Mamerto Adan is an engineer by profession, but a writer by night. He loves toys and knives, and has a martial arts background.
I know that 2020 is a hard year, but this is just for fun. Sick fun to be exact.
It’s official, 2020 is a loathed year. It brought a lot of misfortunes to humanity, ranging from celebrity deaths, forest fires, natural calamities, and the worst among all, the global pandemic. And to add to the craziness are the unworldly events, like the confirmed UFO sightings. We are not sure if some depressed soul managed to summon an unclean spirit, to curse this year. What’s sure is that we all want this year to end, and it should take all its s**** it with it.
And after re-watching some episodes of Neon Genesis Evangelion, not to mention the End of Evangelion, a pattern emerged. 2020 seems to be the ugly incarnation of the Evangelion series.
Okay, the subject was brought up during one chat with our friends (online). It was stupid, so stupid in fact that it inspired me to right it down to spill its stupidity in the whole web. But then, as a friend suggested, maybe likening this real-life apocalypse to Shinji’s collapsing world could brighten things up and make everything bearable. As after all, fans always wanted to live in an anime world. And now they got the chance!
Unfortunately, it made things sound grimmer than it is.
Anyway, as what my friends pointed out, we are now living in the real Third Impact World. And below are the reasons why (and we hope things won’t get worse).
Special Mention no 1: Someone in Reddit Predicted it
I hated it, when some obnoxious self-styled psychic will make grim predictions when New Year starts. And I know that this kid from r/evangelion was goofing around when he said it. If only he knew what 2020 would bring to humanity, and if only he knew what craziness lies ahead. I’m not blaming the kid and in fact we are fond of making crazy New Year predictions ourselves. And checking the comment section is gold!
Special Mention no 2: We Won’t Get Hot Chicks or Whiny Teenager
Before we move on, be reminded that what’s missing here are the best ones. No genetically produced chick to lead the Third Impact, no whiny kid to board a giant robot, no feisty red head to heat things up, and lastly, no sexy gun wielding woman. It’s just us, and what 2020 wants to throw, though not meeting the real incarnation of Shinji Ikari and the rest of the gang might be a good thing for some.
The Depression is Real in 2020
This is what connects 2020 to the Evangelion Universe, and basically made it a part of the Evangelion Universe. In fact, you cannot define “Evangelion” without “depression.” With Anno battling his own brand of demons during the show, we could see it everywhere as the series progressed. The mood of the show went from the usual mecha storyline, that even included moments of fun and humor to a bleak and emotionally messed up lore. Shinji was showing signs of breakdown, and the rest were simply sick! And the people in the real world are about to experience the same level of sickness when 2020 unleashed its own destructive Angel.
The pandemic caused by the COVID 19 outbreaks sucks. It forced people to spend a lengthy time indoor, which took its toll on their emotional and mental health. Fortunately, I’m pretty much used to life indoors, though I missed my sports and other outdoor activities like a constant migraine. But not all people are suited to social isolations and seeing nothing, but the interior of their houses will break them down. To worsen the situation is the anxiety, uncertainties and stresses caused by the raging pandemic.
Overall, what the people experienced reflected some of the emotional dilemma Shinji faced, like anxiety and loneliness. And eventually, they became a living example of Shinji Ikari, a bitter pill to swallow if you ask me.
We got a Real Giant Robot
Fans, I know what you are thinking. It’s a Gundam and not an EVA.
On the fun side, at least 2020 gave us what we always wanted. It was worth living in the Evangelion Universe if we see an EVA unit thundering in Tokyo 3 and wrestling an Angel. We could bear the bitter prospect of ending up like orange juice if we see that fleshy mecha come to life.
Back to the real world, it’s unlikely that anyone could produce a gigantic hunk of flesh in armor, but they are near. Suddenly the headline showed us a real life moving mecha in Yokohama. At last, we got a giant robot!
Again, it’s a Gundam, and not an EVA unit. And that Gundam is basically an unpiloted puppet. But we are near, and who knows if the EVA units are next. Nevertheless, it freaked out several individuals online who thought that the Gundam is a real weapon. And I’m talking to you Matt Walsh!
Heroes in Suits
When boarding their oversized meaty mecha, Shinji and the rest of the gang will don the plug suit. You know that skin-tight full body shrink wrap that resembled a scuba gear. My friends joked that it had a real-life version, known to all as the rash guard. Anyway, plug suits increases synchronization, but not exactly essential as what some cases shown. Shinji was caught piloting his mom without wearing one.
And in this pandemic year of 2020, we are seeing heroes who have their own suits, though the purpose isn’t synchronization. Hazmat suits are what separate one from contracting viruses, and it’s the primary gear of the frontline health workers in their fight against this unseen enemy. And now that we speak of enemy, how the COVID 19 affect everyone reminds me of some Angels.
