Developed by the innovative animation studio Gainax, the show ran 26 episodes, followed by a feature film in July 1997.Ten years later, in 2007, a four-part series of “rebuild” movies launched in theaters, with the aim of remaking and reinventing the TV show’s stories.(The fourth and final of these films is due in 2020, eight years after the third film’s 2012 premiere.) (pronounced ay-VUH), sounds straightforward on its face.
The legendary 1990s series began streaming on Netflix on June 21, making it easily accessible to both anime connoisseurs and the anime curious for the first time ever.
To those familiar with the property, its arrival on streaming is the realization of a longstanding dream, a seeming impossibility after years of licensing entanglements kept the Japanese cartoon off shelves and streaming.
Most significantly, creator Hideaki Anno spoke openly and frequently about having a mental and artistic breakdown while working on the show, and funneling all that anxiety into its storytelling.
The whole series doubles as a metaphor for uneasy artistic creation, for depression, and for life itself.
Netflix’s acquisition is a momentous occasion not just for the streaming service but for the Western anime industry at large.
There are several reasons this show about fighting robots and existential crises has endured.When your body becomes a war machine, what will your purpose be when the war is over?If there’s a God, why would that God be so cruel to their supposedly beloved creation, humanity?And, crucially, this type of project had very rarely been shown on television before.Prior to , by contrast, was a wholly original series conceived as a limited series of only 26 episodes, and far from trying to attract a wide audience, toward the end, it even seemed to be attempting to alienate what niche viewership it had.wasn’t the first anime to marry fun action tropes with deeper religious symbolism and an overarching metaphysical tone.But it was the first anime to combine those elements so successfully, and to such high critical and popular acclaim.Robot battles ensue, with increasingly mortal consequences.But also tackles headier concepts: What does it mean to be fighting a battle you don’t believe in?What was previously an action-oriented, even comedic cartoon — there’s plenty of awkward teen romance and high school hijinks amid the self-reflective stuff — suddenly becomes an existential text slathered in religious symbolism and shocking character revelations.’s next 12 episodes then lean into its percolating nihilism; they culminate in a two-part conclusion that left Japanese viewers dissatisfied upon its initial premiere in 1996.