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Shout Out / Neon Genesis Evangelion

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Go Nagai's Devilman was a was a major influence for both Anno and Sadamoto, although the former confessed that in his case, the influences were mostly unconscious and he only realized it when the similarities were pointed out to him.
  • Previous works by Anno and Sadamoto are also referenced, especially Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water, and with good reasons, as Evangelion was originally conceived as a Stealth Sequel to Nadia.
    • Visually speaking, Sadamoto based Shinji's character design on Nadia. He described him as Nadia with shorter hair and without her earrings.
    • Yui Ikari is based on Nadia's mother. They are both the long-dead mother of the protagonist who is mourned by their surviving husbands (both who are engaged in bloody armed conflicts and have grown distant from their children); both mothers whose souls reside close to their children, protecting them from harm and giving them glimpses of their past and purpose in life.
    • Electra looks decidedly like a full on EVA pilot, sporting a much shorter, more modern haircut and wearing a white futuristic looking catsuit that could be right out of Evangelion, when Nemo and the crew show up again to save Jean and company in Tartessos with the new Nautilus. She is also reminiscent of Dr. Ritsuko Akagi when she cuts her hair.
    • With his brown hair, glasses and enthusiasm, Kensuke is a half-parody of Jean.
    • The eyes on Matarael (and to a lesser extent, Sahaquiel) are a deliberate allusion to Neo-Atlantis' eye Sigil Spam.
    • The EVA graveyard seen in the Nerv base has some shots taken almost exactly from the Adams's chambers in the Red Noah from Nadia. The Adams and the Red Noah themselves can be considered a prototype of Adam and the White Moon respectively.
  • Kyoko Zeppelin Soryu is Kushana's mother from Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, on a movie adaptation of which Anno worked under Hayao Miyazaki. The two women are similar in how their insanity leads them to believe a doll is their child, while seeing their real child as an impostor.
    • Evangelions are also essentialy God Warriors from Nausicaa, which were in fact animated by Anno himself. Evangelion might have also been influenced by a project Anno proposed to Miyazaki, a Darker and Edgier sequel to Nausicaa.
  • Asuka is also reminiscent of Jung Freud from Gunbuster, which Anno also worked on before Evangelion.
  • Though Rei is more often thought of as a character who is copied, she shares too many similarities with Chirico Cuvie from Armored Trooper VOTOMS, most obviously their blue hair, cold, unemotional exteriors and as being vessels for Godlike figures, both of whom they ultimately destroy or defy.
  • Both Gendo's appearance and his role in the plot are based largely on Dr. Tenma from Astro Boy.
  • 1987 OVA Daimaju Gekito: Hagane no Oni by Sho Aikawa seems clearly to have been an influence. Given that Hagane no Oni was born from an attempt to produce an anime reboot of Mazinger Z, this is probably not casual.
    • The premise of the OVA is an internatonal scientific experiment that caused a disaster in the sea, which became the origin of otherworldly biomechanical mechas. Years after the incident, a young, dark-haired protagonist must return and work again for the director of the project (who in the manga adaptation of the OVA is his own father!) and meets a love interest in the form of a red-headed foreign girl.
    • The director of the project, Galun, looks like a villainous, younger version of Fuyutsuki, down to the green uniform.
    • In order to save the world, the protagonist eventually has to fight a mecha battle against his best friend, who unveils psychic powers due to his relationship with the biomechanical stuff, yet also asks the protagonist to kill him for the world to be saved. For extra bonus points, one of the mechas is red.
    • At one point, the protagonist's mecha is absorbed into a void generated by his opponent's, which causes the protagonist to fall into a trance, but he eventually snaps, returns to the world and rips his enemy apart.
    • At another point, the project is invaded by official military forces.
    • The shot of young Misato floating in the rescue pod echoes a similar shot found in a flashback of the OVA, when the protagonist has to be rescued from a minisub.
  • Sailor Moon of all things also had influence on Evangelion, as Anno was a crazy fan of it. The given name Rei alludes officially to Sailor Mars, while Misato has been described by Anno as "a 29-year-old Usagi Tsukino", right down to the hair (and they even share a voice actress).
    • In the Super Robot Wars games featuring Evangelion and Gundam (UC timeline), Misato gets a crush on ace pilot Amuro Ray, alluding to their seiyuus' other famous anime roles as Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Kamen respectively. She also makes some Sailor Moon comments when admiring the Nobel Gundam from Mobile Fighter G Gundam on Super Robot Wars MX, and points out similarities in voice with Vega from Gear Fighter Dendoh and Murrue Ramius from Mobile Suit Gundam SEED (two other characters voiced by Kotono Mitsuishi).
  • The first names of Misato and Kaji (Ryōji) are officially a reference to the characters Misato Izumi and Ryōji Sawada from Minako Narita's manga Aitsu.
  • The work of Shinji Wada, famous for his franchise Sukeban Deka, also left its mark. The first name of Asuka's mother, Kyoko, is a reference to the character Kyoko Nakamura from Sukeban Deka II, while the name of Asuka herself comes from another manga by Wada, Super Girl Asuka.
  • Kaworu's descent into Terminal Dogma to awaken Lilith evokes Tetsuo's descent into the depths of the Neo-Tokyo Olympic Stadium to awaken Akira.
  • One of the Scenery Porn shots when Shinji first runs away alludes to a small sanctuary in My Neighbor Totoro.
  • Ramiel's design is lifted from the yellow, floating octahedron known as "Super X", in Future Police Urashiman.

