* AnimeFirst: An odd example. The {{manga}} ran for almost a year before the series began, but it was made specifically for promoting the anime. And then [[LongRunner it ran for almost two decades]].
* CashCowFranchise: Let's face it, the volume and variety of merchandise that's been created for ''Evangelion'' is up there with Music/{{KISS}}.
* CreatorBreakdown: So much of it, it actually originated from CreatorBreakdown. Some parts of the manga suggest Sadamoto isn't too happy or wholesome either, though not as "broken" as Anno.
* GenreRelaunch: ''Evangelion'' was the work which arguably saved the anime industry, which was dying because box office failures like ''Anime/{{Akira}}'' and ''Anime/WingsOfHonneamiseRoyalSpaceForce''. Don't forget that ''Honneamise'' was also a Gainax production.
* {{Defictionalization}}: Operation Yashima, the plan to reroute all of Japan's electricity into a single sniper rifle to take down an Angel, was the name given to a {{Twitter}} campaign to support Tokyo Electric's plan [[http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2011-03-12/evangelion-inspires-real-operation-yashima-after-quake to conserve electricity after the 2011 disasters]].
* DevelopmentHell: It's largely forgotten by now, but ''The End of Evangelion'' was in this for a brief period, which is why so many Japanese viewers who went to see ''Death and Rebirth'' were pissed off at the [[CutShort sudden cut-off]] of an ending. There's also the live-action movie (a co-production between Creator/StudioGainax, Creator/ADVFilms and Creator/{{WETA}}), which has allegedly been "in pre-production" since 2003. ''Rebuild of Evangelion'' also counts; ''2.0'' was delayed a full year after its original release date, and ''3.0'''s is around three years after 2.0's. Keep in mind that the tetralogy was supposed to be ''finished'' by now.
* EnforcedMethodActing: Yuko Miyamura allowed herself to be strangled by Megumi Ogata in the recording room during Shinji's vision of strangling Asuka in ''End of Evangelion.''
* ExecutiveMeddling
** One of many theories regarding how the final episodes came to be as [[GainaxEnding notoriously bizarre]] as they are is that the original scripts for the last two episodes were rejected by the network due to their [[FamilyUnfriendlyViolence graphic content]]; thus the current ending was made due to last-minute budget cuts and/or as a way of giving the network the finger, and the rejected scripts eventually became ''The End of Evangelion''.
** Also, [[WhatCouldHaveBeen Anno's original intent]] was to use a piece of the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polovtsian_Dances Polovtsian Dances]] for the opening theme. The studio, [[ViewersAreMorons concerned that viewers would be confused by such an opening]], requested that it be replaced with a catchy [[JapanesePopMusic J-pop]] number, and thus [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome "A Cruel Angel's Thesis" was born]].
* FanNickname:
** "Tang" for LCL.
** MindRape (The TropeNamer).
** GNR, or Giant Naked Rei, [[spoiler:glowing white naked Rei that Lilith transforms into.]]
** "[[TheWoobie Puppy-kun]]" for Shinji, at least for Eva fans who like him.
** EMK, or Evil Manga Kaworu, for the Kaworu who [[spoiler:kills a kitten]] in the manga -- hence the meme "every time you masturbate, Kaworu [[spoiler:kills a kitten]]."
** "Yui-sama" for [[spoiler:Unit 01]].
** "Uberpimp" for Gendo. [[spoiler:Super Gendo, Super Adam Gendo]] and others for [[spoiler:his insane AT Field-generating incarnation]] in the manga.
** Zeruel's arms are often called toilet paper.
** "Harpies" for Evangelion units 05-13 because they look like grotesque cyber-vultures.
* HeyItsThatVoice: [[Creator/KotonoMitsuishi Misato is Sailor Moon.]] Now you can never unhear it. And [[MegumiOgata Shinji is Sailor Uranus.]] And [[YuYuHakusho Kurama]]. And [[Manga/CardcaptorSakura Yukito Tsukishiro]]. Motomu Kiyokawa, Fuyutsuki's dubber, also dubbed [[NadiaTheSecretOfBlueWater Gargoyle]]. As for Megumi Hayashibara...well, she's MegumiHayashibara; however, its noteworthy that, after EVA, she voiced [[CowboyBebop Fay Valentine]], who had a [[{{UST}} UST-soaked, colleague relationship]] with Spike Spiegel, voiced by KoichiYamadera - the voice actor for Ryoji Kaji. Alternately, most of the show's English cast were relative unknowns at the time, but have provoked this response for every subsequent dub they've been in.
