Mamerto Adan is an engineer by profession, but a writer by night. He loves toys and knives. He also has a martial arts background.
The Neon Genesis Evangelion series. A classic, deep, and creepy?
People will endlessly claim that the Neon Genesis Evangelion Series is deep, meaningful and intellectually engaging. Indeed, one needs a better understanding of the series to fully appreciate its garbled and cryptic symbolism. Others might disagree, and argue that the dept of the series is overrated. Those garbled and cryptic symbols were just for shock values, or the result of lack of funding. People might argue all they want, but most of the fans agree on one thing. The Evangelion series is a classic. Like the Gundam franchise, the Evangelion series is influential in its own rights though fans everywhere seem to forget one thing.
That the Neon Genesis Evangelion is creepy.
When compared to other mecha anime of the 90s, the Evangelion series stood out from the rest as the most unsettling. There were scenes that went beyond the usual mecha themes, and it never shied away from mental problems, sexuality and nudity. And the theatrical End of Evangelion topped them all by showing us the infamous hospital scene. And my friends claim that the film was remembered thanks to that “you know what” by Shinji. At some point, it was even accused of sexualizing minors, though such topic is open for debate as animations don’t always translate to accurate human anatomy. To be fair, there are less gore and deaths in the original Evangelion series when compared to other anime, but Anno seemed to prefer his characters alive to torment us with their mental problems.
And my friends just uncovered something to torment my sleepless nights.
We know that the EVA units are one of the few mecha that roar. Fans also know that a girl provided the roar for the Unit-01. And thanks to Youtube and various fandom forums, we just realized how creepy that roar is.
The Female Voice Behind the Growl
Seasoned EVA fans know that within the purple façade of the Unit-01 lies the soul of Shinji’s mom. We won’t dive deep on how the original design of the EVA unit was based on Japanese demons, but legit fans know how Shinji’s mom ended up there. But for newbies, the EVA Unit-01 became the vessel of Yui Ikari’s soul thanks mostly to a botched experiment. She volunteered as a test subject for an incomplete Unit-01, but instead her soul was absorbed in the EVA’s core, and her mortal remains became the orange juice LCL. Her hubby Gendo did attempt to fix Yui, but it resulted to the creation of Rei Ayanami instead.
And Yui lives on as the Unit-01.
In instances where Shinji is in danger inside the said Unit, the fleshy mecha will go berserk, with Yui’s soul taking control to protect Junior. Now, back in the real world, since we have a feminine character inside a rampaging mecha, the creators of the show needed a female seiyu to provide the howls and growls. Obviously, it was none other than Megumi Hayashibara, Yui Ikar’s seiyu who lent her voice to the Unit-01. The sound of her voice was pitched down, to sound monstrous. Hence, we got the familiar growl of the Unit-01 that we heard in various episode.
I love how the Unit-01 let go a WWE pro-wrestler style howl, it sounds so dominating and fierce. But my friends warned me to never listen to the original howl by Megumi. You know, the unedited voice. As what my friends described it, Megumi’s shrieks will give me sleepless nights.
How I Found It
After frequenting some forums in social media, I learned that a Youtuber HeavyG1966 was credited for spreading the information about the original roar of the Unit-01. At the same time, another Youtuber
DarkBladeMaster777 published a video showing clips of an episode, where the Unit-01 let go a roar. Since Megumi’s voice was pitched down, the clip was edited, and the people are speaking in high pitch. They sounded odd, like bunch of chipmunks, which made it somewhat unsettling.
And indeed, the clip with pitched up voices was able to expose Megumi’s original growl. And I will say it again, it wasn’t pretty. Just see, or hear for yourself.
Again, credits for DarkBladeMaster777174 for the video.
Call me weak, soft, or whatever insults you may think of. But I find the unedited roar of the Unit-01 disturbing. When I heard that Megumi Hayashibara did the howls, I was thinking that she was doing some pro-wrestling style roar. But the sound she made was never growls, but rather screams, shrieks, yell, or whatever you call it. And a womanly, and high-pitched sound basically gave me goosebumps. Now, I managed to obtain another video of the growl, or shriek as it turns out. This time, it is a pure 5 second audio that focused on the howl. With the other sounds and scenes cut-off, the howl is even more disturbing. I could describe it as a ghostly yell from a horror movie, the kind of howl that came from a possessed individual. In fact, it was that type of sound I hear when I have sleep paralysis during midnight.
Just click the video below.
How Fans Reacted
Seasoned fans are quick to react on Megumi’s unedited howl. For them, the original sound of the EVA Unit-01 wasn’t the scream of insanity or pain. It expressed misery and torment, as Yui now suffers fate worse than death, with the fleshy giant as her vessel. Other fans disagree, as they reckon that Yui chose to stay inside the core of EVA. At the same time, the scream could also mean motherly rage. Her kid inside her is in danger. Someone, or something is about to clobber her kid, while someone in NERV made Shinji fight against his will. And with her kid in mortal danger, Yui’s soul takes over the EVA Unit, as she let go a womanly howl in rage. The fans are seeing a terrible form of maternal instinct to protect an offspring, in the form of a raging Unit-01. This is Yui’s way of saying “hands-off my child!”
But whatever the fans said, I know only one thing. This is not something I would enjoy listening alone in the depth of the night. The original womanly howl is actually more terrifying that the edited one.