This week I’d like to turn my attention more to a television series than a piece of music. That’s because Neon Genesis Evangelion – probably my favorite television show of all time – is now available on Netflix.
I first watched this series and the film “End of Evangelion” in my mid teens. Back then, Anime in the UK was a niche hobby that was a difficult pursuit for a teen. It was hugely expensive, A handful of episodes would cost between £20-£30 on DVD. A full series could cost months of your part time wages, and even then, you could end up with poorly dubbed/subbed shows. This is before you even start to look at the quality of the show itself.
I came to Evangelion with little knowledge about the series other then it was a massive hit in Japan and had robots in it. I bought the box set and watched it over the course of a few days.
I remember watching the first half of the series and enjoying parts of the show but not really seeing the reason for its success in Japan. But then late one Friday evening I started the second half of the series. As the tension builds and the story line goes into a more philosophical bent, I became enraptured in a way I had never done before with a TV show. After binge watching the last 15 episodes the series left me confused and deflated with more questions then answers. Fortunately I had the solution in the film ‘end of Evangelion’ and, even thought it was nearing 1am and I was already exhausted, I decided that I had to know what happened next.
What happened next was a psychological battering from one of the hardest and yet rewarding films I’ve ever seen. In my weaker half asleep state ‘End of Evengelion’ was a psychedelic, hypnotic and then transcendent experience, which answers some of the questions I had whilst leaving me with many more. I left that night fundamentally changed. I’m not sure how, but I knew I saw the world differently.
Since then, I have been a fan of Evangelion in the same way a missionary is a fan of their religious text. Over the years, I have cherished this work and protected it; recommending and even lending it to like minded individuals to find out their response to the show. These would always be different and revealing as they picked up subtexts within the show that I hadn’t, expanding my own understanding.
Now for the first time ‘Neon Genesis Evangelion’ is available to watch easily via Netflix. This allows a show that was hard to obtain, to be watched by anyone who has a Netflix account. I would highly recommend it but with the caveat that this show is not an easy watch. It deals with subject matters that often feel traumatic to the viewer and has a plot that is hard to decipher and often abstract. But, if your willing to go through it you will be rewarded with a highly unique show that will challenge you at the very least, and it may even have the lasting affect it has on me.
The show has many highlights and the music is no exception, It blends with the show flawlessly. Providing bombast when needed, and subtlety in quieter moments. The track Rei 1 builds orchestral instrumentation around an initial piano piece, creating a wistful, romantic and slightly sinister track that works perfectly with the character and the show in general: