Neon Genesis Evangelion’s creator says there might be plans for more with someone else at the helm, but I can’t think of a worse idea

Neon Genesis Evangelion is a weird series. Not even just because of its content, though that does go to some strange and complicated places too, but because never really ended. You’ve got the original, iconic ’90s series, each episode opening with the objectively best anime opening of all time, consisting of 26 episodes and a movie (two movies if you count that compilation film). And then, 10 years on, series creator Hideaki Anno decided to make it again, this time as a film series, and from the second film onwards the plot went in a completely different direction narratively.

When the fourth film finally arrived in 2021, with an almost decade long gap between it and the third entry, it offered a strong if highly flawed thematic and narrative conclusion to the anime. I loved it, I hated it, it was everything it should and shouldn’t have been at once, and it felt cathartic to be free of it in a way. There didn’t feel like there was anything left to say, even if it was an imperfect film. And then, earlier this week, Anno, in an interview with The Asahi Shimbun (via Anime News Network), said something that immediately triggered my fight or flight response and queued up Decisive Battle in my internal radio: “there may be plans” for more Evangelion anime, but possibly with “someone other than [himself]” leading it. That, dear reader, sounds to me like an awful idea.

I’m fully aware that there have been other interpretations of Evangelion across a broad range of mediums. Both the PS2 and Dreamcast have a number of visual novels, there’s the manga adaptation, and more besides these too. I get it! They existed to capitalise on a very popular anime, with the games in particular letting players live out fantasies where they can make Shinji enter romantic relationships with characters like Rei, Asuka, Kaworu, and even some OCs. But as much as Evangelion quite literally plays with ideas of different timelines and history repeating and remixing itself, more anime just feels like a mistake.

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