  • Shigeru Aoba's name is reference to and a pun upon Kihachi Okamoto's 1974 film Aoba Shigereru.
  • The surname Nagisa is a Shout-Out to filmmaker Nagisa Oshima, best known in the West for Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence and the infamous In the Realm of the Senses.
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey: The computerized Monoliths SEELE uses to hold their meetings, on top of Evangelion as a whole sharing 2001's similar themes about evolution and the advancement of the human species from mysterious cosmic entities.
  • "The Day Tokyo-3 Stood Still".
  • Jet Alone itself is a Shout-Out to Jet Jaguar.
  • At least some of the battle themes on the OST consciously evoke the Klingon theme from the original series Star Trek films.
  • One of the songs of the soundtrack ("Decisive Battle") borrows extensively from "007" (a rarely-used Leitmotif for James Bond, used extensively on From Russia with Love and then appearing once more on You Only Live Twice).
  • The poster for the The End of Evangelion has a resemblance to the poster for an old film named Rosemary's Baby.
  • The title of the latter half of The End, "Magokoro wo, Kimi ni," comes from the Japanese title of the movie Charly, which was based on the short story/novel Flowers for Algernon.
  • The scene where the military attacks NERV HQ is an homage to Hideaki Anno's favorite film, Battle of Okinawa, right down to the use of flamethrowers.
  • Shinji's and Asuka's Masochism Tango is disturbingly similar to that of George and Martha from Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?: Asuka is disgusted by Shinji's lack of assertion, Martha is frustrated with George’s, attempts by either at appeasement only aggravates them further, and both of their frustrations have to do with sexual performance and assertion—Shinji won’t cross the "Wall of Jericho" and notoriously settles for masturbating by her bed when she’s comatose while George is implied to be unable to perform, and both are Ambiguously Gay. Both Shinji and George ultimately both snap and lash out destructively, complete with an attempt to strangle Asuka/Martha.
  • The manga seems to have shout outs to Star Wars, of all things.
    • For example, on a NERV writeup of Toji, there's a documentation of his Midi-Chlorian count.
    • In one chapter, Gendo also pulls a Darth Vader on Shinji, which is reminiscent of the fact he loses a hand in The End.
    • Misato mutters "I have a bad feeling about this" in the episode with Jet Alone.