* LyingCreator: The amplitude of self-contradictory and at times seemingly absurd statements about the series from Creator/HideakiAnno has led many to accuse him of this.
* TheOtherMarty[=/=]TheOtherDarrin: While the Japanese cast has remained remarkably consistent over the years, the English dub is notorious for being recast with every subsequent iteration of the series (four so far, for those keeping track). Most characters have had between two and four different voice actors, with poor Toji having at least ''six''. The only characters who have retained the same voice between every version so far are Shinji, Misato and Asuka.
** It's even worse in the Spanish dub, in which Shinji is the ''only character'' in retaining voice actor through the franchise.
* RuleThirtyFourCreatorReactions
** The opening to EOE has been seen as Anno's response to a portion of his fanbase fetishizing over the characters... [[{{Irony}} which would be weird]], [[MisaimedMarketing given the amount of ecchi merchandise that came from the series]].
** There's also the manga. We have several DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything moments, Kaworu killing a kitten, Shinji saying emphatically "Guys don't like guys!", Shinji and Kaworu's relationship downgraded to an unrequited StupidSexyFlanders, Kaworu calling Rei a fool and saying "I figured you'd be a heftier girl.", Shinji and Kaworu in the ladies' room with Asuka... yeah.
* ScheduleSlip: The manga, and ''how''. The first chapter was released months before the anime started (December 1994), but the last chapter was published in June 2013. That's over ''18 years'' for 14 volumes of material!
* ShortLivedBigImpact: ''Evangelion'' was one of the most influential anime shows of the Giant Mecha Genre and in general, but only lasted one season and 26 episodes.
* ShrugOfGod: After fans were upset with the ambiguity of the series, Creator/HideakiAnno basically declared that it was up to viewers to determine their own meaning and reprimanded them for expecting all the answers on a silver platter. Over the years he has offered, at best, several vague and contradictory statements as to the meaning(s) and intentions of the series.
* StarMakingRole: Shinji Ikari for Creator/SpikeSpencer.
* TalkingToHerself: In the ''Girlfriend of Steel'' game series, MegumiHayashibara voices both Mana Kirishima and Rei.
* TechnologyMarchesOn: Back in the series' heyday in the mid-to-late 90s, Shinji listened to his music on an S-DAT player. Nowadays, with the sporadic manga releases, it's been replaced by a Mini [=iPod=].
** While Apple still makes very small MP3 players, the product officially named "[=iPod=] Mini" has been retired.
* TheWikiRule: Pick from [[http://evangelion.wikia.com/wiki/Main_Page here]] or [[http://wiki.evageeks.org/Main_Page here]].
* TroubledProduction
** The show began after Anno suffered from a clinical depression, and relied on several sponsors for its support. Several of these sponsors pulled out as the show became increasingly dark. Given that this was before ''Evangelion'' became a CashCowFranchise, it's a wonder that Anno and Gainax got the show finished.
** This trope also extended to the American side of the Pacific with ADV Films. Commentary for the English dub will often make reference to it being made on budget that consisted of a metaphorical shoestring and paperclip, involved renting out space to do recordings with substandard equipment, and had a good portion of the cast played by members of the production team besides the voice actors, among other things. They weren't exactly in danger of going out of business, but it's still pretty amazing that the dub was as good as it was all things considered.
** The Mexican Spanish dub suffered of this, ''big time'': Originally it was planned to be dubbed with a different voice cast. For some reason, the licesor (Possibly ADVFilms) decided to dub the series in Colombia, using the same studio who dubbed [[SoBadItsGood the very unpopular dub]] of ''Manga/RurouniKenshin''. For unexplained reasons, they only dubbed a pilot episode, but they were never be able to dub the entire series. Later, the dub as planned to be made in a Spanish-speaking studio in Los Angeles and, after too much criticism, it went back to Mexico again, albeit with a very different cast from the original Mexican one.
