Nostalgia Hangover Season Finale: Neon Genesis Evangelion
Part 1: Life During Wartime
Neon Genesis Evangelion is an iconic Japanese animated series (now on Netflix!) that uses a common anime premise (teenagers piloting giant robots that fight monsters) to tell a story about depression, loneliness, PTSD, parental estrangement, teenaged angst, and life during wartime (content warning for all of those things, btw).
The series is difficult to summarize in large part because it veers so wildly in tone and content from episode to episode. What begins as a promising take on a cliche premise veers into hack territory around episode 8 before going hard on psychological rumination and brutality around episode 14. It also veers from fantastic highs (its handling of the lived experience of mental illness and existential despair) to unpalatable lows (sexualizing its adolescent characters).
There’s a lot to unpack here, so the discussion has been divided into 4 parts. In part 1, Noah and Usman begin the discussion with a focus on the premise and theme of the series as well as the first seven episodes.
Outro Music: Fly Me to the Moon (Sungha Jung)