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Sunday, March 4, 2012

My Complicated Relationship With Neon Genesis Evangelion

To say I love Neon Genesis Evangelion (from here on out to be referred to as EVA) is an understatement. It is one of the few things that fundamentally changed my life, in ways I’m still discovering to this day, around 13 years after I originally saw it. However, the only thing I feel as strongly as my love for the show is my hatred for speaking about it.

Why? Partly because, even though EVA’s influence on anime, manga, and other art forms cannot be denied, it’s still not considered ‘cool’ by pop-culture vultures. This is because the stereotypical view of the average EVA fan is one of an emo kid who thinks the show’s heavy-handed references to Western religions is “like, ohmygod deepest! Thing! Evarrrrrrr!!!!”, the kind of person who watches the show with the sound off and every My Chemical Romance song playing in the background so they can try and find ‘Dark Side of the Moon/Wizard of Oz’-type parallels. Even though I pride myself on not really giving a crap about others’ opinions on my tastes, this is still not a crowd I want to be associated with. Which is weird, because as you’ll soon see, if anything I’m even worse than that emo kid in my love for the show.

The main reason I refuse to talk about the show is because it’s mine, goddamnit!!! As I mentioned, the show changed who I am as a human being. It affected me so deeply, and so personally, that I refuse to speak about it because that effect on me is sacred, and to share it would be to cheapen it.

The other reason is the definition of ‘ridiculous’. Literally millions saw this show and loved it, and felt transmuted by it, just like I was. But I’m too scared to talk to those people because I know that if I do, they will tell me how it so profoundly affected and changed them, and I’ll know that my relationship to it isn’t special; it’s typical. And as I described, EVA and its utter transmutational influence is, out of all the things in life I hold sacred, holy, sacrosanct, at the very the top of the heap. It is my Ultimate. And I just could not bear to find out that my communion with it is not only not unique, but common.

So this is why I have never been, and never will be, drawn into a conversation about EVA. The reason I wrote this piece is so I could purge: The guilt I feel for the silly way I revere the show is massive, so I just had to put it into words. I had to put in in a form that I would find confronting, so I could come face-to-face with all of this, and hopefully find a little peace.

But if you ever fucking try to talk to me about EVA, I’ll fucking kill you.

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