Welcome to the NHK! – 13 – In a word, depressing

For some odd reason, I was expecting Satou to be the hero of this episode, but today I doubt he will ever be a hero – just like Yamazaki says, people “like him” aren’t suited to dramatic ends. In a word, depressing. Hitomi is selfish and cruel, her reasons for coming back into Satou’s life were superficial; he is her fail safe option, a shoulder to cry on when she feels down and clearly she has no romantic interest in Satou. He has been dragged along as her token sacrifice.
Misaki’s “confession” was nearly as bad – just like the cruel Hitomi, to her Satou is a selfish reassurance that no matter how bad life can be, she can never slip as far as that “lowly hikki” Satou. She needs him around to validate that her existence isn’t totally worthless.
Naturally, Satou doesn’t take well to these revelations and eventually goes from being the one person not on the deserted island with suicidal intentions to the one personality crazy enough to actually kill himself. His friends (and I suppose that includes Misaki) turn up to save him, but by the end of this episode he is understandably feeling like the loneliest man in the world, his contorted, desperate cries ringing around the abandoned island. It’s not the NHK conspiracy forcing Satou in to his hermit lifestlye, it’s his friends!

Editorials Reviews

Neon Genesis Evangelion – Why is it classic anime?

Neon Genesis Evangelion is considered by many critics to be a “classic” anime series. Loved and loathed in equal measure, its polarising reputation for invoking a distinct reaction from its viewers endures (inside and outside fandom) even today- an impressive feat being as it is a decade on from its Japanese TV debut. But what defines “classic” anime? Why is Evangelion still as relevant today as it was back in 1995?
“Classic” art direction
Art direction and animation fluidity are two separate entities. Neon Genesis Evangelion never had a huge animation budget, but its unique visual style still strikes a profound chord with its viewers. Unique and iconic, the colour scheme is exciting and suits the raging mood perfectly, strange bio-mecha designs and (if albeit redundant) religious symbolism top off a visceral presentation that instantly burns itself into memory.
Emotive characterization, world-wide accessibility and relevance
People either empathise with or passionately denounce Evangelion’s main character, Shinji Ikari. He is the ultimate “average” kid from a broken home, frustratingly shy and painfully reluctant. He isn’t a hero, just an awkward geek. The other characters are all breaking down in their own personal ways; Asuka’s fear of rejection and Misato’s desperate loneliness. These are close to the bone universal human emotions, characterised in realistic, painful circumstances and directed with an almost sadistic lack of warmth, relevant to every generation.
Sophisticated, controversial story teller
Under a slicker director, Evangelion would be another RahXephon; efficient, exciting and romantic but ultimately lacking any true sparks of originality. Hideaki Anno put his heart and soul into these characters and placed them within the confines of a mysterious plot to end the world, refusing to compromise on showing the unpredictable uglier sides of human nature. We’ve all been unhappy with ourselves or others at some point in our lives and what if at this exact moment, you were given the chance to save the world. Would it be “OK! Let’s do it!” or “Why me? Feck off!”.
Although I don’t consider Neon Genesis Evangelion a personal favourite, I accept it as a classic anime series. It took the formulaic mecha genre and transformed itself into an extremely potent mix of visceral art, controversial drama and symbolic science fiction. From what I’ve learnt, a “classic” movie or TV series is defined by global accessibility, (current) relevance and sheer impact; Evangelion is as popular today as it was 11 years ago.