I am not an anime expert. I got into the genre by watching Cowboy Bebop and Ghost in the Shell. In both of those I loved the visual style, the story, the character development and (more so in GitS) the exploration of complex issues such as meaning of life, relationships, perception of reality, etc.
Ive decided to give NGE a go sicne it was genenrally rated higher than GitS or CB. I did so against my intuition not to watch the show due its plot which on the face of it seemed rather banal ("teenagers saving the world"). I also doubted I could relate to the characters (which for me is an essential requirement for enjoying any work of fiction) as I am quite a few years past my teens.
Having watched it, I have to say its a fairly strange show. Some of the themes were quite interesting, but having read the comments of this board, it seems I did not notice some of the symbolism/subtext. I also felt it was a very bizzare setting (the impending end of the world due to an attack of supernatural beings) for the exploration of themes that were raised (typical teenage issues of anxiety/communication with others/sexuality/relationships with parents).The two just did not match, in my opinion. The development is of a complex story with all the religious references just seemed very disconected with the issues that the charecters were dealing with thoughout the show, and in the end was left not fully explained. As such, the show's intended message(s) for the viewer (if there was one) was somewhat lost for me.
And I was right to guess that I would not relate to the charecters. However, it is a strange thing that I did not. I am quite an introverted person, and my teenage years certainly weren't the happiest. Surprisingly though, I did not feel that I could relate to the main charecter Shinji in any way.
Did I watch it from the wrong angle or is it just not for me?