* WhatCouldHaveBeen:
** On a meta level, Anno attempted to recruit KunihikoIkuhara for the series and even named Rei Ayanami after Sailor Mars in an attempt to lure him in. Had Ikuhara agreed, the show would likely have had even more surrealism thrown in.
** In ''End of Evangelion'' the live-action sequence was supposed to be much longer, with an older Asuka, Rei and Misato played by their voice actors (the sequence was included in the Japan-only ''Renewal'' release as an extra).
** The ''[[http://wiki.evageeks.org/Neon_Genesis_Evangelion_Proposal Neon Genesis Evangelion Proposal]]'', being a rough outline of the series made for promotional purposes. Differences are, among others:
*** There are a total of '''28''' Angels; the document uses the same Japanese word as in the series but also includes "Apostolo" in katakana. In order to get the extra twelve/thirteen out of the way quicker, the twelve strongest ones were supposed to have [[AllYourBaseAreBelongToUs attacked]] '''[[ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill all at once]]''' during the finale, completely erasing America from the map.
*** The Evas look slightly different. Units 05 and 06 are specifically mentioned; Unit 05 was to have been brought into Japan after Zeruel while Unit 06 would've perished during the finale. While not making it into the series, these Evas were recycled for the ''[[RebuildOfEvangelion Rebuild]]'' movies as the personal Units of [[GodCreatedCanonForeigner Mari]] and Kaworu respectively.
*** Ritsuko is a fan of bonsai and ''punk rock'', of all things.
*** [[BridgeBunnies Hyuga, Ibuki and Aoba]] aren't present and [[OmniscientCouncilOfVagueness SEELE]] isn't mentioned. There is however mention of a character named Conrad Lawrence; based on the description of him being an old man who set up NERV and put his later nemesis Gendo into position, he might've been the earliest draft of Lorenz Keel.
*** Sketchy descriptions of the final episodes taking place differently: after Rei's secrets are revealed, the twelve strongest Angels descend from the Moon and completely annihilate America, destroying Unit 06 in the process and plunging humanity into mass panic. The UN decides they have nothing to lose and aborts the Human Instrumentality Project over Gendo's protests, [[DoNotGoGentle resolving to go down fighting instead]]. A cryptic mention of "the ruins of Arka, the Promised Land" (located in the Geofront) being a key objective.
*** Kaworu mentioned without name as a child with a cat. To those who have read the manga, this sounds even weirder. According to interviews with Anno the cat would have made it into the final product had it not been for budget-constrains. The same interviews also reveal that they had at one point considered introducing Kowaru earlier than they eventually did and that Shinji first would have found him playing an abandoned piano in some a ruined house.
*** Arael was supposed to have engaged the Evas in close aerial combat instead of MindRape, using some sort of vibroweapon on its wingtips. The Evas themselves would've been equipped with flight harnesses in order to fight the Angel. These plot elements both found their way into the third ''Rebuild'' movie.
*** Shinji was supposed to have received the MindRape (from an Angel unrelated to Arael), not Asuka.
** Dub-related: According to the commentary, Creator/{{Amanda Winn Lee}} originally wanted to try out for the role of Misato, before Allison Keith's performance changed her mind.
** Creator/RobinWilliams, famous comic/actor and [[OneOfUs a big fan of Evangelion]], is said to have tried out for the role of Gendo Ikari for the English dub of the Rebuild movies.
** Kaworu was originally going to be a transfer student at the kids' school, rather than the newest Evangelion pilot. This was changed after Creator/HideakiAnno realized that the school setting had more or less been written out of the show by the time episode 24 came around.
** What would the later episodes have been if they had had the money? What is clear is that EndOfEvangelion was basically an expanded version of what was originally scripted for the final two episodes, hence the film being split into two parts. Had Gainax's budget not been shot, the finale would have just been a shorter version of the movie (albeit with less sexual imagery.)
** Shinji was supposed to be a girl but they changed her into being a boy because ''GunBuster'' and ''NadiaTheSecretOfBlueWater'' both had female protagonists.
*** Shinji was supposed to have longer hair that would wave in the wind and that he could [[HiddenEyes hide behind]] during dramatic scenes. They cut his hair because [[DudeLooksLikeALady he looked too feminine]] and too messy.
