Neon Genesis Evangelion
Neon Genesis Evangelion (新世紀エヴァンゲリオン Shin Seiki Evangerion ) is a Japanese media franchise created and owned by Gainax. Most of the franchise features an apocalyptic mecha action story, which revolves around the efforts by the paramilitary organization NERV to fight hostile beings called Angels, using giant humanoids called Evangelions that are piloted by select teenagers (of whom Shinji Ikari is the primary protagonist). Other works deviate from this theme to varying degrees, focusing more on romantic interactions between the characters, side stories which did not appear in the original works, and/or reimaginings of the conflicts from the original works.
Neon Genesis Evangelion first emerged out of a deal struck between King Records representative Toshimichi Ōtsuki and director Hideaki Anno, whose proposed sequel to Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honnêamise had recently fallen through, over drinks for an anime TV series project ("something, anything").
Though the original plot line for Evangelion remained relatively stable through development, production proved to be turbulent: Sadamoto's authorship of the promoting manga caused problems, as multiple publishers felt "that he was too passé to be bankable"; the stylized mecha design that Evangelion would later be praised for was initially deprecated by some of the possible sponsors of a mecha anime (toy companies) as being too difficult to manufacture (possibly on purpose), and that models of the Evangelions "would never sell." Eventually, Sega agreed to license all toy and video game sales.
A sudden shift in tone occurred in the series around episode 16, partially due to scheduling restraints (drastically reducing the number of frames that could be drawn for each episode). While Anno had promised early on that "every episode [would give]...something for the fans to drool over," he began either removing fan service or juxtaposing it with scenes of emotional trauma. The problematic schedule and Gainax's reputation for delivering episode prints at the last minute also resulted in more experimental approaches, with several episodes reusing shots, using uncommonly long still frames, flashing frames of often rhetorical introspective (Japanese) text and the final two episodes changed from their original concept into a psychological analysis of the main characters.
The resulting 26-episode anime, animated by Tatsunoko Productions and Gainax, and co-produced by TV Tokyo and Nihon Ad Systems, was broadcast from October 4, 1995 to March 27, 1996 on TV Tokyo. It was critically and commercially successful and acclaimed for its innovative imagery, concepts, and refreshing take on the mecha genre and anime as a whole (though not without controversy, as reception of the latter quarter of the TV series was sometimes hostile to the point of death threats). It was later aired across Japan by the anime satellite television network, Animax. The series won the Animage Anime Grand Prix prize in 1995 and 1996.
The series' unexpected success would not only spawn countless derivative works and imitators, but established a whole franchise based around a number of distinctive features: a stock set of distinctive characters such as Shinji Ikari, Asuka Langley Soryu, Rei Ayanami, Toji Suzuhara, and others such as Misato Katsuragi (for a complete list, see here); a number of philosophical, psychological, and religious themes; and an idiosyncratic vocabulary of symbols and allusions drawing heavily on Christian and Kabbalistic symbolism, Buddhist beliefs, and the Japanese otaku subculture.
Gainax launched a project to create a movie ending for the series in 1997. The company first released Death and Rebirth on March 15, which consisted of a highly condensed character-based recap and re-edit of the episodes 1-24 (Death) and the first half of the new ending (Rebirth, which was originally intended to be the full ending, but couldn't be finished due to budget and time constraints).
The project to complete the final episodes (retelling episodes 25 and 26 of the series) was completed later in 1997 and released on July 19 as The End of Evangelion. A movie compilation of a reedited version of Death (known as Death(true)2) and The End of Evangelion, Revival of Evangelion, was released on March 8, 1998.
Rebuild of Evangelion 
On September 9, 2006, Gainax confirmed a new animated film series called Rebuild of Evangelion, consisting of four movies presenting an alternate retelling of the TV series (including new scenes, settings, and characters) and a completely new conclusion to the story. The first film was released in Japan on September 1, 2007, with the second and third released on June 27, 2009 and November 17, 2012, before the final film's last stated for a later release date.
Live-action film 
Development of a live-action movie version of Neon Genesis Evangelion by Gainax, Weta Workshop Ltd., and ADV Films (then the worldwide distributor of the Evangelion series outside of Asia and Australia) was announced at the Cannes Film Festival on May 21, 2003. Early coverage included ADV Films raising "about half of the $100 million to $120 million needed to produce the film" and some concept art produced by Weta Workshop.
