There are obviously more than 20 facts about Neon Genesis Evangelion out there. Yet, the 20 facts that we have for you today include ones that you’ve not heard or known before. At the least, the facts will help you remember and relive some of the best moments from the influential mecha anime. There is no anime fan in the world who hasn’t heard of Neon Genesis Evangelion. Evangelion is one of the best anime of all time, and this is because it changed the anime industry and environment when it aired back in 1995.
The recurrent themes in Evangelion are philosophical exploration, individuality, freedom, choice, and responsibility. On the surface, the anime may seem about robots in warfare. However, it portrays characters’ past sufferings, their sexual stimulations, and a lot more beneath the surface. It also dives into death, rebirth, and one’s quest to find meaning. Neon Genesis Evangelion is set in the futuristic city of Tokyo-3, 15 years after a global cataclysm took place called the Second Impact. Shinji is a teenager who is summoned to Tokyo-3 to pilot a bio-machine mecha (Giant robot) called “Evangelion”. The mecha are the only things capable of fighting against the main antagonists in the anime, the Angels. Shinji’s father is the one who recruits him for this job through an organization called NERV. The series explores the emotion and experiences of the mecha pilots as they face off against the Angels.
Now, let’s dive into the 20 Neon Genesis Evangelion facts that we have for you today.
20. Gendo’s Surname
In the anime, Gendo adopts the surname (Ikari) of his wife Yui after their marriage. The name Ikari means “anchor” in Japanese. Gendo’s original surname is Rokubungi. The word, when translated to English, means “sextant”. A sextant helps in ocean navigation. Most of the characters in Evangelion are named after Japanese WW2 warships, so the surname fits into the theme well.
19. Episode 16’s Washed Out Frames
Episode 16 is seemingly the watershed moment in the series bringing the emphasis more on the characters’ psychology and inward questioning. The original 16 mm film negatives that were used for filming were lost after the episode first aired on TV. This forced the animators to use a lower quality 35 mm internegative copy of the film for home video releases. This is the reason for the 16th episode to be visually a bit different than the rest of the episodes. The colors seem washed out, and the images don’t have the definition that is seen in the other episodes.
18. Evangelion Coin Sets
On August 27, 2020, the Japan mint said that it would issue commemorative coin sets to celebrate 25 years of the animation series Neon Genesis Evangelion. There are two sets of commemorative coins. The “proof coin” set is the expensive one, and it displays the Eva Unit 01, also known as the robot that Gendo wanted Shinji to get in. The tail side of the proof coin has the NERV symbol on it. The second set of coins are the cheaper ones and have the characters Shinji Ikari and Rei Ayanami on either side.
17. Inspiration For The Evas
The Evangelions or Evas are biomechanical humanoids that can be piloted by only chosen kids and are the only known defense against the Angels. A creature from Japanese folklore called Oni is the inspiration behind the Evas. Oni is usually depicted as hideous, giant creatures with a single or multiple horns protruding from their heads. They have sharp claws, wild hair, and fang-like tusks. Sometimes, they may even have a third eye or extra toes or fingers.
16. Gendo’s Newspaper
In the final episode of Neon Genesis Evangelion, when the alternate reality sequence is presented during Instrumentality, Gendo is shown to be reading a newspaper. The date on the paper is September 2016. Two headlines are prominent. One states that South Africa has elected its first black female president. The second headline states that the Showa Station, which in reality is a Japanese research station in Antarctica, will be open to visitors in 2017. These two headlines are proof that the Second Impact did not occur in this alternate reality. This is because the Second Impact destroyed Antarctica and most of the Southern hemisphere when it occurred.
15. Anno’s Depression
The creator of Neon Genesis Evangelion is Hideaki Anno. Evangelion’s dark and depressing plot is likely a direct effect of the depression and stress Anno faced while working on another anime before, “Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water”.
14. Operation Yashima
Japan witnessed a disastrous earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011. To conserve electricity and spread the message during and after the disasters struck, the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) launched an informal campaign on Twitter to support this plan. This Twitter campaign was called Operation Yashima. Operation Yashima, in the anime, was the plan to reroute all of Japan’s electricity into a sniper rifle to beat down an Angel.
13. Female Lead
In the initial stages of writing the story, there was supposed to be a female protagonist. The pilot episode would then display a fight between an Angel and Rei. Shinji was supposed to be introduced later. As you know, this remained just an idea. However, this is one interesting Neon Genesis Evangelion fact.
12. 28 Angels
Initially, Shinji and NERV were to fight against 28 Angels, but later due to production deadlines impeding the work, the number of Angels in the story became 17.
11. Pacific Rim
The plots of Evangelion and Pacific Rim are surprisingly similar. In both of the stories, military alliances create huge robots to fight against threats. Even the link between the pilots and the robots getting severed is similar in both stories. In Pacific Rim, Mako’s negative memories make her lose control of the machine she’s in. Pacific Rim is a 2013 sci-fi monster film directed by Guillermo del Toro.
Evas have an AT Field, which is difficult to bypass by enemies, but when bypassed, it keeps the damage to a minimum. But if the enemy is really strong and deals great damage, Evas will repair themselves over a while. Regeneration of whole body parts is also possible depending on the circumstances.
9. The A.T. Field
Angels and Evas both use the Absolute Terror Field to create a shield that generates an impenetrable barrier around themselves, and this can be traced back to psychology. The term refers to the mental barriers that an autistic person creates. This was found by the famous Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud, who is the founder of psychoanalysis.
8. Animage’s Anime Grand Prix
The Anime Grand Prix is the annual prize decided by the Animage magazine readers’ votes to the anime of the year. In 1997, Neon Genesis Evangelion became the first anime to win Anime Grand Prix three times consecutively.
7. Schedule Slip
The first chapter of the manga came out long before the anime aired in December of 1994. Long hiatuses and an infrequent release schedule made the manga run for a surprising 18 years. As a result, the last chapter came out in 2013! The manga contains 14 volumes. However, the reason for such a big schedule slip was that the manga was a side-project for manga artist Yoshiyuki Sadamoto.
6. Langley’s Different Deaths
In the manga, Asuka Langley is saved by Shinji before the MP Evas kills her. But in the film “End of Evangelion,” the MP Evas brutally dismembers Asuka.
5. What Is LCL?
LCL is an amber-colored translucent liquid that allows the Eva pilot to mentally sync with their Evangelion unit. The liquid acts as an electrochemical mediator between the pilot and Eva’s nervous system. The LCL floods the cockpit when operating the Eva. Yet, the pilot can breathe as the liquid is oxygenated. There is no set definition of LCL; however, the dossier at the end of the 7th volume of the manga claims that LCL stands for “Link Connect Liquid”.
4. Berserk Mode
In certain situations, Evas can go wild. This is the berserk mode, where they get rid of the pilot control and exhibit animal-like behavior that is very violent.
3. Evangelion Name Origin
The term “Evangelion” is Greek in origin and, when translated, means the gospel. This refers to the “Good News” that God sends his followers.
2. Symbolism In Asuka’s Death
In the “End of Evangelion,” when the enemy batters Asuka, her Eva unit has purple bleeding. Also, the enemy dismembers her during her final fight. This is a classic representation from the Deadly Sin of Pride.
1. Evas Operate Through Cords
The story occurs during a time where technological advancement is tremendous. How will you react when you come to know that teenagers are operating giant humanoid machines in the story and yet, the Evas operate through cords. They function on wires in such a developed world! Although Evas can operate wireless, their capacity to fight and move is low.
These were 20 facts about the famous anime Neon Genesis Evangelion.