When most people think of anime, they think of large-eyed adolescents fighting fearsome monsters (kaijū). On the surface, Neon Genesis Evangelion is the same, filled with destructive explosions and gigantic EVA missiles that can only be piloted by badass teens. But as every otaku knows, anime as a stylized artform has much more to offer, often pushing the artistic, emotional, and intellectual boundaries of its audiences. At its core, Neon Genesis Evangelion is one such anime: beyond the fearsome monsters and Evangelions, Neon Genesis explores the depths of the psyches of the adolescents when they become the very weapons needed to destroy the onslaught of Angels. The emotional complexities of the show make Neon Genesis Evangelion an emotional and intellectually challenging anime to watch. Fortunately, many of us do not undergo as extreme of experiences facing Shinji, Rei, and Asuka. But many of us do face tragedies that prompt us to ask questions about our own existence, how to live, and how to relate to others. Neon Genesis Evangelion and Philosophy encourages readers to take a moment to explore the wide range of philosophical topics found within the anime, challenging and encouraging you to reflect on who you are and how to live with others.
About the Author
Andrew M. Winters teaches philosophy and religious studies at Yavapai College in Prescott, AZ. He is the author of Natural Processes: Understanding Metaphysics Without Substance (Palgrave 2017) and is the co-editor of Stranger Things and Philosophy (Open Court 2019) and Neon Genesis Evangelion and Philosophy (Open Universe 2022).