Arts and Culture

A Junior’s Perspective on Quarantine, Including a Review

Life Inside

With this global pandemic having spread far across the world starting in China, the effects of its damage are being felt even in the small country of Nicaragua. Although the number of reported COVID-19 cases is low, the country as a whole is taking precautions against the virus, and this includes the school that I go to, the American Nicaraguan School. As an 11th grader, I can’t help but feel lucky for having had the chance to take the SAT test, since many others were unable to all across the world, and many more had their May test cancelled. However, this does not change the fact that I am unable to go to school, alongside millions of other students across the globe. 

Online classes are difficult, since we are unable to talk directly to our teachers nor interact with fellow students and friends. Furthermore, I am constantly alert about the summative assignments that may be assigned to us, and how my teachers will handle the situation. Despite this, working from home isn’t so bad. After classes end, I have 9 hours of flexible, free time in which I can responsibly (or irresponsibly) schedule time for homework, hobbies, and idle time. After I finish my homework and studying, I can choose to watch a movie or TV show, play video games, study a new language, or practice playing guitar. Thankfully, I am equally interested in all of these activities, so I don’t feel burned out on just doing one thing. 

Despite this, staying at home most of my day is a seriously tedious task. I don’t get to meet other people, it’s been weeks since I have seen my friends. Of course, I still see them in video calls and while chatting online, but it just isn’t the same. Likewise, my sleep schedule has also been ruined. I stay up late until after midnight, spending hours on Reddit, Youtube, or watching shows on my phone or computer. At first it was interesting staying at home, but I realize that it is much less healthier than it actually appears.

Neon Genesis Evangelion

If you know anything about Japanese animation, it is most likely that you have heard the opening theme for this show: Neon Genesis Evangelion. It is perhaps one of the most iconic animated television shows from Japan—an exquisite mixture of fast-paced action between monsters and giant humanoid weapons, interesting world building and excellent animation quality. I watched this show not long ago. It’s only been a few months, but the current circumstances have brought me back to this show, and it is as good as I remember it being the first time around.

Neon Genesis Evangelion is a masterpiece crafted together by Hideaki Anno. It first aired in October of 1995, up until late March of the following year. During this short time, one of the most hailed series in Japanese animation was born. With an episode count of 26, this story could be considered much more than a well-told narrative. After all, the art reflects the artist one way or another, right?

The story kicks off with a rather clichéd event: a boy whose father left him long ago calls upon him to pilot a giant mech for him. Could it get any more stereotypical than that? However, the similarities end there. As the first fight seems to wind down to a loss, something … happens. In an unexpected turn of events, the boy, Shinji, is suddenly lying in a hospital bed, scared beyond belief, traumatized for the rest of his life. What happened? Of course, I won’t be explaining that far. After all, this was simply a teaser, a synopsis for the story that would unfold as you continue watching Neon Genesis Evangelion.

I, and as a matter of fact, any anime fan, would recommend this to everyone who wants to watch an anime series. This is because this show sheds any signs of immaturity and exaggeration that Japanese animation is so commonly associated with. It takes on a serious tone that blends action and character development to a new level. Hopefully, this show will prove that this medium is not a constant monotone stream of empty entertainment, designed to be watched once and forgotten, because I would personally never forget this show. 

Watch Order for NGE:

Neon Genesis Evangelion (TV – 26 Episodes) – Available on Netflix

The End of Evangelion (Movie – 97 Minutes) – Available on Netflix

Optional:

Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone (Movie – 100 Minutes)

Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance (Movie – 112 Minutes)

Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo (Movie – 96 Minutes)

Evangelion 3.0+1.0 (Movie) – Not Yet Aired

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