As time passed without any official announcements of production, the film project showed increasing signs of being in development hell. At Anime Expo 2008, ADV founders Matt Greenfield and John Ledford revealed that they had hired the producer John Woo, pitched the idea to other producers such as Jerry Bruckheimer and Steven Spielberg, and seen increased interest in the wake of the success of the 2007 film Transformers. At Ohayocon 2009, Matt Greenfield announced that several U.S. studios were competing for final rights to the project, predicting an official announcement naming the studio, director, and perhaps casting information within the next nine months (he later noted that the closer he got to sealing a deal, the less he could say anything about it). Though the sudden collapse and asset sale of A.D. Vision in September 2009 raised concerns over the project's viability, Greenfield, Ledford, and producer Joseph Chou insisted the project was still actively searching for a director (claiming delays owed more to the general deterioration of the American anime market than to ADV's internal issues).
In August 2011, A.D. Vision sued Gainax, claiming their refusal to accept an option payment for the perpetual live-action rights to Evangelion was a breach of contract and resulted in losing an opportunity to produce the film with a major studio. A.D. Vision has asked to be awarded the full live-action rights and any accruing legal fees.
The Evangelion franchise has spread from the original anime into a number of different media, with some following the official canon (of the 26-episode anime series and its three related films or the new Rebuild series) and others differing on important plot points originally introduced in the anime.
A number of manga series based on the anime have been released, mostly notably the official series by series character designer Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, which was first serialized in February 1995 (eight months before the series' official premiere, in order to promote interest), just to end 18 years later, on 2013. Three other manga have been created: Neon Genesis Evangelion: Angelic Days by Fumino Hayashi, Shinji Ikari Raising Project by Takahashi Osamu, and Gakuen Datenroku by Min Min.
Evangelion is also popular among doujinshi, inspiring notable titles such as "Evangelion RE-TAKE" (an unofficial sequel to the End of Evangelion) by Studio Kimigabuchi and even works by famous manga artists, such as "Birth of Evangelion" by Yun Kōga.
||This article is missing information about the "Groundwork of Evangelion" books. (March 2012)|
- Newtype 100% Collection: A 1997 collection of Newtype Japan's coverage of Evangelion, particularly of artwork
- Death & Rebirth and End of Evangelion theatrical pamphlets: Limited edition supplementary booklets were distributed in Japanese theaters during the initial run of both Evangelion: Death and Rebirth and The End of Evangelion. The latter pamphlet, nicknamed the "Red Cross Book" by overseas fans, contains descriptions and definitions of many areas and terms in the Evangelion storyline that the series left unclear.
- Der Mond and Die Sterne: Two German-titled art books of the work of Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, including concept art, character designs and renditions, and commentary about the Evangelion series. Both books also feature selections of Sadamoto's work on earlier and later works (such as Nadia, or Fatal Fury 2).
- 2015//The Last Year of Ryohji Kaji: A limited edition, Japan-only publication by Newtype in 1997. The book is a combination photo/text book profiling the character of Ryōji Kaji through 16 mission "documents" left by him. The included letters, notes, and poems were written by Hiroshi Yamaguchi (a writer on the original TV series) and the photographs (including digitally-altered pictures of Evangelions, Angels, and other series-related objects) were taken by Ichiro Kamei.
Radio drama 
A parody radio drama, Neon Genesis Evangelion – After the End, was released in 1996 as part of the NEON GENESIS EVANGELION ADDITION album. The story features the anime's original cast reuniting to star in a new Evangelion series, while attempting to change various themes of the series to make it more popular/accessible than it already is.
CD albums 
CD singles 
|残酷な天使のテーゼ (Zankoku na tenshi no te-ze)||October 25, 1995|
|FLY ME TO THE MOON||October 25, 1995|
|魂のルフラン (Tamashii no rufuran)||February 21, 1997|
|THANATOS-If I can't be yours-||August 1, 1997|
|残酷な天使のテーゼ/FLY ME TO THE MOON||March 26, 2003|
|魂のルフラン/THANATOS-If I can't be yours-||May 24, 2006|
Video games 
Neon Genesis Evangelion has spawned a number of computer games, as well as making numerous appearances in other titles such as the Super Robot Wars series by Banpresto. None of these games have been officially released in any English speaking regions.
