A Quick Tip by RabidChihuahua
While Evangelion is considered by many anime fans, even by highly-respectable ones, to be the "be all end all" of the anime genre, I honestly didn't like this one at all.
While this anime has a lot of brain-twisting ideas that really make one think (which is a good thing), I felt the execution was really poor because instead of feeling like I watched an intellectually-stimulating anime that felt like it was taken seriously by its creators, I felt like I watched an anime that was absurd-feeling that happened to have intellectually-stimulating ideas. It was precisely this poor execution that kept me from enjoying what good this anime has. Also keep in mind that I gave this anime two and a half chances to impress me, and I'm the type that almost never gives an anime a second chance if I don't like it the first time around.
I say it's "absurd-feeling" because at the beginning, NERV feels like a poorly-run military organization you'd see in a mecha anime series for kids since they're careless about training their Eva pilots, as they send them to school instead of having them master their weapons. Also, the fact that NERV is so careless to let their extremely-expensive Evas get damaged beyond repair feels pretty damn silly. I think after looking at NERV's records, the accountants at UN would be more willing to fund Petoria's space program, which consists of Chris Griffing climbing a tree and reaching for the sun.
To further my point, there's some tonal-whiplash scenes that kill a good deal of drive for me to take this anime seriously (such as Shinji running into Misato's room naked after seeing the penguin).
The characters may look good on paper, but their personalities should have had subtlety implemented because particularly with Shinji and Asuka, I was screaming "Alright, we get it!! They have problems!!" Subtlety in their personalities could have made them among the best-developed characters in anime.
While I don't like Evangelion, I have to credit it for the fact that it's been influential in anime titles that I do enjoy (particularly Ergo Proxy). Also, it's significantly better than a lot of the pap that's been coming in the US anime market in the last 6-8 years.
If you love Evangelion and consider it the benchmark in anime, that's fine by me, but after several watches of this anime, I think it's just something I'll never enjoy.
Here's my list of anime I'd recommend over NGE.
Grave of the Fireflies
Ghost in the Shell
Voice of a Distant Star
Shigurui: Death Frenzy