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!!About the characters:

* AlternativeCharacterInterpretation: [[WordOfGod Intentional on the creator's part]], but especially noteworthy in some cases: is Gendo a manipulative monster, a misunderstood genius, [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold a loving but misguided father who wants to make his son strong]], the show's biggest {{Woobie}}, or a mix of the four? Is Yui a soft and idealized mother/Virgin Mary figure (close to being the series' CanonSue), the actual manipulative monster who's responsible for messing up Shinji, Gendo and the fate of the world, or just off her rocker? Is Shinji a neurotic, obnoxious wimp, a normal person dealing with impossibly overwhelming odds, or actually a courageous young hero? Is he "pure" or a pervert with {{Yandere}} tendencies? Since we're at it, is Shinji similar to Gendo, his polar opposite, or a complex mix of the two?
** Don't forget the entire organization of Seele: is it a group of monsters [[spoiler: out to end the humanity just to create a god]], [[WellIntentionedExtremist a way too well-intentioned]] group who just wants to end the insecurities and suffering that humans suffer [[spoiler: because AT field separates them from each other and makes them unable to understand each other?]] Or maybe they are just [[BlueAndOrangeMorality bizarre.]]
** Is Kaworu a TooGoodForThisSinfulEarth TragicHero who doesn't understand how he hurts Shinji, an AntiVillain who pulls a HeelFaceTurn after Shinji shows him love, a ManipulativeBastard who played with Shinji's emotions, or some combination of them? There's enough evidence for each of them, and different depictions of Kaworu pick whichever one they agree with best.
** The ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars'' games also dabble in this (as they usually do with the series) giving Shinji a backbone and changing story details. For example [[spoiler:Toji does not suffer the fate that he does in the TV series and can occasionally join the team as a playable character. Likewise Asuka, in her famous scene from the movie, does not die when she is attacked by the group of [=EVAs=] but can actually wipe them out instead]].
* AmericansHateTingle: Shinji is a far more polarizing character in the West than he is in Japan.
* AngstDissonance: No matter how much hell he goes through, many viewers ''still'' attribute Shinji's issues to him just being a whiny, bratty wuss. Not even [[spoiler:discovering Unit-02 disemboweled]] is an adequate excuse for him not taking insane amounts of tragedy, misfortune, cosmic horrors, and near-constant abuse in stride.
* AwesomeArt: Most of the fight scenes are very visually impressive, especially considering that the show was made on a shoestring budget.
* BadassDecay
** Manga Gendo makes for a debatable case, as he's much more emo and pathetic compared to his anime version but also much more cynical, cruel and insane.
*** The same charge has been laid over his confession that he's a pile of self-hate with a social phobia in ''End of Evangelion'' as well.
** Some view Asuka's descent into depression as BadassDecay too, as she was previously established as an incredibly assertive and combative character.
* BaseBreaker: [[AlternateCharacterInterpretation Pretty much every major character.]] A specific example is Gendo. He's ranked around 50% most hated anime character in quite a few polls. This likely overlaps with LoveToHate, though, so it may not be so bad.
* BrokenBase: The ''entire series itself''. Either it's an awesome, inspired {{Deconstruction}} that gave the SuperRobotGenre a breath of fresh air, or it's a nonsensical over-convoluted trainwreck with unlikeable protagonists and too much angst.
* CrazyAwesome: In direct opposition to the above trope is the more recent trend in fanon to think of/portray Shinji as this. [[IkariShinjiRaisingProject This isn't as unprecedented as one might think]].
* DieForOurShip
** People just love to call Mana Kirishima a RelationshipSue.
** Not to mention the backlash against Kaworu -- as Shinji [[HoYay seemed to be]] attracted to him ([[BiTheWay too]]) -- for depriving fans of using Shinji as a self-insert to pair themselves with Rei, Asuka and/or Misato.
