this isn't the only instance of a pleasant moment in the franchise. Even the series proper has the episode where Shinji and Asuka had to train together in perfect synchronization to defeat an Angel, the romantic comedy alternative reality sequence in episode 26, and just the fact that Pen Pen exists.
Recently, Netflix has gotten some flack for changing a few words in their version of the script. This meme in particular poking fun at how a few words can change the entire relationship between two characters and incite the ire of the show's fans.
While the exact nature of Shinji and Kaworu's relationship can be as subjective as the rest of the themes in the series, removing the word "love" and replacing it with the word "grace" not only disservices the fans but the whole scene in general. A change that is ultimately for the worse in Netflix's dub.
3 Me And The Boys
The "Me and the boys" picture took the world by storm and Evangelion was not spared by its meme magic. It only a matter of time before someone replaced the Spider-Man villains with something from the series.
This time they took the Angel approach and replaced the villains with Leliel, Sachiel, Shamsel, and Ramiel. Each of them not only played a part in attacking Tokyo-3 but also instilling child soldiers with very special forms of PTSD. It may be considered a low blow when it comes to the series, but it is an accurate one nonetheless.
2 Komm, Süßer Tod
To the rest of the world Komm, Süßer Tod sounds like a nice song with sad lyrics and a soft beat. To an Evangelion fan, Komm, Süßer Tod is the beginning of the end and the reason they are still paying for therapy.
Popularized in the fandom by being the song that starts upon the initiation of instrumentality. The song is rightly associated with the end of the world, as well as, all the terrible things that happen alongside it. Seemingly starting on cue to Shinji trying to choke out Asuka, the viewer is then treated to all of humanity dissolving into LCL fluid as they scream in agony (or pleasure, this is Evangelion so it could even be both). Only for the whole sequenced to be capped off by a series of rejections and followed by Shinji strangling Asuka again before she utters the word "disgusting." Leaving the fandom confused, overwhelmed, and probably feeling violated.
1 Moving On
It's been over twenty years now and people will still argue over who was the best girl. Other fandom wars have come and gone since End of Evangelion but all it takes is for someone to mention Asuka or Rei for the battle lines to be drawn and for all-out war to breaks loose. Soon devolving into arguments over which psychologically scarred teenage girl is better for Shinji or in general with a much smaller army trying to make their claim on why Misato is the best.
In the end, there is no definitive answer and there will probably never be one. Still, the fandom is more than happy to fight the good fight in support of their favorite character. No matter how long it has been.