** The plug suits would look closer to the classic space suit look, Rei was initially dubbed Yui Ichijo, had black hair, got along better with Asuka and was friendlier and less the ReiAyanamiExpy we know today.
** Initially the final line of End of Evangelion was going to be "I won't let you kill me" rather than the infamous "I feel sick". (The original scrip for Episode 26 had the line be proceeded by a trademark "baka!"/"idiot!", but it was removed from [=EoE's=] storyboard). According to Yuko Miyamura (Asuka's voice actor) Anno couldn't make her say it how he wanted it to sound, eventually he instead described [[spoiler: the masturbation scene to her from Asuka's perspective]] and had asked how she would react if it happened to her, which led to the current line.
** The leaked original script for episode 25 and 26 (which was used for the End of Evangelion) featured [[http://www.angelfire.com/anime4/mdwigs/livesequence.html two different proposed epilogues]], neither of which corresponded completely with the one in film: The first one (Last A) is the closest to the final one, [[spoiler: but lacked the BookEnds Lilith/Rei, had the cast's names on the graves Shinji raised, showed Asuka kicking down hers (it is still shown to have been toppled in the final film after she returns from instrumentality) and has the original version of the final line (see above)]]. The second one (Last B) however was much bleaker than the final film. It starts with Shinji laying on the beach holding Rei's hand before [[spoiler: Shinji turn his head to see the BookEnds Lilith/Rei. The camera then pans out to show that Shinji is only clutching the arm Rei lost earlier. His monologue then reveals that he was the only human self-reflective enough to ever return from instrumentality, meaning he will be spending the rest of his life alone after finally finding the will to live with other people]]. After the credits starts both would have shown scenes revealing that Unit-01 had ended up on the moon, its/her helmet broken and revealing woman's hair.
** Published drafts for episode 24, as well as the previously mentioned ones for episode [=25+26/EoE=], shows that there had been plans to include a minor sub-plot about different characters visiting Toji in the hospital that eventually was cut.
* Several planned plot elements after episode 16 had to be cut because of their unforeseen similarities to the sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway in March 1995.

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* Many of the characters were named after various WWII-era naval vessels; most of them were sunk rather than surviving the war. ''Katsuragi'', ''Akagi'', and ''Soryu'' were all aircraft carriers; ''Akagi'' and ''Soryu'' were part of the Pearl Harbor attack, and sunk at Midway. ''Katsuragi'' was completed so late it never actually operated aircraft, but survived the war and was scrapped. ''Ayanami'' ran troops to Guadalcanal, but was destroyed by the battleship ''USS Washington'' during the climatic naval battle of the campaign. ''Kirishima'' was a battlecruiser converted to a fast battleship, and it fell in the same engagement as the ''Ayanami'' as another victim of the ''USS Washington''; while ''Hyuga'' was converted into a battleship-carrier hybrid and survived into 1945 before carrier aircraft sank it in the Inland Sea. ''Ibuki'', ''Maya'' and ''Aoba'' are names of heavy cruisers; the ''Ibuki'' existed only on paper, it was never built. ''Maya'' made it until 1944 before being torpedoed and sunk by the submarine ''USS Dace'' in the opening round of Leyte Gulf, while ''Aoba'' lasted until 1945 only to suffer the same fate as ''Hyuga''. ''Langley'' is also the name of an American aircraft carrier which was sunk by the Japanese off Java (though it wasn't operating as a carrier at the time), and the ''Graf Zeppelin'' is the name of an uncompleted Nazi-German aircraft carrier which was sunk as a target by the Russian Navy after the war. Along the same theme, Ikari means "anchor."
** ''Katsuragi'' was also one of Japan's very last operational aircraft carriers, surviving mostly through delayed construction. All the other ships lending their names to characters, including the first ''Langley'' were either sunk in battle or never completed.
** At an almost esoteric level, the ''Akagi'' was also the name of a Russo-Japanese War-era ''Maya''-class gunboat. [[LesYay How quaint.]]
*** See also the similar fates of the ''Hyuga'' and ''Aoba'', both in reality and in Evangelion; it's even tempting to try and draw some parallels between Mana and Rei's fates and the fact their namesakes were both lost in the same battle.