* DoubleStandard: Some people consider Shinji and Asuka to both be [[TheScrappy annoying characters]] due to the former [[EmoTeen not being assertive enough]] and the latter being [[JerkAss too brash]]. When you look at their [[FreudianExcuse backstories]], it becomes clear that they were both essentially exposed to the same things as kids, but they dealt with them in two entirely different ways. Thus, Shinji becomes extremely quiet and introverted, while Asuka hid it by becoming [[InferioritySuperiorityComplex loud, prideful and aggressive]]. Both of them do this because they don't want to be hurt. Were their personalities swapped, there would likely be less complaining due to gender role stereotypes.
** There's also all the flak Shinji gets for being "whiny", [[AmericansHateTingle especially in the West]], when throughout the course of the show, it's probably ''Asuka'' who spends the most time angsting -- not that she doesn't have cause to -- particularly when you consider that she's not quite as major a character as Shinji, and only arrived on the show several episodes in anyway. It's just that Shinji happens to be our main protagonist, so we get his point of view for the most part.
* EarWorm
** Listening to "Cruel Angel's Thesis" is like eating Pringles: you can't do it just once.
** ''Komm, Süsser Todd'' (Come, Sweet Death). Tumbling down, tumbling down, tumbling down...
* EnsembleDarkhorse
** ''Kaworu''. From being the ''only'' person to [[HoYay express love]] for [[TheWoobie Shinji]] to being the only Child who's [[DissonantSerenity generally happy]], he's well loved by the fans.
*** In a Newtype poll in 2010, Kaworu was ranked as the 2nd most popular male anime character of the 1990's. Yeah...
** Kaji, to a lesser degree.
** Toji Suzuhara is also popular. Maybe the reason he ultimately ended up more important than his classmates Kensuke and Hikari.
* EpilepticTrees: The series never explicitly states just ''whose'' soul is in Unit-00. However, implications and dug-up evidence points towards it being a part of Rei's soul, specifically the Rei I version, in a case similar to what happened to Kyoko's split soul in Unit-02.
%%
%% See the Fridge page for all of those discussions.
%%
* GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff: Historically, Asuka has been a far more popular character than Rei among Western audiences, whereas the complete opposite is true in Japan -- even WordOfGod has commented on this. Of course, Rei is still quite popular in the US and Asuka popular in Japan as well, as evidenced by all the {{Fanservice}}-based merchandise for them in both areas.
** Ramiel is inexplicably popular in the English-speaking fanbase.
* HoYay: Kaworu and Shinji. Episode 24 basically drives it home as hard as it possibly can in under twenty-five minutes of time, what with the two explicitly stating their love for one another on separate occasions, the whole holding hands-in-the-shower scene, and Shinji almost constantly blushing and being incredibly open to Kaworu in almost all of their scenes together, Kaworu blushing and telling Shinji "I really was born to meet you"... yeah. The manga, while it portrays a more antagonistic and one-sided relationship (although eventually realized as mutual) between the two, goes even further than the anime in this regard, and explicitly makes Kaworu kiss Shinji at one point.
* ItWasHisSled
** Who ''doesn't'' know about the endings to the series nowadays?
** [[spoiler:Unit 01 is Yui Ikari, aka Shinji's mother.]]
** [[spoiler:Kaworu dying in the ''very same episode'' he is introduced in.]]
* LauncherOfAThousandShips: Shinji. Let's see, he gets paired up with Kaworu, Asuka, and Rei, like always. But he also gets paired with Hikari, Mana, Maya, Mayumi, Misato, Ritsuko, Toji, Kensuke, even [[ParentalIncest ''his parents'']]... basically, ''everyone''.
* LesYay: Maya's crush on Ritsuko.
* LoveToHate: ''Gendo''.
* MagnificentBastard
** Gendo. He manipulated everything and everyone from the very beginning, using and discarding people like puppets for his own ends, and planning ahead in a manner that would make the original TropeNamer proud. What's ''really'' impressive is that he managed to completely manipulate SEELE, who are an entire evil ''council'' of [[ManipulativeBastard Manipulative Bastards]]. The only reason he didn't get exactly what he wanted in the end was because he didn't count on Rei actually developing human feelings and growing to care for Shinji.
