A long time ago, an ex-boyfriend of mine introduced me to an anime series called Neon Genesis Evangelion. At the time, I was a little bit into anime, but I didn’t pay much attention to the series. I saw one episode and gave up. Giant robots fighting didn’t appeal to me that much. Then, about two or three years ago, I found this video on YouTube. (I would embed it here, but it won’t let me.)

I originally found it because I was searching for Rammstein’s song “Engel” which is still one of my favorite songs. I watched a few seconds of it and realized I had seen the anime before. The music video fascinated me; it was a character profile of Asuka, one of the main heroes/antiheroes of the show. So, in short, seeing the video (which is perfectly lip-synced) made me want to watch the anime again, so I did.

And I was hooked. I saw the entire TV series in about two weeks. I still wasn’t interested in the robots killing things, but what got me about it was the depth and uniqueness of the characters and the religious symbolism. The story inspired me to think outside the box when it came to my own writing and not to do certain things or write in a certain way just because it’s the mainstream.

Question for my readers: What TV shows, books, or movies have inspired you?

9 thoughts on “Evangelion

  1. I don’t think and honest reader could list them all. TV is an extraordinarily powerful force. Writers of TV shows mimic the life they see and know, and TV watchers mimic the shows they see. Notice how some catch-phrase, “…not so much…” for example, is used by a clever writer on a show, and how quickly the other shows, and all the watchers, too, are using it.

    TV is a monster of influence. I cannot help but be inspired, both positively and negatively, but to pin it down to a particular individual source would be taxing, indeed.


    • I really don’t watch much television, and most television shows aren’t that memorable to me. Evangelion was one of a few exceptions. Books tend to have a much stronger influence, and indeed, I could never pick just a few books that influenced me.


  2. I agree with your comment above – books are totally more influential on me. However some TV shows and particularly movies have inspired me to look at life in different ways.


  3. I wouldn’t know where to begin. The Nero Wolfe novels, Robert Altman’s films, The Prisoner (the original), some comic book series by Gail Simone and Warren Ellis, some Howard Hawks films, and many more. And that’s not counting some things which I love but which I don’t think are a huge influence on me (Thomas Pynchon’s novels, for example). Oh, and Sherlock Holmes, of course (as inescapable for mystery writers as Tolkien is for fantasy writers, and as John Ford is for movie directors).

    Robert Altman is the biggest, though. That’s where I learned most of what I know about telling stories.


  4. As someone who has also watched Evangelion (the original, not the reboot), I agree that the imagery, the characters, and the conflicts are all very interesting and could provide good material. The trailer for the series still gives me goosebumps (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okiL6GETk00).

    In terms of my own inspirations, I have a whooooooole bunch. Some anime (FLCL), some webcomics (Girl Genius), some video games (Star Ocean 2 and 3), some movies (Blade Runner), and some authors (especially: Neil Gaiman, China Mieville, and Terry Pratchett). This is a good exercise for writers.


    • I never thought about video games being a source of inspiration… but a lot of them do have some pretty memorable storylines/characters. Thanks for the link to the Evangelion trailer. Makes me want to watch the whole series again.


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