I finished watching Neon Genesis Evangelion just yesterday.
I consider mecha genre childish, dull and stupid. No sane person can find a giant humanoid-looking robot suitable for fighting a war.
The way in which computers are “hacked” in Evangelion, is also rather weird. The defenders can see the progress the attacker is making in real time and in great detail (graphical representation). On the other hand, stopping the attacker is very difficult even when you know what exactly he is doing. This is like completely the opposite of how the real world works.
All in all, Evangelion is not a single bit realistic.
On the other hand – so much for the negatives.
The main characters are introduced gradually, so you are not overwhelmed. They all have dozens of psychological issues, which show in different ways (the director suffered from clinical depression, which makes it quite authentic). The story gradually shifts from action (I don’t really enjoy that much) to psychological, but still I think it’s a good idea to watch from the beginning, because otherwise you’ll be completely lost (well, in fact, you will be lost anyway…).
There are two alternate endings. I liked the original one, maybe because the end was quite optimistic although it didn’t really explain anything. The alternate ending (called The End of Evangelion) was created a year later, because the fans didn’t like the original ending. It is longer and explains much more of the details. The last scene left me puzzled though. Yes, I know that the famous last sentence “kimochi warui” is a bit unclear, but that’s probably intentional. What left me more puzzled is the scene before – this might be a bit of a spoiler – I don’t get the strangling. Why did it happen? It leaves me with a very uneasy feeling.
If you do have a clue, please leave a comment.