*** That's also the only reason ''Seele'' didn't get exactly what they wanted, and they arguably still did. They certainly came closer than Gendo to their ultimate goal.
** Yui Ikari also qualifies, thanks to certain scenes during the End of Evangelion.
* MemeticBadass: People say Gendo's omniscient in his manipulations. [[GambitRoulette He might as well be]].
** Because of Gendo, [[ClaspYourHandsIfYouDeceive steepled fingers]] have become a way to make you feel like a MagnificentBastard. See also the "Gendo pose" on the Internet.
** One word: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PALxktAMw3I GENDOWNED]].
** Ironic in a way, as his final words make it quite clear that he's actually an adult Shinji, terrible understanding of people and all.
* MemeticMolester ''and'' MemeticSexGod: [[KavorkaMan Gendo]], also known as the ''Über-[[EvangelionReDeath Pimp]]''.
** Rei is a trait up MemeticSexGod.
* MisaimedFandom
** The Western fanbase AlternativeCharacterInterpretation of Kaworu as "evil" counts. Anno intended to "make Kaworu someone that could be loved by anyone, an incredibly good person". Because of his [[HoYay controversial relationship with Shinji]] a lot of it may come from homophobia, since Westerns aren't as tolerant on the subject. Fortunately, Japanese and other Eastern Asian audiences managed to properly understand him.
** Rei Ayanami, as noted under {{Moe}} below. This was arguably because she was portrayed sympathetically; instead of thinking she was creepy, [[TheWoobie viewers wanted to give her a hug]].
* {{Moe}}:
** Rei was an UnbuiltTrope. Anno's original intent was a living parody of the YamatoNadeshiko, to show to otakus and misogynists how such a completely submissive ExtremeDoormat fuckdoll would be extremely creepy in Real Life. ''[[MisaimedFandom It failed on epic proportions you couldn't believe.]]''
** Played straight with [[LipstickLesbian Maya]] [[IgnoredEnamoredUnderling Ibuki]]. She's quite adorable.
* PlayingAgainstType
** Rei's voice actresses all invoke this. Her Japanese VA, MegumiHayashibara, is famous for her roles as [[TheSlayers Lina Inverse]] and [[RanmaOneHalf the female Ranma]]. Her original English VA, Creator/AmandaWinnLee, is well-known for her roles as [[BurnUp Rio Kinezono]] and [[Anime/ReadOrDie Miss Deep]]. Finally, her English VA for the Rebuild series, Creator/BrinaPalencia, made her mark in anime as [[GenesisOfAquarion Silvia de Alicia]] and [[RomeoXJuliet Juliet Capulet]].
** The Mexican Spanish dub pull this out, albeit in lesser degree: Victor Ugarte (Shinji's Mexican VA) was previously associated with voicing hotblooded kids like [[Manga/KishinDoujiZenki young Zenki]] or jerkasses like [[Anime/VisionOfEscaflowne Dilandau]], and after EVA, he's sometimes typecasted with voicing wimps like [[WesternAnimation/CampLazlo Raj]], [[Anime/{{Hamtaro}} Oxnard]] and others. Circe Luna (Rei's Mexican VA) is normallly typecasted with voicing [[GenkiGirl hyperactive]] or sweet girls like [[Anime/DragonBallGT Pan]] or [[Manga/AhMyGoddess Belldandy]].
* RonTheDeathEater: There are a surprising large amount of fanfics out there that have Kaji cheating on Misato as the reason they originally broke up, despite extended scenes in the anime directly contradicting this. And that's saying nothing on what some fans do to Kaworu in Shinji shippings.
* TheScrappy
** [[{{Wangst}} Shinji]] himself is perhaps one of the most base-breaking characters to grace the history of anime.
** Asuka and Ritsuko are also frequent targets of hate.
** Many fans think Pen Pen doesn't really fit in with ''Eva'''s mood.
** Naoko is especially hated for [[spoiler:strangling a ''small child to death'']], just over [[spoiler:her [[DisproportionateRetribution childishly teasing Naoko about her affairs with Gendo]]]].
