TonyCharles90’s review published on Letterboxd:
It's that disappointment you feel when you wake up in the morning. Not because you need to wake up for work, or the countless other seemingly trivial things you need to accomplish, but the disappointment you feel that you're still alive another day. It's a strange sensation, really. A hopelessness so deep, so unbelievably exhausting, that it's managed to chip away at everything that once made you, you. You begin to wonder at what point you lost that part of yourself. Your excitement for the future, your ability to enjoy the things that at one time made you so happy. It's gone. Maybe it was never really there to begin with. I don't even recognize the person reflected back at me in the mirror anymore. That isn't me. I don't know this person. I wish I could say that these thoughts were behind me. That I've been miraculously cured of my depression. But that wouldn't be true. These thoughts, this overwhelming weight that I have to carry day in and day out, is relentlessly present with me at all times.
You may be wondering what any of this has to do with The End of Evangelion. Especially for those not familiar with the show. I've never been a Mecha pilot. I've never experienced the kind of trauma Shinji has. Yet despite this, I share his pain. I too have experienced a hurt so excruciating that I've managed to convince myself that there's only one way out. It's not a feeling easily explained, and even less easy to convey through art. It's a feeling so inherently personal, so close to the individual experiencing that pain, that it's often too difficult to effectively capture in any medium. This is Neon Genesis' greatest strength in my opinion. The show doesn't reach the amount of people that is does for its Mecha shenanigans. Sure, the action is fun to marvel at, but it's in its exploration of mental illness that it manages to become something else entirely. Because while Mechas aren't widely recognized by everyone, the despair that Anno is able to capture in Neon Genesis is univeral. It transcends language barriers and any idea of genre conventions, and becomes something we can all relate to.
For those struggling right now, I wanna let you know how proud of you I am. If you've managed to get out of bed today and get yourself cleaned up, you're doing enough. Everyday you're alive, still fighting, is a day you can congratulate yourself for. You're worthy and mean so much to so many people.
“Anywhere can be paradise as long as you have the will to live. After all, you are alive, so you will always have the chance to be happy."