Fighting an Angel-Like Being
Angels in the Evangelion Universe come in varying sizes and shapes. It started as a hulking humanoid monster that went toe to toe with the Unit 01, until budget runs out and Anno must contend himself with killer abstract figures. Then, given the situation this 2020, one angel deserves a special mention.
Meet Ireul, a Nano Angel that resembled and acted like a virus. It made its appearance in episode 11, when it infected a simulation body. It was initially mistaken for simple corrosion, until it spread and deployed an A.T. field. Our divas Misato and Ritsuko first pumped ozone gas, and when it never worked, Ritsuko resorted to her own technical wizardry to show the Angel who was boss.
And as if fate has a cruel sense of humor, 2020 just unleashed its deadlier version of Ireul.
If you ask me, COVID 19 is Ireul, only more potent and with attributes of other angels fused into its cursed genetic makeup. In fact, I could say that it’s the lovechild of Ireul (or even Bardiel) and Arael, you know, the angel that mentally abused Asuka. It has the usual virus effect, with a bonus impact on our mental health through prolonged lockdowns.
People Communicating Remotely
The first time we used MS Teams with video functions and ZOOM, it reminded me of those SEELE secret conferences. And this became especially true when you turn off the video, and with only your avatar showing. With just a bit of imagination, the avatar on a square frame resembles the SEELE’s monolith.
We have a lot of fun using those video apps because it’s so Sci-fi! So, it means that the Evangelion series predicted the use of video conference. Probably. But those apps are in wide in this pandemic world for obvious reason.
But the next time we will meet online, we will pretend that we will initiate the apocalypse.
Deaths, Deaths and More Deaths
The ugly face of 2020, and what it has in common with the Evangelion series. Now to be fair, the EVA series has low death counts compare to other anime series. Plus, the characters had all the chances to come back after they turned to goo. Unfortunately, the dead never had that option in the real world, and 2020 claimed a lot of lives. From famed athletes, to celebrities, to common people succumbing to the pandemic.
Not only that 2020 is a cursed year, it’s also a strange year. Who could forget that shocking declassified videos made by the Pentagon? You know, when they admitted to the public that they got real videos of unidentified flying objects. They are yet to admit that it was extraterrestrial in nature, and they defined it as an unexplained aerial phenomenon.
Again, me and my friends had a lot of fun discussing this unexpected disclosure. I mean, the Angels were extraterrestrial in origin, and some of us made a crazy conclusion that it was the sign of the times. By the end of the year, Adam will rise, but then we already got the pandemic Angel terrorizing us, so we won’t hope on this one.
It was nothing serious, and the UFO disclosure added flavor to this gloomy year. Then there were the strange monoliths popping out in remote places, and maybe SEELE is on the move! To be honest, we never took those steel boxes seriously, as anyone with the right time, resources, planning and motivation could pull off such pranks.
Lots and Lots of Disasters
Another ugly truth that connects 2020 to the events of the Evangelion Universe. Traditionally, the monsters of the Kaiju movies, anime, and even the Evangelion series are allusions for natural disasters in Japan. From typhoons, earthquakes and tsunamis, Japan is no stranger to mother nature’s wrath. And mother nature wasn’t the only bringer of horrors here. Man is also good at bringing destructions when it unleashed its nuke bombs near the end of World War II (not to mention several nuclear plant disasters). Its memory still lives in the image of the oversized reptile we know as Godzilla.
Now, if giant monsters where pop culture versions of disasters, then we are seeing a lot of Angels in 2020. The COVID 19 is just one of them. How about wildfires, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and cyclones. 2020 just brought more of these, but unlike the Angels of the Evangelion series, there was no EVA unit to stop them, and their effects lingered longer.
F**** you 2020!
But Still Hopeful
The End of Evangelion wasn’t for everyone. It’s sick and demented motif will disturb some rather than entertain, but despite the cynical presentation, it had a more positive message. The people weren’t dead, and they still had the choice to reanimate from the goo. Shinji also regained some enlightenment, and Asuka was alive. Humanity has another chance, despite of the extremely altered world of the post Third Impact.
Back in the real world, the fact that civilization is still thriving despite of the apocalyptic plagues is a positive sign that the world should look at. Yes, there are plague and lockdowns, but at least we are in the comfort of our homes and having a break from the noises of the outside world. We got a lot of natural calamities, but humanity stayed in one piece. In the End of Evangelion, Humanity has another chance, in the real world, Humanity has all the chances. And surely, we will soon look back at 2020 and have a laugh about it.
And by the time this article was written, the world has unleashed its own EVA unit to combat the Angel known as the COVID 19. We have a vaccine!
Cheryl E Preston from Roanoke on December 14, 2020:
Ver interesting article it gives you much to think about.