The director’s cut of Evangelion episodes 21 - 24 are now behind me; final thoughts on the series follow.
The director’s cut episodes did manage to flesh out some of the characters and their relationships a bit more, and it did add a few subtle touches that helped connect some of the Angel/Adam related pieces together. However, it still did not remove the sense that the whole Angel/Seele/Nerv conspiracy was just left hanging without a satisfactory resolution at the end of the series.
But, again, I understand what Anno was trying to say and what he was trying to do. At the moment, I have to chalk this series up with the label "experimental film". For me, the experiment was successful on some levels and unsuccessful on others. I enjoyed how the characters were portrayed and grew throughout the series.
Conversely, the Angel conspiracy as a plot device just left too many things hanging at the end. The focus at the end shifted far too quickly from global battle over the fate of the world to a personal, internal struggle.
Where the series succeeds the most though is in keeping people talking about it. Whether you loved it or found it overrated, you’re still talking about it a decade later and will likely be talking about it for another.
As for my own experiment, I would say it was somewhat of a success. I wouldn’t want to do this for every review, but with a box set title like this, posting my thoughts and interacting with others about them has helped give my thoughts shape. The review is still going to be a bitch to write, but this has been a good "cardboard cutout" method of focusing my thoughts. Thanks to all who read my ramblings and extra special thanks to those who commented.
And to all the children, congratulations…