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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Neon Genesis Evangelion is a classic Japanese anime series credited with relaunching the genre in 1995. There’s lots of discussion about apocalyptic events, lots of violent moments (some resulting in injuries and death), and some form-revealing outfits worn by female characters. It also contains lots of visual references to Judeo-Christian and other belief systems.
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What's the story?
Create by Hideaki Anno, NEON GENESIS EVANGELION (1995-1996) is a post-apocalyptic Japanese anime series about a teenage boy, his father, and saving humanity from alien beings. It’s 2015, fifteen years after a catastrophic global event known as the Second Impact, destroyed most of planet. But a group of aliens called Angels returned to Earth in hopes of destroying it. As part of his efforts to fight them, Gendo Ikari, the callous Commander of NERV, a secretive military organization, has NERV officer Misato Katsuragi bring his teenage son Shinji to the fortified city of Tokyo-3. Once there, Shinji learns that he is to join other young pilots in operating giant bio-machine mechas known as Evangelion to fight them off. Throughout it all, Shinji and the other pilots attempt to uncover the truth behind what is driving the project, while engaging in a journey of self-discovery.
Is it any good?
This iconic series, which is credited with reigniting the anime industry in the mid-1990s, uses elements from various religious and mystical belief systems to create a world in which humanity is introspectively explored. While it contains many of the familiar narratives and mythological elements anime is known for, it also spends considerable time exploring the psyche of the individual characters -- explorations that were not particularly well-received at the time. But it was still popular enough to lead to a lucrative franchise, including several films in which the controversial storylines were reworked. Dedicated anime fans will want to tune in, and may enjoy comparing Neon Genesis Evangelion to more contemporary series.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the history of anime. When was anime first created? When did it start enjoying global popularity?
How did Neon Genesis Evangelion set itself apart from other anime series when it was first released? What made it different? Where there moments when these differences pushed the envelope a little too much?
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