When Neon Genesis Evangelion aired in Japan, I was 3 years away from being an anime fan. It may not have been my first anime, but in discussing the anime with fans in my high school anime club afterward, I had an idea of the impact Evangelion had upon those who saw it. From the robot battles to the psychological underpinnings of each of its characters to even the maligned ending, there were many moments worth treasuring and cherishing.
For me and probably many others, the first glimpse of Evangelion was its opening theme, the iconic, “Cruel Angel’s Thesis” performed by Yoko Takahashi. It’s slow introduction, reminiscent of a birth, would fade, replaced by an upbeat mood that wormed its way into my (and many others’!) ears to make it the most recognizable anime song of all time.
That was 20 years ago and yet the song continues to stick as the franchise continues to flourish through the Rebuild movies. In observance of that milestone, the con goers at Anime Expo all gathered together in the large concert space near the Dealer’s Hall in hot, muggy Los Angeles to pay tribute to Neon Genesis Evangelion.