"I hate myself. But I *could* love myself..."

I'm not the hugest anime fan ever, but I definitely appreciate it. There have been some fantastic works of art done in the style - most notably films like Princess Mononoke and series like Cowboy Bebop. On Jim's recommendation (here's his review from a few years ago), I borrowed and watched a series called Neon Genesis Evangelion. Altogether it's probably my favorite anime series of all time, and that almost totally on the strength of the content and plot elements.

While some of the execution seems sloppy or gratuitous, the way the series ends vindicates just about all of the decisions made throughout the series. At it's core it straddles a space between psychological examination of the human condition and all out science fiction robots-fighting-aliens. It follows one boy, Shinji, who pilots one of these robots, or Evangelions. There is a lot of time spent on analyzing his emotional experience, as well as the other children who pilot the Evas. Shinji also is dealing with issues surrounding his absent father, who happens to command the project that built the Evas.

It is a very mature take on a classic theme in anime, despite some of the requisite teenage drama and stupid humor. The direction it ends up going about halfway through the series will either strike you as incredibly cool or really dumb. And the finale is just mind-blowing, dramatic, and beautiful, as it integrates the science fiction aspect of the show with Shinji's personal journey in a way that I don't see done very often.

Not to give too much away, but the bottom line is that it articulates many themes that I recognize in the Law of One, and that alone makes it extraordinarily worthwhile. And couple that with some awesome post-apocalyptic science fiction and great characters, and you're in for one hell of a positively inspirational treat. If the title of this post, a quote from the final minutes of the series, sounds strange for an anime about giant robots fighting aliens, then perhaps you start to see how unique and profound this show is.

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Written on Wednesday, July 11, 2007