** You can and will find that every single one of the characters is considered as TheScrappy by someone somewhere.
* TooCoolToLive
** Charismatic, wisecracking, and perhaps the main person Shinji (and in the manga, Asuka too) can have for a good father replacement? Way to seal your fate, Kaji.
** Kaworu: Incredibly kind, compassionate, and selflessly loving towards Shinji, aka the boy who has been shunned and rejected by other people for nearly his whole life, either because his own actions or not... [[spoiler:and Kaworu dies in the same episode he is introduced.]]
* UglyCute: Believe it or not, some fans consider Sachiel to be this.
* UncannyValley: Anno wrote and designed Rei to serve as this. For the major part -- which is really an {{Understatement}} -- it ''completely and utterly failed''. Even so, there are still people here and there who see her as creepy and inhumane.
* UnintentionallySympathetic: Rei Ayanami. See MisaimedFandom above.
* UnwantedHarem: Being the only major fighting male pilot in the series [[spoiler: that lasts the whole series]], Shinji is often hooked up with the female cast, even if some are ''way'' too old for him.
* ViewerGenderConfusion: Occasionally happens when Maya is mistaken for Shinji, and the other way around. The source of this confusion is that, Word of God, Shinji's character design is actually a female head slapped onto a male body: he's based on Nadia, the main character from Gainax's previous series, ''NadiaTheSecretOfBlueWater'', just with shorter bangs and the jewelry removed. So when people accuse Maya of looking "butch" it's actually the other way around: Shinji is based on a girl. Maya is just how Gainax draws generic girls. This has actually led to some EpilepticTrees saying that Shinji and Maya are related in some way.
** It happens a ''lot'' in the AlternateContinuity ''Gakuen Datenroku'' ("Records of Heaven's Descent"), where Shinji is at his most androgynous and ''really'' looks like Maya and where it's sometimes necessary to have a close look to realize that the cute short-haired girl is actually him.
* {{Wangst}}: This is a common complaint about the show, ''especially'' about Shinji himself. Of course, opinions on whether the characters' have justified reasons for their angst are subjective, like other things on the show. Shinji is a very special case when it comes to {{Wangst}} designation, in that people agree that the amount of Shinji's angst is completely justified considering [[TraumaCongaLine what happens to him]], but they still find it excessive anyway. Asuka also gets stuck with the same situation, and it seems to be one of the more inevitable consequences of having a DysfunctionJunction series with such a high Dysfunction[=/=]Instability quotient that it's a wonder any of the characters can actually function at ''all''.
* TheWoobie: ''Everyone'', to some extent. Except possibly SEELE.
** JerkassWoobie: Asuka. She even provides the page image. The original anime's Gendo is sometimes considered one too due to his [[LoveMakesYouEvil backstory and motivation]] contrasted with [[MagnificentBastard what those things turned him into]].

!!About the story:

* {{Anvilicious}}: Did you know that people are full of ugly fears and impulses? Also, did you know that modern technologies are a mixed blessing? Or that science don't have the answer to everything?
** SomeAnvilsNeedToBeDropped: The show's messages themselves are pretty hard-hitting and effective.
* BetterThanCanon: Thanks in part to AdaptationDistillation and less [[ContemplateOurNavels navel gazing]], there are those who feel that the manga has produced a stronger story than the anime.
* BigLippedAlligatorMoment: The Jet Alone episode... never comes up again. Aside from giving an AwesomeMoment to Misato, foreshadowing the Mass-production EVA units, and filling some space, it doesn't ever show up again.
