Throwback Thursday: Neon Genesis Evangelion – A Cruel Angel’s Thesis

By Astra W

Revisiting the unforgettable Neon Genesis Evangelion opening: A Cruel Angel's Thesis


Welcome to the new format of our #ThrowbackThursday! On top of linking a video of the song, I will be providing some tidbits about the anime, song, or even the artist. A Cruel Angel’s Thesis is the famous opening for the controversial anime Neon Genesis Evangelion.

It is hard to talk about Neon Genesis Evangelion and not mention the different interpretations, the stories behind the series and the director, and the big impact it had on the mecha genre and anime industry. Hideaki Anno, the director of the series, was said to have fallen into a state of depression and agreed to collaborate with studio Gainax and King Records. The ideation, development, and themes went through a lot of changes even in the midst of animation production. As a result, some episodes may feel rather disconnected from one another.

The controversial confusion of the themes occur towards the end of the TV animated series where the series shifted from a mecha genre rich with different themes to a few episodes of Shinji Ikari examining his own psyche. Some of these incongruities lead to many fan speculations and media personnel wanting to know more about what actually happened. Ultimately, the series ended with polarizing opinions from the followers. There are many who see the ending as meaningful while others felt betrayed. Anno reportedly received death threats thanks to the ending.

Neon Genesis Evangelion has set the bar for the waves of bio-mechanical robot genre in Japan and continues to influence many other works. It has also continued building the road laid by works that are enjoyable for adult audiences such as Akira, Berserk, and more. As a result, one could argue that the series confirms the existence of a market for more cerebral and mature works. References to the anime can also be found in other manga, anime, games, and even movies.

A more recent remake of the series was announced in 2007: Rebuild of Evangelion. It is planned to be a tetralogy, and currently, the first three movies are out. With the remake, it seems that the production team is set to create a Second Impact on the animation scene *wink*.

Yoko Takahashi, the singer of the song, became famous for the song. She went on to sing theme songs for other anime such as CROSS ANGE, Shakugan no Shana, and Pumpkin Scissors.

According to translated Twitter posts, the song’s lyricist, Neko Oikawa, wrote the lyrics in about two hours with minimal knowledge of what the anime was about. Oikawa reportedly did not even meet with the song’s composer, Hidetoshi Sato.

The song itself has been covered by many other singers such as Animetal and Shoko Nakagawa. Not to mention the many remixes and fan covers.

I hope this format of #ThrowbackThursday has been interesting and informative. Do let us know what you think in the comments section. See you next Thursday!

Sources: Wikipedia, RocketNews24, and Anime News Network

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Astra W

I am a Chocobo mug who loves puns and is driven by the thirst for nostalgia. You will usually find me writing about days past like an old person. Other than that, I usually gawk at different visual arts or exercising my fingers on games. Or napping in the kitchen cabinet.

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