Reading that this show faithfully depicted Biblical content in contrast to shows that get mythology and religion confusingly wrong attracted me to it. I found I was attracted by lies and quit watching pretty quickly but returned to finish twenty six episodes and the End Of
movie to confirm something I read more recently on this website; that this was a revolutionary deconstruction regarded as one of the best animated series ever.
Having seen as much as I have now, I still cannot say that it is very good. The protagonist's behavior, situation and perspective are fairly unique among the stories I know, the angel designs seem very creative to me and the fight scenes are genuinely interesting but setting and plot I cannot say much for. The timeline is questionable, the chosen locations are kind of dumb, too many scenes are unnecessarily stretched out, the internal monologs are repetitive and otherwise sympathetic characters are too irrational in their interactions. It is not just expected character flaws, most times even if the audience could believe a character was correct their arguments are so irrational it is unbelievable anyone in the show would agree. The angels carry out their attacks in highly inept manners too.
Almost every focus character gets to do something cool and the start of the opening theme is catchy at least but much could have been done better. The fan service is obnoxious and related to the issue of unnecessarily stretched scenes. For the claims of deconstruction it seems to treat giant robots in an oddly positive way compared to other vehicles, even the robots of the 'enemy'. It brings up problems of untrained, poorly supervised child soldiers but does not seem to condemn the cast much for its treatment of them or offer a better alternative they could have taken. Even if the angels were not malicious and the whole fight was a waste it still would do little to deconstruct other shows.
Nothing seems particularly hard too reconstruct if it would even need to be in order to take big robots or anything seriously after watching this. Neon Genesis Evangelion
has merits and its influence on many other works is obvious but I have little admiration for it. I cannot deny its historical significance in the entertainment industry but I can say it was not very good.