* BrokenBase: One of the few irrefutable statements that can be made about ''Evangelion'' is that it is the most divisive anime ever. Virtually ''everything'' about this series has been, is, and will be the topic of heated debate. Is [insert character here] [[AlternateCharacterInterpretation a sympathetic character]]? Do the [[CreepyCoolCrosses religious allusions]] [[EveryoneIsJesusInPurgatory really mean]] [[WhatDoYouMeanItsNotSymbolic anything]]? Did the series change direction over its run, or was it all planned out from the beginning? Which ending is better? Are they the same, or do they conflict? Is the English dub as good as, better than, or vastly inferior to the Japanese? Is the series itself one of the greatest in the history of anime -- or even cinema -- or merely one of the [[HypeBacklash most overrated]]? Can the live-action movies be done right? Which girl would you [[PerverseSexualLust bang]]? If you wonder it for even a second, there is absolutely no question that it has been the subject of fierce debate inside or outside the fandom. The fact that, one way or the other, people generally tend to form ''very'' strong opinions about this series helps cement it firmly within this trope.
* TheChrisCarterEffect: The original series hit this trope hard by [[spoiler:''completely dropping the plot for the last two episodes'']], but with the addition of ''The End of Evangelion'', its placement under this trope became ambiguous. Some felt that TheMovie provided an adequate payoff for all, or at least most of the plot threads built up over the course of the series; others felt that it was just another cop-out.
* CrowningMusicOfAwesome: [[AwesomeMusic/NeonGenesisEvangelion Enough to have its own page]].
* CultClassic: The series itself, outside of Japan -- there, it's about as mainstream as ''Franchise/StarTrek'' or ''Film/TheMatrix''.
* EarWorm
** ''Twenty-two versions'' of "Fly Me To The Moon" will catch up to you. There's also "A Cruel Angel's Thesis" (the theme song), the infamous "Komm, Süsser Tod" (which becomes really creepy when you consider the lyrics), and "Good or Don't Be", the instrumental version of the main theme that plays in the background of the infamous "Congratulations!" scene.
** The [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wTq31zxnoFM Spanish version of Cruel Angel's Thesis]] is very good.
* EndingAversion: For the half of the fans that hate ''End'' and consider it to be a horribly written, pointless ShootTheShaggyDog ending that involves numerous {{Ass Pull}}s and TakeThatAudience. The ending is so badly received that a sizable portion of the fanfics are devoted to fans coming up with their endings, which some argue are BetterThanCanon.
* EpilepticTrees: If you thought that ''the show'' was disturbing and insane, you ''clearly'' haven't read the FanWank. One could basically go on forever given just ''how much'' there is out there.
* EsotericHappyEnding: In ''[=EoE=]''. [[spoiler:Almost all of humanity has [[AssimilationPlot become one]]. They have the power to go back to their individual selves, if they have the will to live and find happiness, but apparently... most chose not to.]]
* EveryoneIsJesusInPurgatory: Works ''particularly'' well. Shinji as a pathetic messiah/Jesus figure; the Jesus imagery[=/=]connotations that can be applied to Yui, Rei and Kaworu; Gendo as Judas, Satan or the antichrist, or alternately as the God of the Old Testament; angels/apostles; crosses... It's hard to tell whether the ''Eva'' verse is meant as a kind of Hell or as a purgatory, though...
* FandomBerserkButton: Due to the series' aforementioned [[InternetBackdraft divisive]] nature, so much as starting a discussion thread about it on certain message boards can result in this.
* FanHater: Ditto.
* FanMyopia: Due to the amount of critical praise the show has received, the fandom has a tendency to overestimate itself. It's gotten to the point where it's seen very frequently on this wiki.
* {{Fanon}}: A general note: so many things about the series and its mythos are implied and left open to interpretation, rather than explicitly stated, that drawing the line between canon and fanon can in some cases be extremely difficult, if not downright impossible. As a rule of thumb: if you heard it from somebody on the Internet (including ThisVeryWiki and even TheOtherWiki), or in a magazine, or at a convention, or even in the freaking DVD special features - don't assume it's canon. Hell, even the ''creators themselves'' [[ShrugOfGod tend to make contradictory statements about the series]], so you might not want to trust them so much either.
** No, Gendo and Fuyutsuki never actually have a drinking party in the series. And no, Shinji isn't some kind of sex master, thank you very much. This also extends to Misato's father's name; Hikari's sisters' personalities; Shinji's wardrobe; and many other things. The "SEELE dudes" have been given the fanon names Teddy, Vlad, Nigel, and Pierre.