  • Arthur C. Clarke's Childhood's End was a big inspiration, according to Anno.
  • Toji's entire name (Toji Suzuhara), Kensuke's first name, and Hikari's last name (Horaki) are lifted from characters in writer and film-maker Ryū Murakami's novel Ai to Gensou no Fascism (The Fascism of Love and Fantasy), from which Anno borrowed much of the psychological material. Anno would later direct a film adaptation of another of Murakami's novels, Love & Pop.
  • NERV's Gratuitous English motto is a famous quote from Pippa Passes.
  • There are multiple references to Michael Crichton's The Andromeda Strain, mostly the film version (the use of the "601" graphic to showcase the MAGI having a computer analysis error, the design of the Geofront resembles the Wildfire complex when seen from the side, and most importantly the episode "The Lilliputian Hitcher" is almost-but-not-quite a Whole-Plot Reference).
  • The Human Instrumentality Project was named after Cordwainer Smith's Instrumentality of Mankind, though they are not otherwise related.
  • The Japanese title of the last episode, "The Beast That Shouted "I" at the Heart of the World," is a clear reference to Harlan Ellison's classic short story (and the anthology named for it) "The Beast that Shouted Love at the Heart of the World", especially given the "I"-"ai" ("love" in Japanese) pun.
  • Also of note is that the Working Title for the last episode as per the series proposal was "The Only Neat Thing to Do", the same title as a sci-fi short story written by Alice Sheldon under her Moustache de Plume Pen Name of James Tiptree Jr.
  • The battleships in the episode where Asuka makes her debut are named after Shakespeare plays. Titus Andronicus and Cymbeline are two examples.
  • The English episode title "Lilliputian Hitcher" alludes to Gulliver's Travels.
  • The premise of Lilith, a prehuman entity made of gelatinous flesh that generates human members and bodies (and presumably the rest of mankind), which remains buried deep undeground since ancient times, evokes Abhoth from Clark Ashton Smith's Hyperborean mythos. Although Smith is not as famous in Japan as his friend H. P. Lovecraft, the creators might have been familiar with it.

    Live Action TV 

  • A blink-and-you'll-miss-it one comes in form of one of Shinji's t-shirts, which has the logo of the British New Wave Music band XTC on the back. Seeing as quite a few of XTC's songs revolves around some of the same themes as Evangelion, the reference is likely more than just a superficial one.
  • "Komm, Süßer Tod", the title of one of the soundtrack's most infamous pieces, is a reference to another piece by Bach, although the song itself bears little resemblance.
  • The English episodic title "The Beginning and the End, or Knockin' on Heaven's Door".

    Myth and Religion 
  • There's too many references to various world religions (particularly Judaism and Christianity) to list, or possibly even detect. For a start, all the Angels are named after Angels from Jewish, Christian and Islamic theology and incorporate subtle parallels with their counterparts' names and functions.
  • The Sephirot from Kabbalah is also used.
  • Some have also noted references to Gnosticism.

    Western Animation 
  • Oddly enough, Sachiel bears a striking resemblance to the Goons from Popeye.
  • In the ADV English dub, when Asuka first meets Rei, she calls her behavior "Freakazoid!".

  • Keel Lorenz is an allusion to the ethologist Konrad Lorenz (and was originally named Konrad too). Konrad Lorenz developed the concept of imprinting in terms of mother/child relationships. For example, say you've got a duck's egg in an incubator, and it's ready to hatch. The eggshell cracks, and the chick's head pops out. It sees you, and thinks, "Mother!"
  • Misato initially drinks Yebisu beer, a real life brand that is depicted correctly down to the label, followed by "Yebichu" beer, a parody of the real label which references the manga Oruchuban Ebichu, of which both Anno and Japanese voice actress Kotono Mitsuishi became fans. Anno later developed it into an anime at Mitsuishi's recommendation.
  • In turn, the Hedgehog's Dilemma is an allusion to Schopenhauer.
  • It's also been theorized among fans that the both the original ending and that of The End allude to and borrow from some of the existentialists, such as Sartre and Kierkegaard.
  • Several of the English episode titles (chosen by Anno, not ADV Films) make reference to psychological concepts ("Oral Stage", "Ambivalence", "Introjection").