TBH I'm just one of those people who really liked EVA when it was a funny mecha show with some really good battles, post-apocalyptic undertones, and a good deal of symbolism. The ending really just lacked the action and humor that I came to love throughout the series, and to me replacing all that with a mentally interesting but otherwise boring therapy session was the real mindscrew. (Of course all the meta stuff was too, while I was first watching it when I was 14 or so)
Also I'm one of those people who likes the idea of Death & Rebirth > End of Evangelion > Last episode. That timeline at least made EoE and the last episode a bit more tolerable for me plotwise.
Honestly, agreed. Evangelion is really interesting in terms of themes, and solid all around but the characters aren't exactly three-dimensional. If anything, they're fairly 2D.
They're all rather obvious takes on various psychosis- Shinji is depressed, Asuka is depressed and has an inferiority complex (and possibly BPD), Rei is emotionally repressed, Gendo is a sociopath, and so on. It's easier to count the characters who aren't mentally screwed (Fuyuts- no...) than anything They're relatable, yes, but they're basic. I also completely understand why people can't get into EVA because of the characters.
When they're botched in anyway, they're extremely prone to the Seven Deadly Words. 'I don't care about these people'. It's a big reason why 3.33 is awful- they completely toss out the setting, the characters are unlikable and hostile (albeit very justified), there's little connection to the last movie, the plot elements introduced are just stupid, and so on. They give you absolutely no reason to care about these people, and the narrative only really makes sense if you're already a fan of EVA and get all the little references and allusions to the TV series.
And are enough of a fan to get all of the strange, strange things with Kaworu seemingly referencing the past incarnations of the story and Super Robot Wars.
I guess it's part of why RahXephon arguably does better with the shared plot elements. Evangelion is a mess pacing-wise because Anno completely threw out the plot outline somewhere by the time they were writing. RahXephon was outlined beforehand, and stuck to it.
Yeah, it seems like an absolute mindscrew the first time around, but upon a rewatch, it makes perfect sense. It plays with the whole 2deep4u schtick and then comes clean, because it literally foreshadows everything from day one. Everything makes sense and the tonal shifts aren't nearly as bad as Eva's, since it's always a slow series with a surreal, dream-like atmosphere. You get to know the characters and their quirks a lot better because of this, which makes it easier to relate to them. It also makes the emotional moments of the series much more of a punch to the gut.
Albeit it's harder to grasp the plot because of how dense RahXephon can get (watch it AT LEAST twice). Trade offs, I guess.
Edited by Hodor, Apr 17 2015 - 05:46 AM.