** Also worth noting: No matter how you might remember it, Gendo does ''not'' officially have a [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-RsepQh342g theme song]].
* FanWank[=/=]WildMassGuessing: Sustains nourishment from these.
* FauxSymbolism: [[BrokenBase Debate]] [[InternetBackdraft rages]] to this day (and on this very wiki) regarding the degree to which the religious symbolism is meaningful, but at least according to one statement from assistant director Kazuya Tsurumaki (whose other work you [[Anime/{{FLCL}} may be familiar with]]), most of it was thrown in simply to make the series appear "mystical".
* FreudWasRight: Straight from the Bible ([[AccidentalPun tee]] [[FauxSymbolism hee]]) of Freud, too!
** Shamshel is essentially a flying penis with tentacles.
** Ramiel's drill. 'Nuff said.
** Arael [[MindRape rapes Asuka's mind]].
** Armisael shifts from a halo-form into a single tentacle that tries to... "stab" Unit-00. And then there's all the sexual imagery and implications, both between the angel psychologically contacting Rei in a similar -- but far less nightmarish -- way to Arael contacting Asuka, and attempting physical contact with Unit-00 in order to revive her sister angels...
* FunnyAneurysmMoment: In episode 9, Toji wonders aloud if only weirdos are chosen to be Eva pilots. Come episodes 17 and 18...
** Especially because [[HarsherInHindsight he may actually be right]]. [[spoiler: As it's revealed towards the end of the series that the Eva's all have to have the souls of their pilot's mother inside them, this means that ParentalAbandonment is essentially a requirement to qualify as an Eva pilot.]]
* GrowingTheBeard: The first half of the show is a fairly straightforward -- albeit highly entertaining -- character-driven mecha series. Starting around episodes 14 and 15, the focus shifts decisively from the MonsterOfTheWeek battles onto the relationships, internal struggles, and schemes of the characters as the pacing picks up, the action and drama become more intense, and the series gets [[CerebusSyndrome progressively darker]]. It's in the latter half of the series that it develops an identity truly its own.
** JumpTheShark: For fans who preferred it as a mecha series without heavy melodrama and MindScrew, the same turning point marks this.
** The English dub also takes some time to grow its beard. For the first few episodes it is admittedly rather clumsy and over-the-top (albeit no more so than most dubs of its time), leading many viewers to dismiss it entirely and question why it was ever so well-loved in the first place. Around the time of Asuka's introduction it starts noticeably improving, and the main cast become progressively better as the series goes on, until by the end of the show they are delivering the iconic, emotional performances that fans love them for.
* HarsherInHindsight: Shinji utters this quote in the DVD release in response to the series' GainaxEnding:
-->Shinji: ''"Okay, the movie better sure as Hell make up for this, I'm telling you right now, 'cause I'm stuck in Nowhereland!"''
** Come ''End of Evangelion'', where [[spoiler:''everyone'' -- save Shinji, and later Asuka, who ''are'' actually stuck in Nowhereland, surrounded by a sea of Lilith's blood and decomposing body parts -- has become part of the sea of LCL.]] Despite that, however, there's still an underlying hope that [[spoiler:others, like Asuka has done, will come back, because they have the will to live and find happiness, and eventually rebuild civilization.]]
** The suicide of [[spoiler:Ritsuko’s mother Naoko]] comes off as way creepier after the suicide of Creator/RobinWilliams, who was probably ''Eva''’s most famous fan.
* HellIsThatNoise: The [[FanNickname Helltrain]], and the sound inside the entry plugs. Also, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_253Mjna7_s&feature=related "Fragile Ego Boundary"]], the music that plays during [[spoiler:Asuka's mind-rape]], and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6swG7GU5oLk "Separation Anxiety"]], which heralds a MindScrew moment whenever it shows up.
** The hum of the Entry Plugs also gravitates from soothing to disturbing over the course of the series, as the events associated with being inside the Eva become progressively more nightmarish.