|Neon Genesis Evangelion: 1st Impression||1996||Sega Saturn|
|Notes: The first Evangelion video game, released for the Sega Saturn in 1996, shortly after the TV series's run. The story is set after the episode ASUKA STRIKES!, with Shinji badly injured and suffering amnesia as the result of an Angel battle and needing to retrain (by sparring with Asuka in Unit-02) and having to defeat the Angel to regain his memories. The game features RPG elements and FMV clips for combat; most of the animation is original to 1st Impression (with the voices of the original Evangelion voice actors and some other content recycled from the TV series).|
|Neon Genesis Evangelion: 2nd Impression||1997||Sega Saturn|
|Notes: A Sega Saturn game that focuses mainly on Shinji and Mayumi Yamagishi, with RPG-style gaming and combat in the structure of an episode.|
|Girlfriend of Steel/Iron Maiden||1998||Sega Saturn, PlayStation, PC|
|Notes: A Gainax game released as an extra 'episode' of the series, positing the further development of a series of manned Jet Alone robots. It focuses mainly on Shinji and Mana Kirishima.|
|Neon Genesis Evangelion 64||1999||Nintendo 64|
|Notes: A Nintendo 64 game released by Bandai in 1999, which covers the major battles throughout the TV series and movies as a combat and RPG game. It uses multiple voice clips and images recycled from the original series.|
|Neon Genesis Evangelion 2||2003||PlayStation 2, PSP|
|Notes: A PlayStation 2 game released by Bandai/Alfa System covering the entire run of the TV series and movies, with RPG style story interaction and combat. Items such as F-Type equipment and a new version of the Jet Alone project are included in the game.|
|Shinji Ikari Raising Project (碇シンジ育成計画 Ikari Shinji Ikusei Keikaku )||2004||PC|
|Girlfriend of Steel 2/Iron Maiden the 2nd||2005||PlayStation 2, PC|
|Notes: A Gainax game set in an alternate, "normal life" universe glimpsed in the final episode of the Evangelion TV series (it later inspired a spin-off manga series, Neon Genesis Evangelion: Angelic Days).|
|Secret of Evangelion||December 21, 2006 (PS2)
|PlayStation 2, PSP|
|Notes: An RPG/adventure retelling the end of the Evangelion storyline, introducing the new characters NERV investigator Kenzaki Kyouya and dummy-plug research scientist Kaga Hitomi.|
|Detective Evangelion||January 18, 2007||PlayStation 2|
|Notes: A non-canonical Broccoli game released on January 18, 2007 (after being delayed from its original release on November 22, 2006, with early orders later coming with picture puzzles as a result) as a combination of mecha battling and a whodunit murder mystery. The game introduced the Evangelion First-Type and Evangelion Second-Type and was the first to use both Evangelion Unit-01 and Shinji Ikari as playable characters. A manga based on the game was serialized in Shōnen Ace, starting in December 2006|
|Evangelion: Battle Orchestra||June 28, 2007||PlayStation 2, PSP|
|Notes: A fighting game produced by Broccoli.|
|Puchi Eva: Evangelion @ Game||March 20, 2008||DS|
|Notes: By Bandai Namco Games|
|Evangelion: Jo||June 6, 2009||PlayStation 2, PSP|
|Notes: By Bandai Namco Games|
Mahjong games 
|Neon Genesis Evangelion - Eva and Good Friends The Stripping Project! (新世紀エヴァンゲリオン - エヴァと愉快な仲間たち : 脱衣補完計画)||1999||Windows|
|Notes: A strip mahjong game|
|Neon Genesis Evangelion Mahjong Hokan Keikaku||2000||Game Boy Color|
|The Stripping Project Complement / Eva and Good Friends: CDROM (脱衣補完計画/シンジと愉快な仲間たち セレクトCD-ROM)||2000||Windows & Macintosh|
|Notes: A strip mahjong game.|
|The Stripping Project Complement / Eva and Good Friends: CDROM2 (脱衣補完計画/シンジと愉快な仲間たち セレクトCD-ROM2)||2001||Windows & Macintosh|
|Notes: A strip mahjong game.|
Card games 
|Shinji and Good Friends||1999||PC|
|Notes: A series of different computer card games.|
|Neon Genesis Evangelion Digital Card Library||1997||Sega Saturn|
|Daifugo (シンジと愉快な仲間たち 爆烈大富豪, Eva and Good Friends) |
|Neon Genesis Evangelion: Collector's Disk Series|
|Notes: A three disk collection of official Evangelion artwork, advertisements, TV series animation cels, OP animation, sound clips, and a downloadable screen saver.|
|Neon Genesis Evangelion: Typing Project-E||1999||Dreamcast, PlayStation 2|
|Neon Genesis Evangelion: Shito Ikusei||1999||Bandai Wonderswan|
|Neon Genesis Evangelion: Typing Hokan Keikaku||2001||Dreamcast|
|Ayanami Raising Project (綾波育成計画 Neon Genesis Evangelion:Ayanami Rei Ikusei )||2001||PC & Dreamcast|
|Notes: A game similar to the Princess Maker game series, with the player is tasked with looking after Rei (their decisions affecting her personality and development, as well as the Evangelion storyline, including its outcome).|
