My most recent exposure, before today, to the Evangelion franchise was the third Rebuild film. I'd watched the first two movies the day before, but even still 3.0 struck me as almost certainly intended to frustrate or anger the show's fans.
I thought it was okay, but it felt kind of pointless and meandering, with what little plot it has dedicated to further obfuscating the already-vague mythology.
Last night I got the other to rewatch the TV show - my third viewing ever and the first in six or seven years - and with my wife out of town and no other plans I figured I'd try to blitz all 26 episodes in a day.
Turns out it's not that difficult.
The early episodes, basically everything pre-Asuka, always stuck in my head as being quite dull, but I really enjoyed them this time through - even the one with JetAlone in it. It's easy to forget, with the shows reputation as a trippy, psychotic self-analysis, that the beginning of the show is so normal.
The slide into darker themes is slower than I remembered, and there's also more foreshadowing than I've ever given the series credit for; it actually felt much more coherent than I expected.
I was in two mind on whether to finish with the original ending or switch out to End of Eva, but in the end I stuck with the TV show. I'm glad I did; I was surprised to find that I reinterpreted the finale in a substantially different way than I ever had before. I'd always felt like the "congratulations!" at the end of the series was an obviously different ending than EoE, but now I'm not so sure.
I still prefer the upbeat TV version - EoE is just too dark, especially coming on the back of over an hour of suffering.
It does make me wonder, though - what is the final Rebuild installment going to change?