* HilariousInHindsight: Aoba's Instrumentality scene can be downright hilarious once you realize his (English) voice actor is married to Rei's (English) [[Creator/AmandaWinnLee voice actress]]. Let the Freudian subtext wash over you.
** At the end of the DVDCommentary for ''The End of Evangelion'', Jason C. Lee and Taliesin Jaffe make a crack about the (un)likelihood of ''[[OddlyNamedSequel2ElectricBoogaloo Eva 2: Electric Boogaloo]]''. 10 years later, guess what one of the fastest-growing fan theories about ''Rebuild'' is...
** In episode fifteen, before Asuka kisses Shinji, she says "Here I come!" triumphantly. Five minutes into ''End of Evangelion'' and... [[spoiler:[[DudeShesLikeInAComa he]] [[ADateWithRosiePalms did.]]]]
** Shinji fights angels and arguably [[spoiler:falls in love with one]] (or, in the manga, [[spoiler:admits to being attracted to one]]). Megumi Ogata, who voiced Shinji, later voiced [[spoiler:[[Manga/CardcaptorSakura the angelesque Yue]], plus the [[SealedInsideAPersonShapedCan person-shaped can]] he’s sealed in, Yukito Tsukishiro]]. Even more hillarious when you compare [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nQNSLB3Lpk NGE’s intro]] and [[spoiler:''Manga/CardcaptorSakura''’s [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQjCFvaNwJQ third intro]]]].
* HypeBacklash: See SeinfeldIsUnfunny. Suffice to say, people still singing this show's praises like it's a work of art when it's aged horribly can easily lead to this.
* InternetBackdraft: ''Evangelion'' generates so much heated debate that some forums forbade launching threads about it.
* ItsPopularNowItSucks
* MemeticMutation: [[Memes/NeonGenesisEvangelion Has its own page.]]
* MisaimedFandom: Though what ''part'' of the fandom is misaimed is up for tremendous [[FlameWar debate]].
** Notable contenders include people who treat it as a [[HotBlooded standard]] [[RatedMForManly mecha]] [[TheGoodGuysAlwaysWin anime]] and people who see it as a [[HaremAnime love dramedy]] with giant robots. Of course, [[ShinjiIkariRaisingProject some of the spin-offs]] don't exactly help matters.
* {{Narm}}: Most of the series's more intense moments are so ''extremely'' serious that they will either come off as utterly spellbinding or hilariously over-the-top, depending on the viewer. Even many fans who adore the show agree that its dramatic extremes and rampant weirdness make it ripe for lampooning.
* NarmCharm: Even some of the weaker moments in the English dub have their fans, such as the now-[[MemeticMutation memetic]] "EVERY SINGLE MISSILE HIT THE TARGET!!!!"
* NeverLiveItDown
** ''Eva'' has the reputation of "that one robot show that nobody understands". In reality, it's actually pretty easy to understand on the surface; it's only when you start looking deeper, and more into the symbolism of things, that it starts getting rather confusing. Supplementary information has also been released to clear up some of the more confusing areas... [[NoExportForYou but only in Japan]].
** The fandom doesn't show any signs of forgiving Shinji for [[spoiler:[[DudeShesLikeInAComa masturbating over Asuka while she was comatose]]]] anytime soon, even though he explicitly stated himself that was disgusted with what he had just done.
* NightmareRetardant: Rei was ''meant'' to fit in the UncannyValley as a deconstruction of the {{Moe}} archetype. Apparently someone in the animation department didn't get the memo, since half the time she's utterly ''adorable''.
* RewatchBonus: This series has a very dense plot. If you only watched it once, you probably missed something. Watch it again, and you'll notice a lot of foreshadowing.
* RunningTheAsylum: ''IkariShinjiRaisingProject'', like most of the show's spinoff products, is quite obviously done by a PromotedFanboy, is entirely powered by MythologyGag and {{Fanservice}}, and is incredibly {{Doujinshi}}-esque. The same could be said about the ''Angelic Days'' manga. Not that we complain; [[CashCowFranchise it's Eva characters, so we'll buy it]].