|Ayanami Raising Project with Asuka Complement Project (綾波育成計画 withアスカ補完計画 Ayanami Ikusei Keikaku with Asuka Hokan Keikaku )||2003||PlayStation 2|
|Notes: A game similar to the Princess Maker game series, with the player is tasked with looking after Rei or Asuka (their decisions affecting her personality and development, as well as the Evangelion storyline, including its outcome).|
|Misato Katsuragi's Reporting Plan||2009||PlayStation 3|
|Notes: A strategy/puzzle game|
|Evangelion: Locus of the Soul||June 3, 2010||PSP, Nintendo DS|
|Notes: A pachislo game|
|Easy Victory Pachinko * Pachi-Slot Walkthrough Series Portable Vol. 1: Neon Genesis Evangelion||2010||PSP|
|Evangelion MAGI Angel Attack||2010||iPhone/iPod Touch|
|Notes: An Evangelion-themed memory game|
|Evangelion 3nd Impact||2011||PSP|
|Notes: A music-based game produced by Grasshopper Manufacture.|
|Browser Evangelion Shin Gekijōban||2012||Internet browser|
|Notes: A web browser game, based on the Rebuild movies, announced in October 2011 for a 2012 release. The game will be free, but supported by microtransactions.|
- CR Neon Genesis Evangelion (Pachinko)
- CR Neon Genesis Evangelion Second Impact (Pachinko)
- Neon Genesis Evangelion (Pachisuro)
- CR Neon Genesis Evangelion —Kiseki no Kachi wa— (Pachinko)
Amusement park 
On July 22, 2010, Fuji-Q Highland opened a 1,460m2 section devoted to Evangelion, featuring a lifesize entry plug and statue of Mari Makinami, an approximately 3-meter titanium Lance of Longinus, NERV hallways with character cutouts that lead to a hangar room with the 1:1 bust of Eva Unit-01, SEELE monoliths, appropriate cosplay, Eva-themed hotel rooms, and food products. A bust of Eva Unit-02 modeled after a scene in Evangelion: 2.0 was installed in 2011.
In popular culture 
Robin Williams briefly discussed the series in-character in the 2002 film One Hour Photo, mistakenly identifying the Mass-Production Evangelions as "heroic robots that fight the monsters." Williams used a toy from his personal collection and added that line intentionally; as a fan of the series, he knew the comments would enrage fellow fans watching the movie.
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- "Anno knew a guy from King Records named Otsuki, and as the story goes, the two were out drinking one day when Otsuki suggested to Anno that they work on together. Anno agreed on the spot, came back to the office and promptly announced it to everyone. Nobody even batted an eyelash. We just accepted it without further thought." pg 164 of Takeda 2002
- [dead link]
- pg 167 of Takeda 2002
- "At the planning stage, director Hideaki Anno is reported to have said, "With recent robot anime series there have been too many instances of toy makers sticking their big noses in from the design stage so they can get a spec that is easy to turn into a toy. I don't want any interference from toy makers, so I'm going to design a robot that just cannot be turned into a toy." pg 97 of Fujie 2004
- Takeda continues: "He said the legs were too skinny, and then proceeded to give Otsuki a lecture on the principles of robot design. Otsuki is bitter about the incident to this day." pg 166–167 of Takeda 2002
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- Takeda 2002, for example, mentions that no one in Gainax was expecting NGE to succeed on the scale it did (beyond anything else Gainax had done); indeed, the stress of just handling all the money made by the franchise caused Gainax's accounting scandal and the 1999 arrest of its president.
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- "Probably the two biggest titles were SHINSEIKI EVANGELION and Konami's TOKIMEKI MEMORIAL ~forever with you~. About 30-40% of the titles were ecchi.". Ex.org. Retrieved 2012-11-21.
- "It has been credited with defining gender roles, influencing attitudes toward the environment, and spawning the madly obsessive—and immensely profitable—otaku subculture embraced by tens of thousands of geeky fans who spend their lives unraveling the larger message of the show and collecting pornographic comic books featuring the show's female characters." "Let's Die Together", David Samuels, Atlantic Monthly; May 2007, Vol. 299 Issue 4, p92-98, 7p
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- Takeda, Yasuhiro; Yu Sugitani, Yasuhiro Kamimura, Takayoshi Miwa; translated by Javier Lopez, Jack Wiedrick, Brendan Frayne, Kay Bertrand, Gina Koerner, Hiroaki Fukuda, and Sheridan Jacobs (2002, 2005). The Notenki memoirs: studio Gainax and the men who created Evangelion. ADV Manga. p. 190. ISBN 1-4139-0234-0.
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