Depressing, confusing, controversial, you name it, Neon Genesis Evangelion is all of that. When it first came out in 1995, It was an instant classic, a gem to the anime community. An impactful show filled with biblical references, psychological tropes, and giant mechas. But why? what makes it so special?
1. It's iconic OP and ED
At the start of each episode, you start off with the opening theme "A Cruel Angels Thesis" with its angelic choir, powerful drums, and catchy tune. "A Cruel Angel's Thesis" is one of the most recognizable anime openings. And to keep you from losing your mind is the ED. Depending on the arc, a different girl will sing a cover of Frank Sinatra's "fly me to the moon" ranging from Rei, Asuka, Misato, and even Yoko Takahashi herself.
2. Getting referenced in other anime (even western cartoons)
References to other shows happen to other anime too, The thing about NGE is that it's easier to spot, due to its popularity. For instance, the "Gendo Pose" imitated by Yaga Masamichi from the more recent series "Jujutsu Kaisen". And tons more like Grand Blue, The Monogatari Series, Attack on Titan", and even cartoons like Steven Universe and Regular Show.
3. Realistic and somewhat relatable characters
Unlike most anime MCs who have superhuman strength or a high IQ, Ikari Shinji is neither. Instead, Shinji is a depressed 14-year-old boy who does what he is told due to his fear of abandonment, the need for praise, attention, and approval from his father. Definitely far more relatable than an overly enthusiastic knucklehead. We also have the other important characters like the emotionless Rei, the tsundere Asuka, and the responsible Misato who were also given generous amounts of screen time, mainly to give their character more depth and much more.
4. Its Huge Range Of Merchandise
Merch isn't anything new to the industry but as you can already expect, mecha figurines are what looks the best on a shelf. But the thing with NGE is that they have merch for almost everything, ranging from plushies, figurines, mugs, socks, and even more bizarre things like bodyspray board games, and razors. Evangelion has a collaboration with almost any company, that you can live of Eva merch