* The ''Ayanami'' bears mentioning that not only is it the name of a destroyer; it means "wave pattern" as in "frequency." Similarly, ''Shikinami'' (from ''Rebuild'') literally means "wave equation," as in "wavelength." If we combine these two together, we get the equation for the speed of light. This allows for FridgeBrilliance: Both Rei and Asuka were designed to be [[RedOniBlueOni two parts of the same whole]].
*** Uh, no. The "wave name Destroyers (other classes had poetic wind "kaze" names) are poetic descriptions, not scientific terms. Ayanami is literally "wave like brocaded cloth", Shikinami is "following wave".
* Looks like everyone has an interesting MeaningfulName. ''Makinami'', the {{Meganekko}} in ''Rebuild'', has two variants:
** When the kanji for ''nami'' (波) is placed behind ''maki'' (真希), this will literally mean "wave winding", which can reference "momentum" and/or "velocity". In turn, this relates over to the speed of light mentioned earlier, in which light is found to have both mass and velocity in the form of an electron/photon. For comparison to this "speed of light", her personality (as it is on the [[{{Characters/NeonGenesisEvangelion}} Characters page]]) is most often described as a hard-hitter who normally presses {{Berserk Button}}s on the battlefield.
** The second variant is when the kanji for ''unusual''(!) (which is 希) is removed from the above. This new term (波真, which is now ''nami shin'') now has an entirely new meaning: ''True Wave''. This would be best represented by how, near the ending of ''Rebuild 2.0'', Makinami unleashes an entirely new form of the EVA. She explains this as a pilot "rids itself of its humanity", and she uses a code word to unlock this new form: ''The Beast''. Note that the Angels are, as per NERV's research, [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything supposed to bear a 99.89 percent similarity to humanity]]. That research, along with the above information, makes this "Beast" form not a coincidence.
* On another note, the interconnecting theme to the pilots here is how they have some usage of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Momentum the equation for momentum]] of light used in [[VisualPun Chemistry(!)]] and other sciences. Applying FridgeLogic based on the above given information, we have (in SI Units): Makinami (representing momentum, in kg*m/s) = Ayanami (representing frequency, in "1/s") x Shikinami (representing wavelength, in "m") x Shinji (representing mass, in "kg"; remember his name literally means ''anchor'').

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* The Evangelions were based visually on Creator/GoNagai creations ''Manga/{{Devilman}}'' and ''Anime/MazingerZ.'' Anno cites the terrifying face, slender build, hunched back and chest plate as coming from Devilman, while its glowing eyes with the red markings were derived from Mazinger Z. The first shot of ''Evangelion'', with its large head, was a direct homage to the first episode of ''Mazinger Z''.
* The opening shot of ''The End of Evangelion'' is a mirror image of the closing shot of ''Evangelion: Death''. The opening shot of ''Rebuild of Evangelion 1.0'' is a reflection of the closing shot of ''The End of Evangelion'', with a few... scenery details removed.
* The US voice actors for the three main Children all married the original voice actors for the BridgeBunnies: Creator/AmandaWinnLee (Rei) is married to Jason C. Lee (Aoba); Creator/SpikeSpencer (Shinji) was formerly married to Kendra Benham (Ibuki); and TiffanyGrant (Asuka) is married to Matt Greenfield (Hyuga).
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* Frame by frame on Episode 22, during the MindRape sequence, we get some... [[IncrediblyLamePun creepy analysis]] of what the Angel is doing. In order (apply DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything throughout):
** [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gnoll Gnoll]], a cross between a gnome and a troll. "Groll" (German for "resentment") is also accurate.
** [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Menarche Menarche]], which is female puberty (specifically, a girl's very first menstrual cycle).
** [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schema_%28psychology%29 Schema]], which is a pattern of thought-behaviors. In other words, automation of the human mind.
** The kanji for "baka!".
** A series of German lines that, when combined, mention that Asuka was actually saddened when her mother died.
** The repeated use of "nein" (no) and "tod" (death).
** Slightly censored characters that read "sex", which could allude to a number of things, to do with Asuka wanting to be "mature", a metaphor of what the angel is doing to her, etc.

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