* SeinfeldIsUnfunny: Good ''gravy''. The show's a cracking good watch, even today; but to a modern viewer, some of it might seem pretty cliche, [[FountainOfExpies Rei]] [[ReiClone in]] [[EmotionlessGirl particular]]. However, you have to remember that ''everybody'' copied this show like ''mad'', after it aired in 1995. Strange, godlike robots; everyone having emotional problems, conspiracies within conspiracies; noodle-like protagonists... for anime, it all really did start here.
* SignatureScene:
** [[spoiler:The Bardiel incident.]]
** Unit 01 curb-stomping [[spoiler:and eating]] the Zeruel.
** [[spoiler:Shinji masturbating over a comatose Asuka.]]
** And of course, the endings to both the TV series and ''TheEndOfEvangelion''.
* SomeAnvilsNeedToBeDropped:
** Getting along with people and finding your own self-worth can be a long, hard struggle, but it’s one that’s worth it.
** Basically, the entire last scene of episode 26 of the original airing.
* {{Squick}}
** ''End of Evangelion'' pegs the Squickometer multiple times; heck, even Shinji has been touched (ahem) by the disease. There's also pretty much everything Gendo does, especially in ''TheEndOfEvangelion''.
** The ''whole'' Shinji-Rei relationship has [[ParentalIncest some subtext]] for you.
** The manga goes ''extremely'' far in making all the FreudWasRight explicit when Shinji, trapped in the Eva, is "tempted" by a seductive apparition of [[spoiler:naked Yui, or rather Unit 01's Angelic side in her guise]]. Even for ''Evangelion'', that scene was seriously disturbing.
* TheyChangedItNowItSucks: A lot of the changes in the manga have gotten this reaction.
* [[TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodPlot They Wasted A Perfectly Good Crucifix]]: When it comes to using religious symbolism so haphazardly, such as where every Angel explodes to the point where you'd start thinking it was VideoGame/{{Bomberman}} laying the fatmans. Now, before you hit the edit key, think: how many times did the crucifix relate to the scene it appeared in? (EverybodyIsJesusInPurgatory notwithstanding)
* TrueArtIsAngsty
* TrueArtIsIncomprehensible
* WhatDoYouMeanItsForKids: According to WordOfGod, the target demographic for the series is adolescents. Many people -- not least among them Japanese parents -- have found this claim a bit hard to swallow.
* WhatDoYouMeanItsNotDidactic: The director actually researched some academic psychology, and when a man climbing out of a depression reads a psychology textbook you know he's paying attention. Consequently, its usage is fairly accurate in the show, although it suffers from AllPsychologyIsFreudian. For example, one of the episodes, "Oral Stage," is named after one of Freud's psychosexual development phases. Many of the music titles derive from mainstream psychology, e.g. "Borderline Case", "Separation Anxiety", "Mother Is the First Other", "A Fragile Ego Border", and "Hedgehog's Dilemma".
* WhatDoYouMeanItWasntMadeOnDrugs: More likely is that series was made because HideakiAnno ''wasn't'' taking his meds.
* WhatMeasureIsANonBadass: Shinji. Of course, [[{{Deconstruction}} some see this as the entire point of the series.]]
* {{Woolseyism}}: Ample amounts; see the entry on the Woolseyism page for Anime.
** A somewhat unusual case of Woolseyisms being enforced by the original creators: Anno himself oversaw the series' translation and dubbing, and personally selected translations for some of the terms in the series. These include the Angels (''shito'', which would ordinarily translate to "messenger", whereas ''tenshi'' would mean "angel"); the Human Instrumentality Project, more literally translated as "Human Complementation Project", was translated as such as a ShoutOut to the writings of Creator/CordwainerSmith; the English episode titles (see ShoutOut entry) were in most cases completely changed from the Japanese originals, initially to titles of songs from the series' soundtrack, but later to original titles, e.g. episode 16's "Splitting of the Breast"; and of course the title of the series, which is a pretty accurate translation from the Japanese - to Greek, not English, where it would be something like "